This is my bike on my front porch:
It’s mine. It’s bought and paid for. Cash on the counter, walked out the door. Done. Nobody can take it away, there are no payments to miss.
There are many people out there who will never know what a stack of 50 Hundred Dollar bills feels like, let alone plunk much of it on the counter in exchange for a bicycle. I did though. Because I could. It was the first major purchase I’d ever made that didn’t have to be financed.
That’s a new bike, it costs less than $90. Oh, there would be a bike but that’s only because I wouldn’t have had a license to drive… and because all of my money would go to staying loaded. As for a front porch, I can’t even fathom… I doubt I’d be living in a cardboard box but it wouldn’t be good. I was out of decent options 25 years ago, I can’t even imagine how bad it would be now. I can say this; It’s spooky. Of course, that is to say if I were still alive at 45. The doctor’s prognosis wasn’t that good before I quit – he said if I’d kept up I would die of cirrhosis before my 30th birthday.
There’s another dimension to this story though.
I have no one to blame but myself for being a drunk or for the fact that I ended up with one foot in the gutter. If I were dishonest, I could put it on my debacle at college or that one time my mom sat me on the toilet seat sideways. Oh, wait! I could blame it on my genes, or would that be my jeans?
There are a growing number of people out there who would complain, without even knowing anything about me, that nobody but a racer should need a bike as nice as mine, that I should be paying more tax rather than enjoying a Saturday ride on something so pricey.
I have had that suggested by a tag along in our group once. He was sore that his son had college debt while I was able to ride a nice bike. Seriously.
Ironically, two days later he told me about his plans for building a pole barn in his back yard, that they’d already broken ground on it. Oddly, the budget on his pole barn was more than six times the cost of my bike. In his twisted world he needed a $35,000 pole barn but my bike was beyond the pale.
People such as these, who live by envy, egomaniacs with an inferiority complex, are dispicable. They are a cancer to freedom and decency the world over.
I am normally quite mild mannered, slow to anger, until someone who knows nothing about me tries to explain why he or she better knows how to spend the money I’ve toiled for.
Ladies and gentlemen, the person who made that comment to me got both proverbial barrels. I hammered him so hard he was left to mumbling, “There are two sides to every story.”
To which I responded, “Yeah, my right side and your wrong.”
Such is the politics of greed, envy and ignorance. Don’t stand for it. Unless the guy saying it carries a walking stick, has a beard and wears a simple robe and wears sandals… and goes by Jesus. Otherwise, check to make sure you’re not standing in a glass house holding a rock, first.