Nehi is fast asleep on the floor. I occassionaly lean over to see if she's still breathing and I flash back to "Terms of Endearment". It appears as though I finally found the thing that tires the Energizer bunny out- the bike.
I had it on my list to do over break to get my bike inner tubes refilled/replaced as they had been dead since early fall. The dog leash attachment was also on my list. I disliked all the ones I found online, but figured that I could at least get the bike up and running.
The gods were not smiling on us today, or perhaps Loki was. At first the bike place was closed. So we went to the vet and the bank. Then tried calling the bike place again. Still not open. So we drove up to Kitty Hawk to the other bike place, only to discover that they were closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the off season. Great. One last ditch call to the closed bike shop, and low and behold! Open. So we head back down the beach. Nehi was considerate enough not to eat the truck while I went inside (after waiting 15 minutes outside in the cold and wind. Turns out having your own business in the off season allows you to do whatever you want.)
What happened next baffles me, as I am not one to be hornswaggled easily. The guy told me my bike was crap (in of so many words) but I would love for anyone to point out a beach bike that's under $400 that doesn't look like a rist bucket. He offered to sell me a newer-used version of my bike to me for $60 dollars. Then it was $55. Then he switched gears (no pun intended) and walked me over to the seats and explained that what I really needed was a more comfortable seat (which I did actually). But at this point I began to think the reason that he had opened the shop late was because he was hungover, or as I began to think as this strange visit went on- still drunk.
I asked him if he had the dog leash attachment. He did not but was immediately able to get on the phone with his dealer/retailer and get me one, for cheaper than I had found it.
He then tried explaining how I needed other things for my bike. At this point, I began to think that I was in a weird, alternate reality, and if I didn't escape soon things could get very weird!
I explained that I didn't have a lot of money when he tried to get me to buy a $500 bike. And then flipped back to the earlier conversation when he told me my bike would be $20 for the new tubes and $50 to tune up (which it needed, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to have to spray WD-40 on everything before every ride). So the $55 bike he was offering me was actually a deal.
Except the bike seat was $32 and change. So now we're up to $87 and change.
Still, I'm a little excited at this point to have a newish bike. I have a garage now, so can probably hold off on this becoming a complete rust bucket. And Nehi did enjoy the bike this summer. He puts the bike up and tunes it, and looks very professional. He explaines that if the brakes are too soft, or I need the seat adjusted, just bring it by and he'll take care of it- no problem. Somewhere in there he tries to convince me that I need a different handlebar attachment to make it taller for me so as not to strain my lumbar region. And I realize I am excited. He has me ride it around the parking lot to see if he needs to adjust anything else and it's great. My ass doesn't hurt, it rides great, and the brakes are fine. He smiles and tells me to put it in my truck. Where Nehi is still very nice and not eating my truck, the seat or the XM radio.
Then he tells me that it'll be cash. Fine. I have my egg money (don't laugh, that's what I call it, I have a thing for "Little Women"). So he starts to add it up. And here's where I know that I'm in an alternate, mind control world.
The bike goes up to $70.
The seat rounds up to $33.
The dog attachment rounds up to $30.
He tells me to make it $140 even.
I don't have that kind of cash I tell him. He says that's fine, I can go get it. Let's remember, I already have the bike in my truck. So I said okay, and here's the mind control piece- I go to the ATM, get the money, come back, watch him freak out a couple of tourists. They wanted a double bike for the day, and he's doing a similar spiel with them- $50 a day, no $40. Keep it a couple of days. They start backing away. Make excuses- they're going to lunch first. Oh really? He pounces- where are you going? And then there's a long monologue about where they should go. And he sends them to one of the cheaper, crappier places on the beach that doesn't even sell local seafood, but uses frozen imports. It's almost comical to watch them try to wriggle out and flee before being sucked in EXCEPT that I can't escape until they're gone. At this point, I just want to pay him and leave.
I hand him the money, he counts it, and I walk (don't run) towards the exit.
He tells me as I'm leaving to call him Thursday or Friday because the dog leash should be in then.
Now don't get me wrong- it's not a bad deal. The seat I had gave me a pain in the ass- literally. The old bike slipped gears it was so rusted, and sometimes wouldn't reengage while I was riding (not something I recommend when holding the leash of a 65 pound dog). The old bike was crappy, and this is better. And as Nehi's snoring and impression of a dead dog since 430p can attest, well worth it.
However. I don't get hornswaggled. And I'm still a little unclear how it happened.
So, a day that ended with a nice, unexpected surprise, but definitely one that was strange and unusual. And frankly, I'm a little trepidatious about returning at the end of the week for my part. Since I did not get a receipt (yet seemingly paid for it) I can only hope that he remembers in his drunken little memory who I am, that I ordered the part and already paid him and that he does not try to charge me for the dog leash attachment.
More to come, I'm sure.