Don’t touch the Cody Bar. Lindi Cody, the Lindi Cody Bar. The merry-go-round is made of wooden planks and a steel spoke frame wheel mounted on a steel pole cemented deep into the ground. The wood planks serve as seats. The frame also has rail beams for supports in between each plank which divides the circle from the center into 5 sections.
The sections are indistinguishable except for one – the Cody Bar. One plank seat has a mark, a flaw – this is the Cody Bar, do not touch it. The small dug-out in the wood forms a rectangle about 2 inches by 3 inches, the Cody Bar mark. The grain of the plank runs long from end to end, the mark shows the grooves of the grain plainly rising in its depths – as the Cody curse must show the course of the old tree.
The flaw is less than a quarter inch deep, but appeared to be of the wood itself rather than the result of a slip in lumbering the wood – as Cody must also be. As you stand outside the merry-go-round and look toward the center with the Cody Bar in front of you, the mark is taller than wide – otherwise it would be the Lania Pearse Bar.
The mark is a foot or so from a rail, if the merry-go-round is running clock-wise, then you may see the mark in time to avoid touching the Cody Bar. Make no mistake, the flaw has tainted the entire plank and all caution must be made to avoid touching any inch of the plank, let alone the mark. When the merry-go-round runs counter-clock-wise then due vigilance is of essence, lest the mark hides behind the rail and you notice it too late.
As with any sturdy merry-go-round, toy or other playground equipment the first few days of use are pleasant affairs. People politely sit while one or two others push them around in circles. Next the circles go faster, and then a handful of boys stand at points around the circle and grab the rails and then swing their arms with compounding force. A more daring individual attempts to stand, but fails, another does and succeeds. Some stand and fall off, following the centrifugal force with arms, torsos and legs spinning off in various directions. It is then the mark of the Cody Bar is noticed.
While it is something of an honor to be amongst the rank of the boys who stand and spin the wheel with great swaying motions, there is momentary glory to be in the ranks of those standing on the planks, the longer the better. However, to be forced upon or to leap upon the Cody Bar is a greater disgrace than not trying to step astride the merry-go-round at all. The mark should surely want it that way.
Once smeared by the mark of the Cody Bar, one is considered stained until all those smeared are freed. You may not climb back up on the merry-go-round, but you become of those pulling the others off. Eventually the tainted group has enough power to pull every one off, even the spinners who will eventually mount a plank and spin from within. Once every person has been pulled from the merry-go-round and there are sufficient numbers in the ranks of the tainted to keep any one from re-mounting, then all are freed.
As to Lindi Cody, no one ever mentioned the Cody Bar after their first step into the junior high school. Merry-go-rounds are for children, after all. She was pretty enough, dressed well-enough although not from a well-to-do family. Still, I could see the mark in her eyes somewhere in her vision.
She dropped out of high school to have the first of a handful of fatherless children and to set upon her career on public welfare. Over the years she found Jesus, went to night school and got a decent job with her certificate of nursing. She loves her children and has good relationships with them.
I did not invent the Cody Bar game and I’m not sure who did. Nonetheless, I hope she has found forgiveness within her following of Jesus. Or forgiveness somehow someways in her years on Earth. I hope this forgiveness extends to all of us who consented to the naming of the Cody Bar, regardless of the manner of our consent.