Monday, April 17, 2006

My Own (and Only My Own) Silver Bullet

"When you're lost in the rain in Juarez and it's Eastertime too/And your gravity fails and negativity don't pull you through..."
-Mr. "Dillon"

You just never know. You just don't.

I've never gotten into, nor understood the whole Springsteenian thing- this whole love affair with a mode, model, and make of some form of transportation. I've never much cared how or what got me from here to there. I've rather obsessed on just getting there. So in grade school when Michael Hafner tried to teach me the difference between an International semi-truck and a Mack semi-truck I never quite cared enough to learn. Same goes when Chuck Schrantz raved about the Dodge Dart I drove to high school.

Even when my Mom told the family that when she took one of them job aptitude tests placing you in your right job, her test suggested that she become a truck driver- and even later on when she said her dream car was a Mazda Miata, I just couldn't muster much enthusiasm for the wheels that spun round and round.

If left to my own devices I'd bypass all kinds of planes, trains, and automobiles if someone could only get us to the Star Trek way of getting around the need for the tedium of motors and carburetors and crank shafts to get to a final destination. In other words (probably much more clear words) I always thought I couldn't be happy with traveling until the transporter was finally invented.

Things have changed. First, last year when I got talked into buying a scooter and soon fell in love with my commute to work and other places. My ride no longer was just something that wasted time but with the fresh air and the pleasure of being right out there in the open to see, hear, and experience things in a whole other light- I just couldn't get enough of scooting. That plus the ability to zip around in a less than tank sized vehicle was a brand new appreciated experience.

Then, a couple of weeks ago I bought the one car in my life that caught my fancy- the Mini Cooper. When I told my cat-sitting niece I had bought a Mini, her immediate reaction was to call me a "dork." How could I disagree? A Mini and a Scooter (how cute does that sound?) now fill my garage and both were purchased after my 40th birthday- quickly suggesting some sort of mid-life crisis for those that don't know me better. (I've got the maturity of a four year old after all.)

So after finally getting my scooter's carburetor cleaned and purring along, I rode my bike to work one unseasonably warm day this week. Eight hours later I was in a bit of a hurry to get home. When I went down to the bike rack where my scooter (don't ya dare call it a moped!) was locked and parked, I turned the key to try and start it. It was completely dead. Not a spark to be found anywhere within sight (or touch).

I called the dealer, Bob, who didn't have much advice. I checked the battery and fuse connections. I tried kick starting my scooter rather than electric starting it, but that didn't cause the smallest rumble. My scooter was dead. Just as I was about to give up all hope I jiggled something and saw the oil indicator light up. Sure enough the scooter soon fired right up and just in time for me to get to the Twins' game I held tickets for.

As I was sitting with a friend watching our team beat the dreaded Yankees, I looked about ten rows down. There I spotted a lanky guy in a Scooterville T-shirt, and that guy was Bob who I had just frantically called hours before. By now I was calm, having gotten my scooter to run, and I was glad to see Bob was as into the game as I was. On this particular night our team scooted past the other even though the other happens to be making much more money and traditionally and always gets much more attention. It was a fitting end to the day, a lesson learned of no matter how much the wheels may or may not spin, the way we get to somewhere maybe just maybe could be considered important in the end.

No comments: