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#168

Skateboarding in Blank Time



               With the students gone for the summer, Brigolek Elementary School in Multioak was deserted, which meant that its new, large, flat, smooth parking lot was wide open for skateboarding. And there weren’t any “no skateboarding” signs posted anywhere. Sheena had made a thorough check of the premises to make sure she wasn’t just overlooking them. Her kind of skateboarding wasn’t hard on property anyway, but she didn’t want to appear to be flouting the rules and she didn’t want to be a bad example for kids whose skating style might harm the property. But there wasn’t a single “no skateboarding” sign, so as far as Sheena could tell, there was nothing preventing her from walking back across the street the following afternoon for an hour or so of pleasant, relaxing skateboarding.

                Where Sheena and Donovan had lived before moving to Multioak, the only place for Sheena to skate had been their apartment complex’s parking lot, but there were always a lot of cars around taking up most of the space, even on weekday afternoons, and the blacktop had large cracks in it that made for jarring and even dangerous skating if Sheena wasn’t careful, which tended to detract from the pleasant and relaxing qualities of the activity. The school parking lot across the street from their new house had been one of the biggest reasons that Sheena had felt OK about moving to Multioak. During their very first visit, while Donovan walked through the house with the realtor asking questions about how recently the roof had been re-shingled and what the smell in the furnace room might be, Sheena had stood on the front porch and gazed at the school parking lot across the street. It had been filled with cars and covered by a layer of wet snow that had fallen after the ploughs had cleared it in the pre-dawn hours, but Sheena had no trouble envisioning its potential. She knew that the snow would melt. She knew that the parking lot would be all but empty by 4 p.m. every day and that it would be entirely empty during summer vacation, which also happened to coincide with the best skateboarding weather.

                Now, two days after arriving in Multioak with a moving truck full of her and Donovan’s possessions, Sheena stood in the middle of the Brigolek Elementary School parking lot and surveyed its level, crackless, black surface. The parking lot’s potential was now fully realized. She looked from one end of the parking lot to the other, imagining herself gliding and gliding and gliding without stopping, without turning, just the occasional, casual push with her left foot and on she would roll. It was as if she were watching herself roll by. Sheena saw this imaginary Sheena’s serene smile, saw the wind slip its finger through her tight ponytail, saw her right hand holding her left wrist behind her back as the skateboard and the parking lot, harmonious, carried her off.

               

                Donovan wasn’t going to be back for a month. The original plan was to arrive in Multioak a full two weeks before he had to leave on his long business trip, but there had been delays. No single big delay, but dozens of small ones, and they had all added up to Sheena and Donovan moving into their new home in Multioak one day before Donovan’s flight. Sheena had spent the previous day unloading boxes and assembling the bed with Donovan. Today, she had spent the morning and the early part of the afternoon driving Donovan to the airport, driving home, napping, and doing some essential tasks to ensure the livability of the house. And there were more tasks yet to do, important ones, which was why Sheena had not paused long enough to actually have a good skating session, she had paused only long enough to scout the lot, to look for “no skateboarding” signs, and to imagine how good the following days’ skating would be. Because tomorrow she would skate. And every day after until snow and ice returned to stop her. Or maybe nothing would stop her.

 

                Sheena had been skating in the school parking lot for five rapturous minutes, if that, when a neighbor lady from across the street came out onto her porch and shouted in a shrill voice, “What are you doing?”

                Sheena stopped and stepped off of her board. “What?” she called back.

                The woman descended her front steps and proceeded down her front walk to the curb.

                Sheena stepped onto her board to skate closer to the woman, at least to the curb opposite her, but the woman shouted, “No! Please, what are you doing?”

                Sheena picked up her skateboard and walked over to the curb. Only the width of the street separated her from her neighbor. “I’m sorry,” said Sheena. “What’s wrong?”

                “You shouldn’t be doing that,” said the woman. “You should know better.” She was plump and she wore a wide-brimmed hat that was probably for gardening. She had a wooden spoon in one hand that dripped a thin, brown liquid onto the curb.

                Sheena looked down at the skateboard dangling long-ways from her right hand. “I shouldn’t be skating? Why not? I didn’t see any signs saying I couldn’t. It isn’t illegal. Is it? Is there a general town ordinance so they don’t have to hang signs everywhere?”

                “What?” asked the woman. “What town ordinance?”

                “Outlawing skating,” said Sheena.

                “No,” said the woman. “No, it’s not illegal.”

                “So what were you shouting about?” asked Sheena.

                “Well, I saw you,” said the woman. “I saw you. You shouldn’t have to be told!”

                “You think it’s immature?” asked Sheena. “You think it’s only for guys?”

                “No!” said the woman. “It’s dangerous!”

                “No, it isn’t,” said Sheena. “Not the way I do it. I just like to ride it around. I don’t try any tricks or anything. No jumps or grinds. It’s no more dangerous than riding a bike. I’m really good at it. I haven’t had a serious fall in years.”

                “Dangerous to you and dangerous to others,” said the woman.

                “What others?” asked Sheena. She gestured at the vast, empty lot behind her. “I couldn’t run into someone else if I wanted to!”

                “Miss,” said the woman. “I don’t know where you’re from, I don’t know your name, I don’t know how old you are. I don’t know anything about you except that you have no business riding a skateboard.”

                “Well, I respectfully disagree,” said Sheena. “I don’t want to get off to a bad start with you since we’re neighbors and all, but you can’t keep me from skating just because you don’t like it.”

                “I’m not telling you to stop because I don’t like it,” said the woman. “I’m telling you for your own good. And for everyone else’s good too!”

                “You’re being ridiculous,” said Sheena. “You’re not making any sense.” She turned, dropped her board, and skated off toward the middle of the parking lot, away from her neighbor who shouted “Stop!” a few more times. Sheena ignored her. When the neighbor’s cries stopped, Sheena looked over her shoulder and saw that she was gone. Sheena tried to skate for a few more minutes, but the spell was broken. She couldn’t enjoy it, she couldn’t relax. She picked up her board and walked home, feeling dejected. She would skate again tomorrow. The neighbor might freak out again, but there was nothing she could actually do to stop Sheena, and eventually, she would come to realize that Sheena was going to skate in the parking lot so she might as well accept it. And then, when days had passed without incident, when Sheena hadn’t gotten hurt and hadn’t hurt anyone else, the neighbor would realize she was wrong.

                In the house, Sheena was confronted by piles of unopened boxes, some of them labeled in her handwriting, some of them labeled in Donovan’s handwriting. As she closed the front door behind her, it disturbed Sheena to realize that unpacking the boxes actually seemed less stressful to her than skating did. But she knew the feeling was only temporary. That night when Donovan called, Sheena did not tell him about her conflict with the neighbor lady. She told him she had skated and it had been good. Donovan nodded off in mid-conversation. Across a thousand miles, Sheena heard her husband say “I’m still awake” in his sleep.

 

                The next afternoon was overcast. A breeze flowed without obstruction across the elementary school parking lot, sweeping from one end to the other in a straight line. Sheena skated with the breeze. Then she skated into it. Then she skated perpendicular to it. She’d spent the first few minutes casting look after look at the neighbor lady’s door, waiting for her to appear. Then she’d spent the next few minutes consciously forbidding herself from looking at the neighbor lady’s door, forcing herself to concentrate instead on how much fun she should be having while skating. And then, eventually, the actual fun had arrived, and Sheena skated back and forth and around and around in an enormous circle, her thoughts pursuing peaceful courses of their own choosing. This beautiful period of skateboarding lasted for ten minutes.

It lasted until a passing car – clean and rusty, small but noisy, a car of contrasts – swerved into the lot, roared toward her, and halted with an anguished scream of its brakes. The driver flung the car door open and sprang out in a state of unseemly agitation, wavy hair flapping, glasses tumbling to the blacktop and popping loose a tiny screw. The tan and gray outfit the man wore was clearly a uniform of some kind, but all that Sheena could determine from looking at it was that it was not a uniform that conferred any authority.

Sheena had stepped off of her skateboard and snatched it up the moment she’d noticed the car heading for her, preparing to leap to one side or another if the car seemed intent on running her down. When the car did not run her down and the man jumped out, a feeling of dread fell over Sheena like a net. She wished the car had tried to run her down. She wished the driver would not be about to say what she somehow knew he was about to say.

“Are you insane?” shouted the man. He stooped and tried to grab Sheena’s skateboard from her but she yanked it away before he could touch it. “You’re going to kill yourself! Or someone else! Or both! You and many others!”

“No, I’m not,” said Sheena. She was not going to lose control. She was going to remain calm. This man was wrong and he had no power over her.

The man breathed heavily. “I was just driving past,” he said, pointing behind himself at the road without turning toward it. “And I saw you. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I almost had a heart attack. I almost crashed my car!”

Sheena said nothing. There was nothing to say.

“What do you have to say for yourself?” asked the man. “I mean, seriously. Seriously?”

It turned out that Sheena did have something to say. Nothing very good, but still, she found herself saying something, so she supposed that had to mean she had something to say. “Mind your own business. I can skate here if I want to.”

“No,” said the man, alternately stomping his right and left foot. “No, no, that’s insane. Are you insane?”

“It’s really none of your business,” said Sheena. “This isn’t your property and you’re not my dad. And even if you were my dad, I wouldn’t have to listen to you. I’m 22 years old. So what makes you think you have the right to tell me what to do?”

“The right?” asked the man. “I’m being a good citizen! If you saw a little dog eating a carrot in the middle of the road, wouldn’t you stop and try to lure it to safety? If you were standing on the sidewalk at an intersection waiting to cross and you looked into one of the cars stopped at the intersection and saw that it was being driven by two toddlers – one on the floor working the pedals and one standing on the seat and steering – wouldn’t you perform a citizens carjacking for their safety and the safety of all the other drivers and pedestrians and property nearby?”

                “I’m not a little dog!” said Sheena, not calmly. “I’m not two toddlers! I’m not one toddler! I’m a grown woman and I can skateboard here if I want to!”

                “I’m not saying you shouldn’t skateboard here,” said the man. “I’m saying you shouldn’t skateboard at all.”

                “Oh yeah?” said Sheena. “Why not? What makes you an expert of who should and shouldn’t be skateboarding? Do you know anything about skateboarding?”

                “Yes,” said the man. “My wife skates professionally. As do two of my three daughters. And the third will skate professionally as soon as she’s old enough. But none of that has any bearing on why I stopped. Anyone can see that you shouldn’t be skateboarding! An old woman who only knows about gardening or cooking would be able to tell you have no business on a skateboard! No business!”

                “Did you talk to her?” asked Sheena. “Did she send you?”

                “Who?” asked the man. His confusion was genuine.

                “Never mind,” said Sheena.

                “Look,” said the man. “I’ll buy that skateboard off of you. I’ve got…” He pulled out his wallet and looked inside. “I’ve got 89 dollars. There’s no way that board cost that much. Trust me, I know skateboard prices. My family goes through them fast. Take the money and spend it on something you can enjoy safely.”

                “I’m good at skateboarding,” said Sheena. “I never fall.”

                The man responded by waving his four twenties, one five, and four ones at Sheena. “Please,” he said. “So I can sleep tonight.”

                “No,” said Sheena. She dropped her board, stepped onto it, and pushed off with her left foot, zipping away from the man in the direction of her house. Behind her, Sheena heard a cry of terror, and when she looked over her shoulder, the man was sprinting after her and looked determined to tackle her off of the skateboard as if he were tackling her out of the path of an oncoming armored car. Alarmed, Sheena skated faster, pushing off of the blacktop again and again in rapid succession, much faster than she was usually comfortable going. As the curb approached, Sheena jumped off of the skateboard, almost pitched forward into the street as she struggled to keep her feet beneath her, grabbed her skateboard, and ran across the road to her house, slamming the front door behind her and hurrying down to the bathroom in the unfinished basement where she sat with the door closed, determined to ignore any knocks on the front door or ringings of the doorbell that she might hear. She did not hear any of either.

 

                The next day was not a productive one. Sheena could not focus on unpacking boxes. Instead, she paced around the house, snacked, and watched nothing happen in the empty elementary school parking lot across the street. It just laid there, absorbing every color of the visible spectrum of light. A plastic bag blew across it. A paper bag blew across it. The two bags almost collided. No human being used it for any purpose at all, neither practical nor frivolous nor benevolent nor sinister.

The internet and cable were not hooked up at the house yet, but Sheena dug a TV and the old DVD player out of a box, set them up on the floor in the corner of the master bedroom, and watched movies from Donovan’s collection that she hadn’t seen before. She didn’t like any of them, but she was also in a distracted, negative mood, which is probably the worst way to experience art, especially unfamiliar art.

The sun went down. Sheena was not hungry because she had been snacking all day. She went out on the front porch and looked at the parking lot. Its edges were illuminated by yellow-orange lights on top of tall poles. Its center was darker, but not so dark that she couldn’t see the white paint demarcating dozens of parking spaces of a uniform size. The night was humid but the breeze that had propelled that plastic bag and that paper bag was still around and quite pleasant. Sheena got her skateboard.

She had never skated at night before. She decided it was very good, like God said in some translations of the Bible when He considered various elements of His creation, but with far less authority. Sheena skated through swells of light and through sighs of darkness. How does one describe the sound that skateboard wheels make on blacktop? Like a rumble, but pitched higher, plus the double-clack when the wheels strike cracks – first front, then back – and roll on.

A car went past on the road. Sheena watched its headlights as she skated, but they did not take a turn into the parking lot. They may have slowed a little, but that may have been more out of innocent curiosity about the young woman skating alone in the school parking lot at – Sheena checked her watch – 11:45? She had not realized it was that late. The car drove off. A short while later, a second car passed and also did not stop to discharge a driver or passenger intent on ruining her fun. The second car drove off. Later, a third car passed and it appeared as if it were being driven drunkenly the way it weaved and wavered, now there was a danger to self and others, that motorist. Where was Sheena’s neighbor to berate that driver? Where was the skating family patriarch to offer that driver a handful of cash for his or her vehicle?

Sheena skated in a big old figure eight and at no point did she wonder whether maybe it might be an infinity sign because she knew it was an eight even before it was begun. She traced the eight over and over again with her board, sloppily expanding its parameters, growing the eight with her hands clasped behind her back and with an in-between moon stuck to the black sky like a dull golden tack overhead. From now on, she would be a night-skater. It was better, it turned out, than being a day-skater, and not just because no one was stopping her. It was better in all ways. It felt so lovely. The lot felt smoother, more accommodating. The heat was blunted. Sheena could smell a lake.

A police car raced into the parking lot, blue lights, red lights, headlights. Sheena got off of her skateboard and stood with her posture fully betraying her disappointment.

“Miss,” said the cop as she got out of her squad car. “I have gotten three calls about you in the last twenty minutes. And I told the first two it didn’t sound like you were doing anything wrong, but after the third, I thought, well, maybe I’d better go see what everyone’s getting so worked up about. So I drive over here and I see this going on and I honestly don’t think I have ever seen anything so foolhardy in my life.”

“They all called the cops on me?” asked Sheena. “All three of them?”

“So you do know you shouldn’t be doing this?” asked the cop. “You’re not that stupid?” She stood in front of her headlights so it was hard for Sheena to see her face. Her silhouette was small but imposing, an effect of the uniform’s recognizable shape. Her voice had pity in it. Too much for Sheena’s taste.

“I know that everyone else thinks I shouldn’t be doing this,” said Sheena. “It’s not illegal.”

“You know what else isn’t explicitly illegal?” asked the cop. “Dropping cinder blocks onto a trampoline from a hot air balloon. You know why it isn’t explicitly illegal? Because it’s so dumb, no one’s ever thought there was a need for a law against it. And if there were a law against it, I would know, because I’m not one of those apathetic cops who only knows about the obvious crimes. I’m a student of crime, especially in terms of what is one and what isn’t one.”

“Just tell me what you see,” said Sheena. “Explain it to me. When you see me riding my skateboard around this parking lot, what does it look like to you? What terrible thing are you so sure is going to happen?”

                 “You know what the best part of my job is?” asked the cop. “It’s not busting people who have done bad things. It isn’t investigating crimes. It’s not comforting the families of victims. It’s preventing disasters. It’s preventing tragedies. That’s the most satisfying thing a cop can do.”

                “I’ll go home,” said Sheena.

                “Good,” said the cop.

                “I’ll walk,” said Sheena. “I’ll just carry my skateboard in my hands.”

                “Good,” said the cop. “Sell it. Throw it out. Burn it.”

                “I might,” said Sheena, dishonestly.

 

                When she got home, Sheena called Donovan on the phone. It wasn’t night where he was, it was day.

                “Have you ever seen me ride my skateboard?” asked Sheena.

                “No,” said Donovan.

                “OK,” said Sheena. “But how do you imagine it?”

                “I don’t know,” said Donovan.

                “You don’t picture it?” asked Sheena. “In your head? You don’t have a mental image of it?”

                “I guess not,” said Donovan.

                “Well, picture it,” said Sheena. “You’ve seen people skateboard before. So imagine that, but then make it so it’s me doing it.”

                Donovan was silent.

                “Are you picturing it?” asked Sheena.

                “Please, Sheena,” said Donovan. “No more. Please. OK? No more skateboarding. Please!” His voice cracked.

                “So it’s everyone,” said Sheena.

                “Will you promise me?” asked Donovan. He sounded near hysterics. “Will you promise me not to skateboard ever again?”

                “OK,” said Sheena.

                “Is that a promise?” asked Donovan. Sheena had never heard him sound so desperate.

                “OK,” said Sheena again, trying to inflect it like a “yes,” which was hard because it was two syllables whereas “yes” is a mere one syllable. But it worked, somehow.

                “Thank you,” said Donovan. Sheena could hear him collapsing onto his hotel bed in relief. “Thank you, Sheena. You’ll find other things you like. You’ll like them even more than skateboarding. Have you thought of trying roller skates? Or rollerblades?”

                “Picture me rollerblading,” said Sheena.

                “I am,” said Donovan. “You look great! You should try rollerblading!”

                “OK,” said Sheena, inflecting it like she didn’t even know what.

                “Whew,” said Donovan. “Wow. I’m spent.”

                “I should go to bed,” said Sheena. “Good night. I love you.”

                “I love you too,” said Donovan.

                Sheena showered, pajamaed her body, pulled down the covers on her big bed, and lay down atop the sheets without pulling the covers back over herself. She imagined herself riding a skateboard. The thought was not alarming. She imagined the beatific smile on her face, the droop of her eyelids that did not denote tiredness, the ease of her posture, the languor of her left leg’s kicks, the bumplessness of her glide. Then she imagined a blank, a period of time in which there was no awareness. And then after that blank time, the carnage, the smoking ruins, the bodies, the gore, the ambient drones in the soundtrack that accentuate the silence of a scene, herself turning to look, turning to look, turning to look, blinking in slow motion like the blinks in self-serious music videos seen online. She rewound. She stared at the blank time, she glared at it, she tried looking at it with unfocused eyes as one might a Magic Eye poster, she tried hyperfocusing her eyes and realized she was just glaring again, she endeavored to see through the blank time, at which she succeeded, but there was nothing there except for the back side of the blank time, which looked the same as the front side. What about different angles? It looked the same from all angles.

                Sheena got out of bed, turned on the lights, and brought her skateboard into the bedroom. She set the skateboard on the floor and stood on top of it facing the full-length mirror on the closet door. She lowered her bare left foot to the floor and slowly pushed into the carpet with the ball of her foot, with her toes, the wheels of the skateboard rotating one complete revolution through the carpet’s medium-length nap. What she saw in the mirror was not frightening, not even slightly worrisome. Not to her, anyway. She couldn’t speak for anyone else.

                Her cell phone rang.

                “I just had a terrible dream,” said Donovan. “Well, not a dream, just a feeling. A feeling that you were on a skateboard again. Right now!”

                “I’m in bed,” said Sheena, turning off the light, getting back onto the bed.

                “I’m soaked in sweat,” said Donovan. “But I’m freezing. It’s a cold sweat!”

                “I’ve heard of those,” said Sheena.

                “You weren’t skating?” asked Donovan. “You weren’t on a skateboard?”

                “OK,” said Sheena, taking a complete shot in the dark with her inflection.

                “OK?” asked Donovan, confused.

                “Yes,” said Sheena. “Exactly. Good night, Donovan. I love you.”

                “I love you too,” said Donovan. “Good night.” His breathing had not returned to normal when Sheena hung up.

 

                Sheena dozed on and off, but a part of her knew not to fall all the way into sleep. A small part of her remained awake and vigilant. Shortly before four in the morning, this small part of Sheena saw what it was looking for and Sheena sat up on her bed and swiveled and placed the bottom sides of her feet against the top side of her bedroom carpet. She stood up, picked up her skateboard, and walked through her dark, new house to the front door, stubbing various toes on unpacked boxes and swearing differently each time.

                Sheena did not think of 4 a.m. as early in the morning. She thought of it as late at night. The air was cooler than it had been when the cop had stopped her skateboarding, but there was new thickness to it. Sheena’s driveway was paved, but her neighbor’s was gravel. Not the neighbor who had stopped her skating the first time she’d tried it in the elementary school parking lot, the other neighbor. With her skateboard under her arm, Sheena walked barefoot across two dewy lawns and took a handful of gravel from her neighbor’s driveway. Then she looked both ways, saw zero cars, and crossed the street to the parking lot. She walked to the center of the parking lot. Feeling the parking lot against her bare feet gave Sheena a new appreciation for its smoothness. A parking lot this good for walking on while barefoot had to be good for skateboarding. At the center of the parking lot, Sheena set her skateboard down, closed her eyes, and then used her right hand to take a single piece of gravel from her left hand. She threw the piece of gravel. She turned slightly and repeated this procedure, but this time did not throw the piece of gravel as hard. She turned slightly and again threw a piece of gravel, but this time she threw it harder than she had thrown either of the previous two pieces. She repeated the procedure, varying the strength of her throw every time, until there were no pieces of gravel left in either of her hands. Then Sheena opened her eyes, stepped onto her skateboard, and began to skateboard.

                She gave no thought to where she was skating. She cruised around the parking lot and let her whims guide her. She did not remember in which direction she had thrown pieces of gravel at which strengths. She did not know where they had landed, how far they had traveled from the center, where they lay in wait. She skated as she would have if she had no knowledge that any pieces of gravel were present at all. She skated as she would have if she had been certain that no pieces of gravel were present at all. She did not look for them, and even if she had, it was probably too dark in that parking lot in that time to see them. Sheena skated until the front right wheel of her skateboard struck a piece of gravel. The piece of gravel stopped the wheel’s roll, slowed the skateboard’s progress dramatically, scraped along the blacktop, scratched a white line into it. Sheena’s weight shifted forward, too far forward, and she fell, hands outstretched, hair flying, pajamas flapping, an expression on her face the goofiness of which she could feel in her bones. Sheena’s body struck the blacktop and as she skidded along it, probably not more than a foot, really, it felt less smooth than she remembered.

                Sheena sat up. Her palms and elbows were badly scraped. Her chin burned. It was scraped too. She touched a finger to her chin, looked at the finger, and it had a pink dab on it. The front of her pajama top was filthy. The elbows of the pajama top were ripped, that’s how Sheena could see that her elbows were scraped. The knees of her pajama bottoms were filthy but had not ripped. Her knees were sore but less so than her palms, chin, and elbows. She did notice then that the tops of her feet hurt, but not as badly as they could have considering how unprotected they were, which was completely.

                Having finished her self-assessment, Sheena stood up and looked across the street at her house and her neighbors’ houses. They were unchanged. She saw a man walking up the street past the parking lot, the street between the parking lot and Sheena’s house. The man had a plastic bag in his hand and a baseball cap on his head. Sheena picked up her skateboard and walked forward so that her path and the man’s path intersected at the curb. “Hey,” said Sheena, waving her scraped left hand in greeting.

                “Morning,” said the man. He stopped walking.

                “Morning?” said Sheena. “Oh, right. It feels more like night to me.”

                “I’m an early riser,” said the man.

                “I have a quick question for you,” said Sheena.

                “Shoot,” said the man.

                “What?”

                “That means ‘ask it,’” said the man.

                “Do you feel OK?” asked Sheena.

                “Is that the question?”

                “Yes.”

                “Yeah,” said the man. “I feel fine. Are you OK?”

                “Oh, this?” said Sheena. She looked down at herself, dirtied and bloodied. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just fell off my skateboard. Hit a rock.”

                “Ah, well,” said the man. “I suppose that’ll happen.”

                “Yes,” said Sheena.

                “Well, I should keep heading to work,” said the man. “Shift starts at 5. This is my lunch.” He held up the plastic bag.

                “Good night,” said Sheena.

                “Good morning,” said the man, and he walked on down the street.




Discussion Questions

  • What’s the worst possible outcome of someone riding a skateboard?



  • What’s the worst possible outcome of Sheena riding a skateboard?



  • Describe a scenario in which you would be morally obligated to initiate a citizens’ carjacking.



  • Should there be a law against dropping cinder blocks onto a trampoline from a hot-air balloon? Why or why not?



  • What amount of irrational fear from other people can start to make you feel like that fear might be rational?



  • Which of your hobbies would be most likely to fill the rest of us with dread if we were to see or envision you peacefully engaging in it?