“Around what?” I asked.
“Around the fact that haven’t been laid in so long that a hooker would need cables to get you jump-started,” was their response.
I declined and opted to go on a motorcycle ride instead. However, I took a set of cables off the garage wall and tucked them in a side bag. There is no point in venturing out the door without considering every possibility. The gentle reader will not be surprised to find out that my route was s series of scenic loops with the party in the geographic center. While not a biker party, many guests did show up on two wheels. The chrome and leather crop was coming in thick, and the Squidabusa representation was fairly strong as well. This only made my K75 stand out all the more. In fact, it stood out like a llama in a herd of racehorses.
But this is part of the BMW mystique.
Every woman at this party was a blond. All had blue eyes. And each one was clairvoyant in that they seemed to sense they would never sleep with me in their lifetime. Not that this was the first question I asked them... but my facial expression lent itself to the “DSBUS” category — Deadly Sperm Build-Up Syndrome — common to death row prisoners and reporters afraid to leave political candidates in the event they may say something noteworthy. I was there for two hours, and I must confess my heart was not in working the room. If there is one thing a BMW rider must be prepared to face, it is rejection by the socially perfect. I was not in the mood for rejection.Yet it is the face of overwhelming adversity that Beemer riders come into their own.
In a distant corner of this party, three school teachers were engaged in conversation that nearly qualified as an oil thread on a riding club list. They were discussing the challenges of teaching the basics of written communication to the vapid youth of today. Specifically, they targeted rogue third-graders who had already learned to text each other for cigarettes and pictures of naked classmates, in a kind of code that used English only for three vowels and six consonants.
“Forgive me,” I said. “But I could’t help overhearing your conversation. I have developed a process that combines the outline and the first draft of a basic composition, in a concept called the ‘Magic 16.’ If a kid can chew gum, breathe, or eat paste out of a jar, than they can write a basic composition in less than a half-hour. “
I cut my teeth as a public relations writer crafting press releases for corporate leaders easily mistaken for cardboard cutouts or dead bodies seeking reanimation. Some of them had the attention span and vision of third graders. I was more than qualified to address this subject. One of these ladies had a mood ring that was set to detect DSBUS, and she slipped away when it turned red and started to beep. Another caught a pass from a guy with a tattoo of a dragon eating a kid. But the remaining one, the prettiest one, was interested in what I had to say.
I explained that it is necessary to focus a third-grader’s attention, and that nothing works like starting up a chainsaw and carving through the class’s hamster habitat. She asked me to recommend a chainsaw and a source of stuffed hamsters. She noted that my jeans had a lot of seams in them, and I explained they were Kevlar® lined protection for riding a motorcycle. She was fascinated that I rode a BMW for its incredibly reliability, for the occasions when riding all night was required to donate an organ.
“Have you donated an organ?” she asked.
“Not lately,” I replied. “But I am working on it.”
Her name was Kim.
We left the party together but not with the intent of hooking up. Getting into her car, she discovered it was nearly out of gas. The gauge was solidly nailed on “E.” Now my K75 had a full 5 gallons in the tank, and I had a gas siphon in my top case.
“How far do you have to go?” I asked.
Her response was an astounding 18 miles.
“Can you get gas someplace,” I asked.
She shrugged and said, “Not tonight.”
My first thought was to give her a gallon or two on the spot, but she said, “This happens to me all the time. I’ll be all right.”
“I have a thing about women and empty gas tanks,” I said. “I’l never be able to sleep tonight wondering if you’re stuck on the road someplace. Why not take the gas? You don’t even have to get out of the car.”
“I’m too tired and I don’t want to screw with it,” said Kim. “If you’re really worried then follow me home if you want. It isn’t far.’
I did want. Kim ran along some of the darkest, most desolate roads I’d ever traveled at night. I took a mileage reading as we left the party, and her car began to sputter at 16 miles on the clock. It rolled another 100 yards and stopped. I pulled up alongside her door, to tell her I’d give her the gas, when she said, “I live right up the road and I am exhausted. I’ll just leave my car here, Can you run me up to the house?”
She climbed on behind me and pointed down the road. Her house was less than a mile and half away. “Thanks,” she said, giving me a little squeeze. “Come in.”
Her house was a country cottage, nicely appointed in a homey sort of way. It wasn’t cluttered, despite its compact size, but it definitely had that lived-in look. Kim offered me coffee, or something else. It was after 1am, so I just said, “I’ll have whatever you’re having.” She poured two glasses of wine, and went upstairs “to change.” The bottle was nearly full, and she set it out next to the glasses. I was suddenly hopeful at the direction this adventure had taken.
She was 42 and well-toned. There was a porch to this cottage and it housed a stationary bike, a road bicycle, and six pairs of running shoes by the door. Each was about a ladies’ size eight. Five different baseball-style caps hung on the wall. Kim wasn’t tanned, but had a subtle skin tone that went with every mood. Most of my moods anyway... certainly the current one. She’d told me earlier that she was divorced and found a lot of the guys she’d met to be on a par with the third graders she taught. From that moment on, I’d aspired to keep things on a fifth grade level. (I’d told her that I’d been married twice before, to cousins of Lucretia Borgia, but neglected to detail my current status, which would lowered by batting average to substandard levels.
The only sour note was the wine. I never developed a taste for it and I sipped mine only as a prelude to watching Kim sip hers. She came down the stairs wearing shorts and tee shirt. She had athletic legs that would keep me from screaming, if they were wrapped around my head. And in her arms was the biggest, fucking Persian cat I have ever seen.
My transformation was almost instantaneous. My face inflated like a life raft and my breath came in short gasps. I have a cat allergy that works like pulling a plastic bag over my head. It would have been far more merciful if Kim had just shot me. Within seconds, my eyes felt like they had sand in them and I started to sneeze.
“Oh my,” said Kim. “What’s happening to you?” She had a look on her face like a woman who’s date turned into a creature as the moon rose.
“The cat,” I wheezed.
A look of understanding flickered in her eyes and she ran back upstairs, presumably to sequester the cat in a bedroom that would be all but radioactive to me. She found me on the porch a minute or so later, rubbing my eyes raw.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I thought you’d like Charlie. How long does this last?
“A couple of hours, if I get into a cat-free environment pronto,” I said.
“I put him in the guest room,” said Kim. But the irony of the situation had her smiling already. Boy meets girl. Boy makes nice unintentional impression on girl. Girl begins to respond, then unleashes highly toxic environment to watch boy turn purple and die. It happens all the time.
Motorcycle riders can have gunshot wounds, knife scars, and prison tattoos. They can have whorehouse clap too. What they cannot have is a cat allergy. It’s like having Aunt Pitty Pat’s vapors.
“I gotta go,” I wheezed.
“I guess so,” she said, suppressing a laugh.
The instrument cluster glowed with vitality when I turned the key. And in the split second before I thumbed the starter, I heard the motorcycle gods laugh.
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012
Who Reads Twisted Roads?
Above: David Hardgrove (Pennsylvania) of the Mac-Pac Eating and Wrenching Society is pleased to announce his most recent acquisition of Triumph Bonneville. In exquisite blue paint with sinister black engine accents, this Bonneville is a knockout. David Hardgrove was mentioned in my last blog post. In addition to being a by-the-book motorcycle rider, he speaks Dutch fluently. David reads Twisted Roads for the technical riding tips and excellent boudoir advice.
Above: D.H. Louie Wendland (the South) has been reading Twisted Roads for years. This is his current ride, a 2006 Yamaha FJR 1300. Louie’s put 1,500 miles on it since September.
Alan Trask (Oregon), also known as RedBeemer, sent us several shots. The first is of his R1150RT. This is the modern version of the whale-oil cooled BMW “R” bike. (There may be one in my future.)
The second shot is of Trask’s 1973 R75/5 “Toaster,” in lime-green. He swears that’s the original paint. This machine is the iconic and timeless BMW bike.
Above: Alan Trask, AKA RedBeemer.
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