Last weekend it was an absolutely stunning day in the Truckee Meadows. I have no idea what part of northern Nevada constitutes as the Truckee Meadows, but I’m going to assume it is the immediate Reno area around my house. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, it was 82 degrees and just the perfect day for a ride up to Lake Tahoe. I won’t go on about the trip to Pyramid Lake I did the day before, it’s strictly a Facebook affair and I’m not fond of mixing my social medias. I hate to always make these trips about food but the primary motivation was to get a gyro from Artemis Mediterranean Grill. Really the only reason to visit South Tahoe, unless you’re skiing or gambling. Since Nevada’s government is run by a bunch of backwoods xenophobic twits, you can’t get a decent gyro anywhere in the state. That sounds like crazy talk, I know. Surely they have vertical rotisseries in Reno where meat is sliced fresh and delivered to you in a football sized warm pita, smothered in tzatziki sauce, onions, and tomatoes. Alas, this is not the case. Health codes say that vertical spits are nasty little pathogen farms, so the gyro meat is served from moist heating trays in pre-portioned slabs. Usually 2-3 slices per sandwich. It’s just wrong on so many levels.
I consume my delicious gyro, but failed to take a nice photo, so I present to you a photo from the same restaurant 2 years ago…
I also did myself a favor and sampled the Turkish coffee…
If you’ve never had one, I highly recommend it. Super strong coffee with a bit of sugar and mix of spices that Marco Polo would envy.
I leave the restaurant, do my pre-ride check, plug my ear buds in, strap on my helmet, and bolt out onto the road. It soon becomes clear that I am a degenerate slob and that I have smeared tzatziki sauce all over my helmet’s visor…on the inside. Wtf?! It’s not long before the blurry streaks of blindness drive me nuts and force me off the road. I pull into a gas station. Before I can take my helmet off, a fucked up looking surfer dude is waving his hands and coming at me. He’s wearing an orange wife beater and orange flower patterned board shorts. He has the look of Anthony Kiedis after blowing truckers for meth money. All snaggle-toothed and greasy haired. He says to me “Great bike dooood! How many cylinders?” I reply that I have no earthly idea. He looks completely dumbfounded by this response. “Ha ha ha, are you renting it or what?” I say no, I own it. He says to me as he’s shaking his head “You must be rich, doooood!”
Or maybe I just don’t give a shit how many cylinders the thing has. I used to know all the specs of the Can-Am Spyder. Back when I read reviews and watched ride videos and when I took the thing for a test ride, I knew all there was to know about it. Because I’m so mechanically disinclined, I do everything I can to avoid doing my own maintenance. I like this bike too much to fuck it up with my incompetence. At least, that’s what I tell myself. In all honesty, it’s a lazy thing. Every time I pick up a power tool or screw driver my patience drops ten fold and I start to sweat profusely. I also have a tendency to smash and destroy things when they don’t go my way. Usually these things end in tears and tow charges. So, I leave these things to professionals. Does this make me a rich man? It got me to thinking about that. This freakish color blind Red Hot Chili Peppers guy got under my skin by accusing me of being rich. What is the definition of rich, these days?
Let’s talk about how “rich” I am. Yes, I’ve got a fancy expensive bike that I pay people to maintain and to care about how many cylinders it has, and to use synthetic oils, and to put $326 tires on it! If I was rich, I’d have been able to finance the thing through traditional means instead of a 401k loan. I bought it at the height of the financial downturn. The bank wanted 10% interest rate and then denied my request anyway. RICH!!! So, I borrowed from myself at 4%. Everyone says it’s a bad thing to do, I say screw them. It’s my money and I’m paying myself back. I certainly don’t feel rich. I don’t live extravagantly, take a look at the paint peeling off my house some time. Take a look at my mortgage payment which is probably three times over the value of the house. How about the 26% interest rate on my lovely credit cards? Rich is definitely a relative term. I seem as well off now as I did when I was working at McDonald’s as a teenager. I have more shit now than I did back then, but other than that, I don’t feel any different. Your lifestyle grows with your income. It never seems like I have extra cash to go off on expensive cruises or buy a new car every 3 years. The idea that I may be considered rich is insane.
I am of course blinded by my own relative comfort. I never worry about when I’m going to eat. I never worry about paying my bills. I never worry about having a roof over my head. I have the same job I’ve had for twelve years. My biggest concern lately is if I should put the new iPad on my debit card or credit card. A stressful decision, don’t kid yourself. If anything, I’m just out of touch with the rest of the world. I don’t have a million dollar yacht and I’m not living in public housing. I have no idea how those people get through their days. I’m guessing the stomach ulcers pop up in day laborer almost as frequently as the middle manager at a slot machine company. Stress is all relative. Wealth is relative. Of course more is better, I am American after all. More…more…MORE!!!
Gimme gimme gimme.
After a quick google search, I found out that the Can-Am Spyder Roadster has a 998cc Rotax V-twin engine. That’s 2 mother-loving cylinders, buddy. Now pardon me while I plan my next 2 hour drive to Tahoe for a $7 gyro!