It's been a good ride so far!

Since I was just a kid all I have ever wanted to do was to make people laugh or just smile. As a child, an educator sent a note home to my parents. It read; If your son thinks he is going to get through life making people laugh he is in for a RUDE AWAKENING! He is not living up to his potential. WELL, I'M STILL NOT! But at this site you will at least see me try. From the heart, thank you for even being interested, it means the world to me. I always say, I have not a single fan but many a friend!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Chopper Gods - They Mock Me!

Those of you who know me, know that I sing the praises of friendship quite often.  There is nothing in life that I cherish more than a true friend.  I know right now you are thinking, Jack Shit must be smoking crack or something because he just wrote a few days ago about this shit.  Is Jack Shit out of things to write about that he is already repeating himself?  NO, NEVER!  As long as I continue to be surrounded by the quality people that I have found myself surrounded by for the last few years, there will never be a lack of things to talk or write about.  Here is an example of aforementioned acts of friendship.

At the end of July, beginning of August we were lucky enough to spend a bit of time here in AZ. with our dear friend Mario, and that's MAR E O, not MARY O as those of us from the northeast commonly say.  I had just gotten hired on to host the downtown Broken Spoke Saloon in Sturgis for the 70th anniversary of the rally.  Once I knew I had the gig, there was much to be determined about the logistics of it all.  How would I get there, what did I need while I was there etc.  Now understand that since I have ridden a bike, the dream was always to make it to Sturgis and I had countless chances to go.  But here is this one thing, I would never go unless I RODE IT ALL THE WAY!  The problem was that I lived in Jersey and that would have taken 3 weeks on the road to do it right and I could never afford that time off.  Now I live in Arizona and it's a hop skip and a jump away, sort of.  So I had to ride right?  Wrong!  I had so much to bring up there and I just couldn't take the chance on my 63 year old bike breaking from running wide open for that distance and having a slated in stone appearance time.  I decided that I would trailer both my knucklehead and Brother Adam's bad ass Trump chop.  The original idea was to truck to Colorado, pick up Adam's dad who he has never had a chance to really put on any miles with and roll into Sturgis on two wheels together.  As luck would have it, his dad refused.  In retrospect, probably a good decision.  I had about 300 shirts that I needed to move to make the trip worth it financially so we had no choice, they were loaded into the truck with all our camping gear and shamefully, we trucked in.  I have this stupid big landscape trailer that when I pull it, I get about 9 miles per gallon on flat highway and we were going through the mountains.  While visiting with Mario and his wonderful wife Pat, I noticed that he had a "real" bike trailer in the garage, one of those stand up kinds.  I asked if I could borrow it and being the true friend he is, said yes!  That's it, we are ready to roll, it's all perfect, it couldn't be any better right?  Famous last words, I know!

So we loaded up all our shit and with $114 in pocket we set out on our trip 1/3 of the way across the good ol' USA, onward and upward to Sturgis, the Mecca of Motorcycling.  Like many of us these days, times have been brutal.  My wife, although an absolutely amazing realtor was earning shit because the market was just horrible.  It seemed that no matter how much money we earned we were always coming up just shy of having enough to cover what we needed.  Being sick and having a horrible disease like MS is insanely expensive and no matter the cost, no matter the loss no matter what, Diane's meds always come first and foremost.  In a true act of friendship, Brother Adam said, "dude, you got to get there", I will cover the cost of the fuel!  This guy rocks!  We started out real early in the A.M. and all seemed great with the exception of the fenders on the trailer.  For some reason, although they were mounted to the axle itself, they shook wildly back and forth.  We spent two thirds of the entire drive staring in the mirrors just waiting for them to sheer off.  Unlike a "watched pot that never boils" apparently, if you stare at fenders long enough, they actually do sheer off!  As we rolled into Las Vegas, N.M., we heard this horrible sound.  It was the right fender.  It had broken about 70% off and had pretty much got sucked into and under the wheel.  OH FUCK!  We managed to cut the wires for the lights, remove what was left of the mount and pull the fender.  As luck would have it, THE POLICE WERE KIND ENOUGH to immediately give us their full attention, how thoughtful of them.  Well, I guess we passed the sniff test and they pointed us to a welding shop.

THE CHOPPER GODS WERE FURIOUS WITH US FOR TRAILERING and they would make us pay for it!  Well the guy there, I can't for the life of me remember his name dropped what he was doing, put on his old leather bibs and started welding.  We lost about an hour or two there in beautiful and majestic Las Vegas.

We got some Mickey D's, I know, nasty right and we hit the open road again.  The lights fixed, the fender welded up and a McDonalds orange drink in the cup holder and nothing but sunny skies ahead..... for about 35 minutes that is....  What began with the Chopper Gods spitting at us turned into the Chopper Gods having God awful diarrhea, it must have been because the shit that came down on us was like no shit I have ever driven through.  On a side note, I must now ask all of you to send your unused YELLOW PAINT to the state of Colorado because obviously they can't afford any to PAINT LINES ON THE HIGHWAY.  At least there were none that I could see and my co-pilot more or less pleaded with me to just pull off the highway so that we could actually survive to see Sturgis!

We made it to the rally and managed to do it in one piece.  Now as the rally rocked on, it was time for Brother Adam to head home via airplane.  The trip home was on me and me alone.  I was totally cool with that.  As you may know already, Sturgis was a huge success for me and I got to meet people that have become friends for life.  I had to return to the Spoke County Line Campground to pick up Adam's Trump and re pack all the shit that I had brought with me.  Luckily I was about 200 shirts lighter.  Upon re-loading the trailer, I noticed a hair line crack in the paint on the other fender, ut oh!  I just had a horrible feeling about it, so I wrapped it with a ratchet strap and put it through the bikes and attached it to the trailer loops.  An ounce of prevention right?

I get to spend a little bit of time before I left with my amazing friends, Long Jon, Miss Pinky Pancake and the one and only Bean're, the Mayor of Fun.  It truly was hard to pull out of Sturgis.  I had worked so hard non stop that I never got a moment to hang with the people that I love with the exception of the nights that they commandeered the Broken Spoke Bus and visited me downtown.  I had the chance to stay one more night and just chill, but the lil woman gets her shot of meds on Monday night and I had to Jam home to make it to do the shot for her.  As I drove through the most spectacular scenery and roads that everyone got to do on Scooters in my truck I began to reflect on what an amazing rally it had been.  Once I was officially in the middle of nowhere Wyoming and the sun was setting I approached a couple on a bagger rollin at about 65 mph.  Well I was going faster than that and I wasn't about to drive 150 miles behind these two.  So I shot left, punched the pedal and was in the process of passing them when I remembered the Chopper Gods and obviously, they remembered me too.  I hear the most unreal sound of steel and pavement.  That hairline paint crack became a full fledged steel sheering nightmare and the second and last fender tore loose.  Had I not put that strap on it, that fender would have certainly crashed out those folks on the bagger.  Ha!  I beat the Chopper Gods.  Well that is if you over look the fact that I am in the middle of nowhere, it's getting dark, there is no cell signal and the tools are packed in the bottom of the truck.  I managed to get the fender fully dismantled, removed the wiring for the lights and got back on the road.  Once in Colorado in the very same spot, the Gods must have eaten something bad because they began to shit on me again.

I made it home without any more incidents thankfully.  Now I have this trailer that has literally fallen apart on the trip and I have till April to return it as Mario won't be back in AZ until then....... or so I thought.  Luckily having that trailer in the end was a blessing because I was able to help out so many other friends who had broken down, had bad wrecks and move couches as well.  Now here is the hitch in the ole giddy up.  That April trip actually turned out to be NOW!  As luck would have it, NO, I had not fixed the trailer yet, oh boy, I am screwed.  Now my friends, Mario's friends, our mutual friends managed to arrive earlier than Mario.  So being a good friend, I invited them over and promised to make them a nice dinner.  After all, what are friends for right?  If you can't feed your friends what good are you?  Luckily, the meal was a great one and left all who enjoyed it fit, fat and full.  I recieved fantastic compliments and it made it all worth while.  After dinner and as they were about to hop on some bad ass scoots, yes even Byker Jym's borrowed Purple Swift, I had mentioned to Lil Ben about how bad I felt that I still had the trailer, hadn't fixed it and I would now be the jerkoff that borrowed, broke and didn't return a friends trailer.  SOME FRIEND I AM!  In the spirit of true friendship, Lil Ben says "rather than riding down to Tucson, I will stay back and we will fix it before Mario arrives".  Really?  You would do that?  Awesome!  The next day comes and Mario's flight arrives at 5:30 p.m.  We roll out to Phoenix to Brother Adam's shop to pick up the fender to shoot over to another friends to weld it all up and even plan to fix the shit I didn't break, after all, it's the very least I can do right?  As luck would have it, we finished the trailer and pulled out of the yard at, yes, you guessed it 5:34 p.m.  We hauled ass back to my house to pick up the spare tire that I forgot and fed Lil Ben again.  I loaded up the tire, the lil woman and raced to Queen Creek.  I pulled onto the property, rolled the trailer up the mountain of a driveway, pushed it into the garage and went back for the tire from the truck just as Mario pulled into the driveway.  I literally got it there moments before he would ever know that I was a complete asshole.  Then again, I am sure he already knew that before this.  Everyone swore they would never tell him about my delay in the return and I am grateful for that and their friendship but I won't ever lie to a friend.

So then, Mario, here is my confession.  Lil Ben, thank you for bailing my ass out.  Adam, we couldn't have done any of this without your shop, your tools and your big ass foot.  Jym, thank you for having a magical beard and Chris thanks for saying such good things about my cooking, it warms my heart.  Mario, I must also say that I am sorry your Rigatoni was sort of dry by the time it got to you.

WITHOUT ALL OF YOU, MY FRIENDS, I WOULD BE NOTHING!  Not a single day goes by that I don't realize just that!

Till we see each other on the road somewhere, I am and will remain, your friend Jack Shit!

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