Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Suck.

I wish I knew something about motors and engines. Hunter opened a snow cone stand this summer in order to raise money to buy a gas powered motor bike. It's a tiny little yellow thing called a Street Bug, I think, and it looks like someone turned a lawnmower on it's side. But he loved it, wanted it, and even though I wasn't sure he should have it, we told him he could if he'd only earn the money to buy it. Problem solved? Nope! He promptly created a desirable product, set up a stand in front of the house, did his own signage, and earned $300 in a month. I couldn't be prouder.

And he rode that thing around the neighborhood like Peter Fonda. His friends were envious.

But then it stopped working. The motor, when idling, would suddenly choke out and make a grinding kind of a noise and quit. Transmission problem? I have no idea. But I've got to take the bike back to the dealer tomorrow and help mend it and Hunter's broken heart. I hope it can be fixed. He doesn't know it yet, but one of his fish is about to die too. This is a bad week to be having for a kid about to start the 4th grade in a few days.

This kid also needs glasses now, which we ordered today. He knows that anyone who calls him "Poindexter" or "Four Eyes" gets a sock in the mouth. Heh.

I pushed a young girl's car off the road today with Sharis. Traffic was horrible, and we were in a turn lane waiting for the light to change. When the car in front of us didn't move with the rest of the cars, we took notice of the driver, a very young mother (the infant was in the backseat), flustered by the situation. She tried to wave us around, but I was pulled up too close to her, and couldn't manage to get around her car.

Sharis got concerned and said, "We should see what's wrong and help her!"

I have to say, this thought didn't even occur to me, with traffic in the other three lanes congested and the temperature being 97 degrees. I mostly just wanted to get around her and go home. I was kind of ashamed of myself.

I put our minivan in Park with the Hazards and popped out into the street. Sharis was right behind me. Sharis introduced us, told her to put the car in neutral and steer through oncoming traffic towards the grassy area near Bank of America. Sharis acted like a traffic cop, with her arms out trying to hold back traffic while I pushed her Toyota to safety. Sharis saw a traffic accident a block ahead of us and ran to get a police officer while I zipped back to our minivan, with Hunter waiting inside, and drove it around the corner to the Bank, where we could see what further assistance we could provide for this family.

Apparently, she'd hoped the gas in her tank would go further than it did. She ran out of gas in the middle of traffic. "My husband is gonna beat me for this", she muttered, which alarmed Sharis and I. Her infant, who's name was Abby, was due at the doctor because she had a cold. We offered to give her a lift over to the doctor, which she accepted, and had a nice chat with her on the way over. It was kind of nice to be able to help someone like that, I have to say.

Sharis was very pleased, and told me many times how proud she was of me for helping, but I didn't like hearing it much. I wouldn't have done anything if she hadn't urged me to, and that is the kind of insight into oneself that isn't fun to realize. My wife...my angelic wife, will help anyone, anytime, without any thought about her own convenience or comfort. I want to be more like her.

And this little journal entry is the most appropriate thing yet written on "No Superheroes to See Here."



YogaNana said...

Well,, *I'm* proud of you for admitting that you've had this *uncomfortable insight* into yourself. And of both of you for helping.

YogaNana said...

oh -- and may Hunter ride again. :o)

Lori said...

Ethan, you don't suck. You would suck if you had told Sharis that you wouldn't help. Sometimes we all just need a little nudge to do what we should. The point is, you did it. Good for you guys. Life is about learning, and you did. I'll bet you won't pass another by without thinking about the lesson. I love you! Aunt Lori

Jenna Consolo said...

Ethan, at least you're gaining humility, and at least you're open-minded enough to see your own weaknesses and others' virtues. Sharis IS wonderful in that helpful way of hers. She's a great example to me too. But so are you! You've been willing to help me!

Good luck on Hunter's wheels. So cool that he found a way to earn the money!

Saint Holiday said...

Thank you for the gift! I hope I get some time this week to put it to good use. I love unemployment. I haven't had any for three years, and that's a long time for me. I think every worthy soul should enjoy unemployment at least quarterly. Of course, I'd recommend permanent unemployment for all congressmen. Anyway, that's off the subject, as usual. You should read Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book that came out in the 70's. It deals with father-son relationships in the context of small engine repair and maintenance. Amazing book. The author's respect for engine parts and the honor he gives to the operation of machinery is a revelation. It's a different consciousness to be sure. I don't have the patience. My father did, but I don't. I kick the thing, bang it around a bit and use flowery language in its presence. Then if it still won't work, I throw it away. I could never do that, of course, with our washers and dryers. The amount of laundry produced by our modest family would form a pile on the laundry room floor that I called Mt. Killaman. If I didn't learn to repair those machines, our family shut down. I remember the episode of the "Locknut Monster." O my goodness, that was a day I'll never forget. But I do drone on. I am proud of Hunter's entrepreneurial skills. He got that from you to be sure. Maybe he can be my retirement plan. Save me, Hunter! And that Sharis lady, what a woman you have there! She has a heart. Men need women like that. We fall short in the love and caring category. I love your family. Take care.
Mr. Postposterous