Spring is busy trying to spring. Last night marked the beginning of the season with our first tornado-watch/panic-fest that local meteorologists seem to drool over. We had thunderboomers, lightning and the sounds of frogs looking to get their freak on permeating the night air. Stupid wild onions have started to rise up from what I loosely term my “lawn”. My slut of a cat Skunk is out on the prowl, looking for some strange tom to knock her up, thus prompting The Wife and I to look at one another in a fit of laziness and say “we really oughta take care of that.”
But the sure sign that the seasons are on the move? The endless rumbles of Harleys motoring up and down the two-lane state highway in front of the house. From Thursday through Sunday, lawyers in leathers, the old, the young, nasty scumbuckets and yuppies alike tool their Hogs up and down the roads,enjoying that wild, carefree sensation of bugs smacking them in the face at sixty miles an hour.
I’m so jealous, I just can’t stand it.
And, in a series of maneuvers I’ve been keeping from you guys, the day is almost here. It turns out one of my five brothers, Chewie, is trying to sell his dual-sport bike in order to drum up some cabbage. I love dual sports. He’s letting it go dirt cheap. I love dirt and I love cheap. The bike is out on the West Coast. I’m going to the West Coast in April to attend yet another brothers’ wedding (the brother we call Barbara). This is a divine sign, if ever there was one. There was only one obstacle left, and she was somewhat significant.
She can conjure up tears on command when the subject is brought up. She likes to talk about such uplifting possibilities as “orphaning your children”, “making your wife a widow” and “maiming your face”. She also tossed around fun phrases like “a cold day in hell when you get a motorcycle” and “maybe you can live on your motorcycle, cause you won’t be living here”. I looked at these as minor setbacks. I tried quoting a co-worker named Lenny, using his brilliant defense of purchasing a bike against her will, “what is she gonna do, take away your birthday?” When I used this argument she suggested exactly where Lenny and I could stick it. Time to re-think strategy.
Loving affection didn’t work; she was immediately suspicious I was “up to something”. Putting my foot down and insisting that I’d do what I want only resulted in her laughing at me and pointing, like you would at the clown with his pants unzipped (yes, that clown is often me). Sulking and pouting only resulted in me joining the Heathens in the corner, left to mutter to ourselves about running away. And then, one night when she was excitedly screeching at me about housework, or money woes or something else (selective listening is an essential trait acquired through years of marriage), it hit me: DISHES.
She hates the dishes. With the intensity of a thousand boiling suns, people, I’m serious. Now, to be fair, The Wife is a phenomenal cook, handles laundry like she’s running a dry-cleaning business from our laundry room and basically keeps our house from looking like a crack den, so it’s understandable that she chooses to unleash the hate on the dishes. I can live with that. And, when I’m feeling relatively mentally stable, I do them with an alarming frequency. Unfortunately for her I’m rarely stable. But for a motorcycle, I could fake it. And, for several months, the ruse has been in play.
I declared victory three weeks ago. I found a banner that said “Mission Accomplished” on eBay for a good price (used once on a large ship!) and purchased it.
Come April, this fool is getting him a motorcycle. Today, I dropped into her salon and smugly declared to The Wife that I’d been faking stability and the dishes for months in order to gain approval for a bike.
“You haven’t been fooling anyone. You’ve never been stable” she deadpanned.
I tried to saunter out of there like I knew that. I won. Every aspect of our marriage is a competition, I kid you not. And then she dropped the bomb on me.
“Oh, and by the way? I said you could buy one, I never said you could ride it.”