Saturday, April 15, 2006

If Only We Could All Live Like Evel

How can you not love the Evel one? He's a crazy thrill seeker with the guts to sail off the edge of the world, even when he knew he'd be plunging head first into the Snake Canyon River. He's a madman on a motorcyle racing over jumps when he knows he's going to crash because the people came to see this stunt, and damn it he's going to give it to them. He's a walking medical experiment who insists on riding before he's fully healed, even though he's broken 15,925 bones. He's a no nonsense, no one messes with me kind of guy, and he'll take a 2x4 to your head if you dare disagree. Don't cross him, don't mess with him, and don't ever think that you can do what he did - because you can't.

Even his toys are tougher than everyone elses. If Evel had been the one jumping barrels instead of the Fonz, he wouldn't have slid into Arnolds fried chicken stand. He would have screamed into it at 100mph, broken 200 bones, stood up, and downed a bucket of chicken to show the crowd he was okay. And you can expect the same thing from his toys. The stunt cycle can leap your neighbors ditch, jump your entire set of encyclopedias, do somersaults over the Evel Knievel Scramble Van, and drive perfectly upright while Evel does a headstand on it.

And when Evel got done with his exciting adventues, what did he do? He had further adventures. No one was going to tell him what to do, especially when his toys were owned by almost every red blooded American boy, and coveted by those who parents thought Evel was a bad influence.

What else could capture a kid's heart in the 1970s like a daredevil, superhero, glory loving, lunatic? Nothing. Because no daredevil has ever come close to capturing the magic that was Evel. It takes more than just jumping a train to make a legend. You've got to have personality by the bushel. And with the exception of Evel's wooden acting in "Viva Knievel!", the man had more personality than all the other daredevils stacked side by side in the Snake River Canyon.


Phillip said...

"jump your entire set of encyclopedias," I guess, if your set only goes up to "W"...

Chris Jart said...

I guess we set our sites too high to expect old Evel to jump over all the encyclopedias. I guess we'll just have to watch him plummet into the empty space, while we ponder Evel's desire to recreate his Snake River Canyon fiasco.