Have you ever noticed how things always happen for a reason? The older I get, the more I know this to be true, and the day “the Boss” emailed me about Fox Creek Leather being back in stock at The Bikers’ Den was no exception.
You see, last week, the young couple that live next door – which is actually about half a mile away – asked me to watch their house while they went out of town. No problem.
Or so I thought.
I played the good guy, went over, fed the dogs, checked on their cat, made sure that nobody had broken into the house, you know the drill. Unfortunately, the third day, the weather was looking like a bad storm was brewing and I figured, incorrectly, that I could get there and back and not get drowned out on the bike.
I got there, got the dogs out and then all Hell broke loose. Thunder, lightning, even hail – which we rarely ever get – came crashing down and one of the hounds came bounding in and the other one took off like his head was on fire and his ass was catching. Now, why the dog took off, I may never know, but since I was in charge of the critter, I felt obligated to find it. Normally, summer rains around here are five or ten-minute affairs, but after half an hour, the rain hadn’t stopped and I figured the dog would’ve come slinking back.
So out into the storm I went. I’d managed to scrape up one of those little useless umbrellas that companies give away which kept a fraction of me dry, but for the most part, I was getting drenched. Head, coat, pants, boots, soaked to the skin. Twenty minutes later, the storm started to abate and there, in an old pump house half a mile or so from home, sat the dog – caked in mud, drenched to the bone, wagging his tail conspiratorially. Since it wasn’t a big dog and I didn’t have a leash, I just picked the cursed thing up and sloshed back to the house. Washed the mud off of him, dried him off with a towel from the bathroom, and since I was soaked, I hung my jacket up to drip dry in the bathroom like I have so many times over the years.
I decided to leave it there and just take the bike home – I could clean up my gear tomorrow after it was dry, right?
That young couple came home that night, unexpectedly, and recognized my jacket and figured out what had happened. Since it was too late to call, the wife, all of 22 years old, figured that she’d do me a favor and help my jacket along – she put it in the dryer.
She put my soaking wet leather jacket in the dryer.
For an hour.
The next morning, her husband called me to explain how his wife had “helped” me out. I could hear her sobbing in the background and I knew that my jacket was now rawhide.
To say it was “stiff as a board” is an understatement. It was like a mummified corpse.
I took it to a leather store I knew did a lot of custom work. They said it was dead. I tried to revive it with neatsfoot and mink oil.
Six years of bugs, dirt, oil and grease and thousands of miles of road, all gone.
I needed a new jacket.
Fortunately, the couple that cooked my coat offered to pay for a new one and that was the day I got the email about Fox Creek Leather being available again. So yesterday, I placed my order for the Fox Creek Leather Grayson Jacket and they will have it to me in another two days.
Rain, the neighbors, and nervous little dogs be damned.