Dec 23, 2009

A Most Un-American Idea

For the last month, I've been barraged with catalogs, junk mail, and e-mail all promoting the "top 10 things to buy for the motorcyclist in your life." It's a sad fact, but I am the only motorcyclist in my life for whom I'd be inclined to buy Xmas gifts. Even worse, there is nothing that I want that I don't already have.

This is my all time least favorite "holiday" in the history of humanity. From the Coca Cola inspired Santa Claus propaganda to the wash of weirdness that comes from marketeers hoping to make a buck off of sentimentality and religion, I have overloaded on Midwestern guilt and am now suffering an allergic reaction to the whole idea. Like a life-long drunk who suddenly develops an intolerance for alcohol, I have developed a knee-jerk intolerance for anything that attempts to inspire guilt. Every phrase that begins with or sounds anything like "you should feel . . ." trips an anti-sales reaction that eliminates me from the vicinity of the pitch-maker. From the sad sort of douche who listens to every phone salesperson's routine all the way to the end before saying "no thanks," I have mutated into someone who hangs up the phone in 1 second if I have the slightest notion that I'm about to hear from an automated phone message or an auto-dialed live sales squid.

If it weren't for the rare phone call I get from my kids and grand kids, I'd disconnect the phone altogether for the month of December. With an encouragement at all from my wife, I'd just yank the damn thing from the wall and be done with telephones for the rest of my life.

As for motorcycle paraphernalia, I have more of that stuff than I know what to do with. I don't need more riding gear, a new motorcycle, an old motorcycle, or anything other than another set of tires for when the V-Strom's current shoes wear out early next spring. There is a lot of cool stuff in the catalogs that I could imagine wanting, if I had room for more stuff, but I don't want any of enough to bother my family with making a list. If I wanted to buy stuff for myself, I'd do it anything but during the Xmas season.

And that is my most un-American idea; buy your stuff anytime but between Thanksgiving and Xmas. Wait for the end-of-year sales. Wait for the beginning-of-year sales. Wait for spring. Wait for summer. Wait for your birthday or your wife's birthday or your kid's birthday. Just wait out Xmas. Don't encourage this idiotic behavior, this national frenzy of guilty and irrational spending. Statistics demonstrate that $15 billion of the $40 billion spent every Xmas results in unappreciated and unwanted crap that most of us throw away rather than bothering to return to the store. If you know you are going to be wasting $0.37 out of every buck you spent, why are you still doing that?

Yeah, I know. "Bah humbug." It's true. Outside of giving to people who actually need help, the rest of this season is lost on me. I don't need help with anything but my grumpy attitude and that won't be likely to change until the damn "holiday season" is done with.

However, if you can't control yourself, the V-Strom tires are 110/80 19 front and 150/70 17 rear. Honestly, I don't care all that much what brand you buy me, as long as I don't have to buy them. I never look a gift tire in the tread. If I get my druthers, I'd druther have Metzler Tourances, but anything that fits will get me down the road. Since I don't do Xmas thank-you notes, I want you to know I appreciate the tires even if I don't take the time to tell you so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well played, sir! You had me going right up to the final paragraph. Maybe it's because thoughts akin to this blog have been residing in my head for so long now, too. I'm actually trying to come up with an appropriate greeting for this season. Possibly something along the lines of "Merry Lets-just-get-past-all-this-folderol!"

Keep us posted on the results of your pursuit of a gift of new rubber.

A fan in Tucson