How Adults Take Advantage of Children

The conundrum of bigger is better has always plagued the minds of men, from the wee age of childhood.

In this case, we refer to bicycles.

As a child growing up in Kuwait when children were ACTUALLY physically active, before the age of Wii & Kinect, of World of Warcraft and PS3, your bike was your best friend, your companion.

At the time, I  had a BMX Bicycle, sleekly colored in Camouflage. I loved that bike. It was the perfect size for me. I had always been a child of average height (not freakishly dangly).

However, the other kids around the block had bigger bikes, and I was the runt of the litter much to my dismay. Owning a larger bicycle meant higher status, owning a bicycle that was uniform in color meant having the ability to spray paint it and add custom Pirate flags to the back wheel, as well as rolls upon rolls of colorful electric tape.

Now, back then, as a child, I had no concept of brands or value. A bike was a bike, and this one was equal to that one. One time I had separated from the pack to get my tires inflated, and whilst I was there a man came along. An older man. An evil man.

He had in tow a big, grey bike. My eyes immediately lit up upon seeing it, and he pounced at the opportunity. He told me that he had brought it for his son, but it was too big for him. His son’s bike size would roughly be the bike I currently had. Would I care to trade?

I didn’t need to be asked twice! So forgoing how much my branded bike was worth, I willingly gave it up to ride along on the bigger, non-branded bike, much to the surprise of my friends, as well as my parents. I even remember attempting to pull a wheelie only to end up landing on a bottle, breaking it, but not damaging the tire!

At the time, I was less than 12 years of age, no where near the age to legally be able to enter into a binding contract exchanging goods with another person, that transaction would be null and void in any court of law!

Suffice to say, I learned a valuable lesson that day. Perception is the key determinant of value. And there is a market for everything, you just need to find a buyer who wants it bad enough.

My ill gotten bike would not last long, as a while afterward, I grew tired of it and asked my dad to buy me a new one. This time it was a racer, with gears on the handles and everything. We tied up the old bike near the roof, only to have my then best friend break the lock, commandeer the bike, give it a full makeover and claim it was his.

It was later repossessed as apparently he had failed to make the payments on the accessories he had bedecked it with.

Still, he repeated the process with another one of our bicycles.

Fool me once, fool me twice.

Hook line and sinker.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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