Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lurking Death In The Garage...

The heat of August wilts my riding resolve as thoroughly as the snows of February bury it. Day after day of 90º temperatures make the thought of putting on “All The Gear... All The Time” absolutely unbearable. Even working in the garage (which needs organizing badly) becomes unendurable in shade that is only marginally cooler than outside. However, we are all aware that the love of motorcycling neither begins nor ends on the road. There are a thousand things one must do in pursuit of this lifestyle, which include the maintenance of gear and machine.

While not quite the equivalent of shoveling shit out of a horse stall, working in the garage might just as well be to those who find no love in things mechanical. (I once loved a woman who was a breathtaking beauty and Mediterranean magma in bed. She was the captain of the college equestrian team, and owned her own horse. Under the pretext of being a Renaissance male, who would stop at nothing to see her naked, I once offered to help muck out a stall. It is a good thing my 1995 BMW K75 does not spend its idle hours filling the garage up with shit. Otherwise, it would drown in it.)

Since I wasn’t riding, I felt compelled to do stuff in the garage.

While not an actual picture of my college girlfriend, this artfully posed photograph offers a reasonable representation of the lady in question and demonstrates the basic ATGATT ensemble for horseback riding. Jodphurs constitute an important part of riding gear. As shown, reinforcing seams do not cross the derierre directly, which could cause discomfort when posting up and down on the mount.
(Photo courtesy of, a real authority on these things -- Click to enlarge for educational purposes)

So I purchased a huge exhaust fan, the sort of thing one finds in coal mines or commercial venues like the Lincoln Tunnel (connecting New Jersey with New York City), to drive out the heated air in the garage while sucking in the night atmosphere. It was my thought that the neighbor’s cat might be passing the open garage door, and get sucked into the fan blades too, but Leslie (my red hot squeeze du jour for life) said that was unlikely. Nevertheless, she got downright pissed when I poured some milk into a bowl and put it in front of the mechanism.

Before using an exhaust fan of any appreciable strength in the garage, remember to sweep the floor and to remove leaves, papers, or other loose debris, including saucers of milk. This fan came up to warp speed within a second or two of hitting the switch and the air become a fog of detritus. The second thing to check is that your girlfriend’s new car is not parked right outside the garage door -- with a window open.

The fan lowered the temperature in the garage a good two degrees, and I started on the chore of straightening out the motorcycle bay. The first Item I picked up was a jack stand I had made for my Kendon motorcycle trailer. Basically, it is a hollow wooden box. My hand closed on something quashy and I realized I had poked my fingers through a spider’s web. I’d missed the spider in residence by a lucky inch. It was a black widow, moving its eight appendages and dual mandibles in a highly sinister way.

These are remarkable creatures about which there is a great deal of misinformation that passes for consensus.

I believe all of it.

My blood-curdling screams drew Leslie to the garage, only to find me standing on a chair, pointing at the box that had come to rest against the protective screen on the hissing exhaust fan. It’s occupant, the disgusting arachnid, had been impelled thorough the works to emerge as a fine spider puree.

“What the hell are you screaming about,” asked Leslie, using the kind of tone which suggested that anything short of flesh-eating zombies was going to fall on deaf ears.

“I picked up that box a second ago, and there was a black widow spider lurking in it,” I said.

“Honestly, Jack,” she said in a way that implied the unspoken word “Shithead” could have been substituted for my name. “You’re telling me you’re screaming because you found a spider in the garage, where the trash cans are kept, which attracts flies from the garden, through the open garage doors?”

“No,” I replied, attempting to salvage a highly fragile masculine dignity. “I screamed because I found the deadliest of all spiders, capable of growing to 50 feet or larger, and possessing the ability to rip the tires off a bus, infesting this garage.”

This is a black widow spider. The size of the spider I killed in the garage was twice the size of the one in this picture. While I used an exhaust fan to exterminate this menace, some experts recommend a Colt .45 automatic, or a grenade.
(Photo by someone who was killed by the spider -- Click to do nothing)

Leslie rolled her eyes in a meaningful way that was more expressive than responsive; a gesture which lead me to think that the single, unattached life, was beginning to hold an odd appeal for her. She then explained that I must have come across some simple, common black spider as there are no black widows in the Pennsylvania.

A fast check on the internet proved otherwise, however, with a report from PennState’s College of Agricultural Sciences, citing these vicious menaces to children, the elderly, and dogs as large as 180 pounds, could be found from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Despite the absence of the creature’s corpse, there was every reason to believe I did actually encounter a black widow spider.

Now many of you are undoubtedly wondering why this is the focus of my blog today?

The answer is because I usually toss my gear on various hooks in the garage when I come in from riding. My jacket, helmet, and gloves are all within access of poisonous arachnids as a matter of course. Not long ago, I put my helmet on only to watch a tiny spider repel down from the visor when I stepped out into the driveway. And on one other occasion, I returned from a rally and found an ugly bloat bag spider (actual scientific name) smoking one of my cigars.

Waiting until Leslie left, I went through the garage, turning things over with a three-foot long set of barbecue tongs. And don’t you know, I found another one of these killers spinning a rather haphazard web in the confines of a spackle bucket. All of the identifying characteristics were there, right down to the desiccated pig carcasses left dangling in the web. I grabbed a can of WD-40 and a cigar lighter. It was my intention to spray the web, igniting it and the tenant, as seen in the movie “Arachnophobia.” There was no gas left in the lighter, however, and all I succeeded in doing was lubing the spider.

I cannot help but get the impression that my gentle readers are thinking, “Jack is a pussy.” Of course, some of you (like Conchscooter and Charlie6) have drawn this conclusion already, but I'll address that subject another time. Six years ago (before I began my career as a re-entry rider), I was out on a bicycle club event (as implausible as this sounds) touring Delaware with Leslie. We got separated by a “road guide,” who took her one way (with him), and who sent me on another direction through a haunted forest. It was here I pedaled through a web that spanned a trail, and was apparently bitten by a spider.

This photo illiustrates how my left arm blew up like a balloon three days after I was bitten by an undetermined species of spider. Medical experts think is was either a "chainsaw tarantula" or one of the child-eating spiders common to the South Pacific and the State of Delaware.
(Photo by Leslie Marsh -- Click to enlarge)

I did not feel the bite at the time and aside from screaming like a little girl when I burst through the web, I didn’t give the episode a second thought. Two days later, I noticed something that looked like a bee sting on my arm, with two little puncture marks in it. I pointed this out to Leslie, who said, “Why are you such a pussy? Something bit you and you think it was a tarantula. Be a man. Rub dog shit on it and shut-up.”

The bite wound turned black a day later.

“I sincerely hope you are not going to show me your bug bite again,” said Leslie in response to my question that I wanted her opinion on something.

“Never mind,” I said. "Is there any more dog shit in the medicine cabinet?" (Leslie believes in natural healing and supports the rituals and practices of Navajo medicine men, which by coincidence, is what my shitty health coverage will pay for. This entails being left out in the yard with a three-day supply of firewood. You can re-enter the house when you are healed.)

That was a holiday weekend and we had volunteered to work the registration desk for a huge ride that was being sponsored by a local bicycle club that Leslie and I had joined by mistake. (They were all douches in vast physical exercise scheme to meet new sexual partners.) I sat next to a lovely woman who responded to my chummy “hello” with, “Aren’t you too fat to ride a bicycle? And what’s the matter with your arm? It’s all red.”

Not only was it red, it was hot to the touch too.

Speaking of poisonous insects, we were scheduled to take some visiting in-laws over to Longwood Gardens for a fireworks display that night. I love fireworks. Nothing personifies summer like a barrage of rockets and a finale of thunder. But I passed that night, claiming I felt lousy. For the first time in five days, Leslie was alarmed. The fact that I felt too poorly to get smashed and attend a great fireworks display suggested I could actually be dying. She took my temperature and stared at the thermometer in disbelief. It read 103. My throbbing left arm was nearly as big as my leg.

We drove into New Jersey to see my doctor the next day.

“You have to go to a hospital and I mean right now,” said my doctor. I’m going to call admitting and make the arrangements.”

“What’s plan ‘B,’” I asked.

“What do you mean plan ‘B,’” my doctor replied. “This can kill you. You need an antibiotic in substantial doses and you can only get it at a hospital.”

“Bullshit,” I said. “Prescribe me pills.”

This led to an interesting three-way dialogue, but I had to work that week. There would be no laying on my ass in a hospital. My general practitioner did a little research and concluded that the maximum pill strength was about the same as to what I would receive in a hospital. But then she threw me a curve ball. She drew two lines on my arm with a marker: one by my wrist and another by my shoulder.

“If the swelling extends beyond these lines at any time, he has to go to hospital right away,” she said to Leslie. “On this condition will I let him walk out of here. And believe me, letting him leave now is Third World medicine.”

Leslie promised she would stay on top of my rapidly deteriorating condition, a pledge I found mildly ironic. But the swelling went beyond the lower line before we got home. I chewed on my belt, took the pills, and had a rum and Coke. I was fine a week later.

My doctor drew two lines on my arm and advised Leslie (Stiffie) that I had to get to a hospital if the swelling went beyond either one. My hand was swollen by the time we left her office and got down to the car. My doctor refers to me as a "Stupid Irish bastard." This picture was taken after being on the medication two days.
(Photo by Leslie Marsh -- Click to enlarge)

So this is why I hate spiders and kill them at the drop of a hat. I went through the garage and killed every living thing. I bought translucent plastic bins -- with snap on covers -- and put all motorcycle related stuff (gloves and other things) into these containers. My jacket and helmet came into the house. I was just about to congratulate myself on a job well done, when I noticed a whacking huge spider on my desk. Screaming like a samurai at a sushi social, I slammed a book down on it.

Nothing happened. I hit it again and again without result. Leslie’s laughter from the kitchen emboldened me to examine the creature. It was plastic. This song captures everything I mean to this woman.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2009
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views)
AKA The Chamberlain -- PS (With A Shrug)


bobskoot said...


Visions of Jack on top of the chair screaming ! not unlike women who climb on top of a chair and yell "mouse". I would do the same thing.

our heat is gone, there is a chill in the air just when my adventure with Chuck is starting. We are leaving tomorrow morning for southern Vancouver Island up to Port Renfrew on Hwy 14, then loop through the forest back to Lake Cowichan. I am hoping to follow Chuck's every move, Stand in his footprints and aim my camera in the same general direction as he does. He is a professional photographer and I am looking forward to spending a couple of days with him. His blog "almostoneaday" is linked on my sidebar. He has already left Seattle and heading for my place in Vancouver on his new MP3-400, pictures of which you will find on Orin's blog "scootin old skool" also on my sidebar.
glad to see you back in good form. we were worried about you

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

I am leaving this weekend for a ride through New York State's Adirondack Mountains. I have been debating over whether or not to take my truck and trailer the bike. It is a 400-mile pull to Lake Placid. After a good deal of soul searching, I have decided to just ride the machine to the Adirondacks. The truck will burn $210 in gas. The bike will burn $60. Nuff said.

Have a great ride... We can compare phots and experiences when we get back.

Fondest regards,

BMW-Dick said...

Engineers haven't yet designed a chair you can stand on. Other than that, this was an interesting tale that substantiates what I know about you. Is smearing dog shit on Jack Riepe sort of like bringing coals to Newcastle?

Nikos said...

A truly spectacular scene in the ATGAT demo image - many thanks for posting this Mr Riepe.

I'm sorry about the heat where you are but over here in sodding depressing England it is cold damp wet and interminably windy.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick:

And I mean that sincerely! Everyone reads about spider bites and occasionally you hear about someone getting one. They can be very serious, even if they aren't from a brown recluse.

The bite I git in those pictures knocked me out for over a week. But it did provide incentive to quite that stupis bicycle club.

Leslie is telling me that I did not find a black widow spider in the garage. I'm telling her I did.

Thank you for reading this tripe, and for writing in. I'm sorry you won't be going with me on my ride this weekend.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Nikos:

Thank you for reading my blog and for writing in.

The weather appears to have broken for the moment, and we have switched off the air conditioning in this house for the first time since May. Every light in the valley brightened when we switched it off.

Temperatures here (40 miles west of Philadelphia) are in the mid 70's (F), and will stay that way for the next five days, extending 400 miles north of here, my destination for the long weekend holiday.
But it will drop down to the mid 40'sat night in upstate New York.

I am looking forward to a real adventure at the end of the summer.

I jumped to your blog -- Nikos World -- tonight and was delighted by the broad range of photos, especially the model steam train. One of my next blog episodes will focus oin the real thing, at one of the most successful steam train museums in the US.

Once again, thank you reading my blog today.

Fondest regards,

MackBeemer said...


I think I heard an earlier incarnation of this. Now that I've got the true and complete version of the spider tale, I am resolved to ensure a proper placement for my duds 'n' stuff.

Sorry I won't be joining you for your Lake Placid ride this weekend. Other duties call.

Ride safe and well.


chessie said...

I'm disappointed at how quickly summer has faded...there is no doubt, according to the calender...the tilt of the earth...all scientific evidence points to the fact is's still summer...but these 50+* nights belie that...and the 70 and 80* days is not usual for this area of NE TN.

I taking advantage of the cooler temps here...but at night...brrrr...I don't want to "get use to it."


Jill said...

Oh, good grief. Spider, schmider! I happen to know you got that arm injury from a brothel in deep East Texas. The "fang marks" were from the only two teeth she had left.


Dave said...

Hi Jack,

We have those nasty bastard biting spiders here in Turkey,the first bite hurts like hell in your veins, muscles and seems to drill down to the bone...BUT take heart Jack, the 5th and 6th bite doesnt hurt half as much lol...



Woody said...

My wife likes spiders about as much as Leslie likes you. I'd like to suggest an alternate song to express her feelings:

You got issues.

I suggest you seek immediate psychotherapy from Dr. Jill, but she's not Navajo, so you can't afford her.

Respectfully submitted this 2nd day of September, 2009.

Wayne Woodruff
CEO, Helen Keller School of Photography

John said...


Black widows are hardly the deadliest of spiders. In fact unless you suffer many bites, the usually cause no issues whatsoever. I had a dog that was bitten multiple times (more than 30) when she walked though a nest and she survived. The bite you got was most likely from a brown recluse spider, also known as the violin spider, which looks a lot less threatening, but in fact causes people to lose limbs and sometimes their lives much more frequently than Black Widows.

Allen Madding said...

I extend my deepest sympathies in your suffering from the hideous spiders. I guess I must have been bit around the navel as my abdomen swole up about 2-3 yrs ago and the swelling has yet to subside.

I would advise keeping a copy of Websters unabridged in easy reach in your garage. It should easily kill any spiders, possibly the neighbors feline, and provide a sturdy step for mounting a BMW.


Conchscooter said...

Life is just one long hideous drama if your name is Toad. Otherwise it's just one long yellow brick road.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mack and Karen:

This ride up to Lake Placid is apt to be my last hurrah for a while, as this tepid recovery is devouring my income. But it will be something of a novelty for me as I am doing this one alone.

It has not escaped my memory that the last time I made this run I was on "Blue Balls," and you were riding shotgun. That was a great trip too. I will have a drink and smoke a cigar in your honor.

How is Karen? Did you guys get any rides in this summer?

Fondest regards,

sgsidekick said...

Think I would freakin' learn not to read your crap whilst drinking...anything! I sprayed my computer screen and the papers around my desk, then almost wet myself!!!

Personally, the only good spider is a dead one. I let the little ones in the corner be for a little while: as long as they catch the little noseemes they can stay. The minute they leave the web? I'm on them with my old combat boot!

You should have been here the day I reached into my purse for something and pulled my hand back out, a spider the size of a quarter riding on the back! Ron's ears rang for a week!!! Taught me to NEVER EVER leave anything open at night!

Ron's solution to a spider in the house is to get an empty jar to catch it in, then turn it loose outside. Makes me wonder why the hell I married him.

sgsidekick said...

Oh, forgot to mention,Jack, that I'm not a wussy. I had a mouse run across my bare foot and didn't utter a sound. I danced around a bit, trying not to stomp it with my bare foot, but I used the same empty jar to capture the little guy and set HIM free outside. I've done that a couple of times now, but since I banned the cats from the garage, they stopped dragging the live mice inside. Phew!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chessie:

I lived in Upstate New York for 18 years, where summer used to fall on a Tuesday. But in truth, I am sick of the dog days of August and 90º heat, which is too hot to strap on all this damn body armor.

Regarding the damn spiders: while my story was meant to entertain, it was also intended to educate. I advise all my readers to check any gear that has been left in a garage or a barn very carefully. And if any of them have been married to the same women I have, I also advise them to have the dog taste their food first too.

It is great hearing from you Chessie! Thank you for reading my stuff and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Jill:

That wasn't a brothel. It was my former mother-in-law's place, where a former spouse learned under a master how to extract blood for sex. The fang marks actually came from my mother-in-law, who briefly regained consciousness as I was staking her down into her coffin.

Thank you for reading my blog tonight Jill, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Leslie said...

I might have known I'd regret taking those pictures. One would think that all of Chester County's black widows had set up a command station in our garage. (Not) While your helmet and riding gear are in vacuum-sealed bags and Tupperware in the dining room, our grandson's stroller, bike helmet and tricycle are in the garage . . . with the spiders.

No worries though. We've been redirecting the spiders to your office.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dave:

You were kind enough to write: "BUT take heart Jack, the 5th and 6th bite doesnt hurt half as much..."

Oddly enough, an aged gentleman in a run-down bar told me the same thing about marriage. He was wrong, of course.

I can't imagine the kind of spiders they have in Turkey... But don't they have scorpions there too? I do go to anyplace where the spiders have hides nor where the lobsters hide under rocks with stingers poised for action. Have you really been bitten multiple times by dreadful spiders? If so, could someone be putting them on you? I will send you a picture of one of my former spouses. It was her specialty.

Thank you for reading my blog and for kindly commenting.

Fondest regards,

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Wayne:

Earlier tonight, you concluded, "You have issues." This followed a delightful You-Tube recommendation.

Thank you for sharing your taste in music and for joining the line of folks who have concluded the obvious. Also, your referral to Dr. McCarley was equally helpful.

I must confess your title had me in stitches. A pre-emptive strike on one's self does deprive the competition of any satisfaction.

I am constantly flattered that you read my blog for inspiration and guidance.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear John:

You have your sources of information and I have mine. Dr. Albert Hissingazz of the Wilmington Institute of Hollistic Dry Cleaning And Natural Phenomenon informs me, with all confidence, that my facts in this story are brutally correct.

Your dog was undoubtedly stung by mosquitoes, that make a buzzing sound, not unlike Bregstein.

I cannot express to you my gratitude for your devotion to thid blog, and your kind remarks.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Allen:

I have been using a much smaller caliber to kill spiders. It is the "Unabridged Guide To Key West Café Society." If one removes all the pictures with a Triumph in them, the book has but six pages left.

I will act on your recommendation immediately. It never occurred to me that my current affliction could be the result of a saber-toothed spider bite.

Thank you for your kind suggestion.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conch:

Thank you for your correspondence dated September 2, 2009. Readers' comments are important to us, and form the basis of future stories and editorial scenarios. I can assure you that yours get a special consideration, with Mr. Riepe reading many himself.

Your current note has been forwarded to our primary editorial staff, which has some of the most talented interns in the industry, for further evaluation.

Thank you.

Emma Blodgett
Reader Services
Twisted Roads

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sgsidekick (Tena):

Tell Ron that spiders are wonders of nature, like sharks, poisonous plants, and politicians. Each has their place -- in hell. The next time you catch a spider, throw it on the grill and watch it dance. And trust me, there is nothing for catching mice like the hose of a shop vac.

You and Ron are going to catch the Jack and Leslie show next month. You'll see first hand how this priceless dialogue is inspired, and how much of it has to be cleaned up by me at presstime.

Thank you for being my #1 fan, and for writing in so often.

Fondst regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Stiffie:

Did I throw you to the mob when the garage was besieged by snakes last July? Yet now, when an army of killer spiders is nesting in that same structure, you compare my fortitude (unfavorably) with that of our toddler grandson.

And so what if my helmet is in a sealed plastic bag in the living room? I checked on it an hour ago and someone tossed one of Kiran's (our grandson's) used diapers in with it. Coincidence? I think not.

Fondest regards,

Charlie6 said...


I don't like spiders but tend to leave them alone since they tend to leave my stuff alone. Then again, I tend to hang up my gear when done riding....not that it would stop a spider of course.

The worry du jour around the neighborhood is apparently apparently savaged a neighbor's cat. So my loving wife uses it as a threat to the what I say or I'll leave you out here with the coyotes! I think she's kidding?

Think about it this way, spiders are regarded as good luck in may be negatively impacting your karma! : )

Given your experiences with bites though, I can see why you do as you do with spiders...the stuff I hate are cockroaches. Growing up in Honduras, I remember hearing their wings beating in the darkened bedroom as they flitted about me.

There, things can always be to Leslie's spider trick....that's funny!

And no, no roaches in Colorado....lots of spiders though.

Electra Glide In Blue said...

Glad you're alive and well. I have a widow encounter every once in-awhile in my garage. It is the ones with the red hourglass on them (the females)that will kill ya, I let the males live for some reason. I use the lighter to the starting fluid kill method, and recommend having a fire extinguisher within arms reach.

Ride Safe,
Electra Glide In Blue

sgsidekick said...

Jack, Jack, Jack. Leslie and I are BOTH telling you now that it is THIS month, not next!!! Are you SURE you can make it???? It sounds like you're in denial...

Leslie, you must be a hell of a woman to put up with all this!!*bg*

cpa3485 said...

Great story Jack and I experienced something similar to that a few years back when I was just mowing the lawn. I got stung by a bee, yeah right, no big deal? A couple hours later my leg swelled to unbelievable proportions. Couldn't believe it.
But I have a potential solution for all of your fears of entering the garage.
Get a couple of cats!
They are marvelous creatures at keeping bugs, birds, grasshoppers, small rabbits and other vermin from invading their (and potentially your) territory.
Just think of the joy of having a cat around your house. They are lovable and the warm fuzzy feeling you get from them curling up on your desk as you try and work and purring in your lap as you enjoy your evening rum and coke.
I bet your desk would not have any more spiders (plastic or real).
Just a thought.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

My late friend Bib Pearson once lived in a place that was infested with Madacasgar cockroaches, which are the most disgusting of all bugs. At the time, he lived in a ground floor appartment next to a karate school.

On this evening in question, Bob and a woman got ragingly smashed and went back to his house for sex., after which, the fell asleep. The woman woke up to someting on her neck, and thought it was Bob. It was one of these roaches. She started screaming and stood up stark narked.

Two seconds later, five guys from the karate school kicked in the door and started jumping around, assuming ninja poses. Bob regained consciousness just in time to see some samurai carrying his naked girlfriend out the door, while these other guys were killing roaches with kicks to the wall.

I still hate spiders... Roaches... And scorpions.

It;s good to hear from you again. I'm just gearing up for a ride to upstate New York. It should be interesting.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Electra Glide In Blue:

Regarding spiders... I kill them all and let God sort them out.

I was off the radar for a bit, as business developments and the oppressive heat had me beat. This is not unusual foe me, but just unexpected. It has just been too hot for me to ride for the last month, but I am headed north for a few days on the highway today -- if the custom shop can get my muffler back to me.

I very recently mailed you something.

Fonfest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sgsidekick:

I gave Leslie a dat from the three that you suggested and we are go for it. Weren't you and Leslie speaking of getting together in Somerset, Pa?

The place is a shithole but it can be fun, and it is 10 miles away from the 9/11 memorial.

Fondest regards,

bunny said...

Jack, you are such a scardy cat! Remember when you wanted Rick to walk you to your car because you were afraid of ol' Angus! I bet you check your shoes every morning too because your so scared!
Take care, and Rick says hi
say hi to Leslie

irondad said...


Most guys would just have the balls to say it's too damn hot to ride and leave it there. Know what I'm saying?

On the other hand, it's awesome that you're such a stud you have widows crawling all over you. Even if they do have fangs and eight legs!

bugser said...

Dear Jack

After reading about your near death
experience with a spider bite, I can understand your reluctance to be near them.

That does not however, change the fact that you are a pussy.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rita:

Do you remembe when Rick had me take him to the doctor's because he was afraid of needles? There is always something in man's constitution that makes him human.

It was a pleasant surprise to hear from you. How is little Ricky?

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

It was a really big friggin' spider.

And I make no bones about not riding when it's too damn hot. At the moment, I am trying to get out the door for a long holiday vacation. Work has screwed this up pretty good, as I am already a day late. But I hope to have some real adventure shots for you over the weekend.

BMW style adventure.

Thank you for reading my tripe and for writing in.

Nice piece you bhad about the lound pipe business.

Fondest regards.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bugser:

I have many faults... Being a pussy is not one of them. Chasing them... Guilty as charged.

Fondest regards,

bugser said...

Dear Jack,

You are what you eat.

Anonymous said...


I have played that song no less than 5 times. I'm grinning liker a Cheshire Cat eating collard greens. F'ing spot on, dude. Fantastico!!!

Big Jim

Cantwell said...

Hey Jack,
Remember those bloatbag spiders that lived on your porch in Wilmington? Those babies were big. I believe there were bird and rabbit skeletons in one of the webs. I will never forget how you scream like a little girl...F'n funny as hell!!!


Cantwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Williams said...

Well, I'm glad my employer, the Penn State College of Ag Science, could provide you with something useful albeit for less than optimal reasons.

You have effectively screwed with my head with this post Jack. Thank you so much. I'm sitting here for a few minutes before gearing up for a sunrise ride and now worried more about spiders in my gear hanging in the garage than I am about killing myself on the Ducati HyperMotard I have for the weekend.

Glad you are on the mend. Spiders are potential problems. And I agree with the likelihood of a Brown Recluse over a Black Widow.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

mtlcowgirl said...

Dear Pussy,

Mack has taken a few short runs solo. He and yours truly have been riding to church, weather permitting. It's an hour round trip. Yesterday was my 4th post op ride. I'm virtually all healed up and my jitters are all but history.

We were to ride up to High Point today (Labor Day), but he's feeling a bit sluggish today, so that's off. We may do it tomorrow.

Best to Leslie and the spidies.

Speaking of which (arachnids, not Stiffie), Mack was bitten on the ass by something in bed the other night. No, it was not me.

Your bud,


Anonymous said...

Hi Jack! I do check out your blog from time to time, and Rick has me checking to make sure you have made it back from Lake Placid safely (isn't he sweet). You have always made me laugh, and lately there are times when I reeeally need one! Thanks for your humor (twisted as it may be). Be good and drive safe,

Lance said...

Jack, that was one mean spider bite, and he (or she) was huge! Before you killed it, you should have at least collected that month's rent from it living in your garage! Could have paid for the Dr visit, at least in (very small) part.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bugser:

That was the funniest comment I have read to date. I look forward to trading barbs with you and Tena in person, in about 2 weeks or so.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep • Toad

Bugser said...

Dear Jack,

It's a cryin' shame I have to subject myself to visiting the in laws just to meet you and your squeeze.

I hope you recognize the sacrifice that I am making.

sgsidekick said...

Dear Bugser...Hey! Them's MY blood you're talking about! Besides, still waiting on Jack to come up with the place to meet, since the one you picked went under....

Sojourner rides said...

Jack, the more I learn about your better half--the more I adore her. And that song? As a member of the women's/wives' club, that song should have the word "should" before the word "hate" in the title. Today, I'm feeling that men are our crosses to bear...I also find it rather funny that a black widow made you scream--that gives me some perverse pleasure...just kidding, Jack. Sort of...

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve:

I wish the funk I was in could be artributed to a spider bike or even a vampire bite. The uncertainty facing my industry has me a little nuts at the moment. I'm afraid the time has come for me to bvecome a famous writer, or something, as work ain't looking so good.

I no longer leave my gear in the garage. Even a "harmless" spider bite, or orther insect, can hurt like hell or at least itch.

I just spent a long weekend at a resort in the country (definitely motorcycle content) and found a dead spider in the bed when I woke up. Luckily, it had been crushed during the night.

Thanks for reading and for checking in.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Karen:

I'm glad to hear you are again the saddle, so to speak. Also, it's to know that Mack still feels the urge to take that tower of motorcycle out to the country from time to time. In truth, however, it has simply been too hot to ride in a lot of July and all of August.

Perhaps we can all meet up on the Delaware Rive again one weekend. Then again, Highpoint would be pretty in the early fall too.

Thank you for reading and for chiming in.
Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bugser:

I do appreciate the extent of the sacrifice you are making just to meet Leslie and me. I used to think inlaws were the price of getting laid on a regular basis, but they are actually just another way of getting screwed.

I look forward to seeing you in about two weeks. I found a great sewing notions shop for the girls to stroll through, and a strip joint for the two of us.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sojourner (Sharon):

Leslie (Stiffie) is a pip. She is both the delight and bain of my existence. Stiffie is leaving for a week-long art retreat tomorrow and I miss her already. The dogs will watch the bags being loaded into her truck... They they will watch the truck exit the driveway... Then they will look at me and start to howl.

All women hate all men from time to time... It's the law. And I knew the black widow thing would appeal to you.

Fondest regards,
Jack •reep • Toad

MeanStreak said...

Thank you for making me laugh this morning! I'm a 1st time reader of your blog and will be reading more of it.

Ride safe!


Michael Evans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Evans said...

Dammit Riepe...I was out riding this morning, enjoying the crisp early coolness that starts with this time of year. I few miles into the ride I felt something inside my left riding boot under my toe. Just a pebble I thought.

Then *plink* went a large flying insect against my faceshield, leaving a small spot of bug-spooge at the point of impact. Gross, I thought. Before I could realize what was going on the bug incident triggered my mind to flash back to your story "Lurking Death..." then to the 'pebble' in my boot. Where is it now? I think it moved...where was it when I started the ride? What is it? How many legs does it have. More importantly, could I lose a foot if it bites?

Moments later a young boy riding in the car to church with his family for the first time in his life uttered "What the Fuck?" at the site of a man in full motorcycle gear on the side of the road next to his bike madly screaming and stamping his left foot on ground as if he were trying to flatten a small land mammal.

Damn you Riepe.