Freaky Bicycle Guy

You can't have my bicycle!
You can't have my bicycle!


We like to think of the CowChows as a place of higher learning, and not just because it sits at the top of the hill. For example, I learned a valuable life lesson a little while ago. Actually, I re-learned it but like most good life lessons once is never enough.

You may recall that during this past Summer the neighborhood kids were torturing me daily by riding their four-wheelers up and down the road all day long; up and down, up and down, all day long. I’m not sure which was worse, the sound of the machine growling its way up the hill, the sound of it whining its way down the hill, or the two minutes in between when you couldn’t hear it but knew it was coming back. It was brutal because they took it in shifts and never let up. But, wanting to be a good neighbor and not do any permanent emotional damage to their young psyches, I smiled and waved and called them names they couldn’t hear.

Then one day, the little girl next door was out riding a bicycle. I told her how much I liked her bike and how pretty it was, and I praised her bike for being so wonderfully quiet. Over the next several weeks any time I saw her out riding her bike I was sure to tell her how nice it was and how much I liked it. It was working like a charm. Suddenly, the four-wheelers fell silent and all the neighborhood kids were riding bicycles. Peace came once again upon the CowChows, and it was great.

A little while ago I was out messing around in the yard and I looked up to see the little girl next door riding her bike. I waved and she waved back. I called out, “That sure is a nice bike you’ve got.”

She looked at me for a long moment, saying nothing. I was about to repeat my compliment when she suddenly screamed, “You can’t have my bicycle!” And, then she rode off as fast as she could go.

I realized that I had gone too far. I’d commented on her bike one too many times, and sometimes the difference between achieving the desired result and becoming the “freaky bicycle guy” is just knowing when to shut up.

Shortly thereafter, I began hearing growling and whining again. So far it’s just me, but I expect the four-wheelers to start up any time.

Best Regards,

Tim Couch

Take a breather

I hope your day is as sweet as honey on a fresh warm biscuit.

Just in case you’ve been in another dimension these past several weeks I thought you should know that these are stressful times. If you’re anything like me you’ve been overdosing on “News” recently just trying to figure out what’s going to happen next and how you can prepare for it. Well, I’m sorry to say I don’t have any answers either but I do have a little bit of advice.

I’ve gotten in the habit lately of having the “News” on almost all the time. When I’m working I put one side of a set of earphones on and the Talking Heads are constantly yammering in my ear. When I’m driving I have Talk Radio on. When I’m not working or driving I’m on the Internet reading “News” stories or blogs. I really hadn’t realized until yesterday afternoon how tense I was getting by listening to all the noise.

I was in my office with the computer screen in front of me and the earphones cocked over my head when my wife called. “What are you doing?” she asked.
For some reason instead of telling her I replied, “Nothing. What would you like to be doing?”
“Let’s go look at some rocks,” she said.

A few minutes later we hopped in the pick-truck and drove a few miles to a place we know where the road is dirt, the traffic is light, and the only noise is the birds and the breeze in the trees. We parked near a spot where the road was cut through a rock outcropping and the runoff from the rains had piled up a considerable amount of gravel. We milled about for a while, poking and digging, but eventually we just sat down in the middle of a rock pile. We probably picked up every rock within arms reach and studied the colors and the shapes and the fossilized critter patterns, and we just talked.

At some point while I sat there like a kid in a sandbox I noticed how tired I was, and how relaxed I was getting, and how at peace I felt. It was like I could feel the earth pulling the tension right out through my butt. Eventually, we noticed the Sun had dropped behind the hill and dusk was coming on, so we helped each other to our feet and started for home.

So, here’s my advice. Stay informed, stay involved, stay plugged in, but every so often pull the plug and reconnect with just being at peace. It doesn’t have to take much time and it doesn’t need to cost any money. Just take a breather.


Tim Couch