Scoot Commute

The Saga of the Spark Plug

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2014/09/17

How a normal person buys a spark plug

  • Goes to auto parts store
  • Tells clerk make & model of bike
  • Clerk looks it up
  • Clerk locates correct plug
  • Normal person pays
  • Normal person leaves store with the spark plug

How I buy a spark plug

  • Pull old plug and note number
  • Confirm fitment in manual
  • Go online to confirm what plugs fit
  • Write everything down on a sticky note
  • Go online to check what auto parts shop in Providence will have the plug
  • But still go to the shop I prefer even though the website showed nothing
  • Guy at the shop wasn’t particularly nice when telling me, “We don’t have it. I can order it.”
  • Get annoyed
  • Go to the gym
  • Stop at auto parts shop closer to home
  • Get in sorta line as folks aren’t very good at lining up at this shop
  • Wait as the two guys in front of me have the clerk (Isaiah) try to find a matching hose to the one they brought in
  • Watch as a guy attempts to make a return, only to be told that only the manager can do that
  • Watch as clerk yells for manager, Dustin, and receives no response
  • Watch as returning guy just sorta stands there, not knowing what to do
  • Laugh when clerk, after about 5 minutes, announces that Dustin must be outside
  • Watch as Dustin walks through the shop door
  • Clerk yells to Dustin to help the returner customer
  • Dustin yells over to me and asks what I need
  • I yell back I need a spark plug
  • He tells me to get in line behind returner guy
  • I don’t know why since hose guys are almost done
  • Oh, I failed to mention, this is all happening in Spanish, except when I’m spoken to
  • I get behind returner guy
  • Hose guys finish so Dustin tells me to go to my original clerk, Isaiah
  • I tell Isaiah the plug is for a motorcycle and he gives me a concerned look
  • Dustin tells Isaiah to cross-reference the number
  • It appears Isaiah doesn’t know how to do this
  • I point on computer screen at where I think he should click
  • He looks at me, and Dustin yells over that I’m correct
  • Success! Isaiah finds the cross-reference number
  • Unsuccess! Plug is not in stock, but it is at another store
  • Call the other store and confirm that yes, indeed, the plug is in stock
  • Leave the store and saddle up the Buddy
  • Get ready to ride down the curb into the parking lot
  • Front tire lands on the ground just as a red scooter with a “Buddy for Mayor” sticker drives speedily into the same spot, ridden by a guy with fabulous dreads and earbuds
  • He yells over “We’re sharing a spot” as I bust out laughing
  • Head down to yet another auto parts shop, not the sister store of the one I was just at, but one that showed the plug in stock online
  • Watch as Casby’s poodle hurdles across traffic-infested Elmwood Avenue
  • Continue to watch as Casby casually strides behind said dog into traffic
  • Arrive alive at the third auto parts shop
  • Stride in and immediately have the clerk ask me what I want, in a nice way
  • He looks up the plug information
  • Success! They have it in stock
  • $5.50 later, and after a “we stock a lot of motorcycle and scooter plugs because there are a lot around here”, I leave the shop with plug in hand
  • Spin Buddy back toward home
  • Notice a dirt bike riding behind me in rear view mirror
  • Move over to the left of lane as dirt bike appears to want to pass
  • Receive a flash of a smile and peace sign from guy riding an 80’s Honda XR 200
  • Honda XR continues to pass a bunch of vehicles in front of me before turning down a side street
  • I eventually make it to my street in one piece, spark plug safely tucked away in my left jacket pocket

Why, why does it take stopping at three shops, an excruciatingly long wait in one where it felt like I was in a Central American airport with all the different accents, to purchase one lousy plug for a Suzuki DR350? Why?

I thought living in a city was supposed to make things MORE convenient.

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One Response

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  1. Dirt_Bike_Zero said, on 2014/11/05 at 9:53 am

    My fancy pumpkin plugs cost $25 each, argh. That iridium spark must be SO much better though, yea right.


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