Recently I had the pleasure of taking the Amtrak from Chicago to Detroit for a buddy’s wedding. Getting there meant waking up at 5am, taking the el and then sitting on the Amtrak for 8 hours. And it was unbelievable. I just got to sit there and read and enjoy silence and not think for the first time in what seems like forever. There were no screaming children and there was no strict, hard and fast deadline within which I needed to do whatever it was I was supposed to do (like, when my kids finally go to bed, if I want to do anything, and this includes eat, read, shower, get on the internet, do work, write music, judge a blowjob contest, watch tv…anything at all, I’ve gotta figure out how I’m gonna pack it all into the tiny exhausted sliver of time left before I pass out, and if we go out, I’m constantly thinking about the babysitter and the inconvenience/money that is at stake for every hour I’m not heading home). It was, and I’m not shitting you people here, one of the best times I’ve had in recent memory.
In fact, when I replay the whole weekend, the trainride out there was the highlight. This throws one thing into sharp relief: my life is getting weird. If sitting in a seat with no one bugging me for 8 hours is the best time I can hope for I may as well get it over with and move into a home. Although, at a home, you don’t get to watch Illinois, Indiana and Michigan unfold outside the window, and this was truly one of the nicest parts of the ride.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been in a van. The feeling of watching shit whip by into the past, the feeling of riding along the timeline of your life, seeing what’s in front of you and watching the past dissolve behind you, is so ingrained in me that on that train I felt like I was finally back in my element. I was finally able to relax and just unplug and enjoy myself. And it was at some point on this journey that I saw, in the driveway of a dilapidated shack that butted up against the train tracks, somewhere in the middle of a dumpy Michigan town in the middle of nowhere, two very nice crotchrocket style matching motorcycles, one blue, one yellow, just chilling in perfect tandem.
It got me to thinking, whoever owns those bikes (and GOD I hope it’s a husband and wife, but I bet it’s just one dude or a pair of dudes) obviously spends most of their money on their ride, as the house was, in no uncertain terms, a shit shack. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. To borrow from the classic tale: some folks spend all their money on a nice suit and wear underwear full of holes and some people get the nicest underwear and wear the cheap suit. There’s distinct advantages to both and I’m not trying to tell these ruff-riding hillbillies how to stretch their checks.
But the question that came up in my mind, which I’ve been thinking about for a while now, is what they do. Do they ride those things around that shitty little town to the crappy bar or the Burger King or take it out to the casino? I mean, I don’t want to sound like a dick, but it seems like all the glitz and glamour and freedom that comes with getting the fancy bike is kind of undermined by the stark reality of the strict ‘no glitz, no glamour, no freedom’ policy that’s being put out there by the town. I guess it seems sad?
Nah…it’s not quite sad. It’s funny and kind of weird. Eh…it sucks. No. No. Hmmm…
Look, motorcycles are the realm of the dildo. This is a pretty unequivocal truth. The Harley Davidson logo is far and away the most obvious signifier of the clueless dipshit (even more than tapout or ed hardy…it’s true) and these sporty asian bikes that all the big black dudes ride now are equally lame.
That’s because all motorcycles are lame. Yes they are. I don’t care about your friend that fixes up Hondas from the 80’s and is the ‘most laid back dude ever, bro’. I don’t give a fuck about the fancy Hitler bikes or the Italian bikes. I don’t care how ‘fun’ they are. People say those running shoes with the toes in them are comfortable as shit but that doesn’t take them out of the realm of being the most pussy-repellant, dorky, shitty looking, wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-in-them shoes I’ve ever seen. Same shit goes for motorcycles. One guy who can pull off riding a bike doesn’t diminish the overwhelmingly wack cultural currency that motorcycles have worked so hard to cement into the fabric of our society. Motorcycles signify a few things about the owner and almost nothing else ever. Those things are:
1) I’m a dork.
2) I’m an asshole
3) I ran out of things to spend money on, so I bought this dumb idea.
4) I really admire a dork/asshole/moneywaster
5) I have an obsession with ‘freedom’ and ‘the seventies’ and bullshit like that
6) Small penis
7) I ran out of ways to point out to strangers how much cooler than them I think I am.
Now, not all bikers fit all 7 categories. In fact, I’ve got a few friends who ride motorcycles (some very, very close friends, in fact) and I’m not even sure what their deals are (Six seems the likely culprit). I’m not saying that in all cases it’s an all encompassing douche-tude that ensconses you once you become a bike enthusiast. In fact, lots of people can like their bikes and be otherwise so cool that you can completely overlook their dumb obsession. I’m just saying it’s a blemish, a blight on your character. That’s all.
And, fine. If we MUST, let’s get it out there. Old ass men who live out west and just live to ride are pretty awesome. You can’t really fault that shit. But that’s not you. That’s not your buddy. You two look like you’re riding your blue and yellow surrogate dongs around your crappy little town just solely for the purposes of getting the word out that you’re exceedingly awesome. And that’s what dorks and assholes do. Sorry.
Hey, just my two cents. I ride the fucking dinosaur train after all.