Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Shoppers may safely graze

New Hampshire edges cautiously toward contact commerce. Our shop prepares for limited shopping of our store stock. Shields are up.

My weekly trip to the grocery store was uneventful. I wouldn't have worried much if I hadn't learned from local law enforcement last week that my adversary in the snack aisle incident is a local career criminal considered dangerous. I stepped up my precautions accordingly, as much as one can, short of digging a hole and refusing to come out. Given his CV, I can only hope that his attention span is short. But I do know how energizing a good grievance can be. I've arranged a daily check-in with the cat sitter to make sure that my dependents are cared for in case I don't make it home.

Occasionally I revisit the question of whether to pack some heat when I go out on the bike -- or any other time, for that matter. The answer keeps being the same: by the time you know it would be justified, it will be too late. And it would be useless against 90 percent, or more, of the perils that beset us as riders. As emotionally satisfying as it might be to face down a charging SUV with a barrage of lead, that has way more wrong than right with it. Besides, they seldom come straight at you like that. Those situations evolve rapidly and chaotically. As for career criminals with a history of assault, I readily admit that his skills are probably more honed than mine when it comes to a dust-up. If he were to appear with a gun, the most effective response would be a more dramatic weapon, like a flamethrower.

Other retailers have experienced violent assaults here and there around the country as self-styled freedom fighters literally fight back against the strong request to wear masks and respect distances as the coronavirus romps unchecked. I doubt if anyone who shops at our little outpost would make that much of a fuss. We'll probably just get some pitying looks and snarky remarks from the free and the brave among our clientele. Or they won't show up, knowing that we're wussies, and needing nothing from us anyway.

The people who do need us continue to bring in broken things. Last week it was a suspension rebuild on a full suspension mountain bike and brain surgery on an old Campy Ergopower shifter along with the usual degreasing and reanimation of the dead. This week? Who knows? I have to get in there and see. The queue probably has not shrunk much while I was out. I keep meaning to do a wrap-up of all the curve balls that make up yet another normal week, but the pile of supporting photos has become daunting. I'm at least two weeks behind already.

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