Two-Wheeled Menace

I have a prejudice against motorcycles.

Normally I consider myself an open-minded person, but somehow, I have developed a true, burning dislike for two-wheeled vehicles.

The other day, I was on my way home and was passing another car.  A motorcycle came up behind me, and before I could get all the way around the vehicle I was passing, he swung out and passed me on the shoulder of the road.  He then took off down the road at some unknown speed.  It was sort of like when the Enterprise used to take off at warp speed.

My son summed up a cleaner version of my thoughts: “What a jerk!”

Now, I’m not one to generalize (yeah, right) but it seems as though the motorcycle-riding population does seem to have more than the normal amount of jerks.  Don’t start–I know there are some fine, safe-driving motorcycle people out there.  They obey traffic laws and are outstanding drivers.  I’ve never seen them, but I’m sure they are out there.  You know like baby pigeons, or Bigfoot.

Anyway, back to the jerks.

The whole Harley Davidson culture has never interested me much.  That’s not really my personality.  I mean, I can certainly frown enough to fit in, but leather chaps and fringes just aren’t my thing.  Also, the jerk pipes get on my nerves.

Oh, you know what jerk pipes are.  Any vehicle can have them, but they are almost ubiquitous on Harleys.  These are the really, really loud exhaust pipes that make your windows rattle and your ears bleed.  Around here, guys like to put them on their trucks too.  They roar past at all hours of the day and night.  I don’t understand jerk pipes.  What is their purpose?  It seems as though they are little more than a plea for attention, sort of an ear-splitting cry of “look at me! Look at me!”

I guess the bottom line is that I am just not cool enough to get it.

Also, if I’m going to be honest, I’m a little afraid of motorcycles.

I trust them the way you might trust your neighbor’s aggressive dog that has bitten a lot of people, but has never actually bitten you.  Also, I regard with deep suspicion anything that has to defy all the known laws of physics just to move.  This also applies to snakes, airplanes, and Cher.

If a psychologist were to interview me to investigate the deep-rooted cause of my prejudice, I think he could trace it all back to Bristol, Tennessee many years ago.  My husband and I were headed to a NASCAR race.  The traffic was backed up literally for miles.  It was hot and we had been sitting for a long, long time.  Then, out of nowhere, a group of motorcycles drove by on the shoulder of the road, passing everyone else and getting ahead of all of the traffic!!!!  Cheaters!

Then, to go back even further, when I was just a kid, there used to be a an unmanned toll booth on the entrance ramp of the Interstate.  You had to drop a quarter in a little bucket-thing.  There was a hose-like thing laying across the road that counted the cars, so if you drove over it and didn’t pay, a little alarm went off.  Well, guess what?  As we pulled up one day to toss in the quarter, a motorcycle zoomed by on the shoulder of the road (of course) and bypassed the counting hose and thereby the toll booth.  Cheater!

Like I said before, I’m sure there are good motorcyclists out there, who ride for fun and pleasure, who drive safely, carefully, and defensively.

On the shoulder of the road.

Hurry Up!

I am going school clothes shopping tomorrow.

These words fill me with dread.  I hate shopping, but that’s not really the point.  To illustrate what the point actually is, I’ll tell you what The Grandmother said when I asked her if she wanted to go with me.  She said, “Well, we’ll have to hurry up.  As usual.”

As usual.

I am a speed shopper.  I could go on one of those game shows where you have to buy the most stuff in a set amount of time and I could kick some serious butt.


It’s sort of a standing joke among my relatives about how I go through the store.  I have my list, and I know where everything is.  If I forget something and it is more than one or two aisles back, then I don’t get it.

But why?  Why am I like this?

Well, usually someone is waiting for me.  They are either in the car or here at the house.  If I leave everyone here with The Grandmother, I feel pressured to get back so they don’t, like, tie her to a chair or something.  I’m worried my sister will have to use the bathroom.  I’m worried aliens will attack and I’ll be twenty-five minutes away from the kids.  Tomorrow, my husband and The Grandfather will be in charge while we go shopping.


The bad thing is, no matter when I’m shopping or what the circumstances are, I am still in a hurry.  In fact, I would say I am always in a hurry.  It has become a way of life.  Even if my sister is staying with my mom, and the kids are with me, I still catch myself hurrying.  Rush rush rush.  I can’t help myself.

That’s why I like camping so much.  For some reason, up in those mountains, I’m able to slow down.  Just sit.  Or wander through an antique mall at my leisure.  But as soon as I get home, I rush to get unpacked.  I can feel the tension, the pressure to get everything done in record time.  Rush rush rush.

I even talk fast.

It’s no way to live.  I’m rushing through a life that is already flying by.  I need to slow down.  I need to browse in the store.  I need to relax.

I need to go.  I have to hurry up and get into bed.

Rush rush rush.


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