20 January 2006

06 / 35

Guess who'd had a few beers Christmas Eve ...

Another couple months and I'll actually be writing the correct year on my checks ... one more good argument for plastic. I've become so damned dependent on that cursed check card the only time I carry cash is when I'm headed to The Frisco.

Mmmmm ... beer.

Speaking of ...

Winding down the holidays with unseasonable warmth and unprecedented ride time New Year's Eve found us holed up in a friend's house avoiding the amateur antics of a Saturday night holiday bar crowd. Worse yet; the thick-as-thieves prowling law dogs lurking in the shadows, pissed at the NYE duty and stalking revelers ripped on grog.

It's just not safe on the streets with conditions like that. Last thing we need is to be involved in a fender bender with some Not Quite Ready For Prime Time Players. The same folks hitting dives that night hit the lake on Labor and Memorial Day. And take up all the seats in church (I hear) for Easter and Thanksgiving.

So the kids cavorted and we pretended we were more financially, emotionally, and intellectually secure than we actually are. A nice night. Which ended sometime around 4am. Because, in typical rationalization fashion, "All the drunks should be off the road, and the cops are booking their prey ... should be safe to go home now."

New Year's Day found my greasy sluggish ass balled up in a ragged denim comforter ignoring the phone and in strong denial of the fact I was turning 35 within hours.

35. That seems old to me. Honestly, I thought I'd be much more successful - or dead - by 35. People who are 35 have their shit together. They have a paid-for house, an impressive retirement fund, a job they dig, solid bowel movements, at least two exotic rare motorsickles, legitimate resumes and some semblance of a life. Right? I mean, shouldn't I be looking towards an early retirement spent touring this grand land aboard the motorsickle? Supplementing the interest income from my stockpiled and wisely invested fortune by emailing photos and articles to Jann Wenner, et al, once a month ala HST circa '69 ...

Apparently not.

My outlook for the day was clouded less by the month-long bender hangover I was nursing than the crushing realization I was not who I thought I'd be - even in the rare instances I'd envisioned living this long.

The phone calls urging me to get on the bike for yet one more afternoon of beer and camaraderie were vaguely appealing yet apt to be ignored in favor of sulking on a couch in the company of screaming beasts (the kids). Honestly, I'd been aboard the two-wheeled instrument of death all month - God Bless this perfect weather - and had damned near exceeded even my RDA of fun and frivolity. Repeatedly. At high rates of speed. Hey, even jackass wannabe hoodlums need a day off to heal every now and then.

Thanksgiving rides. 'Tween holiday rides. Christmas Eve for an extended ride. Every day we were off work we rode. After work we rode. I'd ridden more during the Christmas Holidays than some of these trailer queen bitches ride all summer. So the prospect of convalescence and healing of my scarred and swollen liver sounded good.

Of course I rode instead. Chili's for cold beer and skillet queso with cats who don't suck. Vague references to my increasing age and oncoming geriatric status. Another warm day; which had me silently vowing to end the debauchery early and avoid the beer monsters. You know: the little gremlins who beat your conscience to oblivion and make it seem perfectly sensible to stay out all night pounding libations and tossing pick up lines like a rock star on a coke binge. Those guys. I have a couple of them. Perhaps a rotating crew, I'm not sure, but they long ago whacked the little angel and devil who are supposed to sit on my shoulders arguing right and wrong. Stuffed them in a chipper shredder somewhere outside Liberal, KS - at least that's what I hear.

But my plan to feign responsible behavior was working like a champ and I almost had a ticket home planned when one of our gonzo compadres suggested, "Let's roll the dice at The Frisco."
"No, let's go to the Scrounge Lounge. I'm sick of people I know."
"Come on, pussy."
Fine ...

I was outvoted and shamed into it. So we went to my very favorite bar for 'just one beer' and a roll of the dice.

Making the routine curve on the backroad approach I saw cars I knew. Cars which were not normally at my bar. Cars which belonged to my family and friends - even some of the sober ones. A conspiracy theory started to form in my mind. The South side of the bar revealed more conspicuously familiar vehicles. The approach up the sidewalk full of motorsickles confirmed my suspicions: they were setting me up. It was a fucking intervention.

I knew it. I'd seen it coming. I should have known. Like a heart attack, cirrhosis, and serious time: I was overdue. The evil bastards had even used one of my favorite bars in the trap. That shit is sneaky.

I considered bolting. Just hauling ass and ignoring the self-righteous pukes. I mean, who the hell do they think they are? Huh?! Rat-packing me in my favorite hideout. On my freaking birthday no less! Oh. Yeah ... My birthday.

Turns out I was all worked over nothing. My two sober cousins hiking up the sidewalk had cards in their hands. "Hey, no one brings cards to an intervention. What the fuck?" It was a surprise birthday party. For Me. In The Frisco. How cool is that ...

My first surprise party. Judging by the hungover sots trying desperately to suppress the gag reflex and choke down a little hair of the dog, likely my last. It's not easy having a New Year's birthday. It's even less easy getting all gooned up New Year's Eve and attending a party for some asshole who has a New Year's Day birthday.

An alarming number of hearty souls came out to wish me well. As well as these people wish a person, anyway. I was adequately mother-fucked to the point even I was sick of myself. Far more cold beer and acting up than my abused body needed or wanted, but it's damned hard to refuse such company and good will. I am fortunate in that I have the best friends in the world.

So my Caribbean island hideaway hasn't panned out, I'm still doing manual labor on junk equipment, my balance sheet is terrifying, and a generous assessment of my future reveals I will never - ever - retire. But my wife staged a birthday party for me and let me be an obnoxious ass with a group of goons. I have a motorsickle, two kids who rock, and old lady that tolerates my shit, and the best friends in the world. So things could be much worse. I could live in Guymon. I could tivo the orange county assbags. I could know no better than to trailer my bike, drink french wine, and worship all things arlen. I could have ended up a punk. Or worse; a hamster. Thank God for the company of motorsickle hoodlums who insist on character building miles rather than discovery channel reruns.

Now it's just a matter of counting down the days to Spring and the glory of another season on two wheels. The cabin fever has set in and I've found myself, like everyone else I know, making ride plans.
"When are you leaving for Sturgis?"
"Which weekend are you hitting Sparks?"
"Let's go back to Colorado this year!"
"Wanna do an Iron Butt ride?"
"Need a place to stay in Red River?"
"We have friends in Austin."
"I haven't been to San An in a while."
"The Lord lives in TX ..."
"There are rooms reserved in Fayetteville."
"When's Pawhuska?"
"Are you allowed back in Ft. Worth yet?"
"Let's go see Spot!"
"Think Jonah will ride this year?"
"Holy shit you need new tires!"
"Brice ordered a bike!"
"It's supposed to be 75 tomorrow ..."

I can't wait. In the meantime my New Year's resolution is to plan less and ride more. The planned rides are never as much fun as the spur of the moment gigs, and random travelings with no specific destination or timetable are the reasons I got a motorsickle to begin with. If I wanted to get there fast I'd take an airplane.

Except Sturgis, of course, for which I will have to make preparations as the self-anointed school board deities have graced my wife with a late start date. Thus ensuring I have to take her back to teh Black Hills. Her first return trip in ... I forget how long. That's how much fun it's been without her. Although she did throw me a birthday party. And it'd be nice to have something other than a sock to carnally punish in the tent. And she does travel well. And she gave me two perfect kids ... Fine. I'll take her. It might even keep me half-assed sober.

Yeah ... we'll see about that shit.

In closing, fuck che, and any pseudo-intellectual, chickenshit hipster, anarchist wannabe assbag sporting his visage. Murderous communist puke.


Blogger Heather said...

Happy Late Birthday...

They'll have to spring an intervention on you more slyly than that... keep your eyes open! ;)

6:04 PM  
Blogger Tits McGee said...

Jesus - you are too old for me to be seen in public with the likes of you. Happy Birthday - Late of course.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Doug K. said...

35?? Phhhttt!!! I've got riding gear that's older than you and I still wear it!

Happy b-day anyway, youngster!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Gymi said...

It ain't so bad gettin' old, your joints just get a little stiffer and your ass gets numb quicker on those long rides. Here's to many more years of ridin'

Happy belated B-Day man.

Later, Gymi

1:26 PM  
Blogger yeah that bob said...

Damn. Since I am one to respect my elders, I'll show it. Happy birthday old man!

(cruisin at young 34)


6:43 PM  
Blogger ray said...

Very interesting rambling! Someone after my own heart.
Just getting back into biking this year after a long lapse. Will probably start with a small one until I get my legs back.
Have the clothes, Check it out

1:59 PM  

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