Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Do ya ever wåonder what’s goin’ through the mind of man’s best friend? Nawww, not your bartender; your dog. If ya look close, ya can usually tell what a dog’s thinkin’. When he starts diggin’ a hole in the yard, he’s thinkin’, “Diggin’ a hole, diggin’ a hole.” A dog can get the innocent look down pat, an’ he may also look sad when he knows you’re sad too, but his favorite look is when he looks over his shoulder at ya, then lifts his leg on the patio furniture, the tires on your cage, or worse, on your bike! This brings me to the point of this whole thing…

A couple of weeks ago, I was out in the shop workin’ on my latest build when I looked around an’ my “prepper” neighbor’s dog is happily waterin’ the 80-spoke wheel on the back of my Shovelhead. “Get outta here, dammit!” I yelled, as I chucked a sandin’ block at him. He gave me that “now I’m sad” look as he beat it back toward his own yard. The next day, my neighbor was out waterin’ his wine grapevines (I think they’re wine grapes; they sure aren’t very sweet), so I wandered over to him an’ told him about his dog’s visit.

“Oh, sorry about that,” he said. “Newt doesn’t usually run off.”

“He looks kinda hungry, maybe ya should feed him more,” I suggested.

“He already eats enough for two dogs now!” he said, lookin’ dubiously at Newt, who was busily scratchin’ behind one ear. “Every morning when I go out to feed him, his dish is empty, and I only feed him high-protein, top-quality food. I just don’t know how he can eat that much and never put on any weight.”

“Yeah,” I told him, “that’s what I feed mine too.” (I was hopin’ I remembered to cover my tracks around ol’ Newt’s dog dish. That high-quality food’s expensive, ya know, an’ my dog loves it!)

“Well,” I told him, “I’d better get back an’ finish what I was doin’. See ya later.” Newt eyed me accusingly, his stomach growlin’, as I turned an’ headed for the shop.

The next mornin’, Neighbor Chuck showed up at the shop with a case of beer. “This is just a little ‘I’m sorry’ present for you, because you had to clean your bike.”

“No problem,” I told him, settin’ the beer on the bench. “But beer’s always welcome!”

“You know,” he said, lookin’ around, “I’ve been thinking about getting a motorcycle to put in the survival bunker. After the total collapse of our society, it would be nice to have something good on gas to get around on when I have to forage for survival supplies.”

“Yeah, those zombies can get mean,” I told him, grinnin’. “But today’s your lucky day, my friend, ’cause I have just what the doctor ordered!” I led him out to the shed behind the shop, where I’d stashed an old 500cc two-stroke dirt bike that I’d picked up in a trade. I’d be glad to unload that white elephant, an’ I could sure use the bucks since my zombies work for the bank! I rolled it out in the yard, an’ after a coupla kicks it fired up, spewin’ noxious blue smoke an’ ear-assaultin’ noise. I could see the “gotta have it” look in his eyes that told of a childhood covetin’ somethin’ with two wheels that Mommy hated, so I set the hook.

“Yeah, this is just the thing for after the apocalypse,” I told him, brushin’ cobwebs away. “Good on gas, an’ plenty of power to outrun anythin’ on four wheels! I don’t really want to sell it, but since we’re friends…”

He looked it over an’ sat on it, an’ I knew he was hooked. “So… How much?” he asked.

“Well,” I said, thoughtfully scratchin’ my bearded chin. “For you, I’d take seven hunnnerd an’ fifty bucks.”

“I’ll take it,” he said, twistin’ the throttle. “Can you show me how to ride it?”

“Piece’a cake,” I told him. “You’ve already found the throttle; this is the clutch, an’ this lever here is the front brake. Your gears are on this side, your rear brake is on the other.”

He grinned as he put it in gear, revvin’ the clatterin’ two-stroke like a weedeater. When he dropped it in gear, I yelled, “Watch out for the power band!”

“The WHAT?” he yelled back, as he took off across the yard.

“Power band,” I shrugged, just as he got into it. The front wheel came up, an’ he shot across the yard with both feet stickin’ straight out. Newt ran for cover as the bike, with Chuck still hangin’ on, tore through his grapevines, draggin’ wire, grape leaves an’ grapes behind as he made a beeline for his garage—still on the back wheel. He finally came to rest next to his wife’s BMW, the front wheel buried between the washer an’ drier.

“Uh”, he stammered, “I think I need to reconsider…”

“Uh-uh. No backs,” I told him, shakin’ my head. “Besides, when ya get good on it, those zombies don’t stand a chance!” About that time, Newt came around the corner an’ headed straight for the back wheel. I knew exactly what he was thinkin’!


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