Mike Madriaga 12:40 p.m., May 25
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- Normal Heights Through the Blue and White
Is There Some Mistake?
Pre Runner-Up Disclaimer: Best Vampire Movie Based on a (Comic) Book Of All Time: Blade, hands down.
That said, check the radness of today's Runner-Up
Five bucks says this ad ties to Lestat's somehow....
On to business and the day's Most All-Important Best Of The 'Hood Craigslist Posting Super PWNAGE Action Time:
As I mentioned in the comments section of some blog or another, I have been searching high and low for a new (old) road bike. I want to get into road racing, run some crits and do some of the SDBC weekend rides. Being of the low-income persuasion, I want a good, solid, 80's or early 90's steel road bike. The biggest problem in finding one is that I am 6'2" tall and I need a very tall bike. Bicycles of very large or very small size are hard to find, even for a craigslist sleuth like myself.
When I saw the ad for an old Ironman Master, I nearly flipped. In its day, this was a great bike. Worthy of competitive road racing. For whatever reasons, there are a great number of Centurions in San Diego, though few of them are the good models and fewer still are large enough for me. Suffice to say, I wanted this bike and I was ready to buy it. So I sent out an email.
Immediately, I received an auto-response describing a camera and asking for my phone number so we could talk about buying the camera.
Not wanting a camera, I sent another email to the address attached to the auto-reply. Basically, "um, yeah, so I wanted the bike? Is there some mistake?"
I got a reply fairly swiftly which assured me that the bike was still available and asked for my phone number. The girl, who signed her emails "Kim," told me she would call me. She did so eventually, although not until I was at work, where my phone becomes a sort of perverted watch that makes nearby speakers go haywire. I didn't know she'd tried calling me until I got home to my email, wherein Kim told me she tried calling me three (3) times and that my phone didn't work.
It's usually at this point that I get irritated with people when they want to sell me something and they make it difficult. I want to give you my money. Why couldn't you just leave me a message, Kim? I would have called you back, set up a time to see the bike. Easy.
Anyways, I sent her yet another email saying, "yes, my phone works, feel free to try calling me again. I am still interested, etc." By this time it's Saturday night around 9:30.
She emailed me back almost immediately and told me to call her anytime.
So I did.
"Oh, hi!" Kim said. "When do you want to see the bike?"
"Well, I'm getting out of work tomorrow at five o'clock. Maybe I could see it then?"
'Oh, well, do you want to see it tonight? I'm at Lestat's."
Then her phone died. sigh Since I had nothing to do except watch Sunny with my roommate, I just sort of sat around and waited for Kim to call me back. After about half an hour, she did, and we decided that, after she brought her boyfriend home (because, apparently, he couldn't come along) she'd swing by my house with the bike. She'd been driving around with it all day, hoping someone would call and want to see the it. I guess this is the purpose of the (SD ANYWHERE!) location.
Twenty minutes alter, she rolls by and I go out to see the bike. It's not the bike advertised, not even close. Beautiful frame, absolutely stunning piece of 1980's engineering with hardly a century-ride put to it. The rest of the bike, however, was a nightmare. At some point in this poor bike's history, some ham-fisted mechanic had deprived it of it's race-worthy componentry and built a Frankenbike. Mountain bike handlebars, no front derailleur, low end rear derailleur and no-name brakes; all working together to create this poor, deformed, 6 speed monster. It was probably one of the worst set-up bikes I have ever laid eyes upon. I have very little doubt that neither Kim nor her boyfriend knew much about bikes.
"Yeah, I want to be able to race" I told Kim. "But thanks for bringing it out."
"Well, we could take less money for it" she said. "How about $200?"
The undertones of desperation are suddenly becoming overtones.
I tried to explain that I needed a bike that was ready for racing and that I only had about $250 to spend anyways. It would have taken me another three hundred (300) bucks to get that bike back in shape.
"$150?" she asked, with hints of a pleading tone creeping into her voice. "Me and my boyfriend are trying to sell a lot of stuff so we can move and I just found out I'm pregnant and...."
And I stopped her. I stopped her there because I didn't want to think about buying her bike.
Even though I kind of wanted to, maybe just a little bit.
I don't have the money to restore a vintage lightweight road bicycle. It's not an option. I always want to build up bicycles, from frame to finishing touches, but that's a pricey hobby that one must beware during times of economic recession. But, damn it if I didn't want to give her that hundred-fifty (150) and do what I could to make her crummy week/month/year/life just that much brighter. I don't know if this is my "better nature" speaking up or just some twisted sense of obligation to suffer so that others might benefit. I'd prefer not to dwell on my motivations in the matter, to tell the truth, because I didn't buy the bike.
But I did think about it, if only just for a second. Ultimately, I just said "sorry" and walked back into my house.
I tell myself that my $150 wouldn't have come close to fixing her problems; even if I've been in situations myself where $150 would have been a life-saver. I know it's sadly possible that she just stole that bike and couldn't be less pregnant; even if it's not my place to judge a stranger harshly. I tell myself that I can't be careless with money; even if money's just a fiction and a trifle. I tell myself that it's ok to just care about my own problems for once.
I tell myself these things because they're true. Even so, it doesn't help me not want to cry some after Kim's long gone and I'm knee-deep in classified ads, looking for the next dream bike.