good for business.


every time i rode my bike, i had to pump up the back tire. i knew that this wasn't right. i decided to do something about it. i called up american river bicycles, located maybe a mile or so from my house.

americanriverbicycles.
hey, do you guys change tires?
yeah, we do.
how much does it cost?
you want us to change it?
yes.
it'll be ten dollars.
and how much for a new tire?
it depends on the size.
it's for a specialized crossroads bike.
do you know what size it is?
no, i don't.
oh, well you need to know the size.
oh. what time do you close?
we close at six.
alright, thanks.
bye.

i had nothing better to do, so i decided i would get my tire changed. i could've wimped out and loaded it into the back of mom's crv, but i opted to challenge myself and take on the hundred degree weather instead. after days of being idle, i like to present myself with physical challenges. i do this to prepare for something. an inevitable war i will perhaps be drafted into one day. a long, grueling walk i will one day have to undergo after the military evicts us from our homes. there's nothing worse than a pudgy american kid whining, "it's too hot out." man up, bitches.

by the time i reached folsom boulevard, i thought i was gonna throw up. obviously, i'm not in the best physical shape. i drank some water, though, and i was fine afterwards. a few more blocks and i had made it to the bike shop. there was a black man wandering around outside. he wore a blue t-shirt that read, "superdad" in the superman fashion across the front. he went inside and said that he needed a pole or something. the clerk asked him what size.

i don't know what the size is. it's probably just like any of the others you've got here.
well, there are over thirty bikes here.
it's probably like a medium.
we'd really have to see the size first.
alright, alright. i'll bring it in.

i sat on a checkered stool and wiped the perspiration from my forehead. eventually, the black man left, as did another man wearing a white police uniform. the uniform looked like a sailor outfit or something. i don't know if he was a real cop. either way, i was the only customer left.

hey.
hey. i called about getting a new tire?
oh yeah. you want us to install it?
yeah.
alright. (to the other clerk) you wanna ring him up?

it'll be ten dollars.
that's including the new tire?
(to the original clerk) you put a tire on there? he didn't put a tire on there.
i don't need one?
nah. it's just the tube. the tire looks fine.
oh, okay.
debit or credit?
debit. you guys getting lots of business?
yeah.
yeah. gas is pretty terrible.
yep. once it reaches eight dollars, we're going to do really well.
haha.
all right. there you go.
thanks. have a good day.
you too.

it was nice to not be swindled for once. the last time i went to a bike shop in watsonville, the clerk told me i should just throw my bike away and buy a new one. i told him i couldn't afford one of his $500 bicycles, and that i'd probably just get another used one on craigslist. he told me that you never know what you're buying when you buy used. he said that usually when you buy used, you're just buying someone else's problems. this upset me. i know he was just looking for business, but i've grown weary of living in a country where the solution for everything is to just throw it away. let's fix shit up. or at least pay someone to fix your shit up. sadly, my ex-roommate once showed me how to change a tire, but i didn't really pay close enough attention, and i never bought the tools needed to perform such an action. i should've, though. i could've saved ten dollars today.

with my new tube, i went soaring down folsom boulevard to the library. i had three books and the first season of weeds waiting for me. i already watched the first two episodes.

so far, so good.

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