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Red Lipstick & Green Ink [userpic]

"A Bell?--That's Fucked Up." --David Sedaris

April 17th, 2006 (04:23 am)
current song: Then Came You, Dionne Warwick

What an Easter.

*tosses back a shot of Monopolowa and grins at herself in the mirror over her MAC*

My alarm went off at 3:30 PM this afternoon, I lay there and listened--NPR had a
Johnny Cash special--stories, interviews with familia, songs...

I lay there for thirty minutes and listened to the end of it.
I've been a Johnny Cash fan since I was seven years old.

This seemed like a nice start, to an Easter Sunday, since I wasn't going to be able
to be with my Family. Johnny is so intertwined with my ideas about my own Family.

Daddy introduced me to him and made tapes I could play on my cassette player, the
flat black one from Radio Shack in the 70's...I had one of those off-white ear plugs, for
road trips.

Johnny died while my Father was in MD Anderson...getting his cancer taken out.
Mom and I were sitting at breakfast that morning, in the hotel dining room where other
people who were waiting for their loved ones--to get their cancer taken out--breakfast'd.
People from all over the Planet. The TV told us Johnny was gone, and a silence
broke across the room.

MD Anderson is another world, with other rules. There is a simple kindness...pervading.
It is the most Human(e) place I have ever been. Other rules. Language no barrier.
My Mom held a woman in here arms, on a shuttle back to that hotel, because Mom
doesn't need to know how to say words to understand. I learned a lot about life, in that
place that fights for it.

Already a quiet room, the silver stilled...when the man on the News
made the announcement.
The Man in Black, was gone.

My Pop had just made it--recovering. They got it all.
His surgery had been on my birthday.

So I lay there this 'morning', and listened...
Happy that The Sisters had been so strangely kind to me.

I thought about Life--bunnies and flowers and life...new life, as I found my pants
and socks and dressed for work.

Thelonious and I went to the corner store, a SHELL station where everyone knows my
name...I bought a RED BULL for my hangover, and a pack of Camel Ultra Lites.

I sped away. Towards that Tower I work under.
Halfway there--the halfway that is just beyond and juuuuust before?

And Thelonious...he slowed to a stop. A stop. A dead stop.


I pulled over. It was Easter Sunday. All the stores were closed, everything was....
Side of the Side of the Freeway...no phones.
I began to panic.
New Job.
Cannot be late.

Thelonious, I cannot do any of this without Thelonious!
I looked at his gauges, am I out of GAS???
I pumped his kick start, and the sun was so hot.
A moist 91 degrees under the FULL sun.

I pushed him, pack on my back, hoodie I just didn't think to take off...
SO hot, my head got dizzy. Red face, pulse pounding in my cheeks.

Up hill... I pushed.

No one stopped to help me.
I was sad.
This is South Austin, 78704 land...
They sped past me, I didn't know HOW they could have helped me,
but I would have tried. A cell phone would have saved me...I wouldn't have had
a cell phone to save someone...my mind is racing over miserable anger and fear
and sick rolling feelings that I know now were heat stroke-y shit--dehydrated hung over
and pushing a bike up the hill in the hottest part of a hot day.


I made it to a 7-11 gas station across from the Chucky Cheese. South 1st.
As I shoved Thelonious, near collapse, across the last of the black pavement of the next
door restaurant--a fat guy in a baseball cap looked at me as he jumped in his SUV and
said: It's a lot easier if you RIDE that thing.

I was delirious. I gave him The Waitress Smile and nodded.
I was about to drop to my knees, legs shaking.

I hated the fat man.
I hated the fat man.
I hated the fat man.

But I smiled.

I parked Thelonious by the tank, to fill him. That must must must be what happened.
I stagger like a crazed refugee, an escaped prisoner, into the 7-11--order 2 bucks in
gasoline. My face is red, white around the mouth. I was sold gas. No one...

Numb, they were. Not Austin. Simply 7-11, bitter on a Sunday...

I filled him. I kicked at his soft crank over and over. I tried not to cry.
He wouldn't start.

I left him there at the tank, it was busy, I was irrationally angry--I wanted to take up
that space, somewhere inside me--I just went mean.

I asked to use the phone, It was a BUSINESS phone I was told, by the man behind the
counter with straight bangs and a 'stache that made me hear the banjo from
Deliverance... okay, that was actually when I decided not to move.

That isn't me--The people who needed that tank had nothing to do with my moment.
My head was dizzy with heat...I almost couldn't stand.

I got change for the phone, and asked for a phone book. They didn't have one.
Two bucks and two trips back to White-Power Dude...got me through to my Job.

I was dizzy when Alex answered, I don't think I made a lot of sense...I was talking about
being LATE--but I always leave 30 minutes early for a 5 minute ride. I wasn't actually
LATE yet. She handed me to Frank, the MOD.

He told me, laughing a little, to calm down. And get there when I could.
They were fine.

I got another buck in quarters and called barry_barry.
His little chicken said the sky was falling.
He was kicked back on a Sunday, wondering why his cable had cut out...
He pulled on his Teva's, and headed for the scene.

He made every green light, was still laughing about that when he arrived.

I had pulled Thelonious over to the side and bought a BIG GULP
of something red.
I couldn't find a button to cut it with just soda.
Why didn't I buy WATER???

I was sitting in front of the 7-11 with a HUGE nasty drink,
afraid and wiggly and embarrassed.
On the Curb.

Bear, Bear walked up. His stride was strong.
He looked at me. First.
Asked me if he could buy me water...*laughing hard*
I made him taste my weird red drink.

I told him I was fine, look LOOK at Thelonious!!!
What have I done to him???

Bear turned the key, and kicked.
Thelonious fired up, and hummed like the Good Man, I know he is.

I buried my face in my hands.

Bear explained to me how an engine works, and kissed me gently on the head.
Vacuums and such, empty tanks, waiting for the fuel to....

I had simply run out of gas.
The whole time I have HAD Thelonious, I have only filled him 5 times.
He gets a neat 100 miles to the gallon, and my gauge is hinky.

I road to work.
There wasn't a rush all night.
I got to recover and drink several gallons of water.

Frank didn't even laugh at me, too hard.

A dead night, and I walked with 70 bucks, and stories.

I got cut in time to sit down with the Boys from STARBUCKS....
Lain and Del.
We sat and laughed and talked and drank the last two hours of the night away.

Easter, New Life.

Bunnies and Eggs...........and stones.
Stones rolled Away.

My Girls take care of me just fine.
They know what they are doing.


Posted by: hairypolack (hairypolack)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 09:42 am (UTC)

Image hosting by Photobucket

similar event:


Posted by: Red Lipstick & Green Ink (ginger931)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC)

Bad ASS.

Thank-you Matthew...I LOVE that picture.

Posted by: hairypolack (hairypolack)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 09:49 am (UTC)

but what about Dracu Ginger?


Posted by: Red Lipstick & Green Ink (ginger931)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
A SuperVampire


Yeah, I like that one.
That girl is doing good things to you.

You are almost polite.

(*Razor Grin*)

I have a place I am happy at, and wow, my arms look like that again????


Thanks Matthew.

Posted by: Organizational Anarchist (napalmgod)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)

Course they're locked... :P

Posted by: stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder (433)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)

Eh, I've done that on my old scoot. Pushed it a mile to a club meeting where I thought someone would be able to help me. My friend Matt came out, looked at it, and kickstarted it after about 10 kicks. I felt rather silly.

Most metal scooters (Vespas, Stellas) have a 1/4 gallon reserve tank that you can switch to when you run out of gas in the 2 gallon main tank. It's saved my ass more than once.

Posted by: Coffee Shop Whore (skidspoppe)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)

Welcome to the world of the real biker.

I bet everyone who's ever ridden on two wheels has run out of gas at least once and gone over every other thing on the bike before they get to the simple stuff.

It's happened to me...


Posted by: Red Lipstick & Green Ink (ginger931)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)

i feltt like such a fucking GIRL!!!

*head in hands*

Posted by: beyond the gray skies (8s_and_aces)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
Easter, huh?

RISE Thelonius, and bear your burden!! wierd - sounds like a messiah complex to me.

Posted by: Red Lipstick & Green Ink (ginger931)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Easter, huh?


He's joined US!!!


Posted by: barry_barry (barry_barry)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
professor membrane

I'm just glad you're okay. You looked pretty hot and dazed when I got there, and you looked like you'd been worse only minutes before. Since you don't have a "reserve" tank, like most bigger things, I'll see if I can find something that would allow you to have a cup or two of fuel in a fuel-tight jar or something under the seat. If I put some Sta-bil fuel stabilizer in it, it should last for years as an emergency "oops" backup.

And as for reserve tanks, the only two times I've run out of gas in 12 years was on bikes with reserve tanks, because I'd switched to reserve, filled up, and not switched back to main. I of course promptly rode around until it sputtered, reached to switch, and then promptly realized I was going to be walking for a bit.

All of my modern bikes just have warning lights. One of them has a fuel guage, but it jumps around so much that when it drops to two bars, it just means you've got anywhere between 2 and 3 more trips to/from work before you should buy gas. I've run it on "empty" for almost 80 miles before. And when I painted it, after putting the fuel pump back in/etc. I put two gallons in it, and it still said it was empty(I think it holds almost 4.5). I just don't know how much of the two gallons it could get to before it quits.

That's always the worst. When you HAVE gas in the tank, but you can't get to it. On an old bike, you could take the tank off, and carry it down, fill it, and walk back. Or better yet, fill the carb bowl(s) by tipping the tank around and draining just a bit more into it to get you at least closer to gas(or at least up the next hill).

I wonder how many miles per cup Thelonious gets... doing the math at 100mpg... a cup should get you 6.25 miles. So two cups of fuel as a backup would get you halfway across town. I'll see what sort of containers I can find in the two cup range that will keep fuel in them forever.

Posted by: barry_barry (barry_barry)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)

Ask the internet, and you shall receive. If YOU don't want it, I want it, just because it's cool. There's a prezzy for Thelonious and his owner on it's way. I never suspected that something so specific and perfect would be findable, but my hunch that the hardcore camping bunch would have something was correct.

I WAS amused by the 2 gallon Czech Jerry Can that I found. It would have been awesome, mounted to the back of Thelonious all WWII Jeep-style, but it's bigger than your tank. I guess I could rig a fuel pump/siphon from it TO the engine, and you'd have 3 gallons of gas, and like 300 miles of range. Of course, the cops might take issue with that sort of "Jerry" rigging... *snort*

Posted by: Red Lipstick & Green Ink (ginger931)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)

You are so funny!~

I love you Bear!!!

Posted by: Organizational Anarchist (napalmgod)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)

Honeypie... Gasoline is your friend.

Posted by: barry_barry (barry_barry)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)

I wonder what happens when you put Streetblaze race gas in a scooter... do they make high compression pistons and forged/lightened cranks for TKM Vento's? What about wheelie bars?

Posted by: Organizational Anarchist (napalmgod)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)

well, I'm kinda ashamed to admit that I know this, but they do make high-performance parts for Vespas and some Hondas..

Probably not TKM Ventos, though.

Posted by: barry_barry (barry_barry)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
invader zim

Oh yeah, you can just plain make an Aprilia or Italjet(I miss those guys) race scooter(and hondas and vespas) if you want. I've even seen overbore kits for the yamaha-derived four-stroke ventos. Just haven't spied anything for Thelonious yet ;) What he really needs is a blower unit on the side though.

I mean, in THEORY, it's a normalish 50cc two-stroke engine with a single-throat carb, just hindered by a clutch-drive system for a scooter. An Aprilia RS50 is not to be trifled with, and that's a restricted racebike, not a scooter. So a little 65cc overbore with a high-compression piston, plus a flatslide carb, switch to premix with 103 octane, and heavily derestrict the intake/exhaust, Thelonious could be a firebreathing little scooter. Of course, you'd be burning through driveline clutch packs like mad, but that's not the point of hoonish behavior. Although, in reality, the crank from that little engine would give up LONG before you smoked the clutch I think.

Posted by: Organizational Anarchist (napalmgod)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)

Well, I was trying to rebuild a Yamaha 125ZX for her, that seems to have decent power.. She got Thelonious before I finished.

To be honest, though, what with her being new to the concept of driving.. She probably doesn't need that much power. :)

Posted by: barry_barry (barry_barry)
Posted at: April 17th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
professor membrane

Oh, I know she totally doesn't need that much power. It's just me being silly with petroleum products and metal. I'd never do anything to Thelonious that made him less reliable(which all of those things would).

She's gonna have words about that "new to driving" comment though. She knew more about scooters than I did when I fixed it the first time :) What? you mean it won't start from the starter button unless you pull the brake handle? What do you mean it won't start on the sidestand? *sigh* There were some interesting words in my garage about such things.

In reality, a 125 would be a very nice choice. Maybe someday. And the new ones are getting ALL KINDS of crazy. I just heard Vespa announced a HYBRID scooter. It still only gets 75mpg though, so I'm not sure how much benefit that is, since it's gonna add all manner of weight and complexity.

Doesn't a 125 4-stroke already get better than 65mpg? Ginger said she's getting almost 100mpg out of Thelonious.

Posted by: Red Lipstick & Green Ink (ginger931)
Posted at: April 18th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)


sheeeeshh, you guys.

Posted by: barry_barry (barry_barry)
Posted at: April 18th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)

Whoops, you're right. I had TKM in my head for some reason.

Posted by: Organizational Anarchist (napalmgod)
Posted at: April 18th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)



Posted by: Amethest (amethest)
Posted at: April 19th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)

Awww *hugs*

Wanna us to track down the baseball hat fat dude and beat him up for you?

Sorry I read this late, glad it worked out alright.

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