It’s A Lawn Ornament


Nice to hear if you’re the proud owner of a flock of pink plastic flamingos.

Not so much if you’re the (sort of not so proud anymore) owner of a 1965 Vespa.

Ugh.

I just keep repeating to myself, bless it or block it.

And man.

This is blocked.

I met with my friend who sold me the scooter.

I talked with my friend who just finished rebuilding his own Vespa.

I texted back and forth with another friend about his current rebuild at Scooter Centre.

And I am done.

Done.

I keep also hearing keep it simple stupid.

I will drop the stupid part, but I do own up to my part.

My part–taking on something that is vintage, that I don’t have the band width to tinker with, that I don’t have enough passion for to keep.  Thinking something is cute and posing by it is not the passion that will keep it running.

Nor do I have deep enough pockets.

My hopes, expectations, and needs were never met with this scooter.

Which is not the experience my friend who sold it to me had and I understood his point of view and his offer of help.

But in the end I left the coffee shop in tears and I just felt over it.

I talked with another friend on the phone a few hours later, lunch, a cup of tea, a call to my mom to wish her happy mother’s day, a walk along the Great Highway staring at the dunes and the sun poking out valiantly from the clouds, and he said, be up front, tell whom ever decides to buy it point-blank it’s a Vietnam scooter and you’ll probably get $1200.

Fact is.

I don’t want to deal any more.

I don’t want to spend any more time thinking about it.

I don’t.

Perhaps that is me being a baby.

But I prefer to think that it is me be simple, direct, and absolutely to the point.

The scooter was blocked for me from the beginning.

I had misgivings the minute I saw it and it didn’t have so much to do with the ideation of it; that made me feel wonderful, how sleek and sassy and cute the Vespa is; but that I realized that I had bitten off far more than I could chew.

The having to mix motor oil with gas.

The choke.

The cold engine.

The kickstart.

Damn that thing.

Only eleven months later and I still get an ache in my ankle if I walk too hard on it without enough support.

Maybe it looks like I’m rolling over and showing the world of scootering my pink, vulnerable, belly.

But I have heard, more than a few times, that surrendering means going over to the wining side.

It’s not a loss.

It’s just money.

I got hurt once trying to use the scooter.

But I wasn’t in an accident on the road, I didn’t lose my life, like my best friend who was hit while riding his scooter nearly eight years ago.

I didn’t have to donate my organs to science, make my mother cry, or be cremated to have my ashes scattered over the wide world.

I had an experience.

I don’t want to have it any more.

I told my friend who was advocating talking to Chris Ward again, making a case to Barry Gwin again, trying this tack or that, that I really was done.

As far as I am concerned I would happily sign over the title to him and let him tinker with it for the next few years.

He’d have fun.

I find it frustrating.

This is not the first time I have invested in something that has not worked out, but really, in the end, I got to have some great experiences.

I learned how to use a throttle on a scooter and what it felt like to climb over the top of 17th Street, terrifying, and up Castro and over Twin Peaks.

I rode out to Sea Cliff twice.

I got to have the experience of stalling out in the fog and crying.

I got to see how badly my ankle could get mangled.

I got to have the experience of setting up insurance and registering through the DMV and learning how to ride at the Motorcycle Safety Course.

I got to almost get hit twice on Lincoln Avenue when someone changed lanes without looking.

I got whistled at once stopping to park it and taking off my helmet and shaking out my hair.

I felt all sorts of Charlie Girl around that.

Suffice to say.

I believe I’m done.

I really meant what I texted to my friend, he wants it, it’s his.

I give it away.

It certainly wasn’t doing any good sitting in the foyer at the house collecting dust and providing a cute place for spiders to spin webs.

The mechanic at Scooter Centre said it was a lawn ornament and he’s right.

That’s what it’s been since my accident.

I can stop banging my head against the door that does not open.

Or if you will, banging my ankle on a kick starter that won’t turn over.

Or I can walk, ride my bicycle, take MUNI, or pogo stick through the one that is open.

I don’t know what God wants for me as far as transportation goes; probably my bicycle since that seems to be in great working order, but it’s not this Vespa.

And when I am honest with myself.

It never was.

So friends.

You want the Vespa I’ll sign that title right over to you.

Wash my hands of it.

Wipe away the tears.

Say lesson learned and look for new and more entertaining ways to have another experience in this great big game of life.

I am an experiential creature after all.

I want to feel it all.

Just not maybe around this particular scooter anymore.

I’m done with it.

Next experience please.

I concede.

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2 Responses to “It’s A Lawn Ornament”

  1. alexbernardin Says:

    Let that scooter GO!

    It’s not even remotely like defeat or surrender, it’s just a thing that isn’t giving you enough value to justify what it would cost you to keep it. Kick it 🙂

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