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.