Another day, another spike in my fucking eye.

look — it’s not like i’m not grateful for the opportunity to be doing some shit for money.  all bunch of fools are hard up for the greenback these days.  it’s just that, um, i keep ending up here.

for years, for me, the smell of vulcanized rubber was accompanied by other nice smells: youth, orange blossoms, coffee, and the smell of bananas ever so vaguely eminating from the little puddles of tri-flow on so many work benches in the 10:00 am sun.  legs or head on fire,  depending on whether i had woken up 2 hours or 2 minutes before the salt mine would take my number.

these days, that combo of smells just ain’t quite here.  like i said, i’ll take a dollar.  i’ll take a couple.  it’s just that it’s not really the smell of success.  it’s not the fault of the bikes, it’s not the industry or even the economy.  it’s just how shit is.  i can’t make my little stack of company store coupons any bigger than it was when i was twenty fucking two.

sore ego, not sore legs.  this old fucking head doesn’t feel pain anymore.  this time around, shop life for me is just a tired and sore back. an indication of poor core professional fitness.  better sharpen that shit up, is all i’m saying.

the safe haven of youth that used to pay my bills and get me high is not here any more. it’s just not.  there ain’t no place on this side of the counter for me any more, right?  whatever.  i’ll be back when i’m 40, pretending to care about whether or not your rear gorilla clicks, or your goose neck be skwawkin’.  back at my house the lights won’t even flicker.

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About Snake Hawk

good, bad, funny, sad, stupid, rad, has, had. non-joining funhaver from coast to coast(er brake). buster of the chops, drawer of the logos. North Carolina, USA

24 thoughts on “Another day, another spike in my fucking eye.

  1. Been in the corporate world for 17 years. I miss the banana smell. I miss the fucking puncture wounds from frayed cables. I miss the smell of rubber. There is a baseline odor common to all good bike shops.

    I make a bit more money now but I am not any happier. The extra money buys a bit more comfort an ironically nicer bikes but I am no happier with my job.

    The best job I ever had was here: http://www.westedman.com/ and that was a lot of jobs ago.

  2. I’m no tenured professor, but perhaps it’s time to do something else for a while to realize that waking up at the crack of 10 – to earn a live’able wage playing with toys… Isn’t such a bad way to make a few bucks? Even if it is just a few bucks.

    In the meantime, if you do decide to stay…. Smile – you might change someones life.

    Cheers,

  3. so long as you’re not chasing the carrot… good on you.

    sure, it takes a buck or three to be. but to be happy is free.

  4. Dude I’m 22 and that’s exactly how I feel turning up to the wrong side of the bikeshop counter everyday. If you’re not loving it it’s the worst place to be.

  5. I miss that old safe haven. Wake-up, school & ride…2:00-10:00pm bike shop mechanic, go out and close the bars…repeat. Although no money was stashed…life was simple. Fantasy land it was. Now it’s more money, but more bills and less fitness. Keep your head up.

  6. 1) Been in that exact state of mind before. 22 years as a wrench now. Still don’t own a house.
    2) Somebody call the Whambulance.
    3) Staying outside the supercorporate world is worth something deep inside your soul.
    4) That banana smell is awesome. Nothing like a “banana flush” to get that old shifter working again.

  7. How is Chet Belchmorebeer gonna get his Giant Boulder fixed in time to make it to his 3:40 snore-fest if you’re not there to fix his bike? Sometimes you are changing lives, not just flats…son. Take a B3 break it sounds well deserved.

  8. Yo. I left my pile of soggy sorority sweats there in the corner. Go nuzzle up. Remember what being a pussy smells like.

    Then get back to werk.

  9. Tell you what…I work corporate, no windows, fluorescent lights, climate control. I design sh*t that sells to Walmart and the military industrial complex. I swallow my pride, aesthetics and morals in the twenty feet before the front door every day. Is it a fair trade for the skins? Maybe. The wrecking ball of stress over rent/food/clothes is gone (awesome), but like Charlie Sheen in ‘Wall Street’ I don’t know who I am anymore…And that shit is fucked up. So what’s better: have money & less self respect, or poor and punk rock? I can’t say.

    yeah, that’s right, I brought up ‘Wall Street’.

  10. Imagine you’ve never worked in a bike shop. Imagine that this means that you will never get your foot in the door of a bike shop. Imagine that the only way you’ll ever get to work in a bike shop is if you plunk down $50,000, and open your own. Imagine that (like me) you’d be willing to suck three dicks at the same time for a job in a bike shop… then go to work with a different point of view. Bring doughnuts – not the ones from Dunkin but that little mom and pop doughnut shop. Be happy you work in a bike shop. Some of us design Wal Mart displays, or work selling Rock Star energy drinks and gasoline.

  11. …unconscious on the ground…revived w/ maybe 30 to 60 sec of life left w/ the solution being a major fucking heart operation & at this point, i just try n’ do a damn good job at whatever i’m doin’, w/out too much whining & if i can put a smile on the face of a person or two by the end of each day, i call that a fucking bonus…

    …plenty of folks w/ a lot more n’ me in this life but finding happiness w/ what ‘cha got & the friends ya share it w/ ain’t ever gonna be a negative…

    …just sayin’…

  12. I work from home in a town I haven’t lived in long, travel a few days a week, however, some weeks I don’t even have actual contact with another human being. Fuck my neighbors. The g/f comes in on the weekends, if she’s not working and those few hours are sweet. But, you gotta do what you gotta do, and get shit done, right. It might weigh a ton but there’s always a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, pot o’ gold, some beers…you get the point. And to think, I thought my first year out of college was going to be way cooler, considering I might have a little cash! At least I love what I do and thats enough satisfaction for me.

    “Life’s a garden…dig it”
    -Joe Dirt

  13. the unemployed Says:
    …Imagine that the only way you’ll ever get to work in a bike shop is if you plunk down $50,000, and open your own.
    -dude, you’ll need to double that. and then some.
    I am a corporate restaurant world escapee, opened my little slice the bike world 2 years ago. There are days that I feel like Snake Hawk, but not many.

  14. Don’t worry, it all becomes relative after the vasectomy. It is only then that you gain proper perspective on “how things used to be.”

  15. listen, when was this fucking site ever the FuckYeahmbulance. jesus. all bitches do up here is bitch. so fucking what? here: WHAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

    thanks, husky. your shit rules. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    i’m going to taco bell for some lunch now. WHAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

  16. Hey Snake Hawk –

    Your post was poignant and thoughtful and it was good journalism and excellent writing. Pay no attention to the dicks. People who toil in bike shops are performing a good and noble service and like all professionals they should be paid enough to buy a house and take the wife and kids overseas at least once a decade.

    But they aren’t. We live in an era of high capitalism where you can sell your soul or you can sell your body, and you get a lot less for your body.

    You aren’t ripping anybody off and pretending its virtuous. That’s worth a lot. But maybe you can angle yourself into a position that values your experience a little more than the current gig does . . . .

  17. My wheel flew out of the truing stand and went ACROOOOOOSSSS the room.
    I clean your headset… I CLEAN IT OUT!!!!
    Why don’t I own this?? Why don’t I own this BIKE!!??
    There will be bike mechanics. part douche.