24 September 2013

On Working in the Dark.

At 7 PM tonight, despite my father's long-standing advice about working on things when pressed for time, I start futzing with the right turn signal switch on a recently-new-to-me '99 BMW R1100S. The switch has been skittish the last two days. It's no fun to find out that traffic doesn't think you're switching lanes when you think you've been clearly signalling it for an eighth of a mile. Michelle has to leave to teach yoga at 7:45 PM. This leaves me forty-five minutes to work before I must watch the kiddo. Night is about to fall. Sans garage, I'm working in the driveway.

I have the handlebar control assembly down to the switch innards apart in five minutes, see some grime, and decide to make a run for some electrical cleaner rather than to try my luck applying to the contact surfaces the fine-grit sandpaper that I brought outside. To give Michelle a chance to get ready to teach, I snag the two-and-a-half-year-old in his PJs and we go by car to an auto store on East 7th. After a long, slow line, we're back at 7:30. I get the switch cleaned out (after accidentally shooting electrical cleaner into a hangnail. Don't. Ever. Do. This.) and start putting stuff back together.

Now it's getting dark. Michelle brings out a flashlight. I get the electrical bits back together. Michelle has to leave and brings out our shoeless son Ozark, his Magna Doodle, and his wooden toy pliers. She coaxes Ozark into staying put next to me on the driveway and takes off. He miraculously stays out of the small collection of bike parts and is content to play around on the driveway while I chew on a flashlight trying to point it in the right direction as I re-insert screws and curse the finicky-to-button-up assembly. Ozark disappears over to the left side of the bike and is farting around with his wooden pliers near the left fork. I ask him to come around to my side and he ignores me. No matter as he's being uncommonly good. I periodically inquire what he's up to and he responds promptly.

At 7:55 I get everything back together well-enough that the repair will sit for the night and I can double check it in the morning. I'm elated that nothing bad happened on a hurry-up repair job in the dusk. This has never happened to me in my life.

Suddenly, I hear a weird scritching sound. I ask Ozark what he's doing. Out of the dark on the far side of the bike a little voice proudly replies "I'm sanding the motorcycle". He's got the fine-grit sandpaper and is rubbing it against the fairing near the front headlight. Fortunately the cosmetic damage is light. I crack up. He cracks up. I call my dad to convey the story. Ozark re-cracks up when he hears my dad crack up on the phone. Then the kiddo and I go inside and drink far too much chocolate milk.

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