10 November 2006

What the Hell?

June? I haven't pounded out any garbage since June?

I must have been busy. Busy doing ... something. Maybe The RatRun, Sturgis, Fayetteville, etc ... Somewhere in there I've managed to dodge a bullet and avoid appointment as Den Leader for the MonkeyBoy's Cub Scout troop. Maybe it was my aesthetically repulsive visage, maybe it was the accidental F-Bomb I dropped at the meeting, maybe it was the way I looked at Lane's mom ... regardless - it was a horrible idea anyway. I don't really need to be an influence on my kids, much less anyone else's. A role model I am not. Instead two highly capable MILF-tastic souls have stepped up to the plate. We're never late to a meeting.

But now the weather is cooling off, the evenings are shorter, my liver and my innards have been taxed well-beyond their legitimate limits, and I have managed to pare down the list of people who think they want to ride with me to the point it's just right ...

So I was little surprised when Doug from 40 on 2 fired me an email to the effect of, "Hey, dispshit? Forget how to spell?" I had completely zoned out, I had no idea it had been this long since I'd graced the illiterati with my small-minded vitriol and one-sided rants. So, you lucky bastards, I'm back. One entry. Print the fucker out. I'll autograph it sometime. If you can find me. If you can keep up. If you buy a round.

Seeing as it's been like 5 freaking months where do I begin ... Well, I think the RatRun was a success, if a hot one. Once again we escaped the circus sans death or arrest - that deems it a winner in my book of little idiocies. 850 riders tracing a course of 150 some miles in heat which just damned near rivaled our inaugural year. Damned near - not quite. As our resident Metrosexual Major said, "I spent time in the asshole of the world wearing body armor and riding in an un-air-conditioned hummvee, but I was never as hot as the first RatRun between 6-Mile and Covington. That was fucking hot."

From the mouths of frenchmen ...

There were some unfortunate instances of what we suspect were dehydration and exhaustion. The Cleo bar managed to completely fuck up and ignore our repeated warnings of incoming hoodlums. Their loss: as all they managed to do was piss off potential future customers, ensure we'll never be back, and lose piles of potential sales. Wakita and Medford more than made up for Cleo's lack of sense and preparation. Can't beat the Wakita Bar. Chris and Co. know how to treat people. And the local school activities groups served up much-needed water and vittles. Damned good vittles. The kind that would have made Jethro bitch slap Ellie Mae and cornhole Drysdale's secretary.

Alma at the Medford bar had her shit so together there was ice in my beer, and I got there late. If she wasn't so damned picky I'd load her up and run off for a week or two. It seems a couple years' experience has allowed her to see right through assbags like me. Not to mention given her an uncanny and spooky ability to guess people's age and temprament.

Philosopher Stone, No Jake Brakes, and The Mike McClure Band took their respective turns pounding out music that did not suck once we were back at the fairgrounds. Surprisingly we had only one 'incident' and it was more humorous than injurous. Especially as narrated by the Mac The Balladeer. Here's a hint; stay off the damned sound equipment. Otherwise we'll send a big drunken prospect after you. Cracked me up ...

So we made money for the scholarship fund, got our friends good and drunk, welded up Matt's 54 Pan, and earned a sunburn. By Sunday when it was over all I could manage was good post-run drunk around the Nault pool with hoodlums. It just don't get any better than that.

Once the dust was settled it was time for Sturgis. Normally the road trip north is an opportunity for extended solace and introspective thought aboard the two-wheeled instrument of death. But not this year. No ... this year I took my wife. The Mrs. The voice of reason. My carnal target. The chick who talks all the way there. And back. Laffy Taffy jokes, musings on classroom ettiquette, random estrogen-generated thoughts, long solliloquies concerning scrapbooking semantics, concerns of the welfare of those we don't know and have never met, tangent-tumbling ramblings of any sort - regardless how mundane - fill my ears when the bride accompanies me. Which is great. If you're Oprah.

Oprah I am not. Neither do I fill the role of Dr. Phil, ask around. And while I dig my wife I knew the only thing which will stress a relationship more than a week shacked up in a tent is traveling there two-up and in constant conversation. Familiarity breeds contempt. We've been swapping goo for 17 years, we're plenty familiar and her contempt is becoming contagious.

So I made a relationship-saving investment. No, not a John Gray book. An iPod. And earbud speakers from Etymotic. Oh hell yes, kiddies! I even bought a splitter with seperate volume controls and some plugs for my chick.

Praise The Lord and pass the mp3s, this thing kicks dump truck loads of ass. Like those dump trucks in Colorado pit mines, with tires as big as bryant gumbel's ego. I have no idea why it took me this long to decide some monotony-busting music would be a nice thing while traversing the twilight zone that is I-70. I never wanted a big radio mounted on a fairing or windshield, and I had no idea anyone made speakers that fit so well in an earplug. I guess I need to get out more. Out of the bars ... Don't hold your collective breath.

I leave the iPod set to the same volume level while riding as when sitting on the back porch ignoring my famn damily. At 70 mph with no windshiled I have nearly the same clarity as porch drinking - at the same volume level. So I'm not pounding my ears with excessive volume levels. I like my hearing, thought I might try and keep what's left.

It's a lifesaving device; this little bitty wonder of technology. And the freaking battery lasts forever.

Unfortunately somewhere around the Nebraska line my bride realized she could control the player. Not to be sexist, but it's so much easier when they're unaware they have so much control - over everything. This is when the Roadtrip Playlist was replaced with random garbage nubian dance hits from her workout routine. The only thing worse than a babbling wife in the ear is Gwen Stefani's 'Hollaback Girl.' Like being forced to watch the Lifetime Network when the remote is lost. I seriously considered running us into a passing semi when The Black Eyed Peas assaulted my aural cavities. "Payback" is what she called it. Payback for 600 miles of my music.

Either way, Sturgis rocked our balls completely off. And I was even able to bring mine this year. Betsy packed them in her purse.

Some great weather came to a screeching halt in Keystone while we attacked "The Bar." 3 hours of rain delay later a night time assault on Iron Mountain Road seemed an excellent idea. Warm, dry, and pricey rooms awaited us in Keystone, at the base of the heads, and we needed to get there. Starting out the prophecy, "We're gonna lose someone on this gig." was born out in a surprising way. Neither the newbie prospect nor our patron saint, Miss Susie had a problem. Instead it was an old hoodlum on a Shovel who filled the role of requisite injury. It wasn't the 600 tons of Satan's Buffalo in the middle of the road that got him. Or the 400 pounds of shit said bos bison placed in our path. Not the winding curving bridges where we can see our own ass on the way up. It wasn't even the narrow, wet, slick roads and their precarious dropoffs that slipped him up. It was making the turn to get on Iron Mountain Road. Too quick a stop, too slick a road, maybe too smooth a tire? Dirt bike instincts might have dictated a foot to stop the fall.

Once to the top we found Wolf with what we thought was a gooned up knee. (14 days later a doctor would determine this was not a twisted knee, but a leg broken just below the knee. Wolf is tough.) So, bravely, four of us volunteered to stay behind guarding a shovelhead with minimal provisions as our wounded comrade was transported to the waiting rooms at the base of the mountain. All alone in the generally packed parking lot tops were popped, darkness was admired, quiet reigned supreme, and Mount Rushmore was lit impressively. Within just a few minutes we watched from our hilltop vantage point as Borglum's distant sculpture disappeared in the darkness. They turned off the lights.

We didn't just close a bar. We closed a National Freaking Monument.

Things progressed from there once we hit the Red Garter bar games and drunken debauchery continued another week as our innards turned to a gooey black muck and "schnoink" became the word of the week. Some high points and things to consider concerning Sturgis in general and our band of lunatics in particular:
  • Never leave your camera unattended on a bar.
  • Beer is breakfast.
  • Hydrate or die.
  • Red Bull rules.
  • "The Shakes" can be cured.
  • Park at the cop shop, they'll get you a cab.
  • That thumping noise may be the lock on your front wheel.
  • Try to remember Marty's Wife's name.
  • Check for photographers before dancing on the bar.
  • The girls at Gunner's love us.
  • Jeff will teabag you.
  • You can be busted back to prospect, mutherfucker!
  • Tents are expendable dependent on habitation habits.
  • There is a pecking order, and the top may not be who you think.
  • Food is overrated.
  • Never leave camp without your jacket.
  • You don't need all that shit.
  • Don't die.
  • Leave the patches be.
  • Excedrin is your friend.
  • It's not a "second wind" if you never sobered up to begin with.
  • Lost? We'll be in a bar.

I say it every year, but Sturgis is so much damned fun ... I think I'll go back.

Sure would suck without good friends, though. I'm damned lucky like that.

Fayetteville, while not yet as big as the melee in South Dakota, is quite a gig. I know they advertised Blues and BBQ as being involved somewhere but we never witnessed this firsthand. Progress has been made, however. We actually got out of the bars this year and toured the country a little - on the way to other bars. Eureka Springs is groovy like a free lap dance ... a motorsickle-hostile mayor but a damned nice town. The Pied Piper and the Wagon Wheel win my bar awards for "Coolest Owners In Town." Those girls at the Wagon Wheel had the patience of Job and patrons ala Dante. Quarter-throwing Okies on a full-blown bender. If you get there check out the ladies shitter. Coolest restroom ever.

Fayetteville has, without a doubt, the friendliest locals of any town we have ever invaded. It's not just anywhere you can be directed home by helpful constables while one of your assbag friends tries desperately to pick up the cute redheaded officer. In my defense, she was freaking adorable. With handcuffs. Great smile. Even my bride agreed.

Each time we've cursed this Northwest Arkansas town with our slovenly presence we've been met with the most hospitable and decent locals in existence. If they're not engaging you in conversation and genuinely interested in where you're from they're trying desperately to buy you another round, or ensure you'll be back next year. From the bar owners to the impossibly beautiful co-eds the town reigns supreme for friendly motorsickle destination.

Maybe it's just our winning personalities which win over the natives ... yeah.

As for now I'm trying deserately to convalesce. I need some downtime.

I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year
So many places, and so many faces
Wonder where they all disappear

I didn't ponder the question too long
I was hungry and went out for a bite
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum
And we wound up drinking all night ...
-Marvin Gardens, RIP

I see some dirrt bike Sundays in my near future. The past two weekends have been more fun than throwing a wet burning dog into a 55 gallon barrel of kerosene-soaked monkeys then kicking the whole thing off the top of a tall building into the middle of a Shriner's parade.

The Monkeyboy's XR50 saw a full day of pasture time last week. Two new friends, three dads. I think I may have been the only one battling a hangover. Three kids together tearing up 300 acres and a full day on $3 worth of gas. Reminded me of when I first got loose with a pack of ne'er do wells to raid pastures we weren't allowed to ride. Every kid should have such a chance.

Watching the curtain climbers cavort in the pasture, and the stunning progress even the newest of the riders made in a simple Sunday, makes one take stock of what a wonderful pastime this whole motorsickle gig can be. The real-world education and skills these kids get battling cow shit, cattle trails, and shale pits will pay off ten-fold if they ever manage to convince their mom to let them on the road with a street bike. I foresee a Monkeyboy lobbying succesfully for a 125 and a license when hits 14. I'd be a bigger hypocrite than a TV preacher if I denied him that. So extensive riding off road is an excellent investment in his future and my peace of mind.

It always amazes me how many people have joined the motorsickling craze with zero previous two-wheeled experience. Not even dirt bikes. Not even a borrowed dirt bike in a sand pit outside the protective gaze of parentage. That's just sad. And dangerous. Not only have they missed out on some great youthful activities, they've missed several years experience and instinctual behavior education. When that brain dead exec in the caddy spills coffee and pulls in your lane while screaming in a cell phone it just seems the guy who's dealt with creeks, driftwood, rocks, trails, and bovine fecal material will have an advantage in asshole avoidance ...

Or maybe I'm nuts.

Either way it's unseasonably warm here and I'm headed out for some two-wheeled recreation. If anyone knows of a 4-stroke dirt bike for sale which would fit someone like me, let me know. I'm think a CRF230F or something similar. I don't need anything taller or faster, I'm chasing a Monkeyboy not a trophy. And I'll be needing the use of my lower limbs in the future.

john kerry (amongst others) can suck my fat root,

04 June 2006

Paint Jobs & Ken Dolls

So let's suppose you spend a year or so in the asshole of the world attempting to bring peace, civility, and democracy to savages. You're pretty much completely sick of sand, goat meat, rice, sobriety, desolation, masturbation, the chu, and all forms of conveyance comprised of more than two wheels.

So you come home all excited. You knock your old lady up as soon as you're off the plane. You stage a mini-coup in Germany. You envision an Easyriders centerspread as a welcome home. Ratty offensive t-shirt flapping in the breeze, WileyX glasses blocking rays, bar hopping with friends, full blown two-wheeled freedom and stress release in the vein of a classic David Mann poster.

Instead you blaze into your assbag friend's shop (the punk you entrusted with your sled while deployed) and find it on the lift in this sad condition:

So do you freak out? Kill the prick who was "taking care of" your motorsickle? Employ some of your newfound and well-practiced martial force principles? Or just stand there and think, "What has that asshole down to my bike?"

Well, I missed his initial reaction because I was gone (hiding) cutting firewood (drinking beer) with a friend (drunken jackass). But I hear it was something along the lines of "What the FUCK!"

Whether it was the intial shock of seeing his pristine cop bike stripped like a chop shop reject or the haunting visions of all the other projects I've never finished (cabinet doors, the WC, the Towny, the treehouse, etc ...) I think The Lizard was about to shit himself.

In my defense this was only sort of my idea. His new bride was the true instigator. So I had her to blame shit on. This could easily be pawned off as a domestic matter rather than civil judgement.

Now, however, all is well. Young Nault layed on a killer paint job, new cool-guy farkle (ode to Monsignor Klassen) thingies were installed, cop knobs were replaced, and a copious amount of beer engineering was employed. The entire project was even accomplished with minimal Lizard regression to junkyard methods and "bigger hammer" theories.

The finished project is groovy. Damned groovy. Jenna Jameson Groovy. Once my eyes stop bleeding and I get these shakes under control I'll figure out why it is I can't upload the picture. Too stupid, too hungover ... likely both. They won't load to Blogger, so here's a link: Lizard Glide.

In the meantime I want to thank all the kind souls who have encouraged me and reminded me the blog has been neglected over the past month or so. Really, thank you ... every one of you pricks. Your notes of encouragement: "Hey, asshole! Write a new blog!" "Get off your fat ass and type!" "You suck, I'm glad you aren't writing!" "I'm banging your mom!" are all very touching. They really get to me. Right there where my heart would be. If I still had one. Fortunately I have come to the realization every one sucks but me, so your petty whining means nothing. Blow me.

I've been busy you pathetic slime. I've been out there living life and giving the rest of the world someone to talk about. The Prophet Paul (not the one in the bible) once said, "If it weren't for people like us living like we do people like them would have nothing to talk about and no one to want to be." Or something along those lines. It sounded better at 4am digging a grave.

Yes, I was arrested in Waynoka. Serious offense. Big time mess. I honestly do not know if my reputation and social standing will recoup. In fact I'm a bit hesitant to write on the subject as my case is barely adjudicated and parole could possibly be revoked. Barring a gag order from the judge I suppose I can make limited comments. Sadly I've become a social outcast and am unable to walk dow the street without hushed whispers and barely concealed pointing.

Yes, friends, I am a trespasser. A known trespasser. And a smartass.

After being accosted and arrested by a life size ken doll (now with lifelike enuch action!) I spent a total of two hours being processed through Waynoka city and then Woods County jails. Where, I must admit, everyone with a badge was more than accomodating. This is the first time I've been arrested (no, not the end of the sentence) where every legitimate lawdog involved was basically decent and sensible. If / when I get arrested again I hope it's in Woods County. Those guys are all right. If you're looking to get an arrest I highly recommend NW Oklahoma ... Tell 'em Jeff sent ya.

Now the penile-challenged shitbag who instigated the mess - he's simply not a good person. A fact which was reiterated to me through various conversations over the evening. Once I'd received some background on the glorified security guard psuedo-cop bitch who "arrested" me I was glad I insulted his family, his marraige, his endowment, and his intelligence. I felt no guilt whatsoever for mentioning the questionable lineage of his children, his tenuous hold on heterosexuality, or the possibility his bride was likely in flagrante delicto with a nubian neighbor whilst he found perverse joy cuffing and holding a bearded tubby male.

As a side note; can you be considered an officer of the law if you have to wait for a real cop to "officially" show up and arrest whoever you have nabbed? Isn't that what they call a citizens arrest? But hey, what do I know? All my legal experience has been on the wrong side of the bench.

My only real regret is the fact I didn't know the cocksmoking coward's full name until it was too late to pull any of my Barbie jokes or employ "anatomically correct" humor in so many ways. man I got a million of them ... But hell, I'm betting the little Mattell Toy has heard it all. In fact that's likely why he is the bitter pissy little troll I encountered on the tracks. You see it all the time; the kid everyone harassed because he couldn't get along gets a badge, a gun, weak authority, and a lifetime of schadenfreude.

But the highlights of the incident:
Being poked with a broom by my hoodlum friends through jail bars.
Watching my co-conspirators attempt to mate against said bars.
The cops surprised to find a gaggle of drunken Goons harassing their inmates.
The former mayor of Manchester licking a cop's window.
Riding with idiots to Alva.
Hot jail clerk girl.
A Woods County Deputy's quote, "What the hell? Trespassing? That's just stupid."
Riding with good people home.
Returning to main street Waynoka to have Big Shoe Matt cast a disappointed eye and comment, "Hrmmph ... two hours ..." then shake his head like a coach who just chalked up a loss.

When you've recently finished 4 years in a fed pen 120 minutes with the locals on a bullshit rap fails to impress.

Once the dust settled it was actually funny. And the rumor mill in my small burg kicked ass. Suppoosedly I'd stopped a train with a gun and attempted to rob it. Amongst other tales ...

The incident made good fodder for an article with Thunder Press too. As implausible as it seems a very nice cat from their Southern Region asked if I'd be interested in pounding out some sort of garbage article about runs in the area. Well, lemme see ... a legitimate excuse to go ride, drink, act up, and take pictures? One more flimsy bullshit ploy to abandon my family and spend the weekend filthy and offensive with my hoodlum friends? The actual legitimization of my very favorite activity? Possibly even a stipend for the words? Hell yes! Fired the article off and they pretended it failed to suck. Supposedly in print this month. That almost makes me a writer. Almost.

For the next article, and pictures, their helpful advice ran along the lines of, "Resolution and composition was fine, but how about some pictures of people actually 'riding' their bikes, or at least sitting on them. All you gave us are drunks in various locales. And turn off the damned date stamp!" Blamed the date thing on Jr. the drunk thing ... well, what's the parable: You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.

Somehow I doubt this is how The Good Doctor got started. Although I would kill for a Steadman portrait ...

For now the calendar just stays full. Every freaking weekend there is another poker run for another cause. Poker Run overkill is fast approaching. Conveniently at about the same time I lamely try to promote The Running Of The Rats. Oh swell ... now I can rant, rave and bitch about the confluence of poker runs and their questionable merits, then turn to the cat next to me with, "Oh, and here's a flyer for a run we do in July." I have become that which I most despise.

In our small town alone this past weekend two different organizations were holding fundraising poker runs. The Elks and The Shriners. These were at least organizations which help the community at large. Of course that didn't stop me from hoping for a rumble ala West Side Story if their paths crossed. Old men in funny hats stroking it out over Robert's Rules Of Order. Tubby White guys in carefully choreorgaphed dance / fight scenes. A tattered fez crushed under the wheels of a souped up go-cart. Fraternal Org Smackdown! Switchblades and parlimentary procedure.

I crack me up. No, really, ask my wife. I could care less if the three people who read this shit find any humor at all in the crap I pound out, as long as I make ME laugh. And I'm laughing. So there.

Legitimate efforts to raise funds and benefit the community at large are always welcome. I never cuss these pursuits. And I generally try to help if I am at all able. Links on the website, spreading the word, the events calendar, flyers, yada yada yada ... Folks who ride and work with a genuine purpose and cause don't suck. But then there are the others ... corporate runs. Questionable cause runs. Big-money sponsored profit machines. Marketing schemes focused sharply on the motorsickle demographic. Usually put on by people who do not ride at all, or do so only in the trophy poser sense.

These people suck more ass than a Thai Hooker on dollar salad toss day. (I've used that one before, haven't I. Tough shit. My blog.)

In the past couple of years we've had a local media conglomerate and known shitbag profiteer look to the concept of 'The Poker Run' as a means to generate advertising revenue and sales. Not to support a worthy cause with the monies collected from participants, but to hide under the mode and guise of the poker run theme whilst fattening a Burns-size wallet.

I came home from college to work on farm machinery after everyone at home died. So no, I didn't finish the accounting degree. I'm a dropout (and a trespasser). Therefore my reasoning skills and math may be a little off here but follow me and check my work:

8 "sponsors" with their logo on your flyer and a brief mention in radio ads at $989 each.
An unknown number of "minor sponsors" at $350 each.
$1500 worth of free tickets to the concert you don't even stage at the end.

So far we're at, approximately / "at least", $10,000. Before you've even signed up a participant.
So you trade out some shitty flyer printing for some advertising. Whip up a cheesy t-shirt. Stage a run where people stop at your "sponsors" locations. And charge people $25 each to be involved ...

And your grand prize for Best Hand: $500.

I'm not a smart man, Jenny, but I know what forcible anal sodomy is.

To make it look better you put a bullshit line on the flyer reading, "A portion of proceeds go to The Ronald McDonald House." Yeah ... I'll bet it was a huge portion. If it was anything less than $8,000 the run was nothing more than a blatant and obscene fleecing of the riding community in general and a bastardization of the concept at large. Let's be realistic, if C. Montgomery Burns were to give $8,000 to the Ronald McDonald House it would be front page news. No, I'm betting it was somewhere in the neigborhood of $500. If that.

My point? I think the thing speaks for itself. Res ipsa loquitur. Eventually the riding public will have to grow tired of being treated as mindless money faunts. The backlash will be a healthy disrespect and distrust of all runs. And then legitimate causes suffer. All because the predatory and unprincipled saw an opportunity to capitalize on us.

Why does it matter to me? As a matter of principle it pisses me off, but in the long run it doesn't make a bit of difference. We give away all the money we make on the RatRun. We're not impersonating philanthropists and riding coat tails to profit. In fact, it generally costs around $300-$400 to stage the RatRun once the smoke clears. But it's worth it. Best hand gets well over $1,000, we're not screwing anyone at $20 for the whole gig, we have nice leisurely ride with friends, and this year we were able to award three scholarships. Three. That's pretty damned groovy.

Perhaps after folks realize they're being treated as sheep they'll revolt against the unscrupulous bastards treating them as rolling ATMs and refuse to be fiscally raped.

"Treat me good, I'll treat you better.
Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse."

Regardless these sorts of minor irritants the riding season is on. Wheat harvest will soon be complete and I'm getting my fat ass on the road for some poker run promotion. Pawhuska, as usual, kicked all manner of various ass. The ride over with Goons, the many stops on the many beers tour. Discovering a new bar in Ponca. Laughing until you think you're just gonna puke. The resolution of all pressing issues. Nothing in the world cures the hate and discontent like a ride with friends. Whether it's the inherent danger of a motorsickle road trip or just the common bond of a group geared towards two-wheeled pursuits the camraderie is hard to beat. Especially when your pack is thinned down to those who don't suck. Can't beat that shit with a sledge.

It had been a while since I'd been able to travel in minimalist fashion. A simple overnight sans passenger meant a jacket and someone else's folding chair constituted adequate camping equipment. Buddy has the ultimate sunshade. The OCIB cats have a hell of a good tent. Adolph Coors has laminated boxes to hold ice. And Bad Brad's serves up a fine turd maker. Life is good.

If this work load will subside I can head for points North on the weekend. Maybe a little Goat Roper, Otto, Bad News Jimmy action in ICT. Hell yes ...


lex talionis
alea iacta est

20 March 2006

People Tend To Suck

And not in that good way. More in the "Why is that assbag wasting my oxygen" kind of way ...

People like this mental midget Oklahoma State Senator Bernest Cain. A wizard of wimp politics, Sen. Cain decided the answer to young people's head injuries and accidents was not rider education or responsible behavior but a complete ban on anyone under the age of 12 on any sort of off-road ATV. Four wheelers, three wheelers, motorcycles. All of it. Brilliant!

In his infinite knowledge of the subject Sen. Cain has deemed The Nanny State and not the time-honored tradition of parenting all-knowing when it comes to what is best for our children. And of course with 12 being a magic number (it is the square root of 144 and the number which makes up a dozen, after all) any child reaching the magic age will automatically be safer and more experienced on a motorized off road device. Regardless their past experience and practice. Of course ... Yes ... This makes perfect sense. Why wouldn't it?

Those first rides, the cow trails and shale pits where we all learned to ride as our paternal figures, or the neighbor kid who had a mini bike, watched nervously. The all day trail rides and scrambles. The excitement of looking forward to every given Sunday's dirt pursuits. Sweaty heads in an old helmet, and the contented sleep on the way home. Basic principles of mechanical maintenance. The responsibility and self-esteem gained aboard the two wheeled fun machines. All of that - immediately illegal if this self-aggrandizing safety nazi had his way.

Idiot politicians.

Thankfully the AMA, amongst others, was quick to get on the bill and its language was amended, eliminating the provision criminalizing what is - for all intents and purposes - a rite of passage for lucky grade schoolers nationwide. My own little Kenievel offered this sage advice when the bill's contents were summarized for him, "Guess we'll just have to ride at the farm where they can't see us."

I can't decide if I'm raising a small anarchist, a student of civil disobedience, or a budding criminal. Likely a combination of all three; like his old man.

What personally offends my ever-so-delicate sensibilities is the fact there is a living being so completely bereft of practical knowledge or common sense a complete and total ban on the operation of ATVs and motorcycles for those under age 12 seems sensible. I'll bet the Grandkids can't wait for this prick to visit.

"Merry Christmas, Grandpa! What did you bring us?!!"
"ANSI-approved glasses, safety scissors, and the collected writings of Ralph Nader - on tape!"
What a jackass ...

This type of thinking is exactly the reason those dues paid to your motorcycle rights organization of choice are monies well spent. My 7-year-old protege is an AMA member following his turtle-like showing at the Arenacross Nationals in Guthrie. I maintain my ABATE membership with NW69 out of Woodward for more than the novelty of their chapter numeration.

Personally, I don't want a helmet. Okay, let me rephrase that: I do not wish to be TOLD to wear a helmet. There have been times the helmet wasn't so bad ... rain and hail come to mind.

But I've ranted and frothed at the mouth enough on the helmet gig. That horse has been beat to death, ravaged by the necrozoophiliacs, slaughtered for meat by roaming tribesmen, boiled for glue, and had its hide tanned and used as a floor rug. To revisit this argument would do nothing more than anger people I both respect and enjoy making uncomfortable during polite conversation.

The real problem is the nanny state. Clueless fatassed politicians who know what is best for us. Vigilance, like herpes, is forever. Thankfully MRO's keep watch on these pigs and let us know when they've overstepped their bounds. A full-time job.

There seems to be a watchdog organization for all varied interests. My dues to the NRA get me a magazine and a healthy fear of Hillary, Brady, et al. I suppose those interested in the culinary arts have watchdogs policing the legislative branch for ridiculous regs relating to toques.

Sadly there is no cure for stupidity. In fact, less-than-brilliant thinking is no longer demeaned and belittled in this country. It's celebrated. How else can you explain the popularity of rap music and Oprah's book club?

"The whole fucking world's against us, dude, I swear to God."

On the opposite side of the spectrum, running counter to asshat politicos and combating the nanny state's stormtroopers, Spring is coming and good shit is on the way. For example; our friend Brice picked up a new motorsickle a couple Saturdays ago. Killer weather, despite the sprinkles, allowed many of us to accompany our favorite airport security nightmare to Tulsa so we could heckle and annoy him during an otherwise joyous moment. Street Bob, Denim Black. I want to wax it, but it seems they say no. Very groovy motorsickle. And the only thing better than a new motorsickle is seeing Brice up on two wheels again. The icing on the cake will be his adorable bride on the back. Mmmm ... Tara ...

To properly christen the new bike we (predictably) headed straight south of Route 66 HD to Hooters for wings and libations. Sunshine and passing storms made for the perfect recipe of "Let's sit this out and see where the storms go." By the time the coast was clear it became apparent we are never allowed back to the Tulsa Hooters. The yuppie chick with the great rack was unimpressed with my vernacular, wings give you gas, Werther is a pirate, and they should stock more bottled beer. Or perhaps it's best they didn't.

Route 66 HD is fast-becoming my new favorite big-ass Harley dealer. I developed a case of the ass at these mega-dealer boutiques with their clueless hair-gelled salesgeeks and parts people who've never turned a wrench. If I want that shit I'll go to AutoZone where the pockmarked punk behind the counter says, "A 3/8 bolt ... What's it go on? I need a year model for my menu-driven parts lookup." AutoZone is the best illustration for why kids need to pull their fucking pants up, turn their hats around, and develop a callous or two before attempting to sell me anything.

But Route 66 in Tulsa ... nice place. Even beyond the fact they donated a leather jacket for the Brice Benefit gig, I've yet to have a shitty experience there. And I can have a shitty experience in a strip club. Myers-Duren, for example; they pretty much punked out on the Brice Benefit. Nada, nothing, not even a shitty t-shirt from their shitty sale rack. So guess who DOESN'T get any of our parts, bauble, or new wholegoods dollars ... The free market economy is so freaking cool.

First time I stumbled into 66 I was with the MonkeyBoy. Seeing the huge showroom and complete stock of chrome goodies, motorclothes crap, and official licensed whoreabilia I fully expected to be treated like shit ala Harley World in OKC. Needing back room parts I was stuck behind some no-riding poser and his apparent life-partner while they annoyed the hell out of the counter help. "Well ... what's this one look like?" At which point the beleaguered counter rat would tread back to the shelves, bring out the chrome accessory clearly illustrated in the catalog, and have the coiffed and shod pole-smoker say, "No ... let's look at this one ..."

I think he was a politician.

Anyway, three or four times of this had me ready to scream and Jake ready to stab people. About this time the counter guy shoves their boxes and catalog out of the way, looks at us and says very politely, "Can I help you guys?"

The poser bitches might have been offended, but they hadn't spent a dime and were about to cost the place sales, present and future. The parts man was astute and helpful. Got us our goodies with no mistakes, knew exactly what we needed, and had us out the door while the thorns in his side were still trying to decide whether to Ride To Live or Live To Ride. My bet is they live to pack fudge in a trailer.

For those reasons it was good to see Brice get a nice not-so-shiny brand new motorsickle in a dealership that doesn't suck.

I just hope we haven't ruined his chances at hot wings in T-Town. Man, that manager was really ready for us to leave. We've only seen that look a couple thousand times.

Rest of the day was severely perfect. Afternoon ride down scenic 51. Rest stop and fellowship at George's in Stillsville. Then rolling into Enid for Vinny Big Noggan at Crappy's. Education professionals all assed up. Hot girl-on-girl action. JMFB. More cute chicks than you can shake wood at. It don't get much better than that.

Sunday's convalescence was interrupted by the visitation of Kansas-Based Goons on a Panhead retrieval mission. As soon as familiar faces hit the living room it was readily apparent I would be accomplishing nothing on Sunday either.

That wasn't completely true, however. We did manage to scout a new stop for the RatRun, a prospect was severely hazed, and I was able to secure my position as 'Most Annoying Dick Ever' in the Grand Saloon. We'll see if I'm ever allowed back.

Regardless there's just all kinds of good shit to look forward to:

Motorsickle Shows in OKC.

Kelsey's Run, which is not only for a good purpose but one thing a person can do to lessen the urge to find the people responsible for her death and beat them viciously. To death. These kinds of things always remind me of Big Rick, our hoodlum friend who was first described to me as, "A guy whose killed more people than cancer." Once when up for another stint in the big house he said, "Ahh, it ain't that bad. I'll get hang out and beat the shit out of some pedophiles."

Even amongst the hardest of criminals doing harm to a child is a special and evil offense worthy of severe punishment. Power to the vigilantes.

Waynoka Snake Hunt, for which Miss MereBear has shed 200 pounds of useless husband to attend. And for which we will arrange kid care for a prospect ...

Warm weather, time change, extra daylight, and the "Promoting The RatRun" bulletproof excuse to ride.

Damn I love motorsickles ...

With local weather being unseasonably beautiful as of late the streets of my brain-dead hometown have been flat-out packed with motorsickles. Bikes which have not seen the light of day in years are being dusted off, kicked to life, and tagged. Hopefully they're also being insured ...

Love to see that. More motorcycles means less cars. Less pollution (because I'm so into the environment). Less gas consumption for those robber baron bastards. Less traffic. Less behemoth-piloting soccer moms reading a Pottery Barn catalog, sipping latte, steering with a skirted knee, and discussing dinner plans on a cell phone between slapping brats and applying eyeliner.

Did I miss any estrogen-based stereotypes? No? Good. Misogyny rules. As much as I hate to admit it, some of the best motorsickle riders I know are female. You know who you are. I'd rather ride with them than several of the squids I've witnessed endangering all our lives on the open road.

Along those lines we've already seen far too much death not only in Oklahoma but just here in Enid.

Recently a cat I knew only in passing but knew to be one hell of a good guy was killed on his Duc. Tony Trammell.

Before that, an entire mess of tragic motorsickle carnage with a sportbike debacle.

There'll be more before snow flies again. Let's try and keep it at an absolute minimum.

And remember, kiddies, we're all gonna die. If you're riding a motorsickle you're living in the meantime but might die sooner, it's all a matter of odds and timing. Act right. Think. Watch out for the assbags. Make sure people know you appreciate them. Tuck your kids in at night. And check the box to be an organ donor.

Dying doesn't scare me. Dying at age 95 in a hospital bed hooked to a respirator and shitting in a bag scares the holy hell out of me ... Hopefully I go before my organs are junk, and someone can actually make good use of them when I'm done.

On that cheery note,

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.

12 December 2005

Random Garbage

My friend and intellectual superior Mickey McKee once said, "Yeah, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving: start of the traditional Holiday Drinking Season!"

This year our seasonal bacchanalia started way early with the arrival of The Twisted Lizard. On leave from the sandbox we spent his two weeks drinking to excess and sneaking up behind the SF psycho screaming "Incoming!" I think he was ready to get back to urban patrol and dodging IEDs, you know; to get a little rest. Insurgent Haji and the Mullahs (that sounds like a band - a really shitty band. I'll bet they play Toby Keith's place soon) can't be as irritating as we were. We got him drunk, we kept him up all night, we made jokes at his expense, we mocked his fashion sense and grooming habits, we chastised him for being bundled up in 70-degree weather, and we did nothing to recognize his contributions to our national defense. Basically we re-acclimated him to civil society - at least our version of it - then we sent him back to the Sandbox. Probably not the best idea we've ever had.

Good to see the skinny little bitch while he was here. Seems the only thing to eat on the FOB is the same thing you eat every freaking day. And the only thing to see is the same sandy shit you see every day. And the only people to talk to ... You get the idea. Repetitive monotonous cycles of boredom. You know, like marriage.

Hey, I like to start a blog with some straight-from-the-heart evil bitterness. Get it out of the way right off the bat. Hate and discontent. The kids love it.

Honestly, though, having our own Metrosexual Soldier back in town for a couple weeks put things into perspective. Like how fat I'm getting. And how I take for granted the fact I can roll over on a Sunday morning, harass the bride for some action, shower, beat the children, go for a motorsickle ride, meet my friends in some dive for a cold beer, and return home to grilled steaks and The Simpsons before crashing in a comfy bed and negotiating for the carnal treats I was denied earlier in the day. All this because brave men with automatic weapons are willing to travel any distance to kill any assbag who threatens my way of life.

Kicks a bunch of ass, huh?

Also makes my everyday decisions seem small and petty as compared to those made by the folks who operate in harm's way. By the time I'm getting my hungover bitter ass out of a nice warm shower and trying to decide which pair of ratty levi's would go best with my stained work shirt half a world away my friends have spent the day taking fire and doing the grass roots work of instilling freedom's core values in what could be a budding democracy. Makes my choice of Cheerio's or a fat-laden greasy box of shit from McDonald's look pretty petty.

So if I may offer a suggestion. Instead of a yellow ribbon printed in God Knows Where to show your support do something for a soldier, or their family, this Christmas. There are plenty of opportunities:
Blue Star Mothers send much-appreciated care packages and have no overhead.
The USO still does good work out there, it's not just a Bob Hope footnote.
Adopt A Platoon was started to ensure everyone saw mail call.

Ask around. Look around. Someone somewhere near you is most definitely offering a chance to show your support in some way much more satisfying and tangible than magnetic cutouts.

Besides, it's almost Christmas. And their families are still here. There are kids who'd like barbies and bikes, and moms who'd appreciate some babysitting and a hand. Their dads/husbands/children do the work today to keep the evil bastards out of our country. They deserve our support.

Speaking of, while I know it's still waaaayyy too early for most men to shop I wanted to make sure all three of the drunken jackasses who read this garbage know there is absolutely NO reason to go the malls and do battle with those Feliz Navinazis prowling about. The same glowing screen that brings you porn and stupid jokes can provide presents as well. Legitimate presents that will make you look like something other than a slobbering beer-soaked selfish prick.

Aerostich / Rider Warehouse has by far the coolest selection of motorsickle goodies ever. Nothing here for the bike night posers who never leave town on their over-polished barely-warmed up phallic trophies, but folks who actually ride can always find something they need in their pages. On top of quality motogoods they have the best editorial staff anywhere, and the catalog fits nicely on the back of the shitter. A gift certificate is a sure bet from the cats out of Duluth.

If you can't find something for your dad, brother, friend, or whatever at Cabela's, Cheaper Than Dirt, Cycle Gadgets.com, Dennis Kirk, or Crutchfield you are hopeless and so are they. Period.

Women ... well, that's a pain in the ass. Lingerie too small, you never get to see it used but are considered sweetly ignorant. Too big, you're pounding your fist for a while. Besides, lingerie is an obvious self-serving gift. Overstock.com has chick stuff. Or books. What am I, Dr. Phil? I don't know what women want, neither do you.

Get her a damned gift certificate. Do not buy her soap. Even that stinky shit from Bath & Body Works. It'll be the wrong shit, and she'll infer all sorts of awful nonsense from it. "Do I stink? Is he trying to tell me something? Is that why he never goes down on me?" Steer clear. Soap = bad idea. Gift certificate for day spa = good idea. Go figure. They both seem equally useless to me.

Buying your chick a gift says a lot more than you intended it to. The book on sexual techniques you thought would be fun to thumb through together hits the twisted, estrogen-poisoned mind as, "I'm not good enough! I don't do that thing his last girlfriend did! He's comparing me to other women! That bastard!"

Play it safe with your date. Gift certificates, cards a female friend approved, promises to do some menial chore. Basically just look at whatever you're buying her, imagine the most ridiculous leap of reasoning which would lead from that gift to you being an inconsiderate bastard, and decide if you can adequately defend your decision against such reasoning.

Me? I'm giving my ol' lady a dose of the tickle pickle. Sure she'll be disappointed. But she's too polite to say so. My fragile ego and all ...

I bought most of the plastic crap and shiny noisy consumer baubles necessary to properly illustrate the deep spiritual significance of the birth of Jesus Christ to small children on either Amazon.com or eBay. (Except for this.) Everyone knows all about the two megabastards of the online world, so there's really no reason to sing their praises. Like anything that gets too big there are reasons to desire everyone involved with their operation dies a horrible painful death. But I always seem to go back and buy again. Because I hate wal-mart.

Which brings up an excellent point; before heading off to Sam Walton's frankenstore run amuck to buy the same mass produced shit everyone else is giving this year look around. If you live in a town of more than 5,000 people there is sure to be a locally-owned shop itching to serve you a better product than those catatonic shmucks in the blue smocks. The same folks wal-mart has damned near ruined via predatory pricing and tactics for the sheeple are still in many small towns. Mom and Pop stores, like independent motorsickle shops, are still the best place to buy.

I stumbled into one locally completely by accident. C.M. Miller gift store here in Enid is one of those high-end very nice bridal registry places with Waterford crystal and place setting no mom ever lets a child use. I did the basic testosterone gig and blazed by there a few years ago on my lunch hour, on Christmas Eve, to get the wife a present. Not only were they actually pleased to see a customer and friendly as hell - they pretended not to notice I was more out of place than if I'd stumbled into a United Negro College Fund awards banquet. Additionally, they have a toy selection in the back with those kick-ass educational and just plain different toys you don't find in the big-ass retail monstrosities. I left with a saddlebag full of gift-wrapped packages containing goodies I wouldn't have found in the superstore. But the real bonus; I didn't have to scream obscenities at some inconsiderate fatassed mom of 12 when her barefoot urchins wouldn't make way for me to push a cart around them and her huge posterior. Again.

Ditto for The Bike Shop across the street. A person could go to wal-hell and buy a piece of shit bike from a barely literate salesgeek then assemble the piece of shit Christmas Eve, drunk, when it's too late to head to the store and get that left-handed metric half-sized black powder coated acorn nut they shorted you. Or you could stumble into Micah's bike shop, spend maybe 10% more, and walk away with a higher quality item professionally assembled and warranted by a guy who remembers what you bought. Think it over, Steinmetz.

All right ... I'm preaching to the choir here I know. The point is: buy locally, fuck the french. No idea what those rifle-dropping surrender monkey cowards have to do with it, but I haven't been on their ass in a while and it felt right.

If, by chance, you're wondering what to get me for Christmas - here's my list:

  • A Ducati Monster. I don't care which one.
  • CRF250R Not so much for me, but to follow the MonkeyBoy ...
  • A Piper J3-Cub. Or an Aviat Husky. Either, I'm not picky ...
  • A motorsickle tour of Europe - excepting france, of course.
  • Lunch with Mr. James Buffett
  • Some new boots
  • Paul Sr.'s head on a stick
  • A Colt Commander Gold Cup
  • Bryant Gumbel's head on a platter
  • Head.
  • Ruger M77 MkII in .300 win mag
  • accommodations for Baja or Sturgis, preferably both.
  • Dinner and Drinks with the Pussycat Dolls
  • Dr. Phil to shut the hell up.
  • Some wings.
  • Sunshine, blue skies, safe rides, and all my friends collected from their far-flung locales for cold beer and two-wheeled tales in a familiar pub ... Soon.

My Christmas shopping is done. Easy ... I got married so I wouldn't have to shop for my own maternal unit. That's simply not my job anymore. The daughter: a little tougher. Girls toys are really boring. Pastel frilly fragile shit ... So she's getting a bike. Jake ... He's almost too easy.

"So, Jake, what do you want for Christmas?"
"A surprise."
"Really? Okay."
... pause as he thinks it over and envisions getting clothes for Christmas ...
"How about an airplane?"
"That'd be cool."
"A TOY plane, not a real one."
"Oh ... no problem, MonkeyMan."

Apparently when you're 6 and all your grandfather's friends have airplanes you have to make these distinctions. I assured him there was little risk of a new RV8 showing up under the tree.

Later he drops this on me;

"I think I might need a tool box, too. Now that I have a motorsickle ..."
Sometimes I think he says things just to see my head swell with pride.

Merry Christmas, Kids.
Happy Hanukkah, Hyman.
Seasons Greetings, Sinners.

*kwanzaa is not a legitimate holiday, and I could give a shit less what the muslims worship/celebrate/shit on yada yada yada ...

09 November 2005

Old Men and Roast Beef

Back when I still had an extra $15 a week (pre dual kids and mortgage) I would ride to lunch as far across town as possible - to maximize riding time in a limited window. At the time Arby's was as far as I could get without exceeding my allotted one hour of freedom or eating some garbage from a purveyor of stewed cat and viral death.

Recently I was reminded of a sunny fall afternoon I'd ridden my ragged little 883 4-speed chain drive Sportster to the far reaches of Enid to settle in for a big roast beef and the Daily Oklahoman. Across from me, all alone at a table for two, was an older gentleman. While I'll never make a carnival barker and can't guess age this guy had to be 85 if he was a day. Weathered face and a knowing eye, we'd exchanged non-verbal pleasantries when I sat down and had passing eye contact.

As I was finished with the meal he broke the awkward silence and asked me, "Is that your motorcycle?"
"Yes," I replied, "it's an 88 Sportster. Lot of fun when the weather is nice like this."
He smiled and said, "Looks nice. Reminds me of my old Indian."
Having heard this and similar lines before from so many others I followed with, "Really ..."

This is the part where most folks foul their lie with nonexistent models or skewed timelines. Anything from, "Yeah, I bought a brand new Sportster in '51." Or "Used to ride my dad's old 76 Panhead - he bought it new when he got of 'nam." all the way to "I have an all original basket case Knuckle at home, all I need is the electric starter and I'm back on the road."

But the elderly gentleman at the fast food place floored me with, "Yep. Bought a used Indian Four when I returned from overseas. Reminded me of my dad's Henderson so I wanted it. I loved that bike."

This had me sit down with a "No shit ..."

He related to me a timeline of road trips and friends on the old Indian. How his friend bought a used '36 model upside down four and it 'roasted his balls.' How even then the HD guys were a bunch of pricks and refused to acknowledge the Indian's positive attributes. How he had increased compression to hop-up the 12 hp motor, rode it to California from his home in Omaha several times, slept in ditches and under overpasses, and landed any number of girls with the bike. Eventually one landed him, as he confessed; "Finally I got married. And she made me sell the bike to buy a Hudson. Said we couldn't haul groceries on a motorcycle."

There was a weighted pause as I nodded respectfully and he finished with a half-assed pissed off: "She's dead now, and I still wish I had that bike."

Not knowing whether to laugh or console him I sat there as he smiled and added, "Don't ever get rid of your bike." And we both laughed. Me respectfully, him regretfully ...

So I haven't. At least not 'a bike.' Regretfully I did sell that particular Sportster in order to trade up to a used Heritage. The little 4-speed found a new home with an in-law I knew would take care of it. Like most men I consider anything once mine to be always be mine. Similar to dogs pissing on trees. Hell, I still think my high school girlfriend is screwing around on me with her husband of 11 years. The whore.

So when I sold my beloved Sportster (I couldn't afford the Heritage otherwise) I sent it to live with someone who would follow the same maniacal maintenance schedule it had experienced with me. Hell, I even volunteered to maintain it pro bono.

He in turn traded-up and sold it to some fatassed mechanically inept malcontent. Last time I saw my Sporty the asshat had a lunch box strapped on the fender, it was covered in filth, the base gaskets were leaking, gas stains riddled the tank, and the chain was slapping the guard. I shudder to think how long the oil had been percolating in the bag, or when - if ever - the tranny / primary oil had been changed. Had it been ten years later he undoubtedly would have been sporting an occ shirt and a west coast beanie to complement his brand new sleeve of tattoos - "just like the guys on TV!". I couldn't stand to see my first ride to Sturgis treated like a fucking moped by some brain dead lummox. In retrospect I should have shot them both and ended the misery. But I walked away muttering curses which, if they come true, should now have that punk hooked to a colostomy bag in a fetid mental ward due to the untreated syphilis and rotting spine.

Similarly the Heritage I put countless miles and two new cylinder kits on was bought by this weasel-dicked clerk a Lowe's who brought it to Forman's for service. 6,500 miles later. Over three time the miles I put on oil changes. Idiots ... The lot of them. Thankfully I've never seen that beast again. I suspect it was laid down on gravel by the drunken punk and sent him to the emergency room before behing totaled and scrapped by some heartless uninformed insurance lady. The bitch.

So maybe the old man did mean to never sell my bike. Maybe he'd been tortured by 60 years of nightmares wherein his beloved Indian sat neglected in a Kansas tree row while rats gnawed the plug wires, sparrows shit all over the speedo, and rust consumed the tank. Maybe his deceased wife had failed to see why this was a bad thing so he beat her to death with a shovel one night and buried the body under the house. Maybe keeping a motorsickle in the house is the only way to keep my old lady alive. Maybe I need more motorsickles as insurance ...

Or maybe The Prophet Paul was right when he said, "The only thing worse than a wannabe is a used-to-be."

All I know is: seeing the forlorn looks of those poor bastards who sold their Shovelhead to make a down payment on the house when we pass by on a June afternoon is more than I can bear. Were that lottery to pay off I'd be the motorsickle fairy (or sprite - that sounds better than 'fairy') and distribute Low Rider Standards to the family men who sacrificed wind and loud pipes for hearth and home. Having the motorsickle really makes the overtime and asshole customers worth the ulcers and hate.

So I'm never selling the Road King. At this point in my life I just don't care enough to repress the urge to slaughter who ever would abuse it next. When I auger in, and I will, if it's not aboard the two-wheeled instrument of death then Jake gets it. He knows maintenance. I've taught him. That's my job.

Lou Lou the Zulu still has his first bike, and he's almost always well-adjusted and happy. Although some of that could be attributed to Miss Kathey ...

Admittedly, I got lucky and made money on both my Sportster and my Heritage. I sold when motorsickles were hot property and supply was low. I had the motorsickle before I got married. I married a chick who told me, "If the motorsickle goes, I go." I got into the Road King for dealer list rather than the $6,200 surcharge those reprehensible shiteyed cocksuckers at Barnett's wanted. And I've been fortunate to have found the best group of Goons in the world to ride with. Pretty much, except for my aesthetically repulsive visage, I've just been damned lucky.

If there is any justice the people who have abused my old motorsickles are miserable wretches bent and haggard searching the earth for happiness. Gollum in a punk-ass chopper tee. Fuck 'em. They deserve it.

Don't ever sell your bike.

19 October 2005

Jake Rides

Strolling the fabled streets of Fort Worth's tourist-geared Historic Stockyards I was made graphically aware of what a fashion accessory motorcycles have become for the uppwardly mobile and penile disadvantaged.

I've long ago written off my unmasked hostility to the costumed and coiffed psuedo-bikers as simply being the manifestations of my own hate and discontent sewn and grown by the grace of God via my associations with people who do not suck. (Run-on sentences RULE!) Others may claim jealousy and fractured id, but those people are oedipal asshats clouding obvious reality with imagined underlying forces.

But back to why everyone sucks but us: there I was, sans motorsickle, on a beautiful 85 degree severe clear kind of day. Cold Shiner in one hand and a wide-eyed 1st grader at the other. Yes, the literal model of domesticity gone horribly awry. I even had a camera in my pocket and plans to buy the boy a balloon hat from the clown on the corner. All was well, and I was doing a very good job supressing the urge to bitch about my lack of two-wheeled conveyance. I had nothing, really, to bitch about. I'd flown to Ft. Worthless in a high performance aerobatic aircraft, and would be headed back in the relative comfort and status stigma of a minivan. But as those who ride know; if it's not raining like a bastard with occasional piston sized hail we'd rather have the motorsickle. Sometimes even if it is. I did not. Both kids, the wife, and the assorted baby support gear won't fit - even if I had a sidecar. Damnit.

Somewhere between Riscky's BBQ and the Cattlepen maze we heard him coming: the badass. That irritating sound we've all grown to know - and some to hate. Straight pipes lacking any sort of proper back pressure attached to a high-compression engine wed to a Baker six speed, and mounted in a frame of questionable lineage. The Chopper BadAss rode our way.

As I turned to catch the formulaic profile of the late-in-life assbag aboard a horribly overpriced 'chopper' parading his fat ass down the brick streets my 1st grade protege, unprompted, turned to me and said, "I wonder where the no-riding punk parked his trailer."

YES! He is my kid! Cancel the paternity test.

Much like when he knows the next line on The Simpsons our maternal unit fails to be impressed with these moments of pure clarity from Young Jacob. She is female, however, and we know their sense of humor tends to be deficient.

Watching this punk idle through the stockyards a few things came to mind. Some pointers you boomers on cookie-cutter psuedo choppers should keep in mind:
  • When pretending to be a hoodlum leave the dockers at home.
  • Ditto on the loafers, dipshit.
  • Neither go with the chaps, especially when it's 90 degrees.
  • We know you're hiding Rogaine's progress with the do-rag.
  • Ratling windows with shitty exhaust is no substitute for actually riding.
  • Real bikers are not scared of u-turns.
  • We're laughing AT you, not 'with' you.

I think there's some confusion with the last one. When you step off the sparkling clean IronHorse in front of Gunner's on Thursday of Sturgis when it's been rainng for the past two days we're not admiring you're housekeeping skills. We're laughing at the costume.

When those stickers show up on trailers with the help number 1-800-NO-COJONES it's not a bonding experience or invitation to haul with us. We're laughing at your lack of balls.

And when you hear from the back of the bar, "Choppers 'til Prom!" and "Choppers 'til It Ain't Cool Anymore!" we're not forming alliances. We're laughing at your wardrobe.

When the graffiti on the pisser wall says 'Fuck The Toweds,' 'U-Haul U-Suck,' and 'Trailered Harleys Suck' this is not friendly chiding and hazing. We're endorsing a thinning of the herd through wholesale slaughter of the costumed and cowardly. Oh, and we're laughing at you.

I'm not really all that old but I actually remember when choppers were bikes that had been chopped and tv shows had white people in them. Damn ... I'm turning into one of those guys.

Global warming is disappointing me. Sparks Halloween gig may be a bag-shriveling hypothermic mess. But we're going anyway.

And The Lizard is coming home to visit next week. Bet that wrecks my liver ...