Oldie But Goodie... This first ran on Twisted Roads 4 years ago.
Middle-age creeps up on a man like a bad hangover. In your 20’s, it’s a rumor. In your 30’s, it’s like the land you think you can see when staring at the ocean’s horizon. But it begins to make its presence known in your 40’s. You don’t look as good in jeans as you used to, and your hairline may start to recede as your gut begins a definite downward droop. And even if you work out and play tennis, jog or pole vault, certain unmistakable signs give your age away.
I know a guy who does everything but pack himself in nitrogen every night in a futile effort to keep his stud appeal. He had a handlebar mustache like a moose’s antlers. It gave his face a distinctive character. And while he’s managed to stay fairly thin and keep a respectable head of hair, his signature mustache turned snowy white when he hit 56.
“I had to shave it off,” he said to me, crying into a low carb, invisible calorie, no-taste beer one night. “I tried everything. Shoe polish... Grecian Formula... Dye... Everything looked stupid. And without coloring it, I looked like Captain Kangeroo. No matter what I used, it would leave black marks all over the lips, neck, and bodies of cooperative, passionate women. They’d laugh in my face and kick me out.”
Since shaving off his mustache, however, he’s cut out the middle man. Without that distinctive mustache, women now laugh in his face and leave without him.
This guy — and a lot of others — make the mistake of trying to appear sexy and youthful by clinging onto props that can only weather and wither. They get tattoos, earrings, fake tan dips, and hair implants. And for what? They still look like scarecrows or fatties trying to be high school football stars. I have discovered the best approach to looking sexy and virtually immortal is to be identified with a symbol that is timeless: like a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The Harley is timeless. Once the icon of lawless nomads, it has come to signify enduring youth with an undeniable sense of individualism and coolness. Nothing sounds like a Harley, and nothing generates the throbbing, pulsating power of sexual rhythm (if you catch my drift) like a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The main problem with Harley Davidsons is that they don’t give them away. Those who sell Harleys understand they are selling Milwaukee Iron manhood extenders and price them accordingly. Induction into the club requires more than a little jack.
Successful middle-aged men occasionally have this jack to spare. Since I collected wives in my youth, the only jack I have is under the bumper of a rusting truck in the driveway. And yet I have developed a strategy that puts the Harly Davidson magic to work for me.
In the far reaches of Pennsylvania, there is a gentleman's establishment that attracts a certain class of exotic woman. (The type who under normal circumstances wouldn’t look at me twice. One, because I have that middle-aged beaten look; and two, because I am a middle-aged beaten man.) I put on my best pair of stressed jeans (accented with an oil stain and a few threadbare patches), tuck them into a pair of biker boots, and throw on a weathered leather jacket. I carry a Viking helmet (horns and all) under my arm and head out to this particular watering hole.
If you get there at just the right time, the crowd is inside and the bikes are largely unattended outside. I just stand around next to an unusual-looking one. Sooner or later, a passing hot tamale assumes the Harley is mine and makes a comment, which is generally an invitation to get to know her better. When the bar closes six hours later and the bikes have all left, I claim my Harley was stolen and we head over to my place to commiserate.
Last week, things took a different turn. The lady in question was as hot as lava from the source. Tanned, long blonde hair, and eyes the color of conspiracy, she asked, “That your Harley?”
“Yeah,” I said, looking away with staged indifference, thinking “Wow!”
“Does it throb?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“Does it pulsate?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“Do ya wanna make me throb and pulsate?”
“Yeah,” I stammered. “In about six hours, when this joint closes. Let's go in and figure out the route we should take.”
“Know what?” she asked. “You’re not gonna take me for a ride on this throbbing, pulsating, manhood extender.”
“Well maybe not right away,” I stuttered... “If you’d like to come inside for a while, however...”
I suspected the punch line was going to feel like a kick in the balls.
"Because this Harley is mine,” she said. And in an instant, she was on it and revving it to a prehistoric growl.
“Wanna ride on my Harley?” she shouted over the roar.
It’s still the best pickup line I have ever heard.
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2004
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This story was brought to you tonight by a special Twisted Roads sponsor, Esther Sharp of Upstate New York, whose husband Ben is celebrating his birthday this week.
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Above: Ben Sharp -- Ben and Esther Sharp have had a love affair with Harley's spanning 31 years. Their stable includes a 1981 Sportster, a 1982 Low Rider, and a 1999 Ultra Classic. They recently took a run through Nova Scotia and attended a wedding in neighboring Vermont on two of these classic bikes. "To hell with pillion," said Esther. "The Sportster is mine." (I had a delightful conversation with Esther, to tell her that Ben was the first winner of the "Reader's Picture Drawing," on Twisted Roads, and has won a signed, hand-numbered copy of "Conversations With A Motorcycle," compliments of Shango Rider, the premier purveyor of Gerbings Heated Gear. Shango Rider is the sponsor who makes this blog possible month after month.
Diana Stover — Lady Rides -A-Lot — graced us with a shot of her newly acquired 2004 Harley Davidson Fat Boy. This is one slick ride. That backdrop suggests the Blue Ridge Parkway to me. Lady "R," as she is known in certain literary circles, published a blog called "Glider Rider."
Above: This "RT" which Ross vowed never to sell as it was a great two-up bike, was sold to pave the way for a K1200RS. Now that he's married, who needs a two-up bike?
Above: "The Ross" sold this F650GS Dakar for an R1200GS Adventure, with a better defroster.
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