118 Shiny Things

Shiny Things


Park on the Boulevard

By: Layton Park

When I bought a new motorcycle, I looked at every make and model, studied the specifications, checked out the reliability, investigated the prices, and how well they held their resale value. Then armed with all this information, I bought the one with the most chrome.  I didn’t know why I did at the time. After all, I now have to spend as much time shining it as I do riding it. I was just attracted to it. We have come along way from just having a choice between a black bike completely covered in shiny new grease and oil or a black bike covered with a layer of not shiny dust stuck to the grease and oil. It was as though there was something in my genes that forced me to choose the shiny one.

Finally, my fourteen-year-old son cleared up the mystery for me. A young girl invited him to a birthday party and he asked if I would drive him down to the mall to buy her a present. I asked what he was going to buy her and he said, “I don’t know, I will just find something shiny because girls are like birds, they like shiny things.”

So that it is.  I am genetically attracted to shiny things, not because I like them but because I am programmed to do so in order to perpetuate the species.  Thanks, son!  Isn’t is scary that he discovered that at such a young age and had to explain it to his father?  I guess that explains why he is number five.  Good thing for him I didn’t discover that myself fifteen years ago and quit giving his mother shiny things. It may also explain where all the spare change from the dresser goes and why even though my head is beginning to get shinier, she still likes me, but as my old English teacher would say, again I digress.

If I may wander for even a moment longer, it pleases me to think how it would freak the old teach out if she actually knew I was now writing as a career?  Best of all, I do it breaking all the old rules she taught me and some folks still read it.  Maybe I should start an outlaw writing gang…. There, I am done now, where was I… oh yeah, shiny things.

So what have we learned today… yes, once again it is women’s fault that we have to spend so much money buying chrome things for our bikes.  Us men pretend that we are doing it for ourselves but the truth is if a couple of good looking women showed up at Tim Horton’s, walked past all the shiny hardware and asked some goofus on dull green, oil leaking, world war-two Russian army surplus bike if they could have a ride… well, all the other men would begin trading their rides in the next day.

But don’t fear that won’t happen because women know the power of shiny and that men can be tricked.  They understand how the shiny theory works so they let us have the shiny bikes as a token of their appreciation because they know they can get better shiny things just by winking.  Things like diamond rings and necklaces. Men, on the other hand, don’t completely understand the theory and that is why so many buy them new stainless steel appliances for their lady on that special day and don’t understand why they have to spend the night on the not so shiny couch.

This is an important lesson, men trust me, I know this, not because I am a guru but because I have bought a lot of shiny things for my wife.  These things were good things, too, like the used ski-doo I bought her for Christmas, a thirty-year-old Yamaha I gave to her for Mother’s Day, a new boat motor for Valentine’s Day and the tent trailer for her birthday.  I still don’t understand why she turned her nose up at it, I am sure she could repaired the canvas if she really tried.  Anyway, as a result I had a few nights alone to contemplate this theory.

Shiny things are good, so buy all the chrome you want, but don’t buy shiny things as a gift for the wife unless she can wear it.  This really hit home this Fathers Day when she gave me a shiny new present and if any of you guys want to see a German made washer and dryer with stainless steel drums drop by the house this weekend where I will be polishing them right after I wax my ride.

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