Life in a Bike Shop

There used to be a time when I detested human interaction. It was the 90’s and Kirk Cobain made it somewhat cool to be aloof and mysterious. For all his influence in music for the tone deaf, and his vision to take the fashions of homeless lumberjacks and change the face of style for a generation, he did not make it cool to deep-throat shotguns. To his credit, few have.

My first retail gig was in a Tower Records. It was the best place to be for a person feigning to be anti-social. Working in a record store can turn a person into a real dick. Flip side of that is going to free shows and great access to drugs. I always hated stupid questions and seemingly odd interactions. Now we have search engines to handle such queries and high unemployment rates. We’re so automated, it’s scary; literally. We wanted the world at our fingertips. Be careful, what you sell your soul for.

Back to our regularly scheduled program…

It’s the summer time. With the season comes for me, unbearable heat. My European blood controls my body temperature, enjoyment of rich pale ales, and an admiration for excessive guitar solo’s. My African side covers covers my fondness towards big asses, cocoa butter and Welch’s Grape Juice.

A customer purchases a Thule Bike Rack. I’m getting better with rack installations, though if my life depended on it, I’d make a great corpse. If my life ever depends on my aptitude with a bike rack, something in the world has gone woefully wrong. The temperature is near 90. I begin to sweat profusely when the temperature gets to 82.5 (See Ted Striker in “Airplane!). Every customer has a story. I don’t see why they think that every clerk wants to hear it, but at that moment what better did I have to do than sweat. She starts out with, “ I don’t know if I told you or not, but I belong the only co-op housing development in New Jersey”. Why in the fuck, would that have come up in conversation, I’m putting a bike rack on your car? I responded with, “No I don’t believe that you had”. I love a good yarn. She begins to tell me about her board making decisions without her consent. The conversation inspires me to work faster. In record time for me, I do the installation, send her on the way, and scurry back to the comforts of the artificially cooled safe haven known as The Bikery.

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