Monday, February 13, 2012

Won't Start

A man is selling a bicycle.
A friend has had her bike taken without her permission and needs a replacement.
I road-test it by pedalling as hard as I can and pulling on the brakes to stop it.
This exhausts my technical knowledge and I bargain and we agree on a number that makes us both content, if not exactly happy.
The seller is distracted many times by a ringing phone.
It's a smartphone, I note.
"I said it will not start. I don't know why," he says with shorter patience each time.
I say the bike starts for me, it's a pedal bike.
He looks at me as a simpleton. "The car won't start, the one I'm selling. I said so in the ad, and they haven't stopped ringing ever since."
Who? I ask
Buyers, he says, they all wonder why the car won't start.
"More people want to buy a car that won't start than do a car that will start," he says. "Do you want that bike wrapped?" he asks me as a prelude to seeing the back of me.
I say no thanks and wheel the bike away.
Storytelling here

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