Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Piano Boy Speeds along the Sidewalk


When Piano Boy left to “hang out with his friends” (the word "play" slipped out, but he quickly took it back) yesterday, I told him to call me and let me know where they were and to remember that he had an orthodontist appointment at 6:30. He was supposed to be home by 5:30, no excuses, to eat and brush his teeth.

The orthodontist called and left a message to ask if we could come in at 6 instead, since he had a cancellation and needed to leave the office. I didn’t call back, since I didn’t know where Piano Boy was or how to reach him.

At 5:30, no Piano Boy, at 5:45, no Piano Boy. We ate dinner without him. Since he lost his cell phone, we had no way to contact him. Then, finally, he called to say his bicycle was stolen. He was going to Yamaha’s to call the police.

The orthodontist appointment was a consultation. When he hadn’t shown up by 6:15, we left without him. As we were pulling in to the orthodontist office, the phone rang and he was home. Biker Buddy went back to get him. The orthodontist asked me when they’d be there. I said soon. He was annoyed and wanted to leave, but waited.

The appointment was strange. I wrote about it last night, and will add it later, if I have time. (I have to download it from my PDA).

Piano Boy said that Houston had locked their two bikes together and both bikes were stolen. That may be the truth, or it may be that they weren’t locked at all and he’s afraid to admit it because we had told him hundreds of times to always lock it to something that couldn’t be removed, like a tree, sign or bike rack. Bicycle theft is a popular and all-too common crime in our area. Around here, there are so many bicycle thefts that the chances of getting the bike back are near zero. The cops essentially ignore the problem. Sometimes, the stolen bikes are dumped into the lake. Other times they disappear into the ghetto or elsewhere.

So, the “new” bike is gone. Whose fault is? Well, first it’s the fault of the thief. The thief is ultimately to blame. But then, it is Piano Boy’s fault. He’d been given not one but two locks and carefully instructed in their proper use. He’d been reminded and encouraged to lock his bike and told that if it were stolen through his neglect, we would NOT replace it—at least not immediately.

This morning, Piano Boy asked me to drive him to Jake’s. I said no. He could take the other old bike or walk or stay home. He needed to suffer some consequences in order to understand why we tell him to do certain things. He said he would not ride the “ghetto bike” (it’s not “cool enough” for him). He took “my” roller blades instead.

I’ll probably have to drive him to Choir day camp next week. That will take time from my busy schedule. Or, we could let him take money from his bank account, the non-college portion, to buy a new bike. His carelessness is going to be a burden to all of us. And it’s sad; it’s an unnecessary and unhappy loss. It makes me question human nature. Why do we have thieves, computer hackers, rapists and murderers? Right, let’s put this in perspective. Piano Boy is OK. Maybe he’ll learn to take better care of his things. Maybe. But I’m not holding my breath.

Today's Detroit Photo.
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BerryBird said...

Sorry to hear about PianoBoy's bike. That really sucks. Does he need braces? I thought they were putting them on kids younger nowadays?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Yup, he needs braces. Very expensive. Not sure it's worth it, because if he refuses to brush his teeth, it could make things worse rather than better.

Wendy said...

I came here by the link on your daily photo blog, to read about the theft. Long ago my daughters bike was stolen from our front yard. I showed a picture of her on it, to the police and they did find, and return it. It seemed the theif wanted a quicker way home, than walking. We were delighted that the police were able to match the bicycle in our photo, to one they had found that had been abandoned in a ditch. I imagine "Piano boy" has learned an expensive lesson about locking up his next bicycle. But even with that, some theifs probably carry cable cutters. Our police department has a building with a large area full of abandoned and found bicycles. Have you and your son asked about looking for his in the ones that have been recovered and unclaimed? Not sure if they allow it, but it's worth asking. Hope you get it back in good shape.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We haven't done that yet, and I have read that many bikes and things get auctioned off 'cause no one goes to check. I guess we should.

Thanks for visiting! :-D