Bogri And The Moped Kid

Stop chucking it out of bus windows, sonny.

- Bogri

Early evening, before the blokes who buy me beer were at the local, I was cleaning old oil off the vinny and putting it back in the tin when quiet thoughts of past burnups and future screws were mildly interrupted by the village idiot's young son on a screaming fifty. On his third fly past I spared a glance to see if he was riding it or blowing it. The silencer was off which accounted for the high noise and low speed. I continued a few minor adjustments with a handy half brick. On his next circuit he rode past, stopped, did a five point turn all over the pavement and jerked back to where I was pushing a used (footpeg) rubber down a drain.

"Ay up mate." he squeaked, "Ay up, mate. D'y'know anyfin about bikes mate?" accompanied by one hundred decibels reminiscent of a cat with its t****s caught in the spokes. Fortunately being tone deaf above a frequency of twice a night, I had no trouble understanding his question and having been a sprog long ago, I thought I'd give the benefit of hard won experience.

"What's your problem, sonny?" A sharp clunk on his knuckles with the monkey wrench from behind my ear caused him to drop the clutch and the moped died. Blessed silence.

"It ain't going very fast." Bright kid. "Runs out of power at sixty."

"Stop chucking it out of bus windows, sonny."

"No, honest. And it's drinking petrol."

"You mean that bicycle's got a motor?"

"No kidding - can y' give me any advice?"

I strolled back to the vinny and began picking up the gear. The kid followed up the entry.

"First of all take off them whopping mirrors and blinking trafficators." I said, passing him the hedge shears out of my tool roll. "Then get a pair of narrow drop handlebars. Tape all the cables up neat and close. Chuck away all them stupid pedals and lace up some smaller wheels. Put on short suspension units and chisel off all the lights and other trash."

"Yeah!" he croaked, eyes wide and glazed.

"Smooth all the lines with a big bastard file and lard on lots of grease or vaseline."

"Yeah, OK. Will that make it go faster?" enthusiasm festered uncontrollably down his trouser leg.

"Nope," I said, savouring the moment, "but it should help 'cos next time you come farting round here disturbing my peace and wasting my time I'm gonna shove the sod up your a***'ole!"


Ben Crossley