13 May 2022

Lovely Day, or Friday the 13th, advance edition

Sometime around dawn (0930) my friend Wendy rings me up. Can I give her a hand loading her bikes on a rented trailer to run them over to the shop? Not a problem. She picks me up in her Subaru Outback, and asks if I have any tiedown straps, as she neglected to snag them from the U-Haul place. They were supposed to be included in the rental. I, of course, have no tie-down straps. I don't have a trailer. Or a truck. Or anything with an internal combustion engine for that matter. I suggest a quick run to Harbor Freight, which is reasonably near her house-and-a-pool. So we head in that direction. 'Hang right here on Fondren, over to 59, and then left'. 'Nah, it's up by Gessner'. She's driving, so, WTF. Get to Gessner and 59, she hangs a left onto the SB feeder. 'Pretty damn sure it's the other way', but not driving, not my gas. The trailer is rattling behind us. Yes, the Harbor Freight IS in fact by Fondren. Buddy of mine used to live right there in that block, I know the 'hood. We pull up and I inspect the trailer. 'Is something wrong, JC?' 'Just looking to see if it says 'Radio Flyer'. 20 minutes of misdirection. Back to the house-and-a-pool, and Wendy does a very nice job of backing the trailer up the driveway. And now the fun begins. Harley Davidson motorcycles are lots of things. Iconic. Musical. Elegant. Classic. One thing they are not is light. On reflection, dropping $20 on a come-along at HF would have been a worthwile investment. I thought there was one on the trailer Tried rigging a yoke using the tie-down straps. Fail. Had to give out a shout to a youth down the street to push the fucker with its $2000 custom paint job up on to the trailer, and here's a shout out to that kid. Bravo! 'Um, JC?' Oh. Busted a knuckle there, didn't I. Right hand is covered with red stuff. First blood, motorcycle. Put that fucker into serious bondage. 2 turns and it's on its side. Nothing to do but power on, onward to Pearland. Okay, I know where I am now. 35S, there's an alpaca farm just down the road a ways here. Pull into the Harley shop. Get it upright, off the trailer, and a chorus of 'ouches'. 'You could drop a hydraulic punch inside the tank and just pop that sucker out' ''But the paint...' 'Lookit! It's just a bit shorter than the Harley blazon, just move it down a couple inches...' On the road again, back to the house-and-a-pool, to load up the Honda Rebel 250. Shit. Did I turn off the heat under the meatballs and tomato sauce? Mind making a slight detour? No, I did not remember to turn off the heat. Low heat, so Malliard reaction, but no smoke or anything. Off again. Honda goes onto the trailer like a dream, new tiedown tech leaves it vertical the whole way. Hey, I know this 'hood! Pull into the shop, Wendy goes to back the bike off the trailer. 'Center it! Center it!!!!' Gets her ankle caught between the bike and the trailer rail. I have zero mechanical advantage. Got my shoulder in the bar, and manage to flag down a dude in a pickup. We lift the bike off her leg. Thanks dude. Was about to crush her ankle. Head back. 'Damn. I FORGOT TO LEAVE THE KEYS!' '?' 'Both!' Drop off trailer downtown. 'Dude, you bleedin!' I seem to have split the nail of my right index finger up to the cuticle. No biggie. Out to her place. Looking at a 70 mile loop, but without the rattletrap trailer, thank God. Out to the Harley guy, no sweat. 35 in towards town, turns into Old Telephone Road, up to Wayside, turn here! No, other way! 20 minutes later... drop off the keys And on towards home. I know this 'hood! Grab 90 where it splits off, oh. Missed it. End up in the lemming mass. Pay no attention to your GPS! "Follow Holmes Road 10.3 miles". Holmes Road closed. Dogleg right. "In 700 feet, make a U-turn, then take a right on Holmes Road". Shut up, bitch. 200 yards and slip onto Bellfort, I say. So we do. Houston's a BIG place, but you live anywhere long enough and you get to know it. Dave lived there on Fondren. Couldn't give you directions to his place now. I think it's Tonga Tonga. Seriously. Used to drive past the alpaca farm on my way to gigs down in Angleton. Dropped the Honda off near the TeleWink Cafe, couple blocks from my old friend Linda. Don't trust your GPS when you have a native guide.

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