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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Two Wheels


Having heard the motion detector, I was already walking toward this guy on a bike, but he continued yelling out ‘Yo’ until I spoke from five feet away. It was then I noticed the ‘Yo’s’ had filled the air in front of him with hundred proof spirits. Miraculously, the bike rider still sat his bike in an upright position.

“I hear you, Sir. How can I help you?” Since I hadn’t turned on the air compressor yet, I was hoping he needed air. He wouldn’t be getting any, because I don’t start up the massive compressor to give out freebie air.

He spoke for a couple minutes, gesturing at his bike, but it might as well have been Russian or Latin. I didn’t understand a word of it.

“I didn’t understand a word you said, Sir,” I informed him, because the truth is always the best path. “Slow your speech down, and speak clearly.”

The bike rider launched again, turning the volume up, but not slowing down or enunciating.

“I’m not deaf,” I cut him off. “Slow down, and speak clearly.”

Two Wheels stares at me with the look of disgust only a guy who has chugged down a pint of something powerful and cheap at ten in the morning can. “My… handlebars. I need you to loosen the bolt so I can change positions.”

“See, that wasn’t so hard,” I give him a parting shot as I go over and get the socket wrench, socket, and extension for doing his bidding.

I loosen the bolt. He sits without moving the handlebars he’s still gripping. I can tell in his eyes, Two Wheels’ morning pick-me-up is really kicking in.

“You wanted to change the handlebar position,” I remind Two Wheels.

“Huh?” Two Wheels slowly focuses.

“The handlebars,” I repeat. “Put them in the position you like and I’ll tighten the bolt up again.”

“What’s wrong… with my handlebars?”

I start laughing, and he does too. I show him he can move the handlebars up or down now, and Two Wheels gets the picture finally. He moves them all over, studiously testing different feels, and then returns them to the original position.

“Yea, man, right there,” Two Wheels says, a satisfied look on his face as he’s holding the handle bar grips. “Tighten it up.”

I tighten the bolt. I’m happy if Two Wheels is happy.

“Thanks, can you loan me a dollar?”


Two Wheels nods and turns the bike around with some difficulty. He misses the edge of my big door frame on his way to the sidewalk by a hair of the dog he’d had earlier. I turned to put my tools away, resisting the temptation to watch him navigate the street.

Where’s Layla when I need her? :)


Jordan Summers said...

You are visited by the most 'interesting' people. Fodder for days...or should I say, books. ;)

BernardL said...

Writing about them in my blog helps me keep my sense of humor, Jordan. The guy laughed when I did. Some days... that's enough. :)