"Always something wrong with my tired old moped these days, well it is getting old I must admit.
And it's getting more and more costly to have it fixed too.
But I do need a decent motorbike if I want to join the Christmas camping weekend in the Ardennes this year.
And do I want to join ? You bet...! No way I'm letting this chance pass.
After all she is coming too, so I need to be around, whatever happens.
If I cannot win her now, I might as well relocate to the North Pole.
That stupid show-off, "Jeromy Van Dalen" had already announced that he 'surely and definitely' will be there.
I bet that's not to enjoy the great winter views in the snowy Ardennes Hills, nor is it because he likes to spend the night in a little tent in winter... It's obvious, he's been trying for a while now to get her attention in such a childish way.
But he just does not see that she is not interested.
To me she's always been quite friendly though, that's a good sign for sure ?
She would not prefer that flatterer over me surely ?
With his blustery moped of heaven knows how many Euros - 'and that's accessories not included' - he let me know with his affected voice.Pig-headed dork...
But sadly, that pompous shiny 'castle on wheels' of his runs well, which cannot be said of that good old rust-bucket of mine. Must get this gearbox fixed before it will roll at all...".
Muttering in himself he continued to tinker on his motorbike. He had to get the engine out, 'cause the gearbox needed repair.
He was not really a grease monkey though.
Things like removing the engine, he could just about handle, but opening it and fixing the works inside... that was just 'a bridge too far'. Besides he did not have the tools nor the space for such a project.
That's why he was going to take it to a repair shop, but anything he could do himself, like taking the engine out, would save him money
The bike had served him very well anyway, being over 25 years old and with 350 K kms on the clock.
And yes, he knew that sooner or later some expensive repairs would be necessary, but why now ?
Now that he had no savings, and he really, really wanted to - no, simply hád to - join that Christmas party because she would be there.
Well he knew a way to get some money - although his brother got a bit tired of "always financing his disasters" as he used to call it.
And of course he would 'advise' him again as he always does: "Do grow up finally and buy a nice little car instead of fixing that old two wheeled money destroyer...".
Stiil, really great guy, that brother of his, but he really did not understand at all... A car ??!!
But well, what are brothers for aye?
And he himself would help his brother out every time things needed to be done or fixed on his brother's house or so.
He thought "my brother has his life organised quite well. While for me things somehow seem to go a little harsh always".
"Boy", he said to himself, "sometimes I would wish......".
Now some tiny voice in the back of his head said that he had better not wished for this bike.
There could be a little snake in the grass.
But he soon pushed the thought from his brain; "Why be so suspicious? Cannot I have a little luck sometimes ?".
And after he had a good look at the bike, it seemed a lot less decadent already.
"It's not so bad really", he thought, "seems to be quite comfy actually".
He had to remove the door plus doorpost of the shed before he could push it outside, but that was a job he could handle well.
When the bike stood outside he put on his riding gear. "Might as well take it for a ride right now, see how it feels".
He made up some excuse about camping gear for Christmas and decided to go and see her.
He expected her to be quite impressed if she saw this cool new motorbike.
Though the bike felt a bit heavy when pushing it about by hand, once riding you never noticed that it was actually hundreds of kilos on the move. Not even at walking pace. It was perfectly balanced and it went way too fast easily and effortless.
One really did not feel how fast, until...
“Halt... Police !
Could you please show me your bike's documents? And your licence ?"
"Ahm.. well, actually I do not have them yet sir. You see, I just got the bike" he said.
"Well is it insured then ? Can you show me the 'green card'?".
"I am afraid not officer. I don't know, you see I did not ask when I was given the bike".
"Aha... it was given to you. As a present ? Who gave it to you then ? ".
He now started to get a bit anxious about the conversation: "Ahm... well.. ahm, the Christmas Wish Fairy, officer" he said somewhat timid.
He somehow sensed that the copper was not impressed by his answer.
Without saying anything, he went to fetch something from his car and came back with a "thing" with a nozzle of sorts.
"I would like you very much to blow in here", the copper said, and held the "thing" in his face with the nozzle pointing at him.
"But, but... I have not been drinking, you know sir" he protested.
"Oh well, then you have nothing to be afraid of, now take a deep breath and then exhale slowly in the tube till I say ‘stop’.
Hmmm... You don't seem to be riding 'under influence'. At least not of alcohol, but have you been blowin' stuff maybe ?"
"Nah... not for the last 15 years", he replied. "Sniffing maybe ?" The copper asked hopefully.
"Oh no. I haven't had a cold for a long time now officer".
"Oh well", the copper said a bit disappointed, I will book you anyhow for speeding, no documents on you, no insurance card and offending a police officer...".
"Huh...? offending ? But, but, but, I was being polite, wasn't I sir ? I mean speaking with two words...".
The copper now really got angry and copied his earlier reply in an annoyed way;
‘from the Christmas Wish Fairy, O F F I C E R’,
Now listen, if you don't take me seriously, I call that offensive, OK ?" he said snappily.
"I expect you in the police station tomorrow morning at nine to show all the documents.
And they had better be right, or else...".
As he continued the trip to her place, now a lot slower of course, he thought:
"Goodness me, what times we live in; Even when granted wishes by the CWF you have to read the small print, otherwise you can get in trouble just like that.
How was I to know that I had to register and get a bike insurance myself ?. It did have a licence plate…
Nah... even wishes-coming-true are not what they used to be...".
When she saw him on the bike she was shocked. And that scared him in return.
He expected her to be impressed by his new super machine, but on the contrary.
He clearly sensed repulsion in her voice; "what the hell are you doing with such a horrible thing?", she asked him annoyed: "Man... you look just like that Van Dolen. C'mon, you don't really need a bike like this, do you ?
I liked your old rusty bike sooo much more. Much more character, personality".
She almost looked offended when she asked: "did you really think that I would be impressed by such a... such a... whatever it is ? How did you get it anyway ?
You always gave the impression that it took all of your money to keep your old bike going.
Did you now scrape every last penny from your brother to buy this rubbish ?
I really liked you a lot better the way you were; proud of that piece of 'riding history' of yours".
"Oh-oooh...", it flashed through his head, "blunderrrr...".
She seemed quite disappointed in him...
He stood there like a little child just staring at the floor. Looking down and turning and twisting like a shy schoolboy caught in the act of steeling an apple, he told her about the CWF and the 3 wishes.
And..., he admitted frankly, he clearly had made a stupid chioce.
"Well", she interrupted him, "since you still have a few wishes left, you had better wish for your own old bike to be swapped back again. You'll still have time to have the gearbox fixed, you know".
On the way home he had mixed feelings. She clearly was not impressed. But...
Didn't she show that she actually liked him ? Just the way he was, at first, with his old falderol ?
Why else would she be so upset ?
For him that was a promising sign!
The bike stood in the shed again and the CWF was laughing contemptuously.
"Well, I must say it did not take long for you to find out !"
Then he sighed exaggeratedly while he rolled his eyes. "People... Really…
They always wish all kinds of things, but at the end of the day they just want back what they originally had or were.
Not seldom they first wish for something, totally without thinking of consequences.
Then in blind panic, they try to correct the situation with the second wish, only adding to the disaster.
And finally, in total despair, they use the third wish to turn everything back to how it was before...
They don't seem to realise, but people are generally much and much happier than they think they are.
And actually owning stuff totally kills the joy of dreaming about it.
The greed of some folk really gives me a 'pointed head'. And just try and find a fitting cap for a pointed head".
(BTW this is a Dutch expression; when something drives them crazy, the Dutch say: "it gives me a pointed head" - the author).
He rolled his eyes again.
"But you apparently saw the light a bit sooner; so now you wanna use your second wish to get back to square one ?
But be very careful, my friend.
After that you still have one wish left. You were granted three, and no changes there.
But there is no way you can undo that third wish. Whatever you wish sticks forever.”
He sighed: “But first things first, so you want your old bike and everything back ?
And you leave me with a used and dirty bike with a higher mileage on the clock?
I'll never get rid of it of course, always the same with those used, swapped back, wishes.
After all, who would wish for a dirty, used bike with a useless altimeter ?