Sunday, January 13, 2008

jack and the magic bean bus


chapter 13 – wherein the ominous
outweighs the auspicious

Jack stared at the SIDI cleat bag full of coffee beans left behind by G-Pickle. It seemed too good to be true, but there was no doubt that G-Pickle had saved Jack hours and hours of searching the streets of Iowa City for the lost bag of beans. Jack might not have found them before his eleven o’clock ride with Brendan left for Denver or Jack might never have found them at all.
Movement outside the window caught Jack’s eye and he quickly looked up to see that his bicycle was gone. Jack shoved the beans in his pocket and sprang from his chair. He dashed out of the Hy-Vee deli just in time to find Bart, one of the beater brigade riders from the night before, trying to hang Jack’s bike by the saddle from a tree on the edge of the parking lot.

“Hey, what’s the big idea!” yelled Jack.
“Hello mate,” said Bart in a semi-Australian accent that quickly switched back to regular flat Midwestern English. “I was on my way to an early morning rugby workout and saw your bike here. I thought I’d just have a little fun, but no harm done. Here you go,” and he handed Jack’s bike back. With a quick smile Bart added, “Well, gotta go. See you later,” and Jack was left alone in the parking lot.

It was still early in the morning and now Jack found himself with a few hours of spare time before he would have to arrive at Brendan’s and catch his ride to Denver. With a carefree turn of the pedals Jack coasted out of the parking lot and up toward the Old Capital. He found his way easily and then on a whim took a detour down to a park near campus along the Iowa River.

A fresh cool breeze was blowing in from across the river. Jack leaned his bike against a tree and sat down on a nice park bench. For once, Jack wasn’t in a hurry. He could sit and watch everyone else rush around for a change.
Suddenly, a big splash caught Jack’s attention and then he heard a growling sort of laughter. “Ahhahahahahahhahahah.” He looked to his right and was surprised to see Dog Bait and Sluggo up so early. They had only one beater bike between the two of them but this made sense as soon as Sluggo waded into the river and pulled a second beater bike from the muddy water.

While Sluggo let most of the water drain from his bike, Dog Bait rode away from the riverbank for a few hundred feet and then turned and sprinted back toward the riverbank like a runaway missile. At the last possible moment, Dog Bait bailed off of the back of the bike, sending it rattling and clattering on its own until it sailed off of the edge of the bank and into the river. There was a tremendous splash and more laughter. Then Dog Bait waded into the river and dragged his bike back out while Sluggo prepared for another launch into the muddy Iowa River.

Over and over again they sent their bikes ghost riding off the bank and into the river. Finally, one of Dog Bait’s launches happened to be a little less stable than the rest and the bike did a funny twist and bounce before vaulting into the murky water.
Sluggo congratulated Dog Bait and awarded him some style points for the maneuver while Dog Bait plunged into the river to pull his bike back out. From Jack’s viewpoint, he could see that Dog Bait wasn’t going to find his bike where he was wading. Most of the other launches had landed where Dog Bait was now, but this particular launch had put the bike a few feet further out and a few feet downstream where the water was at its muddiest. Jack could see that the bike had actually gone underwater on a line directly between the park bench where he sat and a light pole on the opposite bank.

Meanwhile, as Dog Bait continued to thrash about in the muddy water and Sluggo shouted a mixture of insults and search suggestions from the bank, a small crowd began to gather.

to be continued...
[a serial by little orphan dbax]

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I don't know about the rest of you but the ups and downs of this really long story have just about got me about ready for climax!

gpickle

the mostly reverend said...

we at the orphanage are adherents of the tantric method of story telling.

breathe in...
breathe out...

breathe in...
breathe out...

repeat as necessary.

Jim said...

What the F ???????????????????????

I see a weird story on some whacko blog that Kim West writes, some of old pics of bait & sluggo and a pic from the Hungry Horse News of me and the "miracle mutt" -- he survived a cornice fracture and class 4 avalanche 3 years ago -- I was about 16 inches on the safe side of the cornice fracture.

??????????????????

Jim Cossitt
1231 6th Street W
Kalispell MT 59901-4238 USA

the mostly reverend said...

you find the weirdest shit out there,
don't ya, jimmy?

say, speaking of weird, remember back in may, 1992?
you were married, living in ames on ontario road, and i think it was a wednesday or thursday night. i had gone out for my ride early, and came back to meet the group ride, just to get a few more miles to spin out. babylon hit a hole in the road and crashed right in front of me. he escaped unscathed and yet i broke my collarbone in two places.

well, i'm sitting here typing this with one hand with a broken collarbone.

sadly, i have no one to sue for damages this time; at least i don't think so. i bet if i did, i could get bike banned from the streets of des moines.

antway, i'm glad to see you were reading this. i bet there are lots a folks who will be surprised to see people they know--or used to be--here.

take care, and stop by next time you're in town.

Franz R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Franz R said...

I remember when Kim broke his collarbone in 92. Earlier in the day he was looking at a helmet at Michael's to wear on training rides. He decided not to purchase it. After the crash I was looking at his forehead with a decent gash in it and thinking Kim had saved himself some money by not buying that helmet. If he had bought it, it would have been broken.

Franz R said...

Someone sent me a message suggesting I was riding in front of babbleOn and bunny hopped the pothole and babbleOn then crashed in it and then took Kim with him. I have no recollection of seeing Kim crash, but I was there. I assume Kim would have sued me for not explicitly pointing out the danger to Babylon so it probably was not the case. Then again, Kim is smart enough to have realized that I did not have anything to be gained financially and I would have told the jury everybody knew better then to ride behind babbleOn.

Franz R said...

My favorite nicknames for Jim Cossit are Jimmy Crashed Cossit and the Human Crayon.

The summer before I moved to Ames someone told me not to go on a ride with Cossit because I would be putting myself at risk. The first ride I went on in Ames, Cossit was there and while I briefly thought about the warning I figured how unstable could he be. I was riding behind Cossit about 3 miles into the ride and he got out of the saddle and flipped over the handle bars. I was impressed.

In Cossit's defense the mechanic who had put on his 7 speed cassette had not tightened down the outer lock ring so when he shifted into it and stood up the cog spun which is why he went over the bars.

the mostly reverend said...

hey, franz--
thanks for the laughs! it helps me get through the time it takes for my 600 am vicodin to take hold.

i sued the city because it had more money than babylon.

i remember that cause-it crash [along with many others].

Anonymous said...

Then there vwas the time Franz nailed a van with his water bottle as we gathered at Brookside for the 5 o'clock. All Franz could say was, "Aw man....Michael's gonna be SOOOO disappointed in me..."

Someone shoulda told the van driver he was driving like a girl.

That's funny shit right there....

-Rod

Anonymous said...

"Are you calling me Babbleon after the civilization or their god?" "Naw, it's cause you talk too much."