It’s helpful when your old bike breaks down at a buddy’s garage. Especially when your buddy happens to be an old bike fetishist, too. One who just happened to have an extra voltage regulator lying around for a 40-year-old motorcycle that was only offered for sale in the United States for one year (1983).
It is good to have friends like that.
It’s even better to have experiences like that – because it gets you to thinking that maybe there is something unseen going on. Either that or we are characters in a “sim” – as some seriously believe and who knows? Maybe they are right. All I know for sure is that my 1983 Honda made it exactly as far as my friend’s shop, some 25 miles distant, which we’d ridden to just to see him and hang out for awhile, where it obligingly stopped working.
Well, stopped starting.
We discovered the problem as we were saddling up to head back home. Ignition on, push the button (no kicker on the ’83 Silverwing) and . . . nothing. Further investigation revealed we’d made it there on “fumes,” so to speak. Plenty of gas. Not much charge. The battery had given its last. I should have known – or suspected – before it did. The neutral light had been flickering and the bike’s performance seemed a little off. It was a good thing we’d decided not to ride out to Meadows of Dan, which is down the Blue Ridge Parkway from us – and very far from any parts for 40-year-old motorcycles. Had we done so, we’d still be in Meadows of Dan.
And I would not be typing this.
My buddy got his jump box and that got the engine running, but not right. The problem was more than just a croaked battery. Out came the multimeter and – lo! – something awry with the charging system, too. That something-wrong having croaked the battery. My buddy – who has several similar 40-year-old motorcycles – suspected the regulator, as the ones in his have failed, too. And – lo! – so had mine.
Which we determined was the case by hooking up the spare regulator he happened to have on hand to my bike’s electrical system. That plus a new battery for my 40-year-old bike, which he also happened to have lying around and – Lo! – and behold! – the bike started and ran normally, the charging system registering a normal 12-14 volts being produced.
As we were piddling, I noticed some debris under the seat that looked soft and fluffy. Stuff like that is not supposed to be under the seat. Further probing revealed what had been living under the seat – and in the air cleaner housing. Which was full of its lunch. A mouse – not in the house. Inside my bike. No wonder the bike hadn’t been running exactly right! I shook out the pieces of chewed-up acorns and so on. My buddy used his air compressor to get the rest out of the air cleaner. He didn’t happen to have a new one of those lying around the shop.
It would be interesting to calculate odds of that. Of all of that. Not just his happening to have the oddball part an oddball bike that was made during Ronald Reagan’s first term of office had to have in order to be operational. Also our just happening to decide to ride to his shop and not somewhere else.
The Swiss psychologist Jung wrote a lot about this kind of thing. That there is a collective unconscious we plug into somehow, without really knowing that we are. It inclines us to do this – or not do that – via some kind of intuition. Maybe my subconscious plugged into a general intuition that something wasn’t right with the bike and that it would be right to ride it to see my friend – and not anywhere else. And maybe, somehow, the bike intuited that it had just enough gumption left to make it there – and no farther.
I find it marvelous, regardless.
We made it exactly there. And there just happened to be exactly the place we needed to be. Can such things really happen by chance? Certainly, it is possible. Almost anything is possible. Including the surreal actuality that a fat tranny – someone who is morbidly obese and so physically unhealthy – as well as mentally unhealthy, being a tranny – is “serving” as a federal health czar.
But is it likely?
I mean, about the bike croaking out where it did.
I like to think it’s not just random chance, because it makes me think that – just maybe – there is something unseen afoot and – just maybe – it isn’t unfavorably disposed toward us.
Well, it’s either that or we are characters in a “sim”!
. . .
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