Safety First

I served at the Boston Pizza last summer in my parents hometown, and there was one hectic weekend where a large motorcycle rally was held.  I have five tattoos on my arms; all writing, poetry, quotes.  Some of the bikers  took that as me being ‘one of them’.  But, let me be the first to tell you: I like Micheal Buble and “The Gilmore Girls“, I do not have a biker bone in my body.  But there were a number of enthusiasts who tried to give me one anyway.  One gentleman was rather insistent that I get on his hog…and his bike, if you catch my drift.  His friend was deeply interested in reading my tattoos, asking questions about said “ink”, as he called it. “Though I would really love to hunker down with the two of you, and explain the secret meanings of each and every tattoo, I’d like to leave you with your deluxe pizza and not have you touch my body and try to read me.  And more so, I don’t want to see yours.  No seriously, keep your shirt on, this is a family joint”.  Of course, this was my inner monologue at work, this was the real conversation:

“You taking in the festivities these weekend?”

“No…I’m working this weekend”.

“All weekend?”

“Yup…day and night…”

“Well, let me pick you up and take you to work”.

My mind immediately wandered to my explaining the sight of that to my husband and parents.  “Oh, that’s just Bones, he’s giving me a lift to work”.

“Seriously, I can’t, I’m married”.

And he leans back into the booth, nodding knowingly, as if the misfortune of my marriage was the only deterrent of us making something out of the underlining passion in this customer service exchange.  When he paid the bill, he dropped a filthy pile of loose change in front of me with the sexy air of dropping your knickers on the table in a strip poker tournament. Unfortunately for this guy, he did not get the memo that a way to a waitress’s heart is not $1.60 and pocket lint.  “It’s a real shame that I can’t give you a lift…have you ever even been on a bike before?”

I had actually, once in high school on the back of a dirt bike, and once more in my early twenties, around the time I got braces for the second time.  When I had them for the first time, I was in the seventh grade, the appropriate time to look awkward and transitional.  As a young looking adult, the braces didn’t help my cause; I’d get carded just trying to buy gum.  My friend Monica had a cousin who was an avid motorcyclist.  He had red curly hair cut into a mullet with a big bushy beard, and he’d think nothing of kissing you right on the mouth, whether or not he actually knew you. To describe him as accurately as possible is to say he was a ginger Kris Kristofferson.

kris_kristofferson-songs_of_kristofferson(monument)

This was first time I met him–at Monica’s house–he looked me up and down like he was a cartoon wolf eying up a leg of lamb…or for lack of a better image:

Tex Avery wolf and red

“Hey little girl, you wanna take a ride?”

“Sure she does!”, said Monica, volunteering me with confidence.

This was a hot summer night, and  I was wearing a thin cotton t-shirt, capri pants and flipflops.  Not suitable attire for getting on the back of a Hog with a middle aged burly, mulleted stranger.  “I’ve got plenty of things for you to wear”, Monica said, retreating into her bedroom, and coming back with a cropped leather jacket with bulky shoulders, ankle boots, and a bicycle helmet.

Admittedly, the speed under the stars was amazing.  The wind in my face was simply magical.  We zipped along the highway, before coming back through town, with this guy gunning it through the main strip.  No sooner than a mere moment, do the police lights flash behind us.

“Aw, fuuuuck”, he said, slowing down and pulling over on the roadside to the soundtrack of a siren wail.

My heart was pounding; I was by no means sober and dressed like the biggest goon ever.

The police were familiar with the biker, nodding politely and referring to him by name.  Both cops drink me in, not like I were a leg of lamb, but with confusion and wonder.  There was a significant gap between pant hem and boot , the bicycle helmet cocked to the side, and I was trembling nervously in the jacket with shoulder pads that would make even Joan Crawford feel ostentatious.  “Who’s your friend?”, they nodded towards me, with a mildly sing-song quality reserved for catching the star quarterback with the captain of the chess team.

“Ah, this little girl?” feigning surprise, as if he didn’t realize he had a stow-away.

“He was taking me on my first motorcycle ride”. I piped up, my silver braces glowing under the street light.

“Oh really? And how has it gone so far?”

“Pretty good”, keeping the conversation casual. “he was just teaching me that speed doesn’t pay”.

The officer smirked, “Well, did you learn your lesson?”

I adjusted my helmet, attempting to straighten it.  “Absolutely”.

“Okay then, looks like you’ve had enough, take her home, would you?”.

To which the blood drained out of my body, turning my legs into gelatine.  We wait for the police to drive away.

“You saved my ass little one, I couldn’t get another ticket”.

I laughed weakly and climbed on the back of the bike.  He returned me to Monica’s house, and I’ve never been one a bike since.  But I didn’t share this with Captain Buck Sixty, who was going to have his work cut out for him if he was ever to have the feeling of female fingers laced around his waist as he raced along the highway.

cop pin up

ebay.com

3 thoughts on “Safety First

  1. Great post… Tattoo and biker culture bump up against each other–they’re both so visual — yet the worlds can be far apart, as your bit of memoir demonstrate. “Inking” it – writing it down — gives it all dimension, perspective — and a laff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s