Friday, August 5, 2011


Somewhere inside the Beltway in Our Nation's Capital, 8/4/2011:

17:53 Some Guy In Silver Spring (SGISS) puts up a Washington DC Craigslist ad for nice old road bike (NORB) for $150.

robatsu, also in Silver Spring, sees ad and is smitten with unbearable longing, especially since NORB is his size.

20:04 robatsu checks timestamp on ad, realizes that 2 hours and 11 minutes, three eternities on the Washington DC CL market, means this NORB is a goner, but a Hail Mary can't hurt. Sends email saying I want your NORB, gives full name and cell # like good Boy Scout.

After robatsu reflects on the email he wrote and CL dynamics, he concludes he should have been even more explicit and writes another response to ad, reiterating so long as NORB's frame has no dents or significant disfigurements, he will buy it and meet SGISS at his convenience.

But robatsu is realistically pessimistic about the time delay.

21:00 No mail from SGISS in inbox.

22:00 No mail from SGISS in inbox. robatsu concludes that this was a lost opportunity and resolves to spend lots more time on CL.

22:42 Mail from SGISS in inbox. robatsu opens it in hopeful trepidation, but SSGIS sends word that wow, this NORB is popular and that SGISS has Some Other Guy (SOG) coming over tomorrow to look at it and that robatsu is about 5th or 6th in line and, well, sorry....


23:11 robatsu, perhaps unrealistically and in denial, feels there is still a bit of daylight in "SOG coming over tomorrow to look at it". He sends email that says, in essence, "listen up pal, I don't want to look at your NORB, I want to buy your NORB" and restates conditions of meet at convenience and no dents/disfigurements. For good measure, robatsu ups the ante to $200.

23:22 SGISS responds in email, "Wow, this must be some NORB. Ok, I can meet you tonite" and suggests the fountain along Ellsworth Dr. in Downtown Silver Spring in 20 or 30 minutes. robatsu is thrilled beyond words.

23:27 robatsu sends email agreeing and asks SGISS to ring robatsu to confirm.

23:29 As robatsu is donning his shoes to leave - his house is Japanese Threaded - SGISS rings and confirms that he will be at the Ellsworth Fountain at midnite.

23:30 robatsu is underway in his truck, figures he can hit the BOA drive through ATM on Spring Street.

23:36 BOA Spring Street ATM is out of service. robatsu feels a tinge of uncertainty, heads for Citibank walk-up ATM at Georgia and Seminary which is in the opposite direction as Ellsworth Fountain.

23:41 Citibank ATM at Georgia and Seminary helpfully informs robatsu that he is trying to make a withdrawal with his old ATM card. robatsu, who almost never uses ATM cards, experiences full blown panic, heads back to truck wondering where in the heck in the pile of mail from last sojourn in Japan a new ATM card may be and excruciatingly aware of the ticking clock.

23:42 robatsu has bright idea sitting in truck, finds a shiny, new-looking red ATM card in wallet that says BOA and walks back to ATM.

robatsu is back in truck with necessary cash and proceeding with dispatch for Ellsworth Fountain.

23:49 robatsu arrives Ellsworth Fountain.

23:52 SGISS arrives Ellsworth Fountain. Looks like nice early middle aged fellow, somewhat perplexed at the frenzy his NORB has created. While robatsu does standard checks for dents/damage, he honestly & forthrightly explains the situation. SGISS seems satisfied with this solution to his NORB mystery.  robatsu is satisfied with the condition of the NORB.

23:57 Money is exchanged, hands are shaken. robatsu proceeds to load NORB in truck, SGISS heads out for home seemingly a happy man that his NORB has gone to someone who appreciates it.

robatsu arrives back home, unloads NORB into garage, admires it a bit. A little more small scratchy and scattered small rust than on the pristine stuff he usually favors, but more than acceptable and certainly presentable as is. Decals are great. Looks again for dents, no dice.

00:32 robatsu sits down and begins reconstructing timeline for historical record.


ironhill2whlr said...

sooo, after that unbearable, artfully rendered build-up of exquisite suspense & tension (said situation being not altogether unknown to most of us)'re not gonna tell us what NORB you got or share a photo? cruel,man...just cruel. have been following your other adventures for a while now...will wait with 'bated breath 'til the reveal, i suppose...keep writing!

robatsu said...

Stay tuned....