According to Bregstein’s note, the cigars were hand-rolled between the thighs of beautiful 22-year-old Honduran women, who had yet to experience the falsehood of men. Yet he also expressed caution, which took me by surprise.
“Jack (he wrote), these cigars are exceptionally spicy in nature and will leave a lasting impression. The smoke is especially dense and may actually numb the senses. Please do not attempt to smoke one of these when operating a motor vehicle.”
The note also went on to say that he was in the final stages of preparation for the annual ride to West Virginia, and that the guys were very sorry that I would not be riding with them this year. The cigars were meant to be a kind of consolation prize, and he hoped I would keep them handy, and light up the first one when he and the others called me from the cabin on the first night of their trip.
There was also another paragraph in which he hoped I would finally realize what a man and rider of significance he was, and give him the kind of respect that I might afford no less a personage such as “Donald Trump.” Trump has risen to the kind of social prominence that has resulted in the media referring to him as “The Donald.” Apparently, Bregstein wants to be referred to as “The Dick.”
Well, I like my cigars the way I like my women, spicy enough to leave my tongue scorched for weeks. And despite the fact I was driving a pick-up, I pulled one from the bundle, bit off the end, and lit it. The first few puffs were indeed satisfying. The cab filled with a dense, blue smoke that looked like fog over the ocean, and which left a peppery sensation on the roof of my mouth.
I pulled up at a stoplight and the cigar exploded in my face like a hand grenade.
I was stunned... Then I realized the extent to which I’d been set up. “Don’t smoke them while driving,” said Bregstain. “Save them until we call,” said Bregstein.
Bregstein had finally earned the title “The Dick,” and payback would be a bitch. This was not the first time that I had fallen victim to one of his pranks. Once, after eight hours in the saddle on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I found myself hunched over the handlebars, wracked by arthritis pain. Dick had noticed my bootlace was undone, and called it to my attention.
“Screw it,” I said. “We’re fourteen miles from the hotel. I’ll deal with it there.”
Bregstein got off his bike, and in an act of kindness between men, tied my boot.
“That was good of you,” I said to Dick.
“Look down,” he replied. “I tied your boot to the brake pedal.” Then he took off. There was no way I could raise my left foot to get the side-stand down. I had to sit there and struggle to untie that boot without dropping the bike. On another occasion, he sprinkled itching powder in my riding pants. And finally, he placed a large rubber tarantula in my top case on our last ride together. (I have an allergy to spiders with fur, which causes me to scream like a little girl.)
My plans for vengeance had failed before. Every time I concocted a plan to pay Bregstein back for something, he ended up smelling like a rose. Nothing stuck to him. In essence, he had become “The Teflon Dick.”
Yet I would not rest until I’d paid him back in spades for the exploding cigar. I returned to the house to ruminate.
The evening was evolving into a blazing rosette of a sunset, accompanied by unseasonably warm breezes coming off Delaware Bay, laden with the scent of the ocean. The aroma of the ocean makes me think of two other distinct fragrances: one comes from sausage and peppers sizzling on the boardwalk grills of Seaside Heights, NJ; and the other is cocoa butter sizzling on the tans of curvy women. It was the memory of this second one which caused me to mix a rum and Coke the size of my ass. And it was the strength of this cocktail that drove me to the streets in search in search of romantic adventure.
While early April temperatures in the high 70’s (F) warmed the beaches of Cape May, thong-clad women have yet to take to the sand. And in truth, my days of charming the thongs off tanning beach candy are about 10, or even 15, years behind me. As the rum coursed through my veins — rejuvenating my sense of poor judgement like the first taste of blood to a vampire — I realized I wanted a biker chick. And we are not talking about a BMW-riding woman either... I did not want someone who had just ridden in from the Yucatan Peninsula (24 hours in the saddle on her GS Adventure with smoking tires), wearing a Kevlar® workout bra, and who would measure a man’s sexual potential by first glancing at the odometer on his bike.
I wanted a woman who carried the scent of stale beer, cigarettes, and motor oil as a sexual pheromone... A woman with a tramp stamp of a rose, the thorns of which were tattooed in braille, inviting a man to prick himself by running his fingers over them. I wanted the kind of woman who appreciated a man whose eyes were broken stained-glass windows to a tortured soul. Specifically, I was seeking a good-looking brunette in her late 40’s, divorced at least once, who understood that anything in life with tires or testosterone will eventually let you down. Preferably, one who was not recently acquitted of killing her boyfriend or who was a former knife-thrower in a circus.
Sixty miles north of Cape May, I found a biker’s bar with a line of Harley’s outside. The name of the place was “The Iron Clam,” and according to a buzzing neon sign, it had cold beer, hot dancers, and loud music. Standing on the rickety wooden steps out front, the sounds of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” were nothing less than encouraging. I went in with a mouth watering for “a beer and a ball,” and the company of those beyond social redemption.
It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to darkened saloon atmosphere. The place was a regular joint, with the regular crowd of Harley guys at the bar, speaking in low tones, and occasionally glancing up at the dancer, who was gyrating around a brass pole with ill-disguised disinterest. She was more beefcake than cheesecake, and dropped her top to reveal breasts that needed a couple of years off. I wouldn’t look in that direction again, or so I thought.
I hadn’t taken a step or two before I was issued a challenge that was more of growl than a statement... Which was perfectly natural considering it came from a Jack Russell terrier.
“Betsy, shut the fuck up,” yelled the bartender. “Don’t mind her,” he said to me,” without looking in my direction.
I chose my seat carefully, and found one toward the end of the bar with a vacant stool on either side. I put my cash down (a New Jersey tradition) and waited for the bartender to head my way. There was one or two women drinking alone, but I knew better than to move in that direction. I’d just kill a little time, savoring a couple of snorts, and see if anything came my way. Sometimes it’s possible to chum the waters with your expression. I had my chum face on.
A “beer and a ball” is a double shot of Bourbon, Scotch, or Irish Whiskey, with a small glass of whatever piss they happen to have on tap. I don’t much care for Bourbon, but in a Harley bar, I’d rather drink this or sour mash, than to call undue attention to myself. The first sip of Bourbon when down my throat like silk, and exploded in my gut like one of Bregstein’s cigars. I put the fire out with a gulp of beer, which happened to be Budweiser. I am not a beer snob, but the best thing about Budweiser is that you don’t have to waste any time converting it to urine (in my opinion).
A woman approached me from the shadows and said, “Buy me a drink and I’ll show something special.”
I turned with a smile... And nearly screamed. There before me was an aged woman who looked exactly like the “Crypt Keeper,” from “Tales from the Crypt,” a bi-monthly horror comic anthology series published by EC Comics from 1950–1955, and then a popular horror movie series.
Above: The "Crypt Keeper" from "Tales Of The Crypt." Picture from the Internet.
“It’s a really good trick,” she said, grasping my arm with one of her talons.
“Fuck me,” I thought, realizing there was no escape. “How do they always find me?”
The woman was between 95 and 150 years old. Her sallow, tobacco-stained skin clung to a frame that weighed less than my last saddle from Russell Day-Long. But her eyes glowed with a crazed passion... The kind of passion you find in person who can tell a really good story. The trouble was I didn’t want a story... I wanted to lick a tramp tamp over a hot ass and mail it to myself. (See above.) But I am a sucker for the lonely, the destitute, and the cast-off, and I collect good stories.
“What’ll you have?” I asked.
She cackled, pointing to the glasses in front of me. I signaled the barkeep, indicating I needed another.
“A beer and a ball for Grandma,” he yelled, which caused every head at the bar to look in my direction... And everybody bust out laughing. Apparently, this was a local tradition. Whenever fresh meat walked in the door, “Grandma” would rise from her grave and solicit a drink. “Fuck it,” I thought. “I’ll play along.”
Grandma didn’t have one round. She had three. And during the consumption of these, she told me her life story. She was the first woman in these parts to ride an Indian motorcycle (a 1928 Indian 101 Scout), “when that son of a bitch Calvin Coolidge was in the White House,” said Grandma. “He was a real prick.” She claimed to be the first woman hereabouts to buy an old biplane from the army and fly it around the lighthouse at Cape May — topless. And then she learned welding, “Because there will always be a need to join two pieces of metal together,” said Grandma. (Her toughest welding job had been on a locomotive that blew a steam line, somewhere on a spur track in the salt marshes. “And I made them pay me the same as if I was a man,” she said. “Otherwise, I’d have welded that fucking locomotive to the rails.”)
About this time, the first dancer left, to be replaced by a real beauty, whose movement was as fluid and as intoxicating as the amber liquor in my rocks glass. It became difficult to listen to Grandma rattle on with her litany of past life over my left shoulder, while attempting to watch the dancer over my right. The dancer was blond, slightly built, and with a smile that seemed to have a healing effect on my soul. And her tramp stamp was a rose! Grandma started to get up, and I thought my reprieve was imminent... But she merely moved to the empty stool on the other side! And kept touching my arm to guarantee my attention.
“I promised you a trick if you bought me a drink,” she said, “and you’ve bought me three.”
I was amazed she could still stand.
“All men like this,” she said, taking he teeth out of her mouth, and getting down on her knees.
“Oh no!” I thought. “Not a trombone solo at the bar.” Question — What does a trombone solo from an 95-year-old woman have in common with walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope? Answer — It is certain death to look down.
Grandma then scampered around on the floor, chasing the Jack Russell terrier, attempting to bite it in the ass with the full set of teeth in her hand. The bar exploded in laughter. The look on my face must have spoken volumes, as Grandma returned to her stool, popped her choppers back in, and asked, “What did you think I was going to do?”
She finished her drink, and whispered, “How would you like to have a meaningful romance from a woman who’s looking for a real gentleman?”
I laughed, expecting another “trick.” But the look in her eyes said something different this time. There would be no polite way to get out of this one. But an idea occurred to me that would say “no” with dignity, while spawning revenge.
“I can’t tonight,” I said. “But let me give you my name and number. And on a bar napkin, I wrote, “Dick Bregstein,” over the number to his cell phone. She jammed the napkin in her pocket, and giving the finger to the rest of the guys at the bar, she disappeared through a door in the back.
The second set was over, and the hot-looking dancer had disappeared, to be replaced by a pudgy colleague who was as disinterested in dancing as the crowd was in watching her. I was getting ready to leave when a slightly-built blond with long hair, came out of the back room, carrying a gym-bag over her shoulder. It was the smoking-hot dancer on her way home. Not one guy at the bar attempted to chat her up.
She stopped where I was sitting, put her hand on my shoulder, and said, “Thank you for listening to my grandmother tonight, Mr. Bregstein. She owns this place and she said you were a real gentleman. That’s quite an endorsement from Grandma. Most guys just brush her off or give her a false name. I hate that. I’ll call you soon.” And with that, she was gone.
I got another package in the mail from Bregstein yesterday. It contained a rare bottle of Irish Whiskey and a note that read, “Thank you... Thank you... Thank you...”
He is not “The Teflon Dick” for nothing.
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012
Wow. You can't even win for winning!! Why is it that some people always come up smelling like roses no matter what path they choose? And others of us always pick the slow lane...
I'm sorry that you are missing out on your trek this year. Get some good liquor, good cigars and have a marathon watching of crypt keeper episodes. And plot some more revenge...
Dear Beemer Girl:
I'm having the bomb squad examine the cigars I got from Bregstein. I got a short course on the new R1200RT's, and there may be an "R" bike in my future. I feel like I'm changing my sexual orientation.
I'll be ripping through West Virginia next year. I'm not even i the slow lane... I'm headed to the LaBrea Tar Pits.
Thanks for reading my blog Lori, and for writing in.
Dick Bregstein is obviously a true R Bike rider to sport the great sense of humor and even more important the elan to avoid retribution from the K Bike riders in his life.
Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner
You ain't seen nuttin' yet. Bregstein's cigar was amateur pyrotechnics. The boys and I from the other town in New Jersey have a surprise for you. I'll bet they see the glow and plume all way up at Hermy's. By the way, can I get an autographed copy of your new book before it's too late?
Not for a minute would I believe Dick Bregstein would send you a loaded cigar!
He's mild mannered, polite, and always ready to help a Friend. Why on earth would you malign this wonderful gentleman ? And, he'a an R biker too. Your stories simply don't add up. Please return to your truthful tales and give this kind soul the respect he deserves.
"Changing sexual orientation"? Is that akin to going through puberty? Becoming a man?
Sorry, I couldnt pass that one up. But I find the RT an interesting choice for you, as I have to swing my leg very high to get it over oilburners RT. I'm not sure how it will treat your arthritis.
BTW, I did really enjoy this post. References to the Crypt Keeper. Hehehe
Oh yeah...I don't care what bike you get...just want you back on two wheels. Maybe three... ;)
So you want; "a woman who carried the scent of stale beer, cigarettes, and motor oil as a sexual pheromone... A woman with a tramp stamp of a rose, the thorns of which were tattooed in braille, inviting a man to prick himself by running his fingers over them. I wanted the kind of woman who appreciated a man whose eyes were broken stained-glass windows to a tortured soul. Specifically, I was seeking a good-looking brunette in her late 40’s, divorced at least once, who understood that anything in life with tires or testosterone will eventually let you down. Preferably, one who was not recently acquitted of killing her boyfriend or who was a former knife-thrower in a circus."
No wonder you're having trouble getting laid!
(Acquitals aren't all they're cracked up to be.)
That was amazing writing! What a great story! A fantastic post! I'll have to drop by more often.
I can't wait for you to uncork the renalized half bottle of Jameson's I gave you with the cigars. As the pole dancer said, "Enjoy."
Oh yeah...I don't care what bike you get...just want you back on two wheels. Maybe three... ;)
By the time Jack gets back on a bike, he's going to need three wheels! He'll be so old he'll need a hack to carry his balls in.
BTW Jack, great post! When will you be back up this way? We could sick Vinny The Mouth on Mr. The Dick. He'll never know who what hit him.
Still up to my thighs in snow,
Great story Jack, you have a gift..... Too bad you don' have any luck !
Can't wait to see you ride and shovel coal at the same time.
Nick ( from the R clan )
Dear Mr. Philips (Nick) Fron The "R" Clan...
I am delighted that you enjoyed this episode of Twisted Roads. Granted, I got screwed in the end, but not in the way that I envisioned. And somehow, I suspect you and the other souls in the "R" clan got a certain degree of pleasure out of this.
I must request that you and others not gloat over my recent announcement that there may be an "R" bike in my future. As we are all aware, there is a degree of tasteful elegance in the iconic BMW motorcycle... Though some "R" models appeal to me more than others.
I got an up-close and personal tour of the BMW R1200RT at Hermy's, which has been a faithful sponsor and supporter of this blog. I was amazed at all the shit that's packed into that machine, providing the rider with a lot of comfort options that activate with a button, while cruising along at 85 mph (+).
But then a 2004 K1200GT (Orient Blue) pulled up and I got a boner. But I will go into that day at Hermy's in an upcoming blog.
Thanks for writing in a and for reading Twisted Roads.
Dear Michael Cantwell:
I went for a walk in a nature preserve the other day, and got a thorn in my balls stepping over a bush. Yet a thorn in the balls made me wonder, "How is Michael Cantwell doing these days?"
And lo' and behold, there was a note from you today!
I have been thinking about three wheels, but not very seriously. a new Hannigan conversion trike (BMW K1200LT) runs around $28,000. And my lovely daughter Katherine once said, "Trikes are for old people."
I want something I can lean into a turn, with the tach tapping the red line, to get my attention. You did get the size of my balls right in your comment though. I have no idea when I can get up there again.
Thanks for reading Twisted Roads and for rattling my cage with a comment.
Dear Beemer Girl (Steel Cupcake):
I first used the analogy of attempting to change one's sexual orientation (meaning straight or gay)with regards for helmet preference. The line read: "It is easier to talk a rider into changing their sexual orientation than it is get them to reverse their position on helmet use — regardless of what that position may be." And as far as I am concerned, that's true.
But a good friend of mine, who is currently restoring a 1953 Vincent Black Shadow, made a point of saying the preference for an "R" bike or a "K" bike is largely a matter of religion. I like riding a picturesque slice of slab, and I like going like hell when I do it.
I do intend to give the "R" bike argument a good listen though. Even if it means eating crow pie for years.
Thanks for coming back three times in one episode.
Dear Teflon Dick (Bregstein):
You have bested me one more time... It's true. But I want to be there at Hermy's the next time you walk in and get welcomed as "Teflon Dick." That will be revenge enough.
Dear Road Captain:
Don't be such a stranger... After all, who could be stranger than Teflon Dick? I recommend the following blog episodes for your reading pleasure:
My Youth — R.I.P.
Really Stupid Things I Did On A Motorcycle -- Part One
Thanks for reading Twisted Roads and for leaving a comment. Mention us to your friends.
In one of my past marriages, a beautiful but super-pissed-off-at-the-time wife took one of my guns down from the wall, pointed it at me, and pulled the trigger, in an effort to bring a household dispute to a successful conclusion.
It wasn't loaded... That week. It's true, my romantic dry spells tend to go on a bit... But when the storm breaks, wow! I will find a rider woman who likes getting out into the country, pushing the speed limit, and taking the lead when it comes to finding little country inns, with great bars and quaint rooms with fireplaces.
I'll make you a bet... And I think it would be cool if she rode Milwaukee Iron too.
Thanks for reading Twisted Roads and for writing in.
Dear Grin Rieper:
Do you ride in a parallel universe in which lollipops and cheese Danish grow on trees? I suspect you know the Dr. Jeckyl Dick Bregstein, while I ride with the Mr. Hyde Dick Bregstein.
Did I ever tell you about the time we were riding to an Amish singles bar, and Bregstein smeared dog shit on my K75 pegs?
I walked up to a beautiful Amish maiden and asked if she wanted to dance. Her reply was a couple of sniffs, before asking me if I had a Saint Bernard or a Grand Pyrenees?
Thank you reading Twisted Roads and for writing in.
Dear Vinnie D:
You must be from fuckin' Bayonne... No one from Hudson County refers to the community where they live as a "fucking town." Even the pilgrims, the ones who got off the boat in Jersey City, said, "We have arrived in the shithole of milk and honey."
So you have initials "VD?" I think I knew your sister.
Dear Charlie6 (Dom):
When it comes to humor, there isn't much difference between Bregstein and a cigar store Indian. But I am looking forward to riding with him to Lancaster, to West Virginia, and to upstate New York, as soon as I have another "K" bike. There is no better riding partner.
Thanks for reading Twisted Rosds and for writing in.
Hillarious!!! I can just picture you with a cigar in your mouth blown to bits, haha. I hope your revenge on Bregstein does him justice. And next time an older woman asks you something like that maybe you will be sure not to "ass-u-me" that the request is for her.
As for your comment about wanting/needing a NON-Beemer girl at that moment, giggle, I can ummm understand that. It is one of the things that attracts me to BMW bikers. They aren't the wham-bam-thank you mam kinda guys. Especially the IBA type riders. It's all about the "ride", haha. And whether they can "go the distance?" possibly even pushing their "limits"? Even when they are "tired" they don't give up and rather "push" on, haha. If you meet a biker that only has a few miles under his belt or on his odometer and just bar hops, then you know that their "endurance" would be substandard, grin. Give me a BMW / IBA man any day!!!
Thank you for your kind and thought-provoking comment today. The time will come when Bregstein and I will be off on another adventure, and my revenge will know no bounds.
I will have you know that I was never a "Wham, Bam, Thank You M'am, kind of rider even before I rode a BMW. I prefer the long, slow approach to romance, that culminates in "after play." That's having a beautiful woman pad around, bare-foot and bare-assed in the kitchen, hustling my breakfast.
If nothing else, I am a true romantic.
I'm delighted this story made you laugh.
Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for leaving a comment.
Never thought you were that kind of guy. Any guy who actually notices more than a girls tits and ass, knows the power of the "whole" performance..the slow warming up of the engine, the eventual high speed turns and then the enjoyment of the after burn once the ride is done.
Any time I use the word "tits" in a sentence, it is a direct quote from someone else. I prefer to think of them as "rosettes," as my preference is for little ones. This has prompted riding buddies of mine to suggest I'm somewhat warped. So be it.
And I never really look at a woman's ass first, unless it is between me and the door in a burning building. However, I do know how to write about one, when the moment presents itself.
Yet it has been said that I am hell on women and disk brakes, leaving both burned and worn after a good weekend.
Trolling is a practice best reserved for bass.
Was there a pattern revealed in this adventure? I recall a similar occasion when you left me and our pal waiting in the car while you went into a H Co. bar on our way to the ADKs. After 40 minutes I went in to retrieve you and you were in the company of the Sea Hag. She tried to suggest a trip upstairs but I cut her off and rousted you out the bar door. You need no other such encounters even though many of the slatterns are younger than us! Youthful horrors are not better, just less worn.
Gee, if you just would have been open to adventure with grandma you could have drank that Irish Whisky yourself.
You should try harder to be open to the unexpected opportunities life sends your way Mr. Riepe.
Slatterns are people too... I remember that Hudson County bar and I remember the Sea Hag too. Okay, she was the "Sea Hag."
There was another woman there named "Pam." I had designs on Pam until I ewal;ked into my apartment one night and found my brother doing her on the coffee table.
Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in.
Dear Mr. Williams:
Not all of us are as pure as new-born daisies, riding around on Vespas. No doubt there will be a time when the harpies from Macbeth will appeal to me... But that moment isn't now.
Thank you for reading my blog, such as it is, and for commenting.
I just dropped prozac from my pile of drugs I've been taking, so I'm a bit vulnerable to women who speak in euphemisms and double entendre.
Fill the Prozac void with a morning glass of Jamesons... Smile... And meditate for 20 minutes, looking at the photo I've sent you on your office email.
This habit of mine, snorting coffee out of my nose while reading your blog, is really getting annoying...
Sent you an email with my review of your cigar book. Put me down for one of your new ones once the sensors have released it for distribution. Let me know how to send you money for it.
Regarding being "hell" on women and brakes, leaving both worn after a great weekend....OH MY!!! I ummm bet you DO!!!
Nice one Jack. had my chuckling over my breakfast. time to hit the road. the alaska highway is waiting!
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