We need to talk. Yes, I'm talking to you there. Just you. Everyone else who sees this page is reading a blog evaluating different brands of motorcycle tire.
Except for you. You're what you might call special, but you probably won't like where this is going. But first, I want to tell you a story.
Somewhere up on Palomar Mountain, I am hanging in time, suspended between a normal Sunday and disaster. You see, I was out on a beautiful morning two months ago and wound up near the mountain. I forgot Sunday was Squid Day, when all sorts of riders treat the two lane twisty like a race track. They pass on the inside, on the outside, close enough to shove them over the side with your foot.
I should have done that. Instead, I wound up being the one going over the side, startled into bobbling a turn by some Yamaha scootching past on the inside of a tight curve. Silent, but deadly. Didn't even hear him coming until, 'SURPRISE!' There he was and off I went. I was looking down at a pile of rocks and a fat thicket of tumbleweeds, and hoping for the tumbleweeds. There was a flash of that view, and then I was sitting in some guy's office.
I was served a tray with a hot, moist towel and a warm bottle of sake. I figured the sake couldn't possibly make this any more confusing than it already was, so after wiping the bugs from my face and knuckles, I tossed back a tiny cup and waited, glancing nervously out the picture window. It looked out onto a mountainside. Suspended over the edge, frozen in time, a motorcycle hung in the air below its rider.
“Like the view?” My host inquired. He was a standard office type; razor cut hair, expensive suit, colorfully annoying tie. His eyes, though; they seemed to hold a universe behind them, and I think he thought he was smiling, as if acting human was alien to him.
Of course I didn't like the view. I didn't like his office, or the confusion. Rocketing off a hillside, I can understand. This situation was incomprehensible. I focused on his name plate, Firenze. Director of Human Resources. It felt like a job interview of the sort where you have to wear a suit, and here I was in riding leathers and Kevlar jeans. This added to my discomfort a bit. I think he misinterpreted it.
“I'm sorry, I see that the view is disturbing you,” he said, pushing a button that caused the windows to black out. “And no, you're not dead. You are balancing on the edge of here and there, today and forever, your totter is teetering. And, speaking of balance…” He played with the keypad set into his desk and a panel behind him slid up, revealing a large flatscreen television.
Another button, and a young woman entered the room bearing a tray with a big bowl of popcorn and a couple of beers. She placed the tray on a sideboard and silently slipped out again.
“Movie time!” Firenze cheerfully announced. “Time for popcorn and a cold adult beverage!”
Well, okay. I could get to like this guy. He has beer, and puts real butter on his popcorn. The screen illuminated to a picture of two kids balanced on a teeter-totter.
“Balance,” droned a voice that sounded like Ben Stein. “Where would we be without it?” One of the kids suddenly turned into a fat boy and crashed to the ground.
The other kid launched off the other end of the teeter-totter, and soared off-screen. This was followed by a series of unpleasant crashing sounds.
“Balance is what keeps the universe on an even keel,” said Ben's voice. “Without it, yin would have no yang. Good, evil, dark, light, burrito, hamburger. Everything is a delicate struggle for supremacy countered by the force seeking to maintain balance.”
The screen displayed video of Navajo life in New Mexico, while Ben explained the people's belief in maintaining and restoring balance enabled them to walk in beauty. I learned that this balance is called 'hozho' in their native tongue. And that their lives are dedicated to maintaining that balance.
Then I started on my third beer and quit paying attention. I get it. Balance, necessary and good. Imbalance bad, can lead to worse.
Finally the presentation ended and lights came up again. He sighed. “Nobody ever watches this thing to the end. They always get the gist of it, though. It's not rocket science. So, here's the deal. You are in a position to take advantage of this employment offer. As long as you work for us,” here he gestured at a sign that said 'DEPT. OF KARMIC RESTORATION DEPT.'
I said, “That's redundant,” pointing to the sign. He sighed. “I know. My sister's second cousin made it for me. Don't ponder that any more than necessary. It's all a simulation to put you at ease, but I think you know that by now. More sake?”
I figured that getting drunk between heaven and hell was a good idea, requested the large bottle warmed just above room temperature. Once everything was arranged, I gave Firenze the beady eye.
“So. You mentioned something about a job of some sort, imposing karma? Balance? Is this some sort of Grim Reaper thing?”
“Oh, no, no,” he said, raising his hands. “This has nothing to do with souls, or Hell, or Heaven. We in this office strive to maintain balance on any scale. Remember Alderon? Millions of voices went silent. We can hear these things. They're real, they happen. Sometimes a meteor takes out an entire planet. Those events are outside of our purview, they're of a scale that you can't comprehend at this level. This department deals with hozho on a human scale, at the social level. It's not punitive, it's not vengeance. It is merely trying to reassert balance in a life gone awry. Although, I must admit, if you are a vengeful sort of person who likes to impose a bit of justice, you will enjoy this job on occasion.”
“What you call 'vengeance,' I might call “getting even.” I said. “And, “getting even” kind of sounds like balance, doesn't it?” He beamed. “See, I just knew you were the right person for the job! I like your attitude! You're thinking, evaluating. Good! So, what do you say to a trial period of one month, just to see if you like it and are a good fit with this office.”
I signed up, of course, or you wouldn't be reading this. There is a list, they tell me it will be updated daily. The Karmic Restoration Dept. must have really wanted me because the first name on the list was the guy who ran me off the road. I took him out in a diner. He was seated by the window that was destroyed when a tractor trailer lost its brakes and rammed into the corner of the restaurant. Mr. Firenze was right. I did kinda like it.
So, here's the deal. You're next on the list. Do me a favor and don't whine. You know what you did.
Does April 18 ring a bell? It should. A lot of people were hurt by the decisions you made, and instead of doing the right thing, you put the blame on someone who trusted you and ran away.
And what's worse, you're pleased with yourself for getting away with it!
I'm sure you'll dismiss this as a droll prank, but I assure you it isn't. As I said, you are the only one reading this blog who doesn't see a review of motorcycle tires. All I have to do is snap my fingers, and that's all you'll see here as well. So, buckle up, Buttercup. The ride is about to get lumpy.
It’s an excellent tire for bikes of the 1970s and 1980s. The 4-ply casing incorporating insert plies and a refined belt technology that helps keep the tire round and cool even at top speeds. The zig-zag and angled outer grooves (front and rear) provide wet-weather performance by throwing water to the sides yet still resists rain-groove wander. They have balanced wear characteristics and they maintain tire profile. They are available in raised white (RWL) raised black letter (RBL) or black wall.