A good way to cool off

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2001

I actually did it-got my lazy butt up on Sunday and worked more than just my gums and my keyboard.

I awoke around noon, cooked breakfast, drank coffee, and sat on the couch with my wife and Fontana, and decided I was not going to be a couch potato-no sir, not on this Sunday.

So, I took a shower (always good to start out clean when you are going to work and get hot, ain't it?), then I went to Wally World and bought two tires and tubes to go on a bicycle that I bought last fall at a charity auction.

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Not too badly priced, I even had some change left over for some "Double-Stuff" Oreo cookies (one must have energy when working).

Arriving back at the homestead, I proceeded to get my bike out of the shed, and wheeled it to the front porch, where I could sit and work at the same time (no sense in straining too much).

So, after not much effort, I had the rims off the bicycle, and the old tires and tubes swapped out for new ones (with five daughters, I learned early to get a set of tire repair levers, instead of taking the risk of puncturing a good or patched-up tube).

A few strokes of the double-action tire pump, and my bike was good as new, or so I thought.

In the meantime, Fontana had indicated that her bike's tires needed air, and she would like to ride with me, so I took care of the problem in short order.

Now, back to my chariot.

I soon found out (while climbing the hill around the curve from my house) that my rusty chain was prone to skipping-every time I tried really hard to pedal up the hill, it skipped-I became used to it, and even anticipated it, but it sure made the thing sound rickety.

So there we were, climbing this hill (I took the precaution of checking out the brakes on the way up, because I tend to see my Irish luck in times like these).

It started to feel good as I was going downhill, what with the breeze and all-then it struck me-I could shift no higher than fifth gear on this ten-speeder of mine (when I was young, they called it "English Racer Bikes").

Another mishap as a result of rust-the front gear-changer thingy didn't work.

Back to the house we went, and after a little adjusting, I managed to get this forward gear steady in the higher five levels of ratio.

Now I got really brave and headed to East Commerce Street. Downhill again-great!

Then I turned onto Burger Street, and halfway through my racing fashion, I saw that there was a new speed bump (or should I say speed mountain), compliments of the asphalt God!

By the time I got back to the house, I was ready to get off that bike, as my belly (you remember, that Dunlop thing) began pinching with every upstroke of my pedals.

So, after burning at least 25 calories, I decided I would try the tanning bed (that's a whole nuther story.)

To make a long story short, I found that the best way to cool off after such an active afternoon of exercise was to visit my old friend Tony at Bates Texaco.

You see Tony has it going on-he works in a well air-conditioned environment and dispenses one of my favorite confections-hand-dipped ice cream!

But then, there has to be an exchange somewhere, right?

Burning off 25 calories deserves putting back about 5, in a double-decker buttered pecan waffle cone, don'tcha think?

Anyway, I will look forward to seeing you all supporting the teams at their play on the ballfields-I'll be the lobster out in Deep Left Field.