The closest I ever came to earning the title, Rhodes Scholar was when my Dad witnessed my very impressive demonstration of practical physics in our driveway one afternoon.
In one of my less than intellectual moments, I attempted to hop over the tailgate of my Dad’s truck from a flat-footed position in the bed of the truck. As I squat down for the leap, the bed lowered with my squat. I was sure the action would give me more lift, but I failed to realize that it was about to rise along with my leap. Then, true to form for all inanimate objects that I encountered in my youth, the truck grabbed my ankles on the way over the tailgate. I watched the launch in slow motion as my feet stopped moving but the driveway advanced towards my face with malicious intent. In what seemed like forever, but was actually mere seconds the face in motion encountered the driveway at rest, resulting in a driveway face plant worthy of Olympic recognition.
My father was just coming out of the kitchen door when he saw the less than impressive feat, heard the very impressive splat of my face kissing the gravel driveway and then had his ears assaulted by my wailing cry of victory.
Through tear filled eyes I looked to see if he would come to my aid and give me comfort. I watched as he lowered his head, slowly shaking it from side to side then turned and went back into the kitchen… no doubt to ask my mother whether she was really sure about who my father was.
Actually, the more I think back on the incident I think the title only sounded like Rhodes Scholar. It was probably more like Road Scholar in recognition of my intense, close-up study of one gravel driveway.