Trudge, trudge, trudge.
The summer driving season is here, I thought. Really, I wish people would be more careful on the roads. All that senseless pain and suffering, that tragic death and destruction is, well … pretty annoying, actually.
Don’t get me wrong. I like a good car crash as much as the next reporter, but that’s my professional life and this was anything but.
Trudge, trudge, trudge. It had warmed up since I’d mounted the piglet for my morning commute. It had been a bit frosty then, so I was dressed for the Arctic, sweating like a pig as I walked the Tomos scooter along the side of the highway.
It may be only 49 ccs, but it’s surprisingly heavy to push when it’s got a flat rear tire. I was lucky though, only a few kilometres to get home. Trudge, trudge, trudge.
I’d found the culprit, a quarter-inch long, wickedly sharp metal shard that had sliced right into my tire, bringing me to a screeching halt.
That metal shard, I knew, wasn’t some kind of natural formation and it most likely didn’t fall from an asteroid or get gaily scattered by Johnny Sharp Shard.
In all probability, it came to be where it could pop my tire because some jerk wasn’t paying attention to what he or she was doing behind the wheel and crashed, scattering shards of razor sharp metal and bone left and right.
OK, my next goal is that power pole up there. Just keep on going ‘til I get to that.
Trudge, trudge, trudge.
Things were really not looking up. My MPV mother ship van had wheezed its last at the side of the highway and my mechanic just about begged me not to ask him to fix it again.
“You’ve got to make the call,” he said. “It’s probably time.”
He was right, of course. The van had a shredded timing belt, the radiator was split, the head gasket quite possibly shot and the tailpipe was in no way connected to the engine.
Fair enough. I’d got if for a buck from my parents five years ago, and besides, I had the piglet and the weather was finally starting to warm up.
Oh yeah, I had the piglet alright. I could feel it in my arms and in the sweat trickling down my back.
Phew, the turnoff, finally. Now it’s just up the hill, along for a ways and then turn the corner and you’re almost there. Keep going. Rest halfway up. Trudge, trudge, trudge.
My neighbour, Rick was kind enough to drive me and my scooter to the motorcycle shop in Errington. He’d never been there, but I had no trouble directing him.
I’d been there before a few times in the recent past — more than a few actually. Mostly for flats.
When I unloaded the piglet, Kevin at the shop shook his head. “You again?” he said. “What is it this time? We’re going to have to get a special hotline put in just for you!”
Then his face softened.
“You know Neil,” he said, “people used to have horses in the old days and there always came a time when you had to shoot the horse …”
He roared with laughter as he went to fix my ride.
Well, to heck with that. I love riding the piglet I’m not going to stop just because you caraholics out there are too busy chatting and texting on your cell phones to watch where you’re going.
Please drive safely out there people. Getting into a car crash is a great way to wreck your car, ruin your summer, rip you limb from limb and pop my tires.
And I’m really sick of pushing that bike.
Neil Horner works as the assistant editor of The News.
He likes to ride his scooter.