Sin Tax.

The brain needs a few moments to boot up completely when one wakes up on the side of the trail.

Eyes open slowly after awareness of the outside world arrives. Hm. I'm sitting upright, thighs numb from supporting the weight of my head via elbows and forearms. Ok, so no wreck, apparently. Slight moistness in the corner of my mouth. Look left, there's the familiar ruddy brown of the trail...a trail. Which one? Some snow to my right, and a mountain bike. The sky's kind of grey. Slight breeze, more than I remember. Oh- and a pervasive foggy pain occupying roughly the same physical space as my head.
How long have I been here? The first memories to return are of sitting down and resting my head on my hands. The next one comes, then another, like reading a book in reverse.
Then the big one. Last night. At Plonk. Bourbon. The thought of that word in my head is a vision of giant Nixie tubes spelling out the letters: B-O-U-R-B-O-N, but as they buzz at 60 hertz (give or take) they radiate alternating shades of orange and green. Ugh.
Yes, I was on a bit of a roll last night. One of those brief times when I can harness some of the cascading thoughts always emulating Niagara Falls, a couple dozen blobs of highly-energized Flubber, U-238 achieving criticality, or a Formula-1 race on Orlando's famed paved figure-eight. Or some combination of all.
So I'm writing and drinking, one feeding off of the other and the very generously poured glasses of Knob Creek on rocks going down at a speed comparable to the value of Zimbabwe's currency or Dante's girlfriend Veronica. Then C-Note dropped in and had a sole mojito, not enough to get him drunk but sufficient to drive his exuberance quotient up a notch or two.
Anyway, this morning I woke up feeling a bit, um..."bleh". Not terrible, but a far cry from all the peppy people on those allergy medication commercials. Well, the ones in high-saturation full technicolor, anyway. I could empathize with the pre-medicated poor saps struggling in their disheveled business attire doomed to toil in their greyscale-with-a-tinge-of-morose-blue environments.
But it's my day off, it's warm out, and I've got work to do for another blog. I cruise to the shop, grab a rental bike, and head to some trails to see if there's any good mountain biking to be had.
Back on the road, the road trip itch getting harder to scratch (patience....patience) as I head up to Grassy Mountain.
I hop aboard the bike and start climbing. The climbing hurts, more than I remember. Much more. I figure it's mine to deal with, I've got nobody to blame, so I'm not going to hide in the confines of a bottle of ibuprofen. Nope. It's water, corn dog, and fried chicken for me. And a good hard ride. Sweat the ick out. Except that it's not working so great today.
Another pedal stroke, another vivid memory of a swig of sin. Finally, after clambering over a big snow pile without any coordination (fell face-first on the bike, on the snow), I reach a wall. The trail's clear, but I can't move on. Must...sit...sleeeeep...

And then I wake up. After a (somewhat) quick location assessment the concept of excise taxes pop into my mind. You know, they're sometimes referred to as sin taxes and are placed by various forms of government on various forms of goods that serve to keep the populace satiated and content. Things like liquor, tobacco, and gasoline. But it seems that these goods also carry along another excise tax that is unspoken and unavoidable. With alcohol, it's the hangover. Your body punishes you for poisoning it the way you did last night. Tobacco; bad breath, yellow teeth, lung cancer, smelly clothes, kisses like ashtrays.

And oil?

Well, we're about to find out. My tack is to ride bikes. It mitigates hangovers. If you smoke riding helps to counter the damage done to lungs (it's still gross, though).
Think of the potential of bikes with oil. Hmmm.....



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