Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Defined by their transportation....

I dropped by the convenience store in the town I work in for soft drink before they closed.

They boy from the previous post was inside, his brand-new truck still sporting paper dealer's tags out front. "Got a truck box ordered yet?" I asked.

"No-- I'm not getting one," he said decisively.

"Where are you going to put your rope, and come-along?" I asked.

"Tow rope behind the seat, and no come-along," he responded. "That truck's never going off-road, ever!" he declared.

"Sometimes the best-laid plans can change," I said wryly.

"Nothing goes in that bed, and that truck never leaves pavement," he restated. "I've got big plans for that truck. I'm gonna lower it, put low-profile tires on it, special rims..."

"Good Gawd. You've going to make a sports truck." I said.

"Yep!" He said gleefully. "Then paint, decals..."

"But nothing goes in the bed, ever. So you get all the drawbacks of a two-seater coupe, without the handling and the milage. What in the hell is the point?" I'm afraid I had trouble concealing my disgust.

I stepped outside with my beverage as he argued his case. I wasn't listening any further. I'm a practical-minded guy. I drive a '97 Civic 4-door, because it's paid for, it drives well, it holds me and the family, and it gets 34+ mpg. The dent in the front left fender really doesn't bother me. It's just a way to get from here to there. I often regret not having my old truck, but only for the things it hauled. I sure don't miss the 12.5 mpg fuel economy that I used to get.

Out front was a guy on a new Honda 600 crotch rocket, of a type that I had some passing familiarity with. (Somewhere I've got a VHS tape with some beautiful video of a motorcycle rider on a bike just like this one, sliding into view in front of my patrol car. The rider had just successfully evaded a colleague of mine when my buddy suffered brake fade and crashed into a pipe-and-rail fence, injuring himself and turning a new Impala into just so much scrap metal. The rider didn't know the area, and I found that he couldn't ride too well with 1.5 million candlepower focused into his facemask as he entered a curve. Sadly, he managed to bond out before the 1st degree felony warrant for parole violation came in. Christopher Stout, I'd love to meet you again....) It too had dealer's plates. He bemoaned the high cost of comprehensive insurance each year, and I was impressed that the yearly amount ran to more than my car would bring. I recalled that when I was going to police academy, I bought a 1978 Honda CB 400 for a coupla hundred dollars cash, and paid liability only for about $20/month. "Yeah, but this could get stolen real easy," he complained.

"Or laid down," I said, thinking wistfully back to my own encounters between hot steel and dirt and gravel and pavement.

"Oh, no!" he responded. "I've never laid it down. I've never put a bike down, ever."

I raised an eyebrow. "That just puts you in the second category of riders
*," I said, doubtfully.

"No, I ride responsibly," he said. "I'm 24, married, and a daddy, now. I've got two girls."

"You're going to look me in the eye, and tell me that you've never taken this crotch-rocket into triple digits?" I demanded.

"I have never driven this motorcycle over 70 mph," he lied, while looking me square in the eye.

"Most responsible thing you could do for those girls of yours is to sell this thing back to the dealer, and get yourself into a cage," I said.

"Never! I saved up for a long time to get this bike," he said. I noticed that he didn't have a helmet.

"Good luck with that," I said, and got back into my patrol cage-- er-- car.
Hope he's got AD&D insurance.
_ _ _ _

* "There are two kinds of motorcycle riders: Those who have laid their bikes down, and those who will."

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At Monday, June 04, 2007 6:10:00 AM, Anonymous WR Olsen said...

Organ Donors are so convinced that they will never be an organ donor that talking to them is just a waste of my time and energy.

At Monday, June 04, 2007 7:34:00 AM, Anonymous Blackwing1 said...

Hmmm...what's that say about somebody with:

A) A 4x4 Ranger P/U (with a hitch for pulling our little fishing boat, a bed-liner (when I fill it up with dirt or gravel), and a cross-bed truck box for all of the emergency stuff I carry), and,

B) A 1994 GoldWing with a receiver hitch (for pulling our little motorcycle trailer) and over 90,000 miles on it?

Neither of them are particularly clean, but they're in great mechanical shape and well-maintained. The dent in the outside of the truck bed is a reminder to not be stupid, and the scrapes on the engine guards of the 'Wing is a reminder to watch out for OTHER people being stupid.

At Monday, June 04, 2007 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Murphy said...

Million candle-power flashlights are also an excellent means of filling in downtime in the Corps.

Re: motorcycles, I think mine actually spent more time on its side than on its wheels. Of course, that might have had something to do with me thinking I was a 14 yd old dare devil.

Amazing sometimes how I survived my youth. Hell, amazing how I am still alive now.

At Monday, June 04, 2007 12:01:00 PM, Blogger BellaLinda said...

I've only ever owned two cars in my life, both of them green 1995 Ford Tauruses. The only difference is that the first was a sedan & the current iteration is a station wagon. Surprisingly enough, it gets the same gas mileage the sedan did, even loaded down with carseat, booster seats, & assorted chilluns. (This being Texas, I often haul cousins.)

My husband is a responsible man as well, father of three girls. He has two vehicles--a cargo van for work and a conversion van for personal use. The latter has been rearended by a Silverado, which earned a dent in the rear doors & pushed down the bumper a bit. I somehow doubt even the most robust motorcycle would have fared so well. It's not always a matter of how careful you are.

At Monday, June 04, 2007 1:41:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

"It's not always a matter of how careful you are."

As my friend Tamara (formerly A.K.A.: The Grumpy GunShop Gimpy Girl) cam attest to.

At Monday, June 04, 2007 6:13:00 PM, Anonymous Rabbit said... long as somebody like AD gets them to the hospital alive enough to go on life support, they're good donors.

I might get in line for a new(ish) set of lungs in a few years. Maybe there'll be a new Yamaha dealer opening up around here soon.


At Tuesday, June 05, 2007 4:06:00 AM, Blogger Strings said...

"It's not always a matter of how careful you are."

Truer words have NEVER been spoken!

I'll have to add some of my near-misses to my blog: some of 'em were downright hairy! And I AM a fairly responsible rider...

At Tuesday, June 05, 2007 11:00:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

It don't hurt 'til the bone shows.

At Tuesday, June 05, 2007 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Liar! Oh, Tamara, it can hurt so. Very. Much. Before then.

At Tuesday, June 05, 2007 9:06:00 PM, Blogger Tam said...

It's not that, Matt; it's that once the bone shows, you kinda redefine your definition of "hurt". ;)

At Tuesday, June 05, 2007 9:10:00 PM, Blogger Tam said...

PS: Ask Rich or Mykl or Rob or Scott about the time I barked my shin on that trailer hitch during the Thanksgiving '01 festivities. You know... that shin.

They'll remember it, since they probably all learned some new words, or at least some new combinations of old ones. ;)


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