On a crisp fall day, probably in a town like Georgetown, South Carolina, our aging writer, former athlete, man about town, now fallen on severe disrepair due to the irreversible process of aging, decided to buy a bicycle and return to the days of his infancy...yet one more brief step away from diapers and a life approaching full circle.
Finding that walking has now become a chore due to yet undiscovered causes of severe leg and hip pain, the friendly chiropractor prescribed a bike to get some exercise with a minimum of discomfort.
The subject in question also felt if he got a bike he could properly exercise the family dog, who deserved much better than lying around all day proof reading unrated Spoof Stories, and listening patiently to possible scenarios for the next chapter of the Cereal Epoch, Bordello Falls, now with almost 90 avid readers, and no promise of risuduals.
Positioning himself in the family preferred method of transportation, taking 'the big un'' in order to stuff the bike into the rear compartment, the on board computer notified him that there was 18 gallons remaining in the 33 gallon tank, surely enough to make the 26 mile round trip to the home of mega bikes, "Woe Is Me Mart", whose stock, by the way hasn't been moving much in this time of tightening one's belt, and I was soon to find out why, thereby refocusing myself on realigning my stock portfolio.
Arriving in a timely fashion, enjoying the scenery, the writer proceeded to wade his way into the "Woe Is Me Mart" parking lot....a scene of haphazardly parked cars , predominately with Obama Stickers, discarded KFC wrappers, Colt .45 cans, disposable diapers, and a plethora of losing scratch off lottery tickets.
Limping through the parking lot, thinking he had made a fatal mistake leaving his carry permit and pistol at home, subject made it without incident inside the Big Box, and in the distance saw a collection of bicycles hanging from the ceiling....my step had more spring as I envisioned the wind in my face, my trusty dog smiling as he trotted alongside on many great outdoor adventures to come.
After perusing over 150 bikes, all shapes, sizes and geared for the average slug to the most avid masochist, I settled on a great bike....shock absorbers, comfortable seat, 21 speeds, moderate shod tires for the road or the beach, and in a striking 2 tone paint scheme....made by Schwinn...my child hood brand!
Next was the daunting task to find an attendant to secure the bike from the ceiling 10 feet above my head. I finally had to walk to the gun counter and talk to a disinterested employee who was stocking full size silhouette targets, who promised to call the Assistant Vice President of Bicycle Removal.
While waiting....a long while, I managed to check out the accessories and stocked up on some goodies; a chain to secure my new bike, a comfort jell seat, and a genuine cowhide scabbard for my Marlin .30-.30 in case I decided to ride into Bordello Falls and participate in the November Round Up.
Finally, old shuffle foot VP of Bike Removals showed up, I pointed, he grunted, he, with great effort lowered my bike....it was within my grasp. I slipped my leg over the saddle, I twisted the gears, checked the shock action...it was love at first sight. However, both tyres were flat!
VP of Tyre inflation, grunted, pointed, and said "Air" as he wheeled my bike away to be serviced. I was almost there!
15 minutes later I went in search of him, and found him busy at the plant check out counter. Since speech was not required, I gestured, as in
"where the F**** is my bike?, " and got back "can't find no air", at which point he was lucky I had left my personal protection at home, or he would have permanently been out of air.
Now anxious to get home, I told him, with sign language, that I would pump up the tyres myself when I got home, and he left for another 7 minutes, returning with my bike.
As I wheeled it to the check out counter, I noticed it was leaving skid marks on the tile floor. Closer inspection revealed that the front brake was locked up, and checking further by spinning the rear wheel, it looked like that was totally out of alignment, swaying back an forth a good 1/2 inch and scuffing the brake pad as well.
I called the VP back, pointed at the locked up front brake, spun the back wheel for him, and turned the bike back over to him for restocking, both of us soundlessly shaking our heads.
We both grunted our farewells.
I won't bother to go into details when I felt it incumbent on me, being a stock holder, to express myself to the customer service representative, as an act of good will.
The customer service counter was quite crowded, with 5 staffers processing used underwear, 2 cases of un opened chocolate pudding, and a complete wardrobe of children's' clothes for a local family of 14, all of which had spinach stains on them.
When I got home, I got on the internet and found a specialty bike shop 5 miles from my house which features a complete line of cycles, accessories, clothing, test rides, and complete service for everything they sell.
I had driven almost 30 miles, burned $5.50 cents worth of gas, and all I could say at the end of the trip was 'WOE IS ME'!
On the plus side,' Woe is Me Mart' stock was up $.71 today to $51.99, and I unloaded my 200 shares with a smile. Woe On Them!