Monday, May 30, 2005

# 34 HUMBLING THE HARLEY BOYS

This morning was a busy time. Hub and I worked like little beavers. Hub cut the grass and transplanted several trees. I washed windows and finished seeding the garden except for one row that I marked and left for onion sets. Didn’t have any as that is the one thing I forgot to buy. So around 2:30 in the afternoon, Hub decided we should dash into town, pick up some onion sets and grab a bite to eat at the Burger Bar.

Today was a beautiful day. Warm. Sunny. At the Burger Bar, it was evident that many bikers decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather. As we took a window seat we noticed them lined up pretty-as-you-please in the parking lot. Eight shining, shimmering, highly-polished, dust-free bikes – Seven Harley-Davidsons; one Honda.

Now Hub has always been partial to Hondas. For the past twenty years, he has cruised around on a Honda. And although it was an old Honda, the trips we made on that old Honda were always trouble-free. She just purred like a kitten and stayed well ahead of the pack. But in our travels, pardon me for making an assumption, but gleaned from our own cycling experience, Harleys seem to have a few problems. Problem number one, Harleys (at least the older ones that Hub and I have encountered) didn’t know how to purr – instead they cough and spit, choke and spasm.

And again, pardon me for saying so, but even the riders of Hog’s have an extra bit of arrogance that makes them less magnetic personalities than the riders of Hondas or Suzuki’s. There is an arrogance you can smell in Harley shops. Harley bikers have attitude – sophistication that is a wee bit edgy and a wee bit chippy. An attitude that tends to view lesser bikes and bikers with just a small bit of contempt that blips ever so slightly on a Honda-rider’s radar.

So now, as Hub and I sat at the window looking out at the row of bikes, Hub stirred that coffee long enough for me to know that he was hatching a plot. Eventually he grinned and said to me, "Do you know any of the people in here?"

"Not really," I said, "but that young blond girl hangs out here a lot. Why do you ask?"

"Because," Hub said, "I want to gather up a group to join us in the Parking Lot to admire and croon over that Honda."

I chuckled and walked over to Blondy’s table. "Do you know any of the people in here?" I asked.

"Sure," she said. "I know a few of them."

"Good," I said and briefly sketched our plan. "Now," I said, "I want to see if you can scrounge up five or six people and gather them there at the back door. No motorcyclists, just locals."

Well you should have seen Blondy move. In no time flat she had five accomplices (4 fellows, one gal) gathered around her at the back door. Hub and I led them outside to the back of the building and told them what was up.

Then in a tight group, like old acquaintances from way back, we all made a bee-line across the parking lot to that blue Honda. We moved in unison, eyes straight ahead – focused on that Honda. Then we loudly began our discussion – Loud enough for customers inside to hear through the open windows.

"Man, isn’t that a beaut? What I wouldn’t give to have a Honda like that! Isn’t she gorgeous? I bet she cruises like a Cadillac. I had a Honda once."

We stroked her upholstery, handlebars, and examined every minute detail of her cowling. One shy withdrawn actress who seemed to have forgotten her lines (although there was no script) eventually reached out gingerly and stroked the Honda. "Comparing this machine to a Harley is like comparing it to a No-Name Brand," she stated emphatically while Hub and I cringed with some embarrassment.

At this point Hub and I were well aware that several men had just exited the front door of the restaurant. One in a windbreaker, four wearing leather jackets, one a leather vest, and two in jean jackets. We discontinued our examination of the Honda when one leather-vested individual broke away from the group and headed across the parking lot with a confident stride, beaming with pleasure and satisfaction. The rest hung back, shuffling the pavement with the toes of their boots, and looking as if their best friend had just died. "Near to tears," I’d say. Near to tears. Only a Harley rider would take it that hard.

As the Honda rider approached his bike, the performers in our small theatrical group quickly and quietly drifted away. I couldn’t help thinking how well they played their parts as I noticed some of them looking back over their shoulders at the Honda, while still muttering words of adoration.

Hub and I headed to the other end of the parking lot where we had left the car. And as we departed, there on the edge of the lot was our cast and crew grinning and waving with obvious pleasure. Delighted with the gorgeous weather and delighted at being a part of the "Humbling of the Harley Boys" production.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the little things that make life so worth while! lol

I rarely give much thought to transportation. I assume there must be similar attitudes about cars and skateboards and boats. Are you and Hub available for other jobs??

Buffy

11:08 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Buffy, you're right about that. It was this little chuckle that took the drudgery out of a long session of yard work and gardening.

I can't help thinking this plot might make a good commercial -- but I'm not sure if the Harley people would want it or the Honda people. Probably neither. I think we need a bit more practice and experience before we take on other jobs (although if you're referring to yard work, we've just about got that down pat but too exhausted to hang out our shingle).

12:34 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

This one is a keeper. Truly enjoyed this one, Mom.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi Crystal. Pleased I gave you a chuckle to get you through another Busy Mom Day.

1:17 AM  
Blogger RP said...

Evil. Pure evil.

*cackles with delight!*

Damn, Roberta, you're good.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

rp, You are the first blogger in 3 years of blogging that called me "evil". But I'm not offended. Obviously you are as "evil" as I am or you wouldn't be chuckling like that! ;)

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting story.

I have a Honda now, but it has four wheels....I'd not be caught on the back of any bike...Honda...Harley whatever.

Just thought I would drop in and give you a visit...it has been a long time. Dr. D.

7:54 PM  

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