Hoofixerman looked out the window at the blue and sunshiney sky. “This looks like a great day for a ride,” he said to himself as he dialed up his pal. “I’ll meet you in Redondo at 9:30, Wanky,” he said, and Wanky said “Okay.”
Hoofixerman put on his bicycling outfit and had a few minutes to spare, so he grabbed the tweezers and sat down to work some more on a splinter in the ball of his foot. He had been sitting on the back porch the day before drinking some beer when he got the urge to go tear out the floor of the bathroom that he’d been working on.
Without bothering to change, he grabbed the sledgehammer and got to work in his underwear and bare feet. Pretty soon he had torn out most of the tile floor, but in the process he’d gotten a splinter in his foot. And it hurt.
Now, Hoofixerman took out the tweezers and started digging into the flesh of his foot. But he couldn’t get the splinter. He looked at his watch and realized he was going to be late if he didn’t get going right then. Hoofixerman jumped up but the second he put pressure on the ball of his foot he almost fell over from the pain. Thanks to his Home Depot doctoring, the splinter had gone deeper and now any pressure on the foot was agonizing.
He stumbled over to the desk, got out a magnifying glass and his ultra-old-man reading glasses, and had another go at the splinter. After ten minutes of blood and skin and flesh and his teeth gritted so hard he almost cracked his molars, Hoofixerman got the splinter. It was a tiny piece of white bathroom tile perfectly shaped like an arrowhead. He slapped on a bandaid and shot off a text to Wanky. “Running late. Be there in fifteen.”
Then he hopped on his bike and blazed off towards Redondo.
However, his pal Wanky had left his phone at home. Wanky waited at the rendezvous for about ten minutes. “Where the hell is Hoofixerman? He’s never late.” Figuring something had come up and Hoofixerman had bailed on the ride, Wanky rode off.
Hoofixerman got to the rendezvous point two minutes after Wanky left. “Wank’s always on time and that fucker never waits.” Hoofixerman shot off two more unseen texts and another unanswered phone call.
“Yo, Hoofixerman! What’s up?” shouted a pal who was sipping coffee at the Starbucks.
“Hey, Freddie! Did you see an ugly looking skinny weird biker guy with a fake beard here a few minutes ago?”
“Yeah, man. He looked like he was waiting for someone, then he started cussing and rode off.”
“Thanks!” Hoofixerman yelled. Then to himself he said, “If I hammer down Catalina I can probably catch him.” Unbeknownst to Hoofixerman, this wasn’t going to happen because Wanky had taken the bike path. Hoofixerman raced off again until he thought his lungs would pop, but no Wanky, so he sat up and soft pedaled all the way to the bridge.
At the bridge some wanker coming in the other direction was looking at his Garmin. “Hey!” yelled Hoofixerman, because the guy was coming straight at him. Hoofixerman veered right and the wanker veered left. Hoofixerman turned left and the wanker turned right. Hoofixerman went straight and the wanker did too.
“Hey man, are you okay?”
Hoofixerman was looking up at the wanker in a daze from the tarmac. “Define ‘okay,'” he said.
“Hell if I know.”
“Okay,” said the wanker, who pedaled away, satisfied that Hoofixerman’s answer was good enough to avoid a lawsuit.
Everyone on the bridge, especially the old guys with the fishing poles and stinky bait, was staring at Hoofixerman. He walked his bike over to some apartments where they couldn’t see him in his shame as he checked out his bike. Blood gushed from his elbow and knee. There was another wanker with his bike turned upside down in front of the apartments trying to fix a flat.
“Hey, man, you got a spare tube?” asked the wanker, who had a pile of airless tubes nested in a pile near his feet like a bunch of dead snakes.
“Yeah, but it’s my spare. My only spare.”
“Dude, I got an appointment with my broker in PV at 1:00 and my wife isn’t home. Can I please borrow your spare?”
“Borrow? As in ‘borrow some toilet paper’?”
“It’s an 80mm stem, man, so if I get a flat there’s no way in hell anyone’s going to have another one if I flat.”
“My broker …”
“And your wife, I know.” Hoofixerman sighed and handed over the tube. “You might want to check your tire and rim more carefully if you’ve already gone through three tubes.”
The wanker ignored him and put in the new tube. Off they went, at least for about a mile. Then the wanker’s tire flatted again. “Sorry, dude,” said Hoofixerman. “But I gotta go.”
A couple of miles later, Hoofixerman, whose tires never flatted, got a flat tire. “Shitcakes,” he said, without even bothering to get off and flag down another cyclist. The blood had clotted, but his wrist was really sore, his new cycling underwear outfit was torn, and his elbow didn’t bend properly.
He rode the next ten miles home on the rim. “How was the ride?” asked his wife.
“It was okay,” he said. “But I learned a couple of things.”
“Always carry two spare tubes.”
“Don’t tear out the tile floor in your underwear.”
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