Attack of the Serial Hobbyist

This photo epitomizes David’s very first ride on his restored Enduro motorcycle.

Sadly, the awesomeness of this photo cannot be conveyed by the image alone. This picture needs less than a thousand words though, as the explanation is thus: after more than a year of blood, sweat, under-the-breath mutterings and a ton of work, David finally had the thrill of coaxing his beloved 1973 Yamaha D125 Enduro bike to life, and rode it all the five miles to his parents/sister-in-law’s houses (I was at work). The bike performed quite beautifully, if noisily, all the way to his parents’ driveway. His mother happened to be outside and returned his wave with wild gesticulating and pointing at the fuel tank. At this point, David dismounted in the front yard and actually looked down to figure out the cause of her consternation. That’s when he realized his bike is spurting flames. Yes, real ones, from leaking gas that’s apparently ignited. So he threw the bike on its side and waited for the flames to die down.

They didn’t.

By the time they reached four feet in the air, his mother had run to get a fire extinguisher and David singed his leg hair putting out the blaze. But all was well in the end, although he had to drag the bike home on his dad’s trailer. Apparently a loose screw in a gas tank opens the floodgates, and a hot carburetor leads to crispy wiring.

Now, I can tell this story because David thinks it’s hilarious, and actually called me to exult in his “first ride” story. His mother may not agree, but staying sane with David kind of depends on operating with “all’s well that ends well” as a motto. So I have to laugh and agree – congrats, honey, that’s quite the ride.

David’s a serial hobbyist – he hyperfocuses on blacksmithing for a few months, then small engines, then chess, etc. – and I’m glad. His boyish heart assures that I pay attention, and I must confess that his hobbies yield pragmatic value. I’m also glad that we’ve given ourselves “fun money” budgets that we can blow on whatever we so choose, so no one worries about how much the other is spending. Especially when the other absolutely cannot understand the appeal of the hobby (13.1 comes to mind). So off we go with our fun money, both comfortable knowing that we can splurge or save however we choose.

I wasn’t so sure fun money in designated checking accounts was really necessary when we began the habit, as I thought it would just encourage spending for spending’s sake. I admit that I was wrong. Instead, the system allows David to have fun without worrying about worrying me (remember, I’m the penny pincher under all circumstances), and actually encourages me to HAVE hobbies. Because there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, even for cheap curiosities and ladies’ nights. Having a designated budget gives me room to breathe and explore possibilities I’d otherwise ignore.

So cheers to you on a great ride, David. I’ll be right there with my camera next time.

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2 thoughts on “Attack of the Serial Hobbyist

  1. That’s awesome. I can definitely see David laughing that one off. I’m a little jealous of that bike, it’s very similar to the type I want. Then again I’m a bit of a serial hobbyist myself. The main difference being that I tend to expend all of my obsessive energy doing excessive amounts of research and then move on to the next thing. It’s a pretty cheap way to explore interests.

  2. Haha fantastic! We have a similar system set up. For a while Ben used his fun monies for his VW Cabriolet. It’s sold now and he’s considering his next victim.

    No flames, but during Snowmageddon Ben went out to move about the cars for the next work day (his “fun car” was blocking my car in). At 1 AM, I get a call from the back alley (not paved and not usually plowed).

    “I did something stupid…can you bring me a shovel?”

    I trudged through the foot or so of snow and then watched in amazement as he shoveled a 50 foot path to the back of the house.

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