Monday, June 10, 2013

Crummiest $87 used helmet I ever bought

Disclaimer: this 'account' is fiction and pseudoscience at best

Schmudo was bored. 

It was Saturday, June 8, at 8pm. He glanced at the clock and remarked to his roommate,

"Time to drink!"

Forsythia, his roommate, boldly and matter-of-factually replied, under a haze of methamphetamine-induced grandeur

"Isn't it always?"

Schmudo grabbed his third Keystone Light ('for the rich and famous', the bottle read), and before he really cared to notice, proceeded to grab his fifth. Glancing back down at the clock, Schmudo wasn't pleased that his friends hadn't called to go to the local tavern.

"It's already pert near ten, should we just go?"

Forsythia didn't respond.

"Syth, should we?" He persisted

After several minutes of this back [and forth], Schmudo realized that his cohort not only did not hear him, but that she was asleep, and probably would be for a great long while.

"Well, I'm gonna go have fun." Schmudo proclaimed.

Schmudo was not an idiot, but he didn't care to think of himself as anything less than top gun hot hot shit bad ass numero uno. He frequently reminded himself of this, having invented a handy acronym


He liked the way it rolled off his tongue.

Schmudo was also not the brightest light bulb in the factory.

So, at 11 pm, he sat cross legged in his North Knoxville apartment complex, pondering what to do. By 11:30 pm, he had come up with a plan.

"I know a guy," he said, having forgotten that Forsythia was no longer cognizant. He stood up, rolled her over onto her back so she could gasp clean air rather than the cigarette-riddled carpet her mouth had been sleepily tasting.

He grabbed Forsythia's helmet, and walked over to 5800 Central Avenue Pike. A yuppie apartment complex, he thought, with nice cars and no security. Perfect. He had actually spent some time in the apartment complex, having a mutual friend living there. They are the cheapest apartments in the area, which make a perfect home for his friends. Remembering a vintage motorcycle he remembered seeing parked in the same place for months, Schmudo casually walked up and ran his hand along its bow and stern. By this time, it was "pert near midnight" as he liked to say.

Next, he hopped on the bike. 

"Whew, he left the steering unlocked tonight," Schmudo muttered to himself.

Without starting it [yet], he rolled the 1976 Kawasaki KZ 400 (he didn't know this, to him it was just an old junky-lookin' bike) away from its parking spot directly beneath a small street light. A few hundred feet downhill, he found himself in pitch darkness with no one around. He grabbed the four-inch-long flat head screwdriver he "borrowed" from Forsythia, jammed it hard in the ignition, and wiggled until the motorcycle's HUD lights turned on. 

He had ridden Forsythia's bike before, and knew to turn the gas on. He reached down to the headcock (he didn't know what this piece was called). Fortunately, the arrows illuminated by his skull-and-crossbones Zippo+LED light combo were visible. He switched the gas on.

Fiddling with the gas, and not knowing the bike-specific magical combination of throttle:choke, it took him a minute to get the bike running.  Like he thought, 'an old junky bike. that guy probably doesn't even ride it.'

Once he got it going, it died, as all bikes will do unless you know the magical throttle:choke combination. He knew that he was starting to make noise, and heard a few dogs barking. He put his helmet on[to his quite small head], and hopped on the bike. The bike had a tarp attached to the rear rack, but he thought it looked dorky, and so he threw it to the ground. 'Instead', he thought, 'I'll tie this helmet on the back. It is way too tight for me, anyways, and this way people will think I'm on my way to pick up some hot chick.' He had brought a mesh cargo net, and so he also ditched two of the elastic tie-downs attached the bike, and secured the helmet beneath the mesh cargo net. Next, he started the bike, fiddled with the throttle, and slowly rolled down Dry Gap Pike.

After about 2 seconds of riding south on Dry Gap Pike, he noticed that the bike didn't run right. He tried to throw the throttle wide open like he had seen in the movies, but that just made it worse. He settled in, and started to enjoy himself, despite the bike being what had heard called 'a toad'

A few hours later, having passed very few cars, he decided to try the highway. While accelerating on an I175 on ramp, he again noticed the bike not running right, especially as he opened the throttle. What Schmudo didn't know is that this bike's carburetors needed cleaning. He looked down at the odometer, saw it read '70 miles,' and thought 'these tanks look they can go at least 200, right??'

Several more hours later, it was nearly 3am. Schmudo realized he had been riding for hours. He had gotten off the highway long ago, instead preferring speeding down residential streets and laughing at the fact that he was able to make dogs bark, seemingly on command.

At 3:30 am, the bike shuddered. He was rolling northbound on Broadway Avenue, and turned east onto a residential street. The bike died.

'by god. shit,' he muttered.

He got the bike running again, this time remembering that motorcycles had a "reserve" function, which 'let you drive for at least 50 more miles, right?' he speculated.

A block later, the bike quit. He was on Lawson Avenue in North Knoxville, and set the bike up on its kickstand, dismounted, and wondered.

'Well, the suns comin' up in a few hours, i should go get some gas and get this into my buddies garage,' he said quietly to no one in particular.

Leaving the helmet perched on the rear of the motorcycle, he regrettably cursed to himself

'Why did I throw that tarp away?! sure would be nice to cover this thing up!!'

He reached Broadway on foot.

'i am done. cuttin' my losses. i had fun, and no one will ever no. 'cept me. that's what matters,' he confidently muttered to himself.

Schmudo walked the five miles back to his apartment. He briefly thanked his lucky stars that, even though he had put nearly 70 miles on that old junky bike over the past few hours, he ended up only a few miles from where he started. 'funny, that,' he said to himself with a grin. Schmudo said a lot of things to himself with a grin.

Meanwhile, about the same time Schmudo ditched the KZ 400 (again, he had no idea and didn't care what make, model, or flavor the bike was), Donnie Hicks woke up.

"Rose, why have you been whining for the past six hours!?" He angrily looked at Rose, then the clock: 4 am. "Fine." He conceded and took her outside.

"Hm. Motorcycle is gone, I must be dreaming."

He walked around the entire apartment complex, slowly waking up and realizing that his motorcycle was indeed gone. He walked back inside his apartment to ponder.

Banjos make good WAKE UP music..

At 9 am, he filed a police report. 

At 6 pm on Sunday, June 9, he got a call from the Knoxville Police Department.

"Gordon. We have recovered your bike. You can pick it up tomorrow from the impound lot," Rhonda happily told him.

At 4 pm on Monday, June 10, Donnie went to the Knoxville Impound Lot. And who did he find but...

'What's that on the back' Donnie wondered

No body damage. The bike looks like it never left his kickstand. The first thing Donnie did was look at the headcock. As he suspected, someone had turned it to reserve. He opened the gas tank, and saw that there was but a mouse's swallow of gas left (that's a Southernism, ya know). He looked at the odometer: 144. 

'ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FOUR!?' he cackled, laughed, and giggled all at once (those of you that know Donnie know what this sounds like). He checked his phone, where he kept detailed records of mileage and gas fillups, and confirmed that it had been 144 miles since his last fill up. Usually filling up around 100 miles, since he knows the reserve function does not work, Donnie was surprised that the bike went this far before 'puking out.'

He paid the impound lot $87 dollars to cover the "towing fee," signed a receipt, and rolled the bike outside of the gates. After going home and having his lovely girlfriend drive him back to the impound lot, he emptied the two gallon gasoline tank he had just purchased from his neighborhood friendly Ace Hardware and could still barely see the top of the gasoline in the three gallon KZ 400 gas tank. 'Yep, she was emptier than a cow's stomach on harvest day' he thought (that's another Southernism! You can use it!).

He drove home without incident, secured the bike in its same old spot with a bicycle lock, and then drove to Sonic to get a well-deserved Chicago dog.

My helmet on the left, Forsythia's on the right

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