Burning Out

This is what a burnout contest looks like

A couple years ago I worked at a scooter shop. Not a lame electric wheel-around-the-grocery-store thing, but vintage gas powered two-stroke oil burning Vespas. And among many other things we did there, we held a rally which had a burnout contest.

If you are not familiar with burnouts, its when you manage to keep the bike still while spinning the rear wheel furiously (the front isn’t powered). It makes a lot of noise and smoke and is generally the sort of thing boys like to do.

Some Harley guys came to the rally, they were friends of our Snap-On guy. Snap-On is like an ice cream truck but instead of selling ice cream, he comes by and sells you $30 screwdrivers. They’re very nice screw drivers. Anyway, so Snap-On guy brought his Harley friends with their big snazzy bikes.

In what could only be described as a show of supreme manliness, the 3 or 4 Harleys lined up against the curb and proceeded to do burnouts, producing more smoke and noise and burning rubber smell than any tiny little Vespa engine. And I suppose we were all quite impressed. And then flames started shooting out the tailpipe of one of the bikes. He’d blown a valve. That was the end of the burnout contest, and most of his engine.

That’s how I feel today. I’ve been going and going and going, and sometimes just spinning my wheels without going, and today I’m just burnt out.  I’d love to just declare the next few days vacation days, after all I’m my own boss, right? Not so much. Time is my boss, and man is he harsh. I’ve got until Friday to get everything ready for Spring Bada-Bing, a wholesale order I should have gotten out the door today (it’ll go out first thing in the morning, promise!) and another one I need to start on. That’s this week. Next week I have to finish packing up all my belongings and move from Brooklyn to New Jersey. Yeah.

It’s all doable, but I ran too hard to long and now I’ve blown a valve of some sort. The guy with the Harley had to get a friend to come tow his bike home. I’ve got my boyfriend to direct me through the evening: eat, relax, play video games, snack on leftover Easter candy. It’s nice to have someone else to bail you out when all you really feel like doing is pulling the covers over your head and singing lalalalala I can’t hear you to the mountain of work you have to do.

The funniest part about the Harley blow-up to all of us scooter kids was that Harleys are expensive. Blowing up your Harley’s engine is gonna cost a bunch to fix. Old scooters on the other hand are simple; they’re two stroke engines, they don’t really have that many moving parts. You could buy a brand new engine for what the Harley guy probably spent fixing his bike. My business is more like a scooter. It’s not like a web service where you’ve got to maintain 24/7 uptime, and nothing I do is so time sensitive it can’t wait until the morning. So I get away from my burnout-meltdown pretty cheap,  and with any luck I’ll be all fixed in the morning.

3 thoughts on “Burning Out”

  1. Hang in there!

    Sounds like you know what you’re doing. Here’s to pushing through the hard part (lifting imaginary glass) and enjoying life on the other side eventually.

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