christmas eve's eve

"You have to stand in line like everyone else," I said to the sixty something woman wanting to ask a question to a mailman at the post office. "But she said I could.." retorts the sixty something woman before being cut off by the mob of patrons standing idle in a post office past closing time. The woman relents and leaves while the mob marinates in their small victory in a long line. Five minutes pass and the sixty something woman returns, walking up to me and saying, "I just ran over your motorcycle."

"That sucks," I reply, "Wait here and I'll walk out there with you in a few minutes."

"If I was going to leave, I would have left," she replies.

"I'll see you in a few," I say walking to the next available teller.

I pay for postage to mail two postcards, an external usb drive and mixed media before walking outside to seem my bike on it's side. Reaching dow, I grab a handlebar and the rear handle and right the bike. The clutch lever stayed on the ground and my immediate concern was how I was going to get home. "How does this work, do we call the police?" asks the sixty something woman. Out pops an even older woman from the car that hit the motorcycle. "Lady I don't know where you're from but out here the cops don't help people," I retort, "I want to get home so if you drive me to a motorcycle shop a few miles away you can buy me a new clutch lever and we can be on our way.

Getting in the car we headed down a hill towards a motorcycle shop, where I rummage through parts looking for a suitable brake lever. I find one lever and it's in damaged packaging and retailing for $30 . I grab a last-minute Christmas gift for my stepdad as she pays for the lever. "Can I borrow an 8 and 10 mm wrench to get my bike running again?" I ask an employee in a Santa Claus hat, wearing a plastic smile. Santa grabs the wrenches, warns me about stealing and I am being driven back to the bike.

Even in the dark I can see the clutch lever is the same but the wrenches, although the right fit won't fit into the recess to allow me to unbolt the old clutch lever. After some minutes fiddling and further stripping the nut, I walk back to the car, "I need different work is only a mile away." She agrees and we drive back to my work where I grab and handful of potentially applicable tools and we go back to the bike.

The thought crosses my mind that I left work a half-hour early to got to the post office and here I am two hours later hoping to get home. The new tools don't help as much as I'd hope but using a 10 mm wrench at a bad angle and a screwdriver for removing valve stems I was able to remove the nut an 1/8th of a turn at a time. With the lever installed, I start up the bike to make sure everything is operational before returning to the car. "Alright it's on, thanks and have a great Christmas," I say. Since the bike was fine and the damage done I thought there was no need to exchange information as we both learned a lesson in being careful. But I didn't get the brunt of the lesson until two days later.

Despite all my adjustments, the clutch lever was too far away form the bar. The problem turned out to be a bend handlebar, which costs $40 plus $10 for a new grip. And the next day as I was getting ready to go to Christmas Dinner I noticed the dented tank that has been covered up by my tank bag. They say 'no good deed goes unpunished.' It cost me $50 and two hours to learn to never trust old people.