I sit here a few hours away from getting on the highway to go build some bicycles for the Americans. I’m back in the Circle Mine again and happy to be. I’ve somehow always been able to count on bikes pretty much being the same, me still having all my fingers, and the pay being just enough to keep me off of food stamps.
This joint is a far cry from the Arizona Salt mine, but there are some similarities, namely the foreigners with whom I have the pleasure of turning wrenches. At the AZ salt mine there was a fucked up import of an owner — a pudged-out, pepperoni-neck with a calzone for a brain that came to America or Canada or some shit with a crescent wrench and a block of parmesan, raced a couple of crits back in the 70′s and then somehow made a go of the whole cycling biz. At the Circle Mine we have Henry. Equally epic, but in other ways. Henry came to America with a hook spanner, a goat, some children, and a block of Fresca. Same story, different cheese. He’s pretty legendary at the Circle Mine and all of its satellite mineshafts for things like saving copper staples out of bicycle boxes, hoarding aluminum cable tips, traveling 3 hours a day round-trip via bus to earn $20 — you know: hard-headed, foreign dewd shit like that. One thing in common between Mr. Pepperoni and Captain Chorizo is that they’ve both been in the country for a couple of decades and would still probably get D’s in ESL class.
Whatever. I’m not trying to say anything harsh about undocumented residentos in specific. They bring a much needed dose of culture to our cardboard empire. I’m simply saying that one of the beauties of our continually evolving culture is the chance to get to work with such characters. I’m pretty sure that Henry, Domenic Mr. Pepperoni, and any cracker-ass-college-jock bike shop dewd could laugh for hours together at the shape of banana. Maybe my next rant can be about how that kind of stupid shit unquestionably insures a pathetically female-free workplace.