Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lies of a Rich Man (Part Two)

I ran though the museum as fast as I could and was the first Exhibit Tech to reach the loading platform for the Bike on a Wire exhibit. The wire was twenty feet off the ground and the bike that ran across the wire had a counter weight of interlocking bricks held in an open metal frame beneath the bike. A 265 pound girl of fourteen was hanging upside down on the bike halfway out over the safety net five feet below her inverted head. Four security guards were trying to pull her back with a tow rope attached to the bike to reel kids in that didn't want the ride to end.

I took my work shoes off to walk out into the net as I looked up I saw the girl was undoing her safety harness that keep her from falling into the net. Most people don't know that you can be killed falling into a safety net. You can break your neck if you land wrong. The security guards began to yell at the girl to stop from releasing the safety latch but she ignored all four of the guards.

"Stop you could break your neck in the net!"

I screamed at the top of my lungs. She made eye contact with me and stopped unlatching the safety harness. Then I didn't know what to do and just stood at the edge of the platform trying to figure out what to do once I got out on the net. The Bike on a Wire had a flaw in its design as it was in a inverted position the heavy metal rim wheels weren't making contact with the cable and no matter how hard the guards pulled the tow rope the bike wouldn't move.

Moshen an Event Tech from the same department as me walked out on to the net. I felt like a fool as the girl needed someone to do something and I had hesitated and Moshen had acted.
Then I looked down below the net and saw over a hundred people had gathered below the net to watch the rescue, many with video cameras.

I had an idea. I keep a 15 foot long aluminum pole hidden by a fence to get shoes out of net when children lost their shoes riding the Bike on a Wire exhibit. The fence enclosed the Dinosaur dig site and I directed another Exhibit Tech to hand me the pole up to me on the platform.
As the bike was inverted the counter weight of interlocking bricks was on top. If I could jam the end of the pole into a gap in the bricks maybe I could flip the bike upright. I had been focused on the getting the aluminum pole to the platform and didn't see Moshen place the girl's hand on the cable holding the west side of the net up. This put the bike at 90 degree angle, still sideways but closer to being upright.

I put the aluminum pole in the gap between the bricks in the counter weight and pushed down with all my strength. The pole began to bend and the muscles in my back began to tear.
The bike was at 45 degree angle in the upright position and the four security guards pulled the bike two feet forward. I couldn't hold the bike in that position very long and I let bike back down as gently has I could. Moshen grabbed the girl's hand and set it again on the cable holding the net up. The girl and the bike were at a right angle again.

As I straighten the metal pole to try again many of my fellow employees were making fun of me and the girl on the bike. I gave them a dirty look and tried again.

End of part two.

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