Assault by battery

Guess which one starts?

Today was grocery day. I was armed with a rather extensive shopping list, my last trip having been a short one to the Wholeazon Amafoods to collect a few delicacies for our 30th anniversary dinner.

That list got edited more than somewhat when I slid behind the wheel of the Fearsome Furster, turned the key, and … bupkis.

Not a slow crank. Nary a whir, click, or grind. Fuck-all, is what. Dead silence.

The trusty Wald basket shifts easily from bike to scooter. I use toe straps to cinch it down.

Like the rest of us, ol’ Sue Baroo has been enjoying some extended downtime in the Year of the Plague. She gets out about every two weeks for a grocery run.

But our last voyage was just a week ago, so I can only assume I managed to trigger some pain-in-the-ass interior light that failed to catch my eye. The battery is fairly new. Newer than the car, anyway.

But plenty of things are. This beast dates back to the last dipshit fool we had in the White House.

“Well, hell,” sez I. “What else we got in this garage here?”

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s Bike Month. I should’ve manned up and turned one of the touring bikes into a grocery cart. It’s not as though we lack for racks and sacks around here.

But I took the easy way out. Pulled the Wald basket off the Soma Double Cross, strapped it to the rear rack on the Vespa, and putt-putted over to the Sprouts with a messenger bag slung over one shoulder.

The lack of cargo capacity means no buttermilk biscuits for breakfast. But we all have our crosses to bear, amirite?

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25 Responses to “Assault by battery”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Yep. I’ve been driving the car to nowhere in particular at least once a week since I am working from home and neither of us is going very far. Can one of our neighbors give you a jump start and drive around the block a few dozen times? Assuming something didn’t turn turtle in your Subie electrical system.

    But that Vespa looks cool. I envy you riding that little buggy around.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The neighbor with the kids offered a jump, but I didn’t feel like pushing Sue out of the garage and down that steep pitch of a driveway into the cul-de-sac. If it waddn’t a battery issue we’d have to leave the ol’ hoor parked out there in the street where passing evildoers could have their way with her.

      So after I fetched the grub, I scooted on over to an auto-parts store and scored a battery charger and some jumper cables, since mine seem to have wandered off some’eres. When you’re driving a 15-year-old rig you wants your jumper cables.

      Anyway, why not ride a purty red Vespa if you happen to have one taking up valuable space in the garage? I endured a grilling from a masked gent at the grocery who clearly wishes he had one of the lil’ dickenses. Warned him that a fella had to eat a lot of beans to get enough JATO to climb Montgomery to Tramway.

      • Dale Says:

        Nicely played. There is nothing like a trickle charge to keep an idle battery alive. Ask me how I know.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Hopefully you just left the lights on. I hate electrical problems.

  3. JD Dallager Says:

    So obviously an “Assault by Battery, Part II” is coming in the near future, eh, PO’G? Does Sue Baroo respond to PO’G’s CPR-like battery charger creativity? Does Sue have more serious problems? Will Sue ever be the same? Is the Vespa conniving to assume the throne? Why weren’t the XX bikes in PO”G’s household jumping at the chance to save the kingdom? Are e-bikes in PO’G’s future?

    And now a word from our sponsor, Wind-powered Skateboards!

    Stay tuned folks, only The Shadow knows! 🙂

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The Vespa was always on the throne. It’s Italian and red. What more do you want? A Honda Super Cub you say? Hmmm. No class..

    • khal spencer Says:

      That Super Cub at a shade under four grand is still cheaper than many plastic bicycles. But at 125cc you would need a MC endorsement.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That Super Cub is almost as hip as the Vespa. And the much bigger 17-inch wheels would be nice in corners and over bad pavement.

      But yeah, MSF course, motorcycle endorsement, insurance, etc. … and you have to factor in the prototypical psychopathic, incompetent, impaired, and distracted Duke City driver, too, because I would be tempted to ride that Honda places I would never take the Vespa.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:


      • khal spencer Says:

        Passing the MSF class gets you the endorsement, at least that was what they used to say. You don’t have to take the state road test. Not sure what insurance costs on a 125 cc bike but should be cheap since you presumably can’t do as much damage to others with a little bike. That said, I think the Duke City has the highest rates in the state for reasons you mention: too many idiots.

        Me? The idea of a small bike that couldn’t get out of its own way was always the worst of all worlds, especially after the day on Long Island when I was stopped at a red light and suddenly heard the wail of locked brakes behind me. Looking back for a microsecond, I redlined the bike, a 450 Honda, in first gear and got the hell through the intersection between other traffic. Looked back and saw a big old Murrcan sedan sitting sideways in the middle of the intersection, having passed through the space I was inhabiting. Part of the standard defense system I’ve used is having Warp Drive available in a crisis. Hence bigger bikes. If motorcycles are gonna kill me, I’d rather it be by my own hand.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Since the Vespa is so woefully underpowered I treat it as a really heavy bicycle, seeking out low-traffic back roads to wherever I’m going, even if I end up covering more mileage. You will never ever see me on Tramway, Juan Tabo, Lomas, or any other of them high-speed boyos.

        OK, so I was actually on Tramway for about 100 meters yesterday after I gassed up at a station near Montgomery and Tramway. I wanted to get to Manitoba for a left-hand turn without covering nearly four sides of a square and driving through the shopping-center parking lot a second time.

        I waited until the light at Tramway and Montgomery turned red for northbound traffic and then screwed ’er on. Nyinn nyiinnnnn nyyyyinnnnnn ringa dinga dinga dinga!

        On the way back from the auto-parts shop I saw an eejit in a Jeep run a red light at least three seconds late. I was making a left turn in front of him, with the right of way and loads of pavement to spare, and I could tell he had absolutely no plans to stop at the light, though he was a good half of a very long ’Burque block from the intersection. After I made the turn I took a quick peek over the left shoulder and saw him sail right on through.

        • khal spencer Says:

          To drive in Albuquerque? You need a three ton pickup with railroad ties strapped all around it and a radar equipped, self-actuating Minigun on top.Sort of a downsize version of this baby.

  5. Hurben Says:

    Good damn Hipsters!

  6. B Lester Says:

    Anybody know if Herb lives in Midland County Michigan? 5-7 inches of rain caused two dams to burst. Hope he and his are ok.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I just saw that too. Herb, you ok buddy?

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Herb is safely ensconced in his hillside home. I only look stupid. No waterfront real estate for me. Been there and done that and watched my kitchen flood many moons ago. What the news doesn’t disclose is that parts of Michigan are flatter than a cheap sew up tyre ( for anyone baffled about sew ups take it up with our Humble Moderator) . Therefore when we get biblical rains those areas of course flood. Midland is hurtin for certain but the rest of the state’s interior is pretty ok. Ah… the Great Lakes shorelines? Bad juju since people foolishly built where they shouldn’t. Heaven forbid they should have to walk a few extra feet to get to their Mastercraft or other yachts.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Good man y’self. I always wanted to live by the water until I heard that it gets up and walks around sometimes. I can swim but prefer not to, especially in the dark surrounded by my possessions, neighbors, and whatever lives under that big rock over there, the one you can’t see anymore because it’s under water. No, not that one. That one.

    • B Lester Says:

      Good on ya, Herb. Glad to hear you’re good. I heard this AM that one of the dams had been de-certified in ’18 as structurally insufficient. Naturally, the ownership has been in the process of selling it, not fixing it.

      The new climate normal is slow storms that sometimes just stop and stay there for a while. Here on the west side of Lake Michigan, some places had 7-8 inches from the same storm system that give us barely two.

      That’s what got Houston when the big hurricane arrived and stopped for a few days to drop many feet of rain. Oh, that and the endless plains of concrete.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    Word from Herb is all is well with him right now, but one of his distributors is literally, rather than figuratively, under water.

  8. Seeking higher ground | Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] our brethren and sisthren in Michigan I was not dodging floodwaters (our man Herb reports that he is high and dry). I just wanted to get out of the house and sit in the shade awhile, […]

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