Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Ya know, most of us bikers are social folks, an’ we enjoy gettin’ together with friends to shoot the breeze when we can, whether it’s over a cup of coffee at Fourbucks, while we’re takin’ out a second mortgage on the house over at the gas station, or wherever we run into each other. Some friends here in Madtown came up with a good solution to the problem of where all this bull shootin’ should take place, an’ somehow, I ended up gettin’ invited.
Hot rods and Harleys just naturally gravitate together, and I’ve found that a lot of my friends own both. I think it’s that Empty Nest/Full Garage Syndrome that most of us “reluctant elderly” get after the kids leave home.
I always enjoyed lookin’ in other kids’ toy boxes when I was a kid. I liked to see what everybody else had, an’ what the latest gadget was that I needed to beg for at the first opportunity. I guess that curiosity never left me, an’ lately it’s come roarin’ back on two wheels an’ four, with custom paint, chrome an’ every possible source of power from a stock Knuckle­head to a blown 572 rat motor. Just the opportunity to be around all that horsepower, noise an’ eye candy is exciting an’ makes me feel like I’m 16 again, about to pop the hubcaps off the family grocery getter an’ toss ’em in the trunk so I could drag the main with some semblance of class. “No, this is not mommy’s car, an’ what do ya mean it has too many doors?”
The get-togethers don’t really have a name, I don’t think. Some would call ’em a “Shop Crawl,” some a “Hot Rod Bar-B-Q,” and some couldn’t care less. They started out when one of the guys built a new shop, an’ the suggestion of a “shop-warming” was tossed out. Somebody brought the burgers, an’ it was off an’ running, an’ we get together at one shop or another once a month, usually mid-week, so our weekends are free for “Honey-dos.” Every month, a collection jar is put out, an’ whatever’s rattlin’ around inside goes to the host of next month’s get-together to pay for the chow an’ drinks. I volunteered to host the February edition, an’ it’s still a couple of weeks away as I’m writin’ this, so we’ll see how it works out.
Most of us go on runs, an’ ride with friends when we can, but this may be a good way to not only keep in touch, but also bring in new friends an’ ridin’ partners. Even when it’s cold as a polar bear’s balls on the shady side of an iceburg, you can get the burn barrel goin’ an’ gather around the fire like the cavemen used to do… Huh? Burn barrels are illegal in your neck o’ the woods? Well, allow ol’ Buckshot to tell ya how to handle this one! When the “Green Meanies” show up, just tell ’em that it’s a signal fire for U.F.O.s, an’ everybody start chantin’ an’ dancin’ around the fire. The usual reaction to seein’ a dozen half-drunk, crazy bikers dancin’ around a roarin’ fire in their skivvies (Oh, sorry… Did I forget ta mention that part?) is to leave as soon as humanly possible, backing slowly away with their hands raised to shoulder height in the universal sign of non-aggression. This is a very popular winter sport here in Mad­town, an’ it works equally well on nosy, non-ridin’ neighbors.
A few weeks ago, I was workin’ around the shop, so I lit the burn barrel. I guess some of the wood was wet, ‘cause it started to smoke like I was tryin’ to tell the Sioux Nation about Custer. Once it’s goin’ there’s no way to put it out without draggin’ the hose over to drown it, so I started feedin’ dry sticks in the top. Before long, it was glowin’ cherry red an’ the heat waves were visible a block away. Just as the smoke was startin’ to clear up, my environmentalist neighbor came over to see if I was signalin’ U.F.Os again.
“Nope,” I told him. “I’m callin’ worms to the surface, so I can go fishin’. Ya can’t catch anything with a bunch’a cold, lethargic worms, ya know!” I grabbed the shovel I’d been usin’ to stir the wood up in the barrel, an’ began to dig feverishly in the gravel driveway. “See?” I demanded, holdin’ up part of an old boot lace. “No life left in that boy… Gotta bring a new crop to the top!”
My neighbor nodded his head in exaggerated understanding, an’ slowly backed away with his hands at shoulder height. That’s become kind of a standard procedure thing when leavin’ anybody’s place out here in Madtown. At least it is when they’re leavin’ mine.
Well, I’m gonna head out to the shop an’ clean my bike up a bit. By the way, if you’re in the Paso Robles area, you may want to look up my amigo Luis at Diamond Detailing. They do a really great job, usin’ all the best products. They can also fix up your cage with custom wheels, tires an’ detailing. You can call ’em at 805.703.0658. Tell ’em ol’ Buck­shot told ya to stop by!


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