Opinion Columns & Blogs

HARMON: Looking for a little straight talk

Retail ownership/sales has got to be tough these days, but that is not what this column is about because I don’t know one thing about selling -- only buying.

In fact, if you were to go through my garbage you would find evidence that I am the person responsible for the 2 percent growth in our economy. This column is about a bike shop owner/salesman I am considering putting forward as a candidate for president of these United States. Dr. Ben Carson said something about -- paraphrasing here -- our politicians not necessarily becoming the professionals they are today, but gentlemen and ladies who come from all walks of life to lead us for a short period of time, bringing with them the wealth of experience they have gleaned as a result of being in the “private sector.”

Makes sense to me and even more so when you consider the current crop of, (and I am at a loss for words here), pompous, self-righteous, arrogant, do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do, ride your bike while I bop around in this limo, all-knowing “political servants” we have making decisions on our behalf in the hallowed halls of Washington. Well, cemeteries are considered hallowed so I guess that would be an appropriate description.

Plus, when you think about it, 30 years is long enough to wreak havoc on peoples’ lives. Thinking about Congress and the scary folks we’ve voted up there makes you a little crazy, as though you’ve ended up in a “Twilight Zone” episode where you know everything is a mess but those who live there with you keep saying, “Now, now, not to worry, everything is fine.” But I digress.

My candidate is forthright and honest and that’s what we need in that office. He means what he says and says what he thinks. He’s the Donald Trump of “bikedom.” the George Carlin of two-wheelers and the Joan Rivers of “pedal place.” If you don’t want to hear it like it is, walk. He treats everyone the same, with disgust, and there’s not a prejudiced bone in his body nor a pandering thought in his head.

When my bicycle tires had dry rot he told me I either wasn’t riding enough, left it out in the sun or had them under-inflated. No B.S. here. When he gets to D.C. I’m sure he will take the same tack as most of our stalwarts and tell it like it is.

When I called him about a part I ordered he was quick to tell me his was a very busy occupation and if he stayed on the phone all day he wouldn’t be able to do the peoples’ business, that of fixing bicycles. I liked that part about “the peoples’ business” because it sounded so caring and unlike the bloviators in Washington today. This man got right to the point.

When I asked him if he could fix a bicycle odometer, a small computer for bicycle enthusiasts, he said, “Well, you didn’t buy that here!” Truth is the whole thing was probably made in China, but I didn’t go down that rabbit hole. The Confederate flag in his office told me all I needed to know about his love of country. No, this man is a patriot who will represent those who dodge cars for a hobby to the utmost, which is what we expect of our sanctified, gifted, charlatans in “the land of never-ending pontificating” and one of the most crime-ridden cities in America.

Since our relationship began, “Bikeman” (I consider him a super-hero at least on par with Northstar) the man has sold me two new tires with tubes, a seat, a bike carrier, (“It’s not a rack, for Pete’s sake, it’s a carrier”), a seat extension, a bell and more recently, a brand spanking new bike.

The fact that I had ridden the old one to his shop didn’t slow him down a bit. He’s also taught me the real meaning of the phrase, “customer service.”

I have every confidence he can bring the American economy back to life. I used to consider myself to be a fairly intelligent (fairly being the operative word here) consumer, but he managed to out-negotiate me, making at least a month’s rent in the process.

I’m sure he can handle the Iranians. He appears to be dedicated to the theory that all men are not created equal and there are those of us who can and will be taken advantage of. That would be me. I would mention his name but I think he’s one of those dreaded gun owners.

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.