magical mindreading ethiopian jukebox of marvels (and bears)

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Sunday, May 25, 2008
pointing up

Friday (post gonging bird tree) I went bike shopping with my friend Blondie. I'd made the mistake of mentioning to her that I was looking to buy one "some time this summer" about 6 weeks ago. I've been thinking about it for a long while (believe it or not, rocketing gas prices had almost nothing to do with it), and mentioned it to her because she used to ride a LOT and I figure why not ask someone who has some information. It wasn't really a mistake, more like miscalculated timing. The crucial detail I forgot is that once Blondie has an idea in her teeth, she does not let go until it has been thrashed into submission. (I am more of a lazy long-term ponderer. A deliberate ditherer (dithering deliberator). But once I've thought about things long enough, I'm generally satisfied with my decisions.) So, by "some time this summer" I was thinking of a month that starts with J, maybe. But no! Every time I talked to her on the phone, she would ask "have you thought about what kind of bike you want? blah blah technical blah blah road resistance blah blah helmet or you'll have brains on the pavement blah blah space age polymers blah blah blah" And I would reply that I had thought about what kind of bike I want, but generally in terms of "I saw this really great TURQUOISE ONE the other day that had tires that were neither too fat nor too thin and appeared to be just right. If I were Goldilocks, I would have signaled for bears to jump out of the bushes and scare the rider right off of her seat." (Blondie did not recall that Goldilocks went quite that way, and reminded me that I do not HAVE golden locks nor ready access to bears who jump out of the bushes to do my bidding, so like all the brown-haired girls in fairy tales I would have to either a) pay retail b) resort to witchcraft.) (oh, alright! maybe she didn't say that last part, but I can't stop myself.)

I digress. She came over and I helped her with some computer stuff, then we were off -- but first, "do you want to go somewhere for lunch?" OF COURSE! I didn't want to go to some crazy outdoor store full of yuppie camping gearheads right before a holiday weekend on an empty stomach. (I would really need bears for that!)

We went to an Ethiopian restaurant that I'd never been to before that is near(ish) my house -- SO GOOD! (also just a few blocks down from a house that had a "hens for obama" sign in the front yard. I will have to return and get a picture. Did you know you can keep up to 3 chickens in your yard without a permit in Portland? I check out a lot of chicken-keeping books to people.) Anyway, it was a hole in the wall type place, but obviously beloved by its neighbors. (rightfully so.) we sat down, placed our order and I noted the music, which was an instrumental 70's soul song. Blondie innocently suggested "they should be playing ethnic music," and I was all "!!!! ...but this is Marvin Gaye!" which of course launched me into Friendly Epic Tableside Tirade #12 (tableside tirades are quieter), about how if she wanted World Music Muzak, maybe she should go to Starbucks. And then, as if to prove the righteousness of this opinion, the music switched to Sam Cooke and stayed that way for the rest of our meal!! (which allowed me to introduce her to my Alexander Hamiltion/Sam Cooke plan, of which she had been heretofore blissfully unaware since she doesn't read my blog.)

Bike shopping was interesting, but not as fun as lunch. Our salesman sussed out pretty quick that we were not serious buyers yet, so we got to hear about how disk breaks on bikes are either like or unlike ball or needle valves in paper mills (!!!???) and various details about how his sister looks just like him, only she doesn't have a mustache in the spirit of Mangy Walrus. (I may have already checked out of the conversation at this point.) Blondie got to torture him with persistent questions about how the structure and materials of bikes have changed in the years since she was a serious rider, and I was informed that my legs were longer than my torso, which I already knew. Anyway! things were learned, and now I feel more comfortable floating my Bicycle By Bear plan the next time it comes up.
1 comment on "magical mindreading ethiopian jukebox of marvels (and bears)"
  1. Omg, laughed till I cried. That'll teach you, as my Pop used to say.


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