In the olden days – ie prior to last week – whenever Husband went biking he had to drive out to Arabian Ranches to pick up Mark’s trailer, bring it home, load his bike on it, drive to the desert, unload the bike, pose, conduct aerial stunts, hump the bike back onto the trailer, drive home and unload the bike, drop the trailer back to Mark and drive home again.
In fairness, just typing that exhausted me, never mind actually doing it. Roughly every three months, Andrew would say: “Hey, I’ve got a great idea! How about I buy a bike trailer?”
It was always heart-rending watching the light in his little eyes slowly die as the voice of reason (me, in case you were in doubt) listed the reasons not to: (1) there’s nowhere to keep it; (2) no, it won’t fit in the cupboard under the stairs even if you throw out your vintage collection of Phillips screwdrivers and half of your boxes of Stuff; (3) no you can’t bloody store it in the bloody living room; (4) we’re leaving the country in 12 months/ 9 months/ 6 months anyway; (5) it’s summer so you won’t use it enough to justify the expense; (6) it’s winter so . . . well, I can’t think of any reason relating to winter, but please revert to reason #1 and repeat loop.
About four months ago, Andrew discovered a device that could attach onto the back of the Yukon – similar to a side-mounted bike rack but for a motorbike. The only trouble was that it required a rear tow hitch for support and the Yukon didn’t have one.
After a couple of weeks wherein Andrew diverted phenomenal amounts of energy towards muttering about what sort of a four wheel drive doesn’t have a rear tow hitch, and what sort of person would buy the sort of four wheel drive that doesn’t have a rear tow hitch, and that’s not to MENTION the fact that it only has two doors, Andrew asked me to call GMC and ask how much a tow hitch with 2” receiver would cost. You might wonder why I was required to call GMC – in fact, I wondered as much myself – but at that stage I would have placed a reverse charge call to Osama Bin Laden if it would only stop the griping for the love of god.
GMC said they didn’t have a tow hitch in stock; they could order one, but it would take a couple of months to arrive, cost US$ 450. Andrew converted the griping to thankfully largely silent inner reflection and eventually – I’m not sure why – he decided not to purchase the tow hitch. Perhaps he felt he would miss the conversational outlet afforded by the great trailer debate.
Fast forward four months, when Andrew spotted an advert on the Spinneys notice board for a second-hand motorbike carrier.
“Let’s go and look at it,” he suggested.
I thought he was going to gaze wistfully at it, prod and shake it, maybe smell it for a while, but US$ 260 later Andrew emerged with the motorbike carrier.
Of course he couldn’t use it, because we still had no tow hitch. Andrew suffered a delayed reaction, and then one day shortly afterwards, he called me from work:
“Niamhie! Niamhie! I need a tow hitch.”
“Jesus, not this again.”
“Yes but, I need a tow hitch.”
“What the hell am I supposed to do about it-”
“Glad you asked. Call GMC and tell them you want a tow hitch-”
“I CALLED them ages ago, remember? It’ll cost US$ 450 and if it’s not in stock, it’ll take them up to two months to get one-”
“Oh no, that’s no good.”
“Well, when do you want it?”
I rolled my eyes so vigorously, I’m sure he heard it down the phone.
“And hang on- why am I calling GMC? YOU bloody call GMC!”
“No, you have their number.”
“Here! I’ll give it to you!”
“You have a relationship with Moorthy-”
“I bring my car in, he services it! I’m not sleeping with the man-”
“Aw Niamhie!” Yes, can you believe it? He took out the wheedle. “Aw! Aw! Aw Niamhie! Come on, you KNOW you’re so good at this sort of thing-”
“Phoning? It’s not that difficult, you know. Almost foolproof, even.”
Of course, I ended up calling Moorthy, who put me onto John in the workshop. There were no tow hitches in stock. I thought of Andrew’s disappointment, the light dying in his bleak little eyes, the incessant brain-melting bitchin’ 24/7.
“Listen, is the item stocked in any of your other workshops?”
“I’m afraid not, Madam.”
“Ok. What about a second-hand tow hitch? You have any of those lying around?”
“No Madam, but I can check.”
Andrew didn’t take the news well: “Did you shout at him?”
But then John called back and – wonder of wonders – he had found a second-hand tow hitch (probably boosted from some truck out back). He said it would be in the workshop for collection by 11:00am. It was US$ 270, but because we had such a good relationship (no, I’m not sleeping with him, either) he would give me a 35% discount, which would make it US$ 170.
Andrew collected and installed the tow hitch the same day. I am glad to report that meaning has returned to his life – and peace to mine