A family story this one, full of pain and filth, but mostly a launching pad for a full-on flame against the hellspawn who foist upon us the ultimate evil: Things That Work Differently For No Good Reason. Update: Argh, I was wrong!

The kid woke up whiny and stayed whiny, don’t know why. Power struggles broke out over who put the toast in the toaster and went downhill from there. Towards lunch, in an effort to get out of the house we went five blocks to the corner to pick up some supplies, I walking, the kid on his little “Sunblast” made-in-China bike.

Early on the way back, his bike threw a pedal. Dad got down on his knees to put it back on; its’s a simple threaded bolt that screws into the pedal shaft, how hard could it be? Ten minutes later I had skinned knuckles, grease to my wrists, and no joy; the damn thing woundn’t thread in. And of course the kid had got his hand in and got it greasy too, and telling a three-year old not to touch his clothes or face is like ordering water uphill.

I will omit the details of the trudge home, carrying bike, hauling whiner. I got the bike up on the bench, a formidable assortment of steel-jawed tools to hand, only to realize that the filthy thing screwed in counter-clockwise.

There is no pain too severe for the makers of this travesty. They are the offspring of dogs without genitals and maggots fed only on the excreta of diseased lizards. May Bolivian drug lords seize their only daughter as hostages in a tense geopolitical drama. May their next cruise-ship vacation remembered for the simultaneous outbreak of Norwalk Virus, an crunching encounter with an uncharted reef, and a record-breaking series of Nor’wester gales. May ruthless investment bankers place their retirement savings in airline shares. A green, crapulent, morbid, fulminating, metastasizing pox upon them!

Update: So, like 45 seconds after I finish posting this, several helpful people write in to point out that it is standard for one of a bike’s two pedals to thread counter-clockwise, to avoid a natural gradual unscrewing. Well, I guess I retract the imprecations against the makers of Sunblast children’s bicycles. See, blogs are better than journalism: you can indulge in childish flames and then retract them right away as required.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
May 31, 2003
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