Magic 8-Ball Says: Four Wheels for You

IMG_3976I put my motorcycle up for sale on Craigslist, with the mental waffle that if it doesn’t sell or I can’t get a decent offer for it, I’ll keep it around a while longer. Whether it goes or stays, though, I’ve mostly stopped riding. For the first time since my teens, I can envision a future without a motorcycle in it.

My right knee, replaced three years ago, stiffened up despite diligent PT. I went on a post-surgery gypsy tour through the Navaho Nation, Utah, and Nevada with my son Gregory, and while I didn’t want to admit it to myself, knew then my riding days were coming to an end. Worse than discomfort, I no longer feel safe on the bike. The stiff knee makes it difficult to get my toe on the rear brake pedal, and I’ve been relying on the front brake hand lever alone to stop. The day a cager coming the other way hooks a sudden left turn into my path, I may not be able to stop in time. That right there is a compelling reason to give up riding, and I have to be a grownup about it.


Now that I’m paying attention to book banning and censorship again, I decided to read and review some of the books targeted by conservative parents, starting with Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” and Maia Kobabe’s graphic memoir “GenderQueer.” More on those in a future You Can’t Read That! post.

Speaking of YCRT!, when I link to news reports and other outside sources, I try to avoid paywalled material. If I can’t open a New York Times or Washington Post link, I have to assume you can’t either. Sadly, paywalls are percolating down to local news sources as well, and it’s getting harder and harder to find open source stories about book banning and censorship. So this is an appeal … if you come across an open source article I might be interested in for a YCRT! post, please contact me with the link. Thanks! And big thanks to my California friend who subscribes to the NYT and WP and helps me discover what they’re reporting. Thanks to him I get to read those stories, and while I may choose not to link to them, I can quote the important parts in YCRT! columns.


Donna had planned to spend a couple of weeks in early December visiting her sisters in Michigan, but vaccination has reared its ugly, divisive head. One sister claims health issues keep her from getting vaccinated (narrator: bullshit) so the trip is off. Donna’s on terminal hold with American Airlines now, trying to cancel her flight reservation.

Families all over are self-separated over vaccinations. It, along with Trumpism and QAnon beliefs, has become a 21st century Mason-Dixon line. We’re Pfizered and boosted, but why push our luck sharing droplet-laden air with anti-vaxxer relatives? If there’s a more likely target demographic for COVID-19 than our age group, we haven’t heard of it.

So far, then, our winter travel plans are modest. We’re having Thanksgiving at home with our daughter Polly and our friend Mary Anne, then driving to Las Vegas to spend Christmas weekend with our son Gregory, daughter-in-law Beth, and grandchildren Taylor and Quentin. Staying strictly within the bubble of vaccinated family and friends, we are. You?

Our big issue now is whether to take all three dogs with us to Vegas, or board two with our friend Millie (who has dachshunds of her own) and just take Mister B. Fritzi and Lulu have been fine on short trips around town, but we don’t know how they’ll do on an all-day road trip. Mr. B’s made the trip several times and has never had an accident. I’m for just taking him, but Donna wants to take them all. Who will win? Well, we all know the answer to that; no Magic 8-Ball needed.

© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Magic 8-Ball Says: Four Wheels for You

  • My brother is 67 and still riding a fire eating Suzuki 1000 which scares me though I understand the fun. I loved riding too but reached your not-feeling-safe point after crashing my BSA Victor big thumper in 1971. Rebuilt it but the thrill was gone. Good you know when to hang up the skid lid. Good luck with the sale.
    ‘Tod’ recently posted…Disapproving SquirrelMy Profile

  • I have now met two types of “the unvaxxed”: the militantly ignorant, and the truly uncertain.
    The M.I.s cannot be addressed – they know everything. One acquaintance recently posted that: Moderna has been banned in the US, the lady in the next cubicle from her (she was in hospital for something else) “got a big rash” from her vaccination, a teenage boy she knows “got a heart condition from the vaccination”, & that members of parliament here aren’t required to be vaccinated “and that tells you everything!!” (Except, of course, that they are required to!).
    The T.U.s are more open to information – although of course some of the “information” they get is from people like the M.I. above! But another acquaintance just needed friends to volunteer to phone her at intervals after her Astra Zeneca shot, to check that she wasn’t developing blood clots. Another welcomed the information that the vaxes were not really “rushed through”, but in fact had been in prototype development for some 20 years. Someone else was moved to know that someone *they* knew really did catch Covid, & was still suffering from it, so yes, it was real.
    Others may be moved to action by the simple fact of not being allowed into many restaurants, theatres, & even shops.
    Not sure which type your relatives are – but hoping they do come to their senses before they catch anything.

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