Cash Wiley’s personal hero was Evel Knievel.
Cash Wiley liked to brag that he had watched all of Evel’s jumps. At least 75 of them. Cash scoured the internet looking for any Evel Knievel footage from the 1960s and 1970s. Cash studied all of Evel Knievel’s daring feats.
Over and over.
Cash’s family worried that he was becoming obsessive. They called the local mental health center, but were told that Cash’s love of Evel Knievel wasn’t something they would require him to be committed to their facility.
Unless he was a danger to himself or others, he could obsess about television heroes as much as he wants, the counselor told Cash’s mom.
Cash Wiley didn’t have a motorcycle, though.
He could never pass the riding skills test required by the driver’s license bureau. Especially the requirement that he be able to lift up the motorcycle in case it ever fell over. So, he saved up his tips from waiting tables at the pizza place and bought a unicycle.
The unicycle makes me unique, Cash thought to himself.
The big day came.
Cash has secretly built a ramp in his back yard. Cash’s friend had an old rental box truck that they’d use to bring it to the mall parking lot on the big day.
This is going to be like the MGM combined with the Grand Canyon, Cash said to himself.
Never mind that Cash was confused because Evel never actually jumped the Grand Canyon. And, it was Caesar’s Palace.
Cash ran around to the food court all week and announced his stunt was going down on Saturday at noon.
Just don’t tell the mall cops or else they’ll shut it down.
The big day arrived.
Saturday! Saturday! Saturday! Cash heard in his head.
Cash and his buddy unloaded the ramps, an inflatable swimming pool, and three blow up sharks in the mall parking lot. A guard came by and said “Whoa! Hold it there.”
Cash slipped him a $20 bill and the guard told him to hurry up and do his jump before his supervisor came to work at 2 p.m..
The food court crowd gathered on each side of the two ramps and the shark infested wading pool. Not much was going on in town, so they were cool with having a legitimately unique and weird street performance.
Cash cranked his unicycle to full speed. He pedaled as hard as he had ever during his unicycling career.
This is going to be awesome!
He hit the ramp. He achieved lift off. He felt the freedom of flying through the air.
Cash felt like an astronaut. Cash felt like his hero, Evel Knievel.
Halfway between the two ramps, Cash saw his unicycle float away from him in slow motion.
That’s interesting how everything is in slow motion, he thought to himself. The unicycle was always just out of reach.
Cash was floating through space.
Cash heard the unicycle crash into the parking lot tarmac. A split second later, he crashed into the parking lot, rolling like he had practiced.
If you ride a unicycle, you have to learn how to hit the ground rolling.
Cash’s friend ran over to make sure he was okay.
Cash jumped up, raised his hands and yelled “Yeah!”
The crowd roared.
Cash was a legend for 3 minutes on a hot summer afternoon.
Cash was Evel.
Also available on ILLUMINATION. Cash Wiley Reenacts Evel Knievel’s Grand Canyon Jump.