The Devil Went Down to…Mascoutah?

21 Sep

I don’t drive much; it scares me. Online, one can find scary sites that collect gruesome photos of crash scenes. Heads squished like Autumn pumpkins. Decapitations. Missing limbs. A piece of brain here, innards there. You might think I’m some kind of sicko for looking at this stuff, and you might be right about that, but every day you probably won’t do anything as dangerous as climb behind the wheel of an automobile. I get no thrill out of seeing this carnage and I only seek it out, maybe, once a year, but it helps me keep my skinny butt on the bicycle or on the bus, which is ten times safer.

Here’s the statistic that scares the poop out of me. Over a lifetime, your odds of dying in an automobile crash are 1 in 83. If I bought a lottery ticket and you told me that I had a 1 in 83 chance of winning ten million dollars, I’d be pretty stoked.

But Monday I drove down to Mascoutah, 29 miles away. There isn’t much in Mascoutah, but they do have a bike shop called Midwest Recumbent. For weeks I have had visions of  transporting myself there instantly like that hot mom on “Bewitched.” One second I’m in Edwardsville and then–boom–the next I’m test-driving a Catrike Villager, thus bypassing the possibility of losing my head in a car wreck. I remember, as a kid, trying to twitch my nose as quickly and smoothly as that witch. I couldn’t do it then. Still can’t. Go ahead, try it.

Recently, I have been overwhelmed with this annoying urge to add a third bike to my stable. Once I get this itch, I can’t concentrate on other things, like work. Usually, it’s electronics or books, but I’ve been drooling over tabpole trikes for weeks. I’m looking for a bike I can ride long range without serious ass and neck pain. A recumbent, or what some call an old man bike, does away with the testicle shrinking seat of the traditional diamond frame bicycle. I still love, and will continue to ride, my two current bikes, but I need yet another tangible item that will remind me of how old I’m getting. I mean, these glasses on my face just aren’t enough; I need a freaking old man bike.

I hit the road early, shortly after sending the girls off to school. I was excited and in an awesome mood. Traffic was light. I was in the new Prius. The energy monitor was telling me that I was getting almost 50 mpg. Each song that came on the radio was a winner. I sang and drive-danced to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Push it” by Salt and Pepa, “The Bad Touch” by The Bloodhound Gang, and “Would?” by Alice in Chains. For awhile there, I was Layne Staley. I was the devil and I was headin’ to Georgia “lookin’ for soul to steal.” I was Pepa and, yes, I did “push it” several times.

I found the shop with ease, missing only one turn. I pulled into the parking lot and looked around. I was the only one there. For a second I thought maybe they didn’t do much business Monday mornings. You know, football hangovers. Guys–well, mostly guys–across the country sat in front of the television all day Sunday, drooling onto their bellies, empty beer cans scattered around the Lazy Boy, watching more football in a single day than I’ve watched in the last five years.

Then I remembered–yes, I already knew–that this shop was closed on Mondays. Crap. I risked my head for nothing. I walked slowly, head down, up to the shop and then gazed longingly through the windows at all kinds of cool stuff. Catrike. TerraTrike. Dahon. Greenspeed. Maybe they left the door unlocked and I can just go in and–nope. Maybe I can call the owner and they can just let me in because I drove–oh, don’t be stupid.

On the way home, I couldn’t find any good songs. The volume I had left it on seemed loud and annoying. I flipped through my favorite twelve stations and found nothing but commercials, garbage songs, and NPR talking about dead soldiers. According to the energy monitor, I sucked and probably should pull over and walk. I wasn’t the dancing devil heading to Georgia, but I could have been in hell. I passed a gutted raccoon, a smashed skunk that made me gag, a squished bird. A dude in a car rode my ass for ten miles acting like he wanted to pass. I said out loud “Pass me already, asshole!”

And so it goes with anticipation, dissapointment, and the return to the mundane.

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6 Responses to “The Devil Went Down to…Mascoutah?”

  1. tmso September 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Dude, 29 miles is not far. Bike it. 🙂

  2. tmso September 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Oh, loved the post, by the way. Very funny.

    • fightn4it September 22, 2010 at 8:31 am #

      Thanks! I don’t know if I could bike that far at this point.

  3. Aimee September 22, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Thought u were giving me a bike? knowing u and the goodwill probably Dont have it anymore. the one i have dont have breaks we took a bikeride last night i about wiped them all out not being able to slow down! and the seat gets my rear wet..i think its got water in the seat. i get wet on it all the time ud thinki would get it after the first 5 times it happened..haha
    Logan wants a new bike for his birthday..Maybe i can sneak one too!
    and hey im going to start the Zumba classes here in town.Go me…and i havent smoked in 3 days! go me again!!

    • fightn4it September 22, 2010 at 9:40 am #

      Had no way to get it to you. Now it’s at our rental house. I thought Logan had a new bike. Look on Craigslist for bikes. Good job, exercise is good…should be an every day requirement for all.

  4. Aimee September 22, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    all out not being able to slow down! and the seat gets my rear wet..i think its got water in the seat. i get wet on it all the time ud thinki would get it after the first 5 times it happened..haha
    Logan wants a new bike for his birthday..Maybe i can sneak one too!
    and hey im going to start the ZumbaThought u were giving me a bike? knowing u and the goodwill probably Dont have it anymore. the one i have dont have breaks we took a bikeride last night i about wiped them classes here in town.Go me…and i havent smoked in 3 days! go me again!!

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