Monday, August 08, 2011

things are not as they seem, continued

The law

Ed and I stop at Engelhart's. He has a battery to pick up for his thirty-plus year Honda motorcycle (a 200, for those who care).
You want to get out and look around?
No, I’m recovering.
He’s inside, I glance at the parking lot. Oh my, that is one hell of a cute moped out there!


I get out to look. Man oh man, I can see myself scooting on this to work. Face it, it’ll be a rare day that I bike to campus and back on my bicycle. One hour each way is a real disincentive on super busy work days.

I go inside and say to Ed – I should consider a moped.
A moped? We can find you an old one on the Internet.
I like the red one outside. Nice and shiny and new. It would save me in parking. In two years, it would be practically paid off. (I do not really want to plunk down two thousand plus on a moped, but it's good to dream every now and then.)
We go look at the scooter. Ed returns inside to talk to the sellers. In a minute he's back.
I want you to hear what these guys are saying about riding that thing. Inside now. Go ahead, tell her.

Well, it’s a 30 mph bike. And sure, there’s this ancient law that says you cannot take it out on any street with a speed limit over 25 mph. But it’s like “you can’t take a donkey to the voting booth when the sun is out and it's a Tuesday” – a weird law that makes no sense anymore and so everyone ignores it. Cops do not ticket mopeds, so long as they’re not on highways.
But I need it to go out on County MM. That’s a 50 mph in certain places. So forget it. There is no way to get to the farmhouse except to go on a higher speed road.
But really, because we have so many students – in Waunakee, Fitchburg, cops do not ticket mopeds around here.
Thanks, but I can't buy something that is going to cause me to violate the law on a daily basis.
You don’t want a new moped anyway. (This from Ed who is, of course, correct.)

The visit

The reason I had said earlier “I’m recovering” is because I had just spent several hours in the hospital (granted, so did Ed) for reasons of mix-ups, miscommunications and inexplicable inconsistencies. The upshot is that a fantastic doctor took hold of years of scattered work and put it all together but, to be thorough, told me I needed more biopsies. And so from what I thought would be a routine office visit, I went straight into surgery. This time the results were quick and conclusive (for now). I'm good.

In medical jigsaw puzzles, things are not always what they seem. Some pieces may be pushed under the carpet until someone, down the road (my brilliant physician today) uncovers them and wonders why they’re there to begin with.

My "take away" (to use my students' phrase du jour) from this day: know your moped laws and don't look for easy answers. In the alternative, coast and see what happens. No, maybe not that. Let’s go back to the first and tweak it a bit: understand the law and, as best as you can, find all pieces of the puzzle that is you.

Tonight’s the night to chill and open up the carton of rosé I brought back from the Dordogne. I'm hell of a lucky person.


UPDATE: You would think that a motorbike salesman would know the law on moped use. You'd think. FYI, you CAN ride a moped on a county road, or on city streets with higher speed limits. Phew! Trust professionals, only do get a second opinion.