by Sherri Kukla
The guy-in-the-garage had a dream for years. To live in the desert.
Many years ago we moved out of the city to the mountains but it was just a step to get us closer to the goal.
A few short years later we were packing and preparing to move to the desert right in the middle of summer.
Moving can be dangerous. Especially for guysin-the-garage who have purchased things over the years their wives did not know about.
The guy-in-the-garage was gradually filling up two enclosed trailers. Only one of them was ours. The second one used to be ours, but had been sold to a friend nearby. We told him there was no hurry to move it. The guy-in-the-garage began loading it with precious metals – like engines, exhaust pipes, tools, nuts, bolts, motorcycle frames and even complete motorcycles.
“Did you ask Rich if you can use the trailer?” I asked. He probably answered but I didn’t hear him as he moved deeper into the bowels of the trailer. A few mornings later I got my answer when the phone rang early. It was Rich. “Tell Steve I’m going to pick up the trailer this morning.” I hesitated and then said, “I think you need to talk to Steve.”
Besides the old trailer, I saw that the new trailer was also filled with motorcycles. It made sense that the first thing he would move would be all of his motorcycles. That’s what he did whenever we evacuated for a fire, which had become a habit in those years.
What I didn’t understand was the call I got a few weeks later while I was in the city getting supplies. An inspector had left our garage door wide open while we were gone. The guy-in-thegarage was clearly explaining to me in a voice that didn’t even require a phone about how all of the motorcycles could have been stolen. What I couldn’t figure out was, what motorcycles was he talking about? The trailers were already filled.
The first thing I did at home was go to the garage. It was wall to wall motorcycles. And what I wondered was: “Where did all these motorcycles come from?” But knowing how he gets when someone tampers with his garage, I just saved my question.
I’m not sure I ever did ask it but later when we were unloading a truckload of exhaust pipes at the new property I know I asked him why he needed so many exhaust pipes. He never did answer.
When his friends showed up to move garage equipment, I watched as they carried engine after engine out and loaded them into the truck. They were all laughing and I muttered something that could have sounded like griping about all of the exhaust pipes. One of them said, “You have to have an exhaust pipe for each engine, you know!” I suppose that explains all the motorcycle frames hanging from the ceiling. I said earlier that moving can be dangerous, but the ultimate danger was still ahead.
It came as we were moving equipment and supplies from my office. The guy-in-the-garage looked at me in the midst of it and said, “We really need to get rid of some of this junk, don’t you think?” The funny thing is, he was totally serious.
I quickly pondered some responses and finally went with the one he uses the most.
I looked away and pretended I didn’t even hear what he said.
Sherri Kukla is the editor and co-publisher of S&S Off Road Magazine. She along with her husband, the guy-inthe-garage, are also the founders and directors of Thundering Trails off road camp for inner city kids in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ssorm.com.