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September 25, 2005

Bikers, Babes and Gays

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

On the ride to Ocean City, I noticed the signs at various establishments stating "Bikers Welcome." In front of me was a car with several bicycles mounted on the back and immediately thought there was a convention of Schwinn type products at the seaside resort. It turned out to be Harley Davidson.

Upon arrival, I purchased the local paper with the headline "125,000 Motorcyclists Due in Resort this Weekend." I had planned a pleasant, warm, quiet end-of-summer period of reflection and contemplation, writing poetry and planning several murder scenarios for my ex-wife's divorce lawyer. Many of the bikers would be most excellent in this last endeavor.

Most of the bikes had never heard of a muffler and the roar steadily increased during the day on Friday, reached gale force on Saturday and by Saturday night, the island was vibrating to an unknown number on the Reichter scale. I would drive to the grocery store and be engulfed in a swarm of these deafening, nerve-grinding machines darting every which way, making mirrors useless as I couldn't keep track of any of them. It reminded me of walking through mosquito clouds in the jungle during my Peace Corps adventures.

I was able to sort out the group into two different types. The first were the middle aged and class baby boomers that have decided to replace their testosterone while straddling the shuddering and shaking machines. They then go into bars and try to pick up 20-something ladies offering a helmet and the back seat of the bike as bait.

The second bunch were the Hells Angel, Marlon Brando, toothless, overweight, scary bunch, who let you know in no uncertain terms not to even ask for the time of day. They would probably pound you head first into the sand and use your legs as a sundial to give you the answer. They enter a bar and rip the cap off a bottle of Bud using their gums and then chased that down with three fingers of rot gut in a dirty glass. Their idea of courting is bashing a lady on the head and dragging her out by the hair.

There are also lady bikers, who also fall into the above category. Early Saturday morning I walked to the 7-11 and one had the words "Bitch Power" written across the front of her helmet.

I was still sound asleep when I read the moniker and said it a bit too loudly, where she let me know in no uncertain terms she was a bitch 24/7. I had no choice but to agree with her.

Mom and I had a chance to talk to some paramedics and they told us the cheerleaders required more ambulance calls during their January convention because of falls and sprains than the bikers. In retelling the conversation, mom managed to relate the bikers and the cheerleaders were together and that the bikers were getting the best of the cheerleaders requiring more medical assistance. I tried to correct her that they were not carousing with each other, but to no avail.

Thoroughly rattled by a night and day of the machines, I wandered down to the beach to enjoy my favorite hobby of girl watching. I had my sand chair, towel and book ready to observe when I noticed an unusual number of surfers paddling among the waves. Then - staked in the sand - was a sign: "Gay Surfers for Jesus."

It was the end to a very bizarre weekend.

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