The Beast

My wife Erin and I were driving the other day and I said “Katie should get a scooter!”
Katie is 14 and has her learners license, which is all that is required for a 49cc scooter. I had a scooter when I was 14 and could work in the next town without getting a ride from mom. 
I had independence and I LOVED it. 
I remember when a scooter tank gas fill went from $1 to $1.25 and my outrage at the government! Two trips to Carstairs on $1.25??? Outrageous!!! Communism!!!
My buddy Steve and I would take our scooters all over the countryside. We’d wrap .22 rifles in deerskins, stand them between our knees and arms and ride through town to a neighbour’s field. The deerskin was so the “Cops wouldn’t know it was a gun!”.
As funny as it sounds now, I’m 100% sure it was pretty common back then. One time an officer pulled up to our gopher field while we were shooting ON THE MAIN ROAD AROUND TOWN. Steve said “Uh oh” as he rolled his window down and said “Boys, think it’s a good idea to shoot a gun IN TOWN BY THE ROAD??”
Steve and I looked at each other blankly. 
“Maybe not? Sorry officer!” we said, got on our scooters, wrapped the rifle in the deerskin and relocated to a field with less police presence. 
I thought that Katie would love a scooter, but then I had an even better thought… Ailish her older sister should get in on it and so should Erin?!! 
I’m such a genius sometimes it’s a wonder people don’t bring it up when I’m around… 
Erin has been 50/50 getting her motorcycle license, which you know, but then she’d want to ride my limited edition Ducati and that’s pretty emotional for me. 
Also she might die riding a motorcycle and that’s VERY emotional and I should have said that first.
And in all honesty she’d rather ride on the back of mine and look at the scenery. 
Kill three birds with one stone by buying a single scooter they all share and pay two/thirds for?!
A good ol’ boy across town posted one on Kijiji. He traded his granddaughter her scooter for a car, because that’s what grandpas do sometimes. These things are selling for the same price they were purchased for years ago right now because people are bored and scooters are awesome, so I called him up. I had been looking for awhile at different brands, but knew for my wife to ride it it would have to look like a Vespa. 
Ok. Scooter that LOOKS like a Vespa but doesn’t COST like a Vespa. Check!
Enter this amazing scooter made in China that looks like something you rode to the beach in California in the sixties.
Erin was pressure washing the house (I’m still not sure why) when I told her we needed to drive across town before the seller found the exact scooter for sale for another $1000 in Calgary and jacked the price. 
Sadly, that moment Erin scared up “The Babiest Bunny Ever!!!” from beside the house and cost me a solid ten minutes of deal making time trying to squeeze the love out of it (she picked it up to find its mom from the forty bunnies in our yard daily while it shrieked like a dying pterodactyl and tried to bite her). 
We finally arrived at our destination, saw The Beast (the name won’t catch on) sitting in his ample driveway and the ol’ boy himself standing there smiling. 
I prefer to buy things from good ol’ boys in their own driveways. They’ll tell it to you straight with no BS because, well, you know where they live and they discovered a long time ago honesty was the best policy. 
I took it for a ride. It was exceedingly gutless. I seem to remember mine being wicked fast, but only because my friend Steve’s was 5 km/hr slower. He always insisted on racing but lost every time because his top speed was 55 and mine was 60. It’s ok, he’s had forty nicer vehicles since because of the time he lost forty races at the age of 14. 
I put one of the girls on the back and it went even slower. Then I started thinking: “Hey, maybe my old scooter was gutless too??” 
Also it could be noted by the motorcycle enthusiast my 150hp Ducati Multistrada has roughly 75 times the power of The Beast? 
All that to say the girls didn’t care at all about that because they’d decided the moment we drove into the yard they were buying it due to it being “Cute!!!!”. 
“What’s this going to hurt me?” I asked grandpa. 
“Well, here’s your price _____” he said. 
“Actually the girls are the ones buying it”.
“Oh” he said “their price is $100 cheaper” said the good ol’ boy with a smile. Insurance for The Beast is $4.50 a month. I was still angry at the government because a tank fill looks likely to be around $5, which is still communism. 
But now I have to teach non-farm girls how to ride a scooter. I walked them around it and went through the drill. Then said twenty times “If anything goes wrong pull the brakes and put both feet down!!!”
“Katie, you ride around Coopers Circle until you get the hang of it. Less traffic.” 
Literally less than a minute later I heard the whine of a gutless motor and saw a flash of chrome and baby blue surf-mobil go past my house in the opposite direction. 
“Where the heck is she goin’?” I said to Ailish. 
“Her friends lives over there.”
I laughed and said “That little stinker! She’s better not crash it!”
Well, so far so good. The Little Stinker has decided she’s driving it to school tomorrow. 
What am I going to say? She paid for it and at least she won’t have a suspiciously wrapped deerskin propped up with her…

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