“There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)



JOHN CONNOR:      "Can you learn?  So you can be... you know.  More human.  Not such a dork all the time."
Terminator turns towards him.
TERMINATOR:    "My CPU is a neural-net processor... a learning computer.  But Skynet presets the switch to
"read-only" when we are sent out alone."
SARAH CONNOR (cynical):    "Doesn't want you thinking too much, huh?"
TERMINATOR:        "No."
Kind of reminds you of the type of conversation you would have with more than a few Harley owners, now doesn’t it?
Just substitute me for "John Connor," Harley owner for "Terminator," brain for "CPU" and Willie G. for "Skynet" 
and it would work just as well.  -BE





From:        Terry Walton
To:             blackecho
Date:         4 July  2005
Subject:   Mr.  Dingo

Well I have read a few letters and replies from your fans or foes and laughed my ass off.

Your replies were, for the most part, well written.  Now digging a little deeper on your site, I found the weakness in your “Black Echo armor”.

Darth Vader?  Jedi Jump?  Or Tractor Beams and Blade Runner?  Now it’s getting clearer.  You are a pocket rocket fan that is angry over the state of Harley Davidson, but I’m equally sure you own mounds of Star Trek memorabilia and are a died-in- the- wool Star Wars fan.  Not a problem, my kids liked that also and I did too, when I was a kid.  But as time moves on, so does one’s tastes.  I can imagine you on Ebay, sorting through Star Wars cards for your anniversary collector’s edition and dreaming the star ship will come down on a rice burner with, phasers in hand to zap those pesky classic riders.  So it seems you hate Harley Davidson for a marketing success story, but fall victim to the same.  I would not be surprised if you had full regalia for storm troopers or a Darth Vader hood and mask lying close to your computer or had thoughts of a Jedi flash light for your riding outfit for your 30 mile long distant runs.  It’s amusing to me how you knock the motorcycle that brought the motorcycles to America, when the very crap you ride was driven by dollars.  Not the purest of your nature, but of course your idea of a good time is degrading a person that pays your check, but we’ll touch on that later.

I have owned a Jap bike, a nice “little” Honda Classic 1100.  a Harley look-a-like.  The first thing the Honda dealer suggested was a set of pipes that were “Harley sounding”.  I did not waste the money on the pipes (the phrase, “you can’t make a pigs ear into a silk purse” applies) and loved the bike.  It ran well and you will enjoy this first ride story, at least the start of it.

My Harley owner friend, the person that made riding look fun and could care less what I rode, unlike you with your small-minded view of the world, but then again you do live in a town with a population of 6,603.  I’m sure its quaint, but I don’t expect a worldly view from such a porthole.  I’d bet the job market is booming, so the pay scale for sheriff must really be top notch, ..  The important thing was to ride, and his girlfriend (a professor at Duke University) invited me for a day ride.  After miles of country roads, I noticed Tom reaching down to his left side while riding his Brand new Road King Classic, a really pretty bike in jet-black with whatever accessories he had purchased on his dream bike, a bike that left my “little” Honda Classic in the dust on all rides both on the road and the gas tank.  I could run 100 miles and his Road King could go 200.  Oh yes I do like the looks of the Road King.  After all, ALL Jap manufactures have tried for years to emulate the King.  It’s okay that you prefer a small zippy bike, hell one day they might even make one that fits your frame and style.  From the style of clothes I see you wearing, jeans, leather jacket and dingo boots and a welder’s hat, I wonder if you are a welder also or was that a wrap to keep those few brain cells intact.  I know how you feel about the “look”.  I had to laugh at the “look” you have, the only thing missing was your twin from Deliverance.  I know you have found your level of success in life.  And the even better news for you, the Winn Dixie is going to stay in town so you can get your bargain hamburger meat and won’t have to shop the local 7 Eleven for all your clothes and beans.

We stopped after miles of watching him reach to his left side, his gearshift had vibrated loose and he was shifting by hand.  It scared me, and I remembered all the Honda owners speaking about how reliable their Hondas were and how Harley constantly breaks down.  The “Ah Ha” was rising up in me, “see I bought a reliable Honda, for a fraction of the cost of your vibrating loose Harley”.  I didn’t say a word and watched as he took out an Allen wrench and tightened his gearshift back on the bike. 

Feeling cocky and superior for my wise purchase, a reliable Harley look-a-like, I mounted my bike and turned the key.

Nothing happened I checked the engine cut off switch, it being new and after all, my first bike.  I must have done something incorrectly.  I turned the key again making sure the kill switch wasn’t thrown.  Oh I know!  I must have closed the gas valve.  No, now I’m listening to the purr of a Harley Davidson sitting next to me and my wise never-break- down Honda is dead on the side of the road.

What now?  The short story, Tom rode behind the tow truck on his Harley Davidson Road King with my “little” Honda Classic riding proud as a passenger.  The moral of this story, they all break down, your trusted Honda included.  Oh the mechanics at the Honda store told me the starter switch was melted, and used Bee’s wax to keep it in place, I wish I wasn’t making that part up.  They weakly explained that the starter switch had a tendency of melting and the wax would keep the contacts from shorting out.

Okay so I move on and the day comes to buy another bike, what do I purchase, a Harley Davidson.  Why?  I liked it.  Pure and simple, was money the issue?  No.  Did I look and test ride a Honda, yes the 1800 retro, a nice bike a Harley want-to-be and very heavy and a terrible turn radius.  I like cruisers, because unlike you I do not ride to work on a bike.  I used to take the Honda to work on a 100 mile round trip to the office for fun but mainly I take nice long trips, the last one from Knoxville TN to Charlotte NC and Charlotte NC to Monroe, Louisiana, a bit over 1000 miles.  This past Friday I had a nice lunch in Jackson MS, 300 miles round trip with my wife, so comfortable she fell asleep on the ride home.  I’d love to see your wife on the back of that rat trap you call a motorcycle.  Was I comfortable?  Silly question my boy.

Do I have chaps and a full set of leathers, yes, are they HD yes, I wore them when I rode a Honda also.  The quality of the leather was better and I did not want to risk buying some cheap knock off from the Internet and Winn Dixie we just don’t have here.  .  I didn’t care if it said Honda or Harley and still don’t.  The quality was what I purchased.  I know this is foreign to you, judging by the pictures you supplied and of course the pay scale of a sheriff, it is understandable that you don’t buy expensive things. 

Ride through the mountains at 70 miles per hour and see if you get cold.  Chaps serve a purpose, to reduce the risk of hypothermia in cold weather or for protection in case of an accident to save some limited skin supplies.  Just like in my old Honda, now in my saddlebags are leather shirt, jacket, gloves, a face muffler, tools, first aid kit, pens, cell phone, clothes, and water bottles about anything I need for a road trip.  On the back, there’s a travel bag with extra sets of jeans, t-shirts and travel kit.  I learned that on my little Honda classic when I broke down on a Sunday and the cycle shops were closed till Monday to fix my rear flat tire.  A Honda taught me to be prepared to breakdown.

From the looks of your Honda I see why you were upset at the weather.  If there aren’t clear skies, you can’t ride.  From terrible traction on your racing slick tires to zero storage, you just lie down and get wet and I’m sure you must love the fishtail of water shooting up your ass.  Maybe that is the real reason you love your bike.  You’re secretly into water sports.  The bike is an expensive bidet and a bit strange for a sheriff, but a funny picture I’m sure.  To each his own.  Not a rain suit in those saddle bags <grin>. 

I love watching TV and now and then a public television show will have the Star Trek convention or Star War’s groupie’s convention, I’ll look for you next time.  The guy in the matching leather green race pants and a Darth Vader helmet, picking on little kids that upset your senses or cut in line for the latest bubble gum card.  You must have pretty thin skin, and a tendency to feel less than from years of self-importance and inflated false pride from buying less and expecting more.  The only respect you get is from pointing your service revolver at some shmuck and hoping they resist.  Or asking that people threaten you so the FBI can come looking for them, did that make you feel important?  Hell they are looking for a lost girl in Aruba also, what is your point?  Besides wanting to mention somehow the FBI gives a shit about some dirt track bike rider that 30 miles pushed his brain to far back in the skull cap squeezed it and now your helmet is to small.

As for choice of careers, it’s a noble calling, being a sheriff (by the way in the military the lowest scores in the ASFAB test qualify for 3 positions cooks or military police or sanitation engineer (a very polite trash man reference)).  One of my best friends was a sheriff in NC, he would make me laugh with his stories.  I used to love to hear about when they, the macho sheriffs were bored and would, as a team, group or gang in some people’s minds, but never alone would pick out an arrest warrant of someone they knew loved to fight.  Then 3 or 4 of them would go pick him up, beat the crap out of the guy and feel great afterwards because he resisted arrest.  He said it was great to get the tension out.  I assume you are in the same class of classless.  You seem to enjoy throwing your “I’m a sheriff tough guy image” around.  As it seems a boy and his gun are just as big fools as a “chained wallet”.  At least Barney Fife knew not to load his one bullet, it was the uniform that made his day.  As I assume your little riding costume does for you, Mr.  Dingo. 

I’ll repeat the joke that my sheriff friend told right after giving me the “we love to fight to reduce stress” insight into the sheriffs department..

“What does a cue ball and a Mexican have in common”?

“The harder you hit them the more English you get”

The sad thing, like yourself this person carried a gun and was hired to protect the community, albeit a much larger community.  I would think you have plenty of time to play on your website with a town of 6,603 people.  Jeez a real crime stopper you are, huh?  Oh oh..  Aunty May is squeezing the tomatoes again at the Winn Dixie..  Call the sheriff he’ll know what to do.  Yes, I envision a city of blight, high crime and even a Batman signal in the dark skies of Columbia when a crime is so terrible you have to ride out on your Honda to save the day. 

You have even gotten your 2 year old to buy into the macho image of “Zoom Zoom daddy rides a rocket, honey, he is a space man wanna-be”.  Hey I’ve got it, maybe NASA is looking for a part time security guard.  What I found most amusing are the pictures of you sitting on a bike that barely supports your body and of course the black leather jacket and black dingo boots.  It must really piss you off Honda doesn’t make a RR jacket for you to promote.  Having to constantly defend your choice in style or lack of one.  I can see where your attitude comes from.  I think I’ve seen it in Wal-Mart .  I really don’t care what you ride, it looks pretty ugly to me, and very uncomfortable.  A bike to me is not about laying down and pulling my neck up over my handle bars, but again, to each his own.  I would love to take you on a road trip.  I’d even stop with you to gas up every 100 miles.  I’d even let you borrow a set of leathers when your ass froze and offer my condolences to your back after a 1000 mile ride.  Or does your wife follow you on the exhausting ride to work with a rain suit, so her Darth Vader doesn’t rust.  I just noticed you put over 5k on your toy bike, Wow..  a real rider huh.  I do that in 2 months.  You need a scooter and a plastic helmet a cape and mask and little leather boots the wrestlers wear I’m sure your second favorite entertainment pastime besides the fantasy that you ride a motorcycle. 

You’re a different kind of rider, a short run, Zoom Zoom guy, stay there.  I didn’t choose the Zoom Zoom, you did.  I prefer to ride comfortable, safe and in style.

If you read, and I am sure you do, visit any of the motorcycle sheets and read the reviews.  They have to piss you off when each one picks the Harley over the Jap bikes for road trips, from visibility to comfort to gas mileage to turning radius to storage and breaking power.  In spite of the technical breakthroughs the japs make, they all want Harley’s market share.  Harley leads the industry in the big-ticket items, the Highway machine, the King.  Sure Honda makes one and BMW makes one, both nice, both feature-heavy, from electric stands to air conditioning.  Both are trying to get a slice of a standard Harley has set.  You seem to implode at the idea of Harley not being interested in the kiddies market of race toys.  Those kiddies grow up and want real bikes, maybe you will grow up one day, but from the shape of that forehead, I think we have found the missing link.

And one more thing, lose the Adolph mustache, if you can’t grow one shave or is the idea to look worst then you already do? 

The other thing you may want to consider in your diatribe is taxes.

Taxes pay your salary, yes, a simple and plain fact of your life.  You exist because of taxpayers like myself that make the bulk of your county pay.  On a Jap bike, due to import laws there is not an import tax, just sales taxes on the $ 6,000 product that you love.  Well I’d bet they don’t dent the salary you are paid as an officer, and on a $ 16,000 bike well even a rocket scientist like yourself can see where this is going.  The other thing I would caution you on is your outright predacious attitudes towards those taxpayers, women, and tennis moms, even the dolt that hit you and thank God you are alive to tell the tale.  If you believe in Friday the 13th, we have bigger issues again to deal with.  I hope some senior people in your sheriffs department take that loaded weapon away from you before a black cat crosses your path.

I’ve logged a few thousand miles on my new bike, not a loose bolt, not a drop of oil in my driveway, and not a starter problem on the side of the road.  The only accessory I’ve purchased from the stock model is a can of Glaze Wax, and from the looks of your bike, you may want to invest in some.  But I understand if you only pay a cheap price for a bike, you can treat it like it’s cheap and keep it dirty.  It’s the same logic of why I never give an animal away, if someone pays for it, they will take better care of it.  But I don’t assume you are the type to purchase a pedigree anyway.  You’re the “buy a mutt at the local pound and shoot it if you don’t like it” type.  That way your sense of power can come out all over again.

Don’t worry I’ll wave to you as you hump your gas tank and smile as I cruise down the road while you zip your way through this life.  Oh and sorry for the Mr.  Dingo reference.  As a teenager, I sold shoes at Kenny’s to Dolts like you, the people that lived on limited budgets for new shoes and socks.  Next stop Winn Dixie for some pickled pigs’ feet, kids! 

Best regards,

Terry Walton



To which I have replied...

Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you should never mix enthusiasm with stupidity. I say so right there on my damn website, on the very page that Al here claims to have read and enjoyed (but as we shall soon learn, just because Al can read, that doesn’t necessarily mean he also understands exactly what he has read).

Al’s rant meanders all over the place, often beginning well with some information necessary to the discussion but then rapidly falling off into laughable personal attacks based on half thought out assumptions, just plain wrong information and subsequently carried out with all the skill and finesse that you would come to expect from someone who continually populated the lower portion of the bell curve in a Special Ed program during their lackluster life. His rant follows the Milwaukee Orthodoxy pretty closely in many areas thus proving that he is a rather devout converted Harleyian, if not a particularly smart or deep thinking one.

In hindsight, I can’t quite decide if Al’s email is a multiple orgasm of ignorance or simply a premature ejaculation of stupidity. Either way you look at it, there’s nothing pretty about it other than the fact that he’s once again, single handedly managed to lower the intellectual bar even further for the dim witted serfs that populate Willie G’s rather large, fashion conscious fiefdom.

“Well I have read a few letters and replies from your fans or foes and laughed my ass off. Your replies were, for the most part, well written. Now digging a little deeper on your site, I found the weakness in your “Black Echo armor.”  Darth Vader?  Jedi Jump?  Or Tractor Beams and Blade Runner?  Now it’s getting clearer. You are a pocket rocket fan that is angry over the state of Harley Davidson, but I’m equally sure you own mounds of Star Trek memorabilia and are a died-(sic "dyed" -BE) in- the- wool “Star Wars” fan. Not a problem, my kids liked that also and I did too, when I was a kid. But as time moves on, so does one’s tastes.”

Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  It makes even my jaded old dark soul glow just a little when a Harley owner feels the dire need to chastise and ridicule a non-Harley owner on the subject of make-believe (to me, that is like Jeffery Dahmner doing a public service announcement on why cannibalism is a seriously bad thing). No, I'm afraid that what Al is telling us all is that as he grew older, he simply failed to advance either mentally or intellectually. While this goes against the natural course of human life (where the longer you live, the smarter you should logically become) it coincides very nicely with the example that Harley Davidson has set as both a business and a "motorcycle" manufacturer.

Ah!  Science fiction!  Granted most of it doesn't even come close to Mark Twain, William Faulkner, T.S. Eliott or Ernest Hemingway but a vast majority of the stuff is still better than all the likes of Gore Vidal and anything by the company that churns out those gaudy Harlequin Romance novels that seem to be the mainstay fantasy retreat for fat ugly women with no hope of a social life short of a chance encounter at the all you can eat buffet line.  Do I like science fiction?  Yes, very much so and I feel no shame in admitting to that fact.


Oh, I must apologize as it seems that I have just taken away a good deal of your fire and thunder with that bit of open honesty. Here is a piece of friendly advice (and I will have more to share with you as we debate further); If you’re ever going to insult someone, you should make sure that what you say to them actually is an insult, at least to them, otherwise you're just spinning your wheels making smoke.  Now, I see that you’ve done some spirited research on the Internet but, alas, your detective skills (if they can even be called that) are about on par with something you would expect to see from the target age market of “Blue’s Clues.” You see, www.goingfaster.com is my domain, the entire domain is my personal (and favorite) playground on the Internet. If you had looked beyond the American Angst site (and I even give you a link to do so right there on the contents page), you would have seen that I have many other sites in the root directory, several of which deal explicitly with science fiction and some which do not.

Since you haven’t noticed (and trust me, you haven’t), people who can dream, people who like science fiction (i.e “nerds” or "geeks") define the world in which you live. We dream grand designs and we build what we dream; we just allow people like you to populate it (when you don’t get in the way of progress or bother us by asking too many silly questions such as “how do you make that there light bulb glow so bright?"). Smart people (like me) invent stuff like “reality shows,” “monster trucks” and NASCAR to keep dumb people (like you) mentally placated and out of our busy way while we continue to move forward as a species.  After all,  it wasn’t a bunch of nit wit hayseed chewing hillbillies (using an old football goal post as a big slingshot and a garbage can with a window cut out of it for a space capsule) who went to the Moon way back in 1969. Hillbillies didn’t invent the microprocessor or the scramjet engine or superglue.  Extraordinary people with vision some where, some when accomplished these wonderful and great things and it’s a good bet that they weren’t wearing leather chaps or a tasseled vest when they were doing it either!  No, they were probably wearing glasses (taped together in the middle) with a white lab coat while working a slide rule feverishly and wearing the tip of a pencil out on a pad of scratch paper or a piece of chalk out against a black board.  I bet there isn’t much in your immediate little world which you can lay hands on that some “nerd” some where, some time, didn’t once dream of and later invent. Atomic power.  Radio. Television. VCRs. X-ray machines. Calculators.  Computers.  Radar. Microwave ovens. CD players. DVD players. Lasers. MRI. MP3 players. Artificial hearts.  Rocket ships.  Space shuttles.  International space stations.

The wheel.

One of my favorite horror authors once said something rather prolific about the human imagination and I would like to quote him here now.

"The human imagination may be the most elastic thing in the universe, stretching to encompass the millions of hopes and dreams that in centuries of relentless struggle built modern civilization, to entertain the endless doubts that hamper every human enterprise, and to conceive the vast menagerie of boogeymen that trouble every human heart."  -Dean Koontz

If no one dreamed, if no one ever used their imagination, then we, as a race, would still all be living in caves, wearing stinky animal skins, scratching ourselves and eating greasy old brontosaurus burgers, now wouldn’t we?  Is science fiction just stupid kids stuff or is it important after all?  I think that science fiction is very important because the science fiction of yesterday is the science fact of today and will be the stuff that we take for granted tomorrow. I see that you mention Star Trek in your rant so let's discuss Star Trek since you obviously don't have much knowledge of the subject. In Star Trek, the members of the crew of the good ship Enterprise were surrounded by high tech gadgetry in all phases of their life, from how they ate to how they slept, how they studied and how they defended their selves. Their flip open communicators, once thought to be very cool, are very similar to today’s flip open cell phones. What the crew of the Enterprise once did, talking to people far away with a small flip open communications device that was wireless (i.e. what once was fantastic science fiction) is now science fact. Today, people walk around with a small “communicator” stuck to their ear, talking to people not only around the block, but in other cities and even in other countries, halfway around the world, all with crystal clarity. When they are finished, the user simply closes the cover on the “communicator” and slides it either into their suit pocket or a special clip on their belt, just like the crew of the Enterprise did. We call these high tech personal communicators “cell phones.” Perhaps you’ve seen one of these “cell phones” being used in your village, possibly by the kind hearted Christian missionaries who are there trying to educate you and your ignorant tribals in the ways of the modern world.

Star Trek also showed that people could access personal computers, a concept unheard of back during the apogee of the show (when computers back then were big, super expensive things owned only by governments and a very few select businesses). Information (audio, visual, text format) in Star Trek was stored on small, rectangular blocks that were inserted into the computer, a far cry from the punched cards and magnetic reel to reel tape then in use in real life. The data blocks could hold (in the future) on average, what it would have taken (circa mid 1960's) an entire library of punch cards or an entire room size archive of magnetic tape to store. What was more amazing is that these personal computers responded to a variety of inputs, from keyboards to spoken commands.

The producers of Star Trek were very forward thinking for their time because they realized that storage and computing power would only increase as time and technology rolled by. Their only mistake was that they didn’t realize how soon that technology would arrive nor could they predict in their wildest dreams of just how fast technology would advance (not in the next three hundred years, but rather in the next three decades). These colored data cartridges that the Enterprise crew used seemed a logical way to store vast amounts of information in a small media format. A few decades later, in the last part of the 1980’s, people used 3.5” floppy disks to store their data and entered these disks into their personal computers to share information or access specialized programs.

Today, we have USB flash drives (no bigger than your little finger) that can store several gigabytes of information (or the equivalent of several thousand floppy discs circa 1990) and digital media such as CD and DVD that can store even more, stuff that not even the forward thinking writers of Star Trek could have guessed would come into use not in the last part of the 23rd century, but rather at the last part of the 20th century. In the 1960’s, a personal computer was a thing of science fiction, in the 1970’s, it became science fact and today, you would be hard pressed to find a job or family that didn’t take care of some aspect of their life by using a home or work computer. Forty years ago, the smallest computers filled an entire building and required a dedicated support and programming crew. Today, you can buy a laptop computer at Wal-Mart, slide it in your briefcase or backpack and the power of that computer would be equal to many, many of the 1960's building sized computers and its speed would, back then, have been undreamed of.

Remember the really nifty wrist TV communicators you saw in the Dick Tracy comics?  Science fiction, silly stuff that could never happen in a million years?  Right?  Wrong. Today’s streaming media, wireless networks and personal high speed hardware such as video capable cell phones and PDAs allow you to not only receive streaming media in the palm of your hand but also to send it. Today, we have cell phones that can take high quality digital pictures, hundreds of them stored in the phone itself. Thirty years ago, stuff like that only existed in the imaginations of the fans (and the mind of “Q”) in a good Sean Connery “007 James Bond” movie. Today we take it for granted. What once was a technology only available to the greatest fictional spies and assassins in the world, most teenagers have access to (and thoroughly abuse) today.

Science fiction becomes science fact, Al and it becomes fact far quicker than you (and unfortunately, most science fiction writers) might think. Technology advances in a rapidly expanding explosion, a supernova of knowledge. Today’s breakthrough may not only cure a problem or a disease, but the material learned and the hardware developed may (and probably will) lead to other paths of development being opened. Technology is a vast snowball that, once started rolling, only gets bigger and faster as it goes. You can’t stop it, short of destroying knowledge (like bombing someone back into the stone age) but technology is also a harsh mistress that doth tolerate no fools. If you’re not surfing the leading edge, the forward wave, if you’re not at least keeping up with those on top of the wave then you are going to be left in the dust, much like Harley Davidson was left behind several decades ago when they decided to drop out and stop learning. You can knock science fiction all you like but as William Gibson once said, “all societal change is essentially technology driven.” If you aren’t part of the driving force, then you’re part of the societal drag it is experiencing. I deal with people like you all the time, Al, the people who are afraid of technology. The people who don’t want to learn anything new, who don’t want to exert the effort to think new thoughts or adapt to what the rest of the human race is embracing. I swear I don’t understand people like you, somewhere in your life you just stopped learning… the switch in your mind that let you keep up with the rest of us flicked off and you have no desire to throw that switch back on again, no desire to trip your breakers and restart yourself. No desire to get up and start moving again, moving forward, as fast as you can.

How far have we come, as a species, as a race?  In less than seventy years time, we went from the Wright Brother’s primitive glider at Kitty Hawk to putting two American astronauts on the Moon. Looking even farther back, in the span of just one hundred years, it is breathtakingly amazing to see that in one single century, we have advanced, technologically, more than we have advanced in the sum of the twenty centuries before combined. Since you show a decided tendency to be a slow learner and not a particularly deep or original thinker, Al, I’ll understand if those statements don’t have as much impact on you as they will on others who read them and understand the implications and the magnitude of what we have done, as a race, in so little time (compared to the amount of time that we have been living on this planet).

I’d like to offer a quote at this time to show you the progression of technology over time.

"Today, when I throw away a musical birthday card, I am casually discarding more computer power than existed in the entire world before 1950. A camcorder wields more processing power than the IBM 360, the stupendous machine that launched the mainframe age." -Dr. Dennis Waitley.

That’s a pretty heady concept to try to wrap your mind around. Considering that it would have taken a king’s ransom or the entire GNP of several small nations to possess that amount of computer technology just six decades ago (and the fact that it would have been built using vacuum tubes and taken up the space and the size of a large warehouse instead of the size of a postage stamp today) is awe inspiring. Compare that fact to the notion that we now consider that trivial amount of computing technology to be not only nothing more than a novelty, but readily disposable as well really begins to put things into perspective on just how far we have come in such a short period of time, doesn’t it?  Or maybe not. It all depends on whether or not you have forgotten how to think big thoughts or whether or not you have laid your imagination to rest long, long ago.

As for myself, I have personally chosen to always keep myself moving forward, mentally and educationally, never stopping the learning process long enough to gather any dust on the mental cogs, so to speak. I have also discovered that science fiction expands the mind wonderfully because it makes you think new and larger thoughts (a process which I can imagine is extremely painful in your case and one which you try to avoid if at all possible). Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." It’s easy to see that Mr. Holmes wasn’t talking about anything remotely related at all to Harley Davidson or its ilk.

You may scoff at science fiction and claim that your tastes have changed in your arduous journey from child to adult but what you are really saying is that as a child, you used to look up to the sky and dream of grand things, you used to stretch your mind as far as you could and now you don’t. Somewhere along the way you lost that ability, you lost that desire to not only put your brain into gear, but to sidestep the neural clutch and leave one hell of a smoky burnout from the staging area of the mind down the quarter mile of the imagination. I find that quite sad, Al, that as you grew older you became less likely to have big ideas or think new thoughts. The mind is, simply put, a tool that is best kept sharp at all times and is most effective when it is honed to a razor fine edge. If you choose to disuse your mind, if you let it lay fallow for season after season, if you think small thoughts for long periods of time, then you unknowingly shape your mind into that way of thinking and you begin a reformatting of your thought patterns. This is not a good thing.

When you were younger, you used to think grand thoughts and now you don’t. As such, your mind has atrophied over the years which makes it no small wonder that you subscribe to the Harley lifestyle and dislike anything that makes you not only think for yourself, but also makes you ask questions of what you think and why you think it. Over the years, you have found that it is simply easier and more convenient to let others do all of your thinking for you.

What a waste...

At one time you evidently had some slight intellectual promise, Al ... but now your mind isn’t fit to be donated to science (where it would undoubtedly be preserved in a small glass dome and used as a paperweight to hold down the pending work orders on the ramshackle desk of an underpaid part time night custodian on the campus at a backwoods junior college).

“I can imagine you on Ebay, sorting through “Star Wars” cards for your anniversary collector’s edition and dreaming the star ship will come down on a rice burner with, phasers in hand to zap those pesky classic riders.”

Huh?  “… the star ship will come down on a rice burner with, phasers in hand to zap those pesky classic riders…?”  Diagram (or better yet, explain) that sentence for five bonus points on your mid-term exam, kids.

Ah, Ebay!

That magnanimous virtual garage sale found on the vast modern technological marvel which we lovingly call the Internet!   Ebay, where you can buy and sell anything and everything!  Yes, I like to look through Ebay, mainly to find classic science fiction, books by the masters like Heinlein, Asimov and E. E. “Doc” Smith, old original versions, first series runs and sometimes hardbound editions, not the tirelessly reproduced copies over the years. I’m also interested in the older stuff, stuff from my father’s childhood, the glorious golden age of science fiction, of space opera, ray guns, rocket ships to the moon, bug eyed monsters and shiny robots. I’m interested in the old radio shows that people my father’s age once listened to, spell bound. Tom Corbett-Space Cadet, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers (the old Buster Crabbe type serials) and others pique my interest because they are from a time when Americans had not only a vivid imagination, but these artifacts are of a time (and a school of thought) long since past.  The stuff that I collect online hails from a time when we, as a nation, looked upwards to the sky and still dared to dream of grand designs, of space stations and moon bases and bases on Mars … when the stars we looked up to were in the heavens above, not on MTV, driving counterclockwise real fast in a big circle or jumping up and down on a couch screaming about Scientology on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Ebay is a wonderful way of putting buyers and sellers in touch with each other around the world. While I am on Ebay, I constantly browse for old sci-fi artwork, artwork collections, history books, toys I used to have as a child (to stroll down memory lane and to see what they are worth today if I still had them) and a lot of other pretty cool stuff. Ebay has been wonderful about allowing me to reclaim books that I once loaned out, many years ago, and never received back. Using Ebay, I've pretty much built my entire pre-marriage library back to what it once was, in regards to science fiction. I also own several collections of artwork by various artists, my favorite being Peter Elson who has an uncanny eye for mechanical detail in his designs. Here is a painting of his that I would very much like to have as a large, poster sized prints.  For those who can't tell, the painting is a collision between two spacecraft.  The detail is hard to make out but on the full size painting, you can actually see the crew in the cockpit of the black ship (the red lit area in the front of the nose, beneath the white "9"), the painting is that detailed.

After all, I’d much rather have something by Mr. Elson proudly displayed in my house than, say, the waste of perfectly good paint, canvas, time and effort displayed below… though I would definitely have to qualify this as a “science fantasy” painting. May I proudly present this fine piece of officially licensed and endorsed Harley Davidson tacky crap entitled (I laughingly kid you not) ... "Evolution."

"Evolution" proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Harley Davidson motorcycles really are designed and built by and for knuckle dragging Neanderthals.



So that’s what a Harley Davidson “engineer” (en-DUH-neer?) looks like (which would also explain why the bikes are of the quality that they are). No wonder Harleys are so heavy and hard to maneuver!  They're made out of hand carved and hand painted stone!  Apparently, all you need to assemble a Harley yourself is a big rock and a couple of smaller rocks to use as a hammer and chisel. I wonder if the animal skin that this Neanderthal is wearing has a big HD logo on the back. I'd put good money on it though it's probably painted on with a mixture of wild berry juice and animal dung. Oh, this is simply wonderful!  Now I have irrefutable proof that Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble could build a better motorcycle than Willie G. and his little band of beret wearing fashion artists. What's even better is that someone at Harley Davidson actually authorized this painting to be produced and sold (see the bar and shield logo watermark on the lower left corner). The fact that the dollar signs in their eyes never let them see the amount of ridicule for the company that this painting would produce proves that it's always about the money, never about the motorcycles.

Now, as far as day dreaming about an alien starship coming down to zap all of you ignorant Harley owners with some kind of high energy weapon… well, I’m afraid that you really should leave the science fiction story writing to those who are far better experienced with it (and thus far more suited to not fucking it up from the get-go like you have just done). The first problem with your idea is that the concept is weak. I mean, come on!  Advanced aliens versus a bunch of long haired, brand worshipping, knuckle dragging, hill apes?  It just doesn't sound like much of a plot because there's really no reason this scenario would ever occur, which is the very logic that pretty much kills your little idea of a story from the start.

One of the first things you should ask when writing any science fiction story is “why?". Why is this happening?  Why did this happen?  Why would this happen?  If you can't justify your plot then you don’t really have a very good story.  



Yes, why would a race of highly intelligent and very scientifically advanced aliens travel to Earth and land among a slowly gathering crowd of bewildered, scooter riding, leather clad retards?  If we can make it that far, we still have to ask why would they whip out their death ray guns and start to scythe down every Harley owner they can find like so much redneck kudzu?

"Eat white hot death ray, stinky biker scumoids."


It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and trust me, Al, I'm working this thing from all the angles so bear with me. First off, what (did / could) you Harley owners (a rather minor, intellectually stunted, technologically backward, fashion ignorant and socially retarded subspecies of the human race) ever do to piss off such highly evolved and highly advanced life forms to the point where they want to travel vast interstellar distances, hunt you down and exterminate you like the cockroaches that you are? 

In other words, what could you, as Harley owners, ever do in order to make higher life forms take notice of you?  Hell, you're lucky I pay attention to you at all and that's only because I consider you easy sport and a near endless source of amusement.  What could you hee-haw stumpfucks ever do to attract the attention, be that as it may, of a vastly superior race?


Honestly, I would say that you lot could do nothing at all to attract the attention, let alone the violent ire, of a super intelligent race of extraterrestrials and my reasoning is that if you hillbillies are insignificant here on Earth, it’s a pretty damn good bet that you’re even more so in the overall cosmic scheme of things.  Hell, locally you're almost dumb enough to be considered a food source...

Let me think…  Let me think...

Perhaps these aliens have studied Harley owners for decades now and rightly fear your insipid ignorance.  Perhaps the aliens are afraid that if something is not done about you (and those like you) that your malignant ignorance will spread like a blight out into the cosmos, infecting other developing races, perhaps toppling vast empires and wrecking galactic scale market economies. That’s plausible because your store bought mental afflictions certainly seem contagious here on Earth and it's doing nothing but putting a real good jerk of the old hand brake on our own overall development as an emerging species and space faring race.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s simply pretend that some highly advanced aliens with a starship and fully portable death ray guns come to Earth and they are here looking specifically for Harley owners. What now?  Well, let’s go back to the all important question of “why?”. Why would a bunch of aliens just show up and start blasting Harley owners?  The answer is, of course, that they wouldn’t because if they are smart enough to cross vast tracts of interstellar space in short time periods (and be able to do so at velocities that would make Dr. Stephen Hawking shout "yee-haw" and start cutting doughnuts in the parking lot in his customized electric wheelchair), then these aliens are certainly smart enough to spot a valuable resource when they see it. Blasting every Harley owner they find would be a complete waste of a perfectly good marketable resource because you'd be a great slave labor force!   Why, think of the profit margin if we, the smart people on Earth, bargained with these aliens and sold all of you repugnant brand monkeys into interstellar slavery!

Yes, instead of seeing the still smoking, blackened bones of all the Harley riders sprawled next to the white hot glowing pools of molten slag that used to be their precious motorcycles, I would much rather see them all efficiently rounded up, shackled securely, and led moaning and groaning, bitching and complaining, single file, into the dimly lit, cavernous cargo holds of the alien starship, all under the cruel and watchful eyes of their new extraterrestrial task masters.  The question really comes down to how do we get all of you hillbillies up into the hold of the alien starship?  It's not like we can just ask you to walk up inside the starship and waltz your asses into captivity... or can we?

Damn!  I believe that we can do just that!  Yes, getting you into the cargo hold of the starship should be easy enough. We would just build a fake HD dealership store front to hide the massive starship behind, say, make it look like the biggest HD dealership any redneck has ever seen, a real Willie G. wet dream retail special. A big neon sign out front would advertise free giveaways like HD rub-on tattoos, magnetic body jewelry, clip-on ponytails, Motor Company t-shirts and a raffle for your chance to win a chance to buy a new Harley Davidson.  Perhaps we could further entice your participation in our grand business adventure by pulling a good old fashioned Hansel and Gretel on your stupid asses, accomplishing this by simply leaving a trail of tasty BBQ, cheap beer, packs of smokes, and old copies of Hustler and Easy Rider magazines all leading into the cavernous hold of the vast alien starship.  Maybe we could blare some country music to bring some ambience to the affair, you know, permeate the area with the banjo and fiddle songs you so cherish. Once all of that was set up, I'm sure that we wouldn't have to wait very long. Why, in no time at all, the area around the fake HD store / starship would be filled with the roar and rumble of out of sync hardware store paint shakers and the coarse bleating of the indolent sheep that ride them. All that would be left to do is simply sit back and watch you all try to climb over each other on your way into self served captivity. It should be a hoot to watch as it unfolds!  Why, the rights to the video would also be a sizeable profit vector in this venture and would probably be more profitable than the popular "Girls Gone Wild" series.

So ... Why should we waste the energy on French frying you in your China-made leathers when we could far more easily just trap you (for far less energy expenditure) and sell you like the herd minded cattle that you are!?  Yes, when you mentally lethargic inbreeds were all safely inside the cargo hold (rutting around on top of each other like a group of Yoga students whose class was interrupted during a nine point seven Richter scale earthquake), the mirth would begin. There you would be; eating, getting drunk and screwing with reckless abandon.  Yes, while the biggest orgy of mental retardation this side of a special ed harem was going on,  the aliens (and the smart Earth people brokering this historical deal) would quietly close the cargo bay doors, take down the faux Harley Davidson dealership store front and get down to negotiating a fair and equitable price for the lot of you.

Yes, that does make for a neat scenario, doesn’t it?  Still… we have to ask “why?”

Why would we use Harley owners as a cheap exportable slave labor force in the radioactive mines of Altair VII?  You're inherently worthless to the human race, so what do you have to offer that would make you valuable to another race of intelligent beings?  Well, I didn't have to think too hard to readily identify four major selling points. I could probably come up with more given time but for now, four will do nicely. Yes, there are four big advantages to using Harley owners as a marketable commodity in interstellar trade; limited intelligence, renewable resource, technological profit and the curious IQ flywheel effect!  Let’s discuss these further in greater detail, shall we, Al?

The first big advantage to using Harley owners as a slave labor force is that your limited intelligence and utter lack of imagination, creativity, and charisma positively relegates you to menial labor, a caste which you are well suited for mentally if not genetically. Don’t worry if you’ve never lifted a tool in your life (let alone used a tool to actually work on your own bike with) as I'm sure that your new alien task masters will be well prepared to indoctrinate you into your new labor responsibilities. On the job training will consist of familiarizing you with the somewhat difficult concept of “use two handed hammer to make big rock into lots of smaller rocks or get painful electric shock powerful enough to instantly straighten out all the tangled up matted curls on your hairy ass in a manner that would make Don King’s hair stylist beam with pride.” I'm sure that negative reinforcement will be used frequently and play a tremendous part as a learning aid in your new vocation ... After all, a few quick jabs of an Altarian’s variable pulse neuro shock prod applied in a rather liberal manner and the overall productivity of even the laziest hillbilly would rise at what can only be described as a geometric rate!

The second and maybe far more attractive benefit to using Harley owners as an exportable slave labor force would be that you hillbillies tend to breed faster than cockroaches (with the most notable difference being that you never see any cockroaches naming their children "Harley" or arguing over who is going to win this weekend’s NASCAR race). You lot, as a whole, are used to if not overtly fond of inbreeding so (like a forest on Earth), you are a self-renewing resource.

The third big advantage to selling all of the Harley owners off to alien task masters would be, of course, technological profit. But what are you all worth?  I’m sure we would have to deal in bulk numbers and at a substantial discount but you do have some strong selling points that may keep the price fairer than it really should be. So, what would we, the smart people on Earth, get out of this type of deal?  First off, I’d probably ask for the secret to faster than light (FTL) travel, so that the smart people on Earth could begin to spread out into the heavens and do what we do best, explore, adapt and learn new stuff. Failing that, I’d beg for a copy of the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) in order to better understand the world and universe around us. However, both of those items are kind of pricey, in terms of what we are offering but it never hurts to set your price a little high because there’s always room to bargain. Let's see, what else could we ask for?  A cure for cancer?  A cure for AIDS?  A cure for birth defects (though with most of the inbreeders leaving the planet, the rate of birth defects may fall off sharply)?  A cure for rap music?  Teleportation?  Anti-gravity?  Cheap and safe nuclear power?  A reactionless drive system?  Hell, I’d be happy if we got ten pennies to the pound for you lot (paid in new technology, information, knowledge and precious metals) but if push came to shove (I guess beggars really can’t be choosers) I’m sure we’d settle for two pennies per pound for you just to be rid of you.

The IQ flywheel effect is a curious bonus to selling off all the Harley owners in that the collective IQ of the planet Earth, seen as a whole, would rise instantly by a good thirty points the second the alien starship broke atmosphere and hit hard vacuum, such is the depth of your pervasive ignorance and the appreciable amount of societal and technological drag that you are exerting. That one fact alone might just be enough to raise our world to a level of intellect where the other races in the universe would actually want to pay attention to us, make contact and want to conduct trade (those scantily clad green skinned Orion slave women are hawt!  I’ll take a dozen, please!). Why, getting rid of your kind could usher in a whole new golden age of prosperity, exploration, science and racial achievement!  Of course, we'd have to say goodbye to inbreeding, NASCAR, wrestling and group events like line dancing because there would be no one around left to enjoy them (let alone teach them to other people) but I'm sure that they wouldn't really be missed and that we would get over their loss fairly quickly if we even noticed that such foolish nonsense was gone at all.

Yes, once the lengthy business transactions were concluded, the smart people on Earth would all watch with a tear in our eyes as the alien starship rapidly accelerated out of the gravity well and headed at unimaginable speeds into the deepest nether regions of space. There would be parties for days and Sturgis, having been completely depopulated in the exodus, would be turned into a vast natural science and history museum, stocked with scratch and sniff wax replicas of you hill scoggins and the best examples we could find of your junk bikes. We would do this to remind us that at one time, a large part of the population was not only ignorant and uneducated, but that they were blissful and desired to stay that way. Sturgis would become a reminder to the rest of us that our brains should never be shoved into neutral, let alone thrown into reverse or (God forbid!) park.

But what about the Harley Davidson owners inside the alien starship? 

Good point! 

Glad you asked...!  Apparently, in our revelry at counting our intellectual windfall, we forgot all about those poor souls!  Not to worry, though. By the time that they all figured out that they weren’t at a BBQ at a new HD dealership, it would be too late. There, trapped inside the ship’s cargo hold, the HD owners would “enjoy” a six month long voyage to a far distant star system, being fed a thin mixture of gruel and nutrient paste that tasted like axle grease but was probably far healthier for them than what they were accustomed to eating at the truck stop diners they frequent. The weak among them would be systematically weeded out, namely the fat balding accountants and toupee wearing used-car salesmen. These rejected specimens would either be harvested for spare parts for the labor force, simply jettisoned out the airlock with the rest of the flotsam and jetsam or, perhaps in a Soylent Green kind of way, these rejects might even be recycled and used to nourish the work force during their long space voyage ("Soylent Green is hillbillies!"). At the journey’s end, all of the Harley riders will be prodded with crackling shock staffs and promptly marched off into the dimly lit, catacomb-like depths of your new home, the uranium and cobalt mines of Altair VII. There they will live a short and extremely harsh, but far more productive life than they ever would have lived here on Earth.

And the people on Earth lived happily ever after...  The End.

Is that the kind of “aliens versus Harley owners” scenario you had in mind, Al? 

Probably not … but your idea intrigued me and I wanted to show you how it could be done properly, limited in scope as your original idea was.  Oh, I’m sure you probably wanted to hear a daring story about how the Harley owners all stood united against the ominous alien threat, how you all rode your powerful rumbling Milwaukee iron horses, thundering to the defense of a terror stricken humanity and saved the day but I just don’t think it could ever be that way. Why?  Simple. The way that I see it is in an interstellar war between aliens from another star system and Harley owners, then I’m going to have to freely admit that force fields and portable death rays are going to beat tire irons and rusty old chains hands down, like it or not, every single time. If Harley owners are used at all in a military capacity, it's probably going to be as a diversion or some kind of human shield. All that metal and fat in front of our troops is going to make for a damn fine barrier against those horrid death rays, why, it might take the aliens hours upon hours just to burn through all of that scrap iron and pudgy lard ass thus giving our troops the critical time needed to stage a successful counter attack and drive the aliens from our planet's surface!

This has potential, Al!  Extraterrestrial life that is interested in Harley owners… Hmmm… Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe that is the whole intention of the SETI program, to sell you and your insipid kind into profitable interstellar bondage the likes of which would make the Israelite captivity in Egypt seem like a primo Caribbean vacation in comparison. Maybe we’re not really “listening” per se for intelligent life out in the universe, maybe we’re beaming signals out into space, advertising that we have a lot of stupid people here on Earth that we’d like to sell or trade (as a commodity) to other space faring cultures!  Yes, perhaps SETI doesn’t really stand for the “Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence,” maybe that acronym really stands for the “Sale of Extremely Tacky Ignoramuses!”

Ah, that was fun, wasn’t it, Al?  Perhaps not for you but it was fun for myself and many countless others who read all of that and who had the imagination required to enjoy it immensely… The imagination is a truly wonderful thing. Too bad you don't have one anymore because you're really missing out on some good fun in this journey we call "life."

“So it seems you hate Harley Davidson for a marketing success story, but fall victim to the same.”


This is something I had never even considered!  Hell, Al!  There might just be hope for you yet. Why, if you keep this kind of spontaneous neural activity ginned up long enough, we might just have to go and reclassify you into a higher thinking life form, say a step or two above the level of moist green common rock lichen where you now reside. Let's see if I understand you correctly; you (erroneously) think that because I like “Star Wars” (yet constantly make fun of it every chance I get) and because I dislike Harley Davidson (and constantly make fun of that every chance I get as well) that I am somehow a hypocrite. Do you want to compare “Star Wars” to Harley Davidson?

Fine by me, padowan. It should be interesting, to say the least.

“Star Wars” is a huge marketing success, yes, that much is without question ... but is “Star Wars” a success in the same manner as Harley Davidson?  Hmmm. Yes, I believe that it is. Harley Davidson and “Star Wars” are both tremendous commercial successes because both have given something to a generation of people who lacked something to begin with. In the case of “Star Wars,” George Lucas wanted to “give a fairy tale to a generation that had no fairy tales.” In the case of Harley Davidson, Willie G. wanted to give a make believe life to a generation of people who had no life of their own. Both enterprises are fantasy, like it or not, and they are both very good fantasy at the start but soon collapse under their own tedious weight the farther along the convoluted story is spun.

Now, I would like to step off the path for a second to give you some background information that will be germane to our discussion. You see, the original movie “Star Wars,” today, exists in no less than four different versions. I’m not talking about the other movies that came later in the series, I’m talking about the original, 1977 movie “Star Wars” of which there are four different versions of the very same movie. For what it is worth, there are three different versions of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” but “Star Wars” is the movie with the most versions and the one which carries the brunt of this discussion.

The original movie, “Star Wars,” appearing in 1977, was a stand alone movie, a tale of good and evil, with good triumphing in the end. It was a visual masterpiece and a technological tour-de-force that redefined movie making and special effects for decades after its introduction. When the movie was re-released later that year for an encore performance, Lucas went back and added the words “Episode IV: A New Hope” to the title scroll and thus we suddenly had two versions of the original movie in one year; a stand alone science fantasy and then a version which indicated that the original movie was not only part of a much larger story, but that it was the fourth part (which meant that the first three parts were missing, as well as anything to come afterwards).

Now, the so-called Special Editions (revamped original trilogy with extra CGI eye-candy added) appeared during the closing years of the 20th century and thus created three versions of “Star Wars” and two versions each of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” The fourth version of “Star Wars” (the original movie) appeared (along with the third version of "Empire" and the third version of "Return") within the last year with Lucas releasing the “original trilogy” on DVD (with yet more CGI added eye candy) and, much to his chagrin, having to go back (by fervent demand of the fans) and unfuck up what he had fucked up in the Special Edition versions (which have often been referred to as the "Special Ed" versions). Why is this information important?  Simple. It shows that George Lucas is a revisionist and a rather active one (if not a very bright one) at that.

I like “Star Wars,” the original 1977 stand-alone, unedited, un-tweaked, un-CGI added movie because it is pure and wholesome. It’s something I would show my two year old daughter (and I have, she loves it) and not feel bad about it. Do I like “Star Wars?” Yes, very much so and I feel no shame in admitting that fact to you or anyone else. You see, “Star Wars” changed me. Before I saw “Star Wars,” I was just another 8 year old kid playing with twelve inch Hasbro G.I. Joe action figures, running around with toy guns and cap guns and playing with toy rockets from the Space Race. When I saw “Star Wars,” my whole life changed because I saw things I had never seen before, sights and sounds and wondrous music. It was magic. I immediately went home and started trying to recreate what I had seen, on paper, by building models, by any means I could. I started to get spiral bound notebooks and try to write science fiction stories. I drew spaceships. I drew aliens. I drew giant space battles on huge sheets of roll out paper. I learned about robots and electronics and computers. I learned about the science in the science fantasy. “Star Wars” jump started my brain, it opened my mind up and made me think and once that event happened, it was a chain reaction that is still going on today, nearly thirty years later. “Star Wars” made me want to understand science and technology, to express myself creatively. “Star Wars” made me want to learn and I've never stopped learning since.

Oh, yes. I like “Star Wars” very much. I also like a lot of other movies, covering many genres; some of them not very good at all (many you’ve never heard of) and some of them quite great and unique. I think though, of all the movies I have ever seen, “Star Wars” is my favorite and always will be because it holds a special place in my heart, a place it earned when I was eight years old and saw Lucas’ masterpiece for the very first time on the big screen in that air conditioned cinema, sitting there, eating a bag of popcorn and drinking a grape drink, mesmerized by what I was seeing which was, quite literally, nothing short of a fairy tale come to life. Now as for the other movies in the series, you can have them; from the soap operish “Empire Strikes Back” and its cliff-hanger ending to the laughable “Return of the Jedi” which, IMHO, should have more aptly been called “The Muppets Take The Universe” (the idea of a galaxy spanning Empire getting defeated by a bunch of teddy bears with sharp sticks is about as plausible as the Roman Empire getting usurped by The Care Bears).

Trust me, Al, there is no love lost between George Lucas and I, not after what he did to my fairy tale. While I adore the original “Star Wars,” I find plenty in the other movies Lucas shoved off on us to poke ample (and frequent) fun at his hard work. Case in point, here are two humorous graphics I did for recent open contests on a forum I frequent. The first contest was to create and submit something that we could expect to see in the updated, fourth version of the original movies that were soon to come out on DVD. The thought was, since Lucas was such a revisionist (and such an inept one at that), then how much more could he fuck up Star Wars than he already had?  Apparently, we thought he could do a lot worse and so we set out to Photoshop several of our ideas and mirth ensued. Here is my submission which also made it to the finals. It generated a lot of favorable comments and not a few outright bursts of laughter, one claiming it was the “best of show” though I thought different after having I saw a few later entries that were much better than mine, IMHO.

Red 6, Jeb Porkins, NASCAR man, Dale Earnhardt fan... sorry,

Jeb Porkins, Rebel Alliance X-wing fighter pilot

Another impromptu contest / forum thread was a humorous idea of taking a quote from one movie and putting it with a scene from another movie, in essence, merging two dissimilar ideas to form a new idea (a concept you will be unfamiliar with, Al, and one which may cause you some pain should you try it at home). Here are my two entries, again, influenced by “Star Wars.”  The first entry merges "Star Wars" and one of my all time favorite movies, the Robert Redford, Paul Newman cowboy classic, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” I simply took a quote from the cowboy movie (where they rob the train and try to open the safe with dynamite) and added it to one of the scenes from the “Star Wars” trilogy (the Falcon escaping from the exploding Death Star).  Again, it was thought to be humorous and met with wide acceptance among my peers. The second merger was between the movie "Star Wars" and cult film classic "Clerks."  I chose one of Dante's scathing comments, what he shouted to his girlfriend as she left his place of work (after he got mad at her when she revealed that she had engaged in oral sex with over thirty men before starting to date him) and merged it with a picture of Darth Vader ominously pointing his finger at the viewer. It, too, was met with wide praise.


A burning interrogative injected into a fiery scene

* and *

some damn good advice from the Dark Lord of the Sith.

I like “Star Wars” but I don’t like what George Lucas did with it afterwards. “Star Wars” went from being a mythical tale of good versus evil to being the convoluted story of the dysfunctional Skywalker family (complete with hints of brother-sister incest). I guess you could say the same for Harley Davidson.  I like Harley Davidson, the original Motor Company (pre-import invasion, pre-AMF years and most definitely pre-Willie G.); I just don’t like what Willie G. did with it afterwards. As such, I think I have more than ample right to poke fun at both intellectual properties as much and as often as I feel like doing so.  

Now, I can also honestly say that after having seen all six of the “Star Wars” movies (all four versions of the original movie plus the three versions of each of the follow up movies and the last three movies which comprise the “first” trilogy meaning I have seen thirteen different movies in a six movie series), I can safely say that George Lucas had a very grand thing going for him at one time way back in the late ‘70s and that he’s spent almost the last three decades fucking it up. The same could very well be said for Willie G. and his pivotal role with Harley Davidson. Lucas’ initial fortune was not made from the actual “Star Wars” movie, but rather it was quickly made from the merchandising rights, just like Willie G’s fortune is not had from making copies of motorcycles his grandfather used to build but from the rather lucrative merchandising rights associated with prostituting the HD bar and shield logo itself.  Both “Star Wars” and Harley Davidson put their stylized logo on everything from children’s pajamas to drink cups and clothing, that much is certainly true and both continue to do so today, almost thirty years after the fact. Isn’t it funny that “Star Wars” and the buyout of HD by Willie G. and his twelve disciples happened within a few years of each other?  Since HD’s new strategies for survival came after Lucas’ wild commercial and marketing success, perhaps Willie G and his disciples are big “Star Wars” fans as well. Maybe with the runaway commercial success of “Star Wars,” Willie G. took a lesson on profit making from George Lucas and set about to carve out his own rather large slice of the American pie by selling his logo to anyone who had something to put it on.

If we further compare Harley Davidson to “Star Wars,” we find that Willie G. and G. Lucas are both very active revisionists. Willie has taken his company’s failures and spun them into a fanciful, make-believe tale of heroic survival, epic struggle and staunch patriotism against an insidious foreign invader who wants to corrupt the American way of life and put American workers out of their jobs. Willie G.s’ fairy tale, as regurgitated by the masses who believe it as truth, is nothing more than a fanciful story, especially when the historical facts point to far different, often directly opposite results than those that are commonly cited by The Faithful. George Lucas, never happy with the original “Star Wars,” instead diddled and fiddled with it until it was perfect to him but an utter mess to the dismayed fans of the original movie. The problem with revisionists, of any kind, is that once they start to revise they seldom know when to stop and they tend to get very defensive about their intellectual properties, Willie and George in particular, often pursuing any infringement with zeal (not only for the threat of lost profit, but also because of the perceived threat of lost control over their properties). George and Willie both consider their selves to be the only people who can steer the ship of sales or to know what is best for their work when it comes to their own intellectual properties.

One other striking similarity between G. Lucas and Willie G. is that both take established portions of their intellectual properties (movies for Lucas, models of bikes for Willie) and they tweak them here and there, never really producing anything radically different from the original but different enough that each feel compelled to reissue the modified property as a "new" version of the old item.  Lucas does this with his original movies, taking three movies and creating ten movies out of the original trilogy.  Willie is more content just to swap pieces around from one bike to another and call the end result a "new" model.

Yes, you are correct, Al… Harley and “Star Wars” really are very similar in most respects. Both are vast commercial empires built on the marketing of a specific logo as well as merchandise that is tied to that logo (but which may not necessarily be tied to the original product). That is why you have Harley Davidson kids pajamas, along with “Star Wars” kids pajamas. That is why you have Harley Davidson telephones shaped like motorcycles and “Star Wars” telephones shaped like robots. That is why you have “Star Wars” action figures and Harley Davidson edition Barbie dolls. That is why you have Harley Davidson pin-ball games and “Star Wars” pin-ball games, Harley Davidson video game motorcycle riding game simulators and “Star Wars” video game starfighter simulators. I guess the most obvious similarity between “Star Wars” and Harley Davidson that pops to mind is that both Willie G. and G. Lucas have made tidy personal fortunes by selling their own personal myths and fairy tales over the last three decades.

“I would not be surprised if you had full regalia for storm troopers or a Darth Vader hood and mask lying close to your computer or had thoughts of a Jedi flash light for your riding outfit for your 30 mile long distant runs.”

As for the “Star Wars” outfits, I can honestly say that I have neither nor do I care to own either of them. I don’t personally know what the SNELL or DOT rating is for a set of Stormtrooper armor but I haven’t seen anyone riding in full field kit locally so it can’t be very high, if it is tested and approved at all. Still, seeing someone on a Suzuki Gixxer 1000 riding in full Stormtrooper armor (let alone someone dressed as Darth Vader or even Boba Fett) would probably make me laugh so hard I would piddle my boxers. I would most definitely have to pull that person over, get a picture of me taken with them by their bike, thank them for the laughs and probably offer to buy them lunch just for making my day. I wouldn’t even write them a ticket for “not wearing a helmet” even though they were wearing something that was not approved for use on a motorcycle and I'd let them off with a warning (as long as they promised not to do it again).

I also think that it is hysterically hypocritical for a dyed-in-the-wool (note proper spelling of the traditional phrase) Harley owner to make fun of someone who dresses up like an Imperial Stormtrooper from “Star Wars.” I really see no functional difference at all between some diehard fan of George Lucas’ fairytale wearing a full set of Stormtrooper armor (with a fake laser blaster at their side) mingling with other “Star Wars” fans at a sci-fi convention and some diehard fan of Willie G.’s fairytale wearing all of the officially licensed and endorsed fashion clothing (while sitting on their fake motorcycle) pretending to be a real biker among a group of similar pretenders at a rally like Sturgis. Both are simply different examples of someone enjoying (perhaps enjoying a bit too much) the same type of make-believe lifestyle that is available to the average consumer today, for a (rather hefty) price.

Now, if I remember correctly, a full kit of Stormtrooper armor will set you back about two to three grand, done professionally from a reproduction company that specializes in duplicating movie props. The fake blaster will probably set you back a couple hundred dollars, adding that to your bottom line. What this means is that for about two to three grand, you can either look just like an extra in George Lucas’ fairytale or (for the same amount of money) you can look just like an extra in Willie G’s fairytale; take your pick. Now, while nobody ever said that playing make-believe was cheap, the biggest difference between you and I is that I have far better uses for three thousand dollars than to dress myself exactly like someone else is dressed and pretend to be something that I am not.

A “Jedi flashlight” you say? 


Let me ask you something, Al ... Have you ever seen one of these?

If Milwaukee built a Lightsaber ... this is probably what it would look like. 

Did you know that not only do these things exist but that they are officially licensed and endorsed Motor Company products?  What is it, you may ask?  Well, let’s look at the product description: 

"This flashlight combines the look and feel of Harley-Davidson® with the power and durability of Rayovac®. The heavy duty corrosion resistant chrome casing and genuine leather grip is the ultimate combination of function and fashion. The unique lens engraving projects the official Harley® bar and shield at short range. Also, the Harley-Davidson® logo is embroidered on the grip and stamped on the end cap."

Give me a break…

“Your word is a light onto my feet and a lamp for my path.” Psalm 119:105.

That one Bible verse could be taken out of either the Holy Bible or used as a tagline in a Harley Davidson accessory catalog and it would have equal meaning for this sacred Milwaukee Orthodoxy religious artifact (though we might want to change "word" to read "logo").

“Your logo is a light onto my feet and a lamp for my path.” Psalm-O-Willie G. 119:105.

"The ultimate combination of function and fashion?" Bwahahahaha! Who the hell are they trying to kid (or market this thing to)? That statement can only be true if you consider cheap white trailer trash to be the leading edge of fashion sense. Hillbillies such as yourself call these powerful religious artifacts “magic moon beam casters” (or "electric candles") but the proper name for it is the Rayovac Harley Davidson Flashlight complete with the bar and shield logo (aka the “scoggin signal”) built right in to the design of the lens itself. That’s right, folks! It’s leather trimmed and when you turn it on, it casts an outline of the bar and shield logo on the wall or way up on the clouds above so that other HD owners will know you are in trouble and come running to your rescue with their pickup trucks and flatbed trailers (though seeing all of those signals waving around in the sky at one time might become a bit confusing, after all, there’s only so many pickups and flatbed trailers to go around).

A word of friendly advice here, Al (and I will have more friendly advice to share as we go along); before you try to insult me by saying that I dream of riding around on my bike with a “Jedi flashlight,” perhaps you should first make damn sure that Willie G. and his disciples have not only already given their official stamp of approval to just such a device for use by your pathetic kind but that they aren't trying to make a profit off of it as well

Thus I refute thee and you do stand corrected, chimp.

“It’s amusing to me how you knock the motorcycle that brought the motorcycles to America, when the very crap you ride was driven by dollars.”

Oh, dear!  I guess with a mind as small as yours, the Harley Davidson dealer probably got by with using just a Q-tip to brainwash you. Yes, everything in the world is driven by dollars, Al, especially Harley Davidson.  The point is, you get far more for your money buying a Honda than you do buying a Harley Davidson (and you spend far less in doing so as well).

So ... you erroneously think that Harley Davidson brought the motorcycle to America?  Your stupidity is as humorous as it is sad.  Not only do you know nothing of motorcycles, but apparently you also know nothing of motorcycle history. Let me give you a little lesson, Al.

An American, Sylvester Howard Roper (1823-1896) invented a two-cylinder, steam-engine motorcycle (powered by coal) in 1867. This is considered the first motorcycle, if you allow your description of a motorcycle to include a steam engine powering it (or any non-human mechanical supplied motive power). However, it wasn’t until 1885 when Gottlieb Daimler, a German, invented the first gas-engine powered motorcycle. His motorcycle was an internal combustion engine attached to a wooden bike (a fact which marked the exact moment in history when the dual development of a viable gas-powered engine and the modern bicycle merged). So, in essence, the gas powered “motorcycle” was invented first by a German in the 19th century.

Gottlieb Daimler used a new motor design in his motorcycle, a motor invented by engineer Nicolaus August Otto. Otto’s contribution to motorcycling history was that he invented the first "four stroke internal combustion engine” in 1876. He called it the "Otto Cycle Engine" and as soon as he completed his engine, Daimler (a former Otto employee) took the new design engine and integrated it with the bike frame to form the first gas powered motorcycle design.

Over in America, the first motorcycle to be created domestically and successfully marketed was the 1902 single cylinder Indian “Camel Back” or “Hump Back” (whichever term you prefer to describe the model). One long year later, Harley Davidson introduced a single cylinder engine powered bicycle and that was the first Harley Davidson motorcycle produced (a year late behind the Indian design). In 1903, Indian introduced their first V-twin powered motorcycle to good sales and success. It wasn’t until 1909, six long years later, that the first Harley V-twin powered model was introduced (I guess it took the founding hillbillies that long to take apart an Indian motor, figure out how it worked, put it back together and duplicate it). Harley has always been a follower, never a leader. The only time that Harley Davidson has ever gained first place dominance domestically was when all the domestic companies that were its competition ceased to exist (and last place subsequently became first place by default when no one else was around to contest it). Hell, prior to World War One, Indian was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the entire world, producing well over 20,000 bikes per year (a figure Harley could only dream of at the time). I think that was the only time in motorcycle history when an American motorcycle manufacturer truly was number one in the world. It was Indian, not Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson can only dream about being number one (hell, they can’t even be number one in their own country of origin, let alone in the world).

Harley did not bring the motorcycle to America, it didn’t have to. Indian was building motorcycles before Harley ever did. In fact, the motorcycle was so popular (since at the time roads were few and cycles were easier to work on, afford and drive on the mud ruts that passed for roads in America) that by 1910, there were around 150 different motorcycle manufacturers in the United States. Sears even built and sold a motorcycle (and later also built and sold automobiles). Building motorcycles was a kit / garage industry to be sure at the early start (and still is if you look at OCC and WCC). Where are all of these manufacturers today?  Gone. Dead. The Great Depression killed just about every cycle maker except the big ones like Harley and Indian. Poof. Gone in the blink of an eye. It was only due to severe mismanagement at Indian and a problem with line workers stealing the Indian company blind that Harley became number one domestically.

Indian was always the innovator, Harley the imitator. Unlike Harley-Davidson, Indian strongly supported racing during this early period as not only a way to improve their product (competition leads to innovation and improvement of the breed) but also as a way to present its machines to the buying public. When the Europeans first heard that Americans were building speedy motorcycles, they scoffed and laughed. Indian factory machines dominated all forms of racing in the US and as such, Indian was unwilling to take this insult from across the pond. Indian sent three of its factory motorcycles over to Europe to compete in the prestigious Isle of Mann TT race in 1912 where the Indian built cycles won first, second and third place, completely setting the Europeans on their collective ears. The Europeans stopped laughing at American motorcycles after that but it wasn’t Harley that had saved America’s reputation for engineering and performance, it was Indian.

You hillbillies like to point to the 1957 Sportster as some kind of benchmark by which modern sport bikes grew out of but that is wrong. Sport bikes grew out of the café racers in England in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Sportster itself was a copy (in form if not design) of the British performance bikes of the day, so much so that the 1957 Sportster had its gear shift on the right side, just like the British bikes, as opposed to the left side like the other Harley models in production. Always the imitator, never the innovator; that was, has been and still is the corporate mindset of Harley Davidson.

No, the sport bike I ride has more in common with Indian’s heritage of innovation and performance rather than Harley Davidson’s heritage of being a come-along has-been. My bike is driven by continually advancing technology, by experience and its ongoing engineering evolution is fueled directly by international competition among its peers, by the desire to be number one, to be the best. That is the legacy of an American motorcycle company, the legacy of Indian’s example to the world. The antediluvian copy of a decades old design that you spastically putter along on is driven by fashion mandates and profit dollars if it’s driven by anything at all other than hillbilly ignorance and sheer good luck. Your bike is assembled by a team of beret wearing academy trained fashion artists instead of college educated mechanical engineers, that should be your first big clue that you’re not riding a real motorcycle.

Milwaukee is too scared to try anything new or infuse anything different into their business formula because they might break the fragile profit bubble that they lucked up on after their fortuitous, government aided resurrection. It also might be that they don’t try anything new because they don’t know anything new. After all, while there is a big difference between a 1984 Honda VF500F Interceptor and a 2004 Honda CBR600RR, there is almost no difference at all between a 1984 Harley Davidson Sportster and a 2004 Harley Davidson Sportster, save an increase in price.

Al, Harley didn’t bring the concept of a motorcycle to America and Harley wasn’t America’s first mass produced motorcycle, Indian was. The joy of motorcycling in America was a campaign waged by many companies, both domestic and foreign; Harley Davidson, Indian, Norton, BSA and Triumph all competed for sales in this country over a long period of many decades. Harley may have been here over five decades before Honda ever arrived on these shores but from the first step into our great nation, Honda did things right, from the start, and they never looked back after that. The memorable ad campaign “you meet the nicest people on a Honda” probably sold more bikes for Honda and got more Americans into riding motorcycles during that short time than Harley had sold or gotten into the saddle in the entire decade before. It was Honda’s marketing of their products which changed people’s opinions of motorcycles and those who rode them from a negative image to a positive image. It was Honda who was the future wave of motorcycling in America, not Harley and that is why today, here in America, Honda is the number one retailer of motorcycles and Harley is number two. Number two, in your own country of origin!  That’s got to really torque you the wrong way, doesn’t it, Al? 

“Not the purest of your nature, but of course your idea of a good time is degrading a person that pays your check, but we’ll touch on that later.”

No, my idea of a good time is intellectually crucifying sub-par dullards like you for sport and offering the result up to the more erudite members of the species as entertainment. My idea of a good time is ridiculing idiots like you, clueless people who think their motorcycle gives them specific American rights and American privileges above and beyond what I have as a natural born American citizen, that somehow your American birthright can be purchased or artificially augmented through the simple influx of money or by obtaining a costly material good. That’s my idea of a good time or as Galileo once said:

I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob.

Smart people making fun of stupid people has been a favorite past time of the more learned throughout the history of the human race. I also think that an old biker adage works best here, Al:

You make fun of me because I’m different. I make fun of you because you’re all the same.”

Oh, and I have some personal information for you as well, information that is going to take the bitter wind out of your tattered intellectual sails faster than a broadside of chainshot but like you said, we’ll touch on that later… Of course, you would have been privy to this personal knowledge about me long before hand (and thus saved yourself a right good deal of personal embarrassment in the process) if your reading comprehension skill had been able to keep up with that runway mouth of yours. However, it does make for some damn nigh hilarious situations to let you hillbillies ramble on and on about something that you don’t have the first clue at all about. Give a man enough rope… or so the saying goes.

“I have owned a Jap bike, a nice “little” Honda Classic 1100. a Harley look-a-like. The first thing the Honda dealer suggested was a set of pipes that were “Harley sounding.” I did not waste the money on the pipes (the phrase, “you can’t make a pigs ear into a silk purse” applies) and loved the bike. It ran well and you will enjoy this first ride story, at least the start of it.”

No, Al.

If you try to make your Honda sound like a Harley, the correct phrase to use when attempting that asinine endeavor is “you can’t make a silk purse into a pig’s ear.” As for your Honda Classic 1100 being a “Harley look-a-like,” I don’t know, personally, of one single Honda owner who refers to their cruiser or standard or tour bike as a “Harley look-a-like” unless of course the only reason that they bought their Honda in the first place was that they really wanted a Harley but all they could afford at the time was a Honda and they were simply expressing their bitter resentment of the financial situation. You can generally tell the Harley wannabes on the Hondas from the HD leathers they wear and the fact that they are quick to take the emblems off of their Hondas in order to try to pass them off, at a distance, as Harleys. Such is the incredible pull of the make-believe Harley Davidson lifestyle on the weak minded fools who give that sad pagan religion such pious devotion.

As for the Honda dealer telling you that they would sell you some pipes to make your Honda sound like a Harley, well, I’m going to have to call bullshit on that and for one very good reason. You see, Al, when you are the number one retailer of motorcycles in the United States, you don’t tell your customers how to make their bikes sound like the overpriced, underpowered, lackluster products offered by the number two retailer of motorcycles in the United States. A Honda dealer telling a customer that they can get some pipes to make their Honda sound like a Harley would be like a Ferrari dealer telling someone that they can get some mufflers to make their GTO sound like a Fiat. If you’re going to try to pull our leg at least give us the common courtesy of throwing something halfway believable in our direction.

Now, as far as sound goes, I’m very proud of my Honda and its characteristic high performance sound. I’m even more proud that my Honda doesn’t sound anything at all like a Harley. The “Harley sound” is the characteristic sound combining poor design, dubious build quality and piss poor engineering. Yes, if my Honda ever starts sounding like a Harley, I’ll know that not only is it time to kill the motor, get a trailer and haul the CBR to the Honda shop for some major, major, major internal engine repair work but also that I’m really not going to enjoy looking at the bottom line of the repair bill when I get it.

“My Harley owner friend, the person that made riding look fun and could care less what I rode, unlike you with your small-minded view of the world, but then again you do live in a town with a population of 6,603. I’m sure its quaint, but I don’t expect a worldly view from such a porthole. I’d bet the job market is booming, so the pay scale for sheriff must really be top notch.”

I’m far better traveled than you would like to believe, Al. I’ve been out of state in all directions, as far east and north as possible (even to the capital in Washington, D.C. and beyond to the Canadian border) and down south into good old Mexico (the other country, not the state of NEW Mexico). I’ve been to the tip of Florida where it is just ninety something miles south to Cuba and I’ve been up all along the Eastern coast.  I would one day like to head out west and view the Rockies and ride my bike through them, but for now I’ll wait until my daughter is old enough to appreciate the views as well and we can all travel as a family. I believe it is important to share such things with your children so that one day, they may in turn share such things with their own children but that may just be me.
I also wouldn’t know very much about the local job market as it doesn’t really concern me unless I’m looking for a spare job to make some fun money for my hobbies and to spend on my hot rods. I work in Hattiesburg, thirty some odd miles to the east and I make damn good money (probably far more than you which should piss you off even further). I choose to live in Columbia because it is slow and quiet, far more so than Hattiesburg. Columbia is "Small town, USA" defined right down to the main street with its quaint little shops, the mom and pop stores, the family owned businesses and the clear view of the courthouse in the middle of the city proper, its grounds all illuminated at night and often the background for some spectacular sunsets. I can take my daughter to the city park to let her play on the playground and not worry about her having to witness gangs fighting, shootouts between thugs or seeing drug deals go down. I don’t have to worry about grid lock traffic, excessive taxes, smog or rolling blackouts during the summer. No, we don’t have a murder every week, but we do have murders. We have rapes, we have child pornographers, child molesters, drug dealers, gangs and drug problems. We have car wrecks with fatalities, stabbings, shootings, muggings, and beat downs. We have bar fights and drunk drivers. No, Columbia isn’t perfect but it’s far closer to being perfect than say Los Angeles or New York. You can have your big cities, Al, you are welcome to the urban jungles.  I’ve been there, I like “Small Town, USA” much better than “The BIG City.”

Your other fatal intellectual mistake in our debate is that I am not a sheriff, I am a police officer and a volunteer one at that so I don’t get paid (zero, zip, zilch, nada) for my service to my community. For me, it is a duty that I feel called to answer and I consider it an honor to serve my community, giving back what little I can in order to make it a better place to live for everyone. The truth is that I have been asked to join the PD as both a part time and full time officer, with pay, but I have politely refused. I don’t care for politics (local or state) and if the local politics ever get to be too much, then I want to be able to walk in, put my badge on my chief’s desk, thank him for the opportunity to serve my community, shake his hand goodbye and be able to walk out knowing that I’m still going to be able to feed my family at the end of the day. It’s an honor for me to serve my community, Al, it isn’t a career, rather it is a choice. I volunteer some of my spare time (what little I have to give), I don’t get paid for it.  After all, being a law enforcement officer isn’t my primary job, it’s just something that I have found that I’m good at (just another of my many God given talents and gifts).

My primary job is being the senior systems administrator in charge of fourteen counties worth of network, wireless communication, software and hardware, a network (part of one fifth of the total network in the state) covering several thousand square miles and several hundred users. As for the pay scale, well, let’s just say that what I take home from my IT job would pay three police officers salary locally so you see why, if I were to quit my primary job and become a full time police officer, I’d have to take about a sixty-six percent cut in pay, something I’m simply not willing to do.  I know the pay scale for a sheriff and the pay scale for an IT professional.  I’ll stick with the higher paying job, thank you.

“The important thing was to ride, and his girlfriend (a professor at Duke University) invited me for a day ride."

Hold on there, Al!  You included a piece of completely extraneous information with no foundation to back it up.  When you do that, I’m just going to have to call you on it.

So the girlfriend of your friend is a professor at Duke University and she likes to ride on Harleys. Okay, I’m actually dumber for having been told that and while that may directly affect your buying decision and validate your personal choices in life, it has zero relevance to our discussion and carries no weight at all in the argument.

Do you realize how absolutely pathetic what you just said is?  You say that your friend’s girlfriend is a professor at Duke University?  What exactly is she a professor of, Al?  She can’t be a professor of mechanical engineering as she would laugh her ass silly at your ridiculous hillbilly mopeds. Since you did not mention her educational background other than the fact that she holds a position at a large university in some teaching capacity, I will take it that what she teaches or how often she teaches also bears no relevance to the argument nor would they add any reinforcement to your defense should you include that information.  Her academic credentials are apparently not as important (and probably completely irrelevant to the argument) as the simple fact that she is a professor at a major university and she rides on the back of a Harley with your friend, “Tom” which is good enough for you to use for some type of flimsy justification of your otherwise banal existence.

That's patently weak, Al.

Does this university professor actually own and ride a Harley herself or does she just climb on the back of your friend Tom’s bike?  If this university professor just rides on the back, then she’s not so much a professor or a biker as much as she is a piece of self loading baggage.

Oh, and here’s a joke for you. You can pass it along to your esteemed Duke University professor if you like.

Q:         What do you call an (educated / attractive) woman on the back of a Harley?
A:         Slumming.

Al, if you’re going to name drop then at least use a respectable educational institution to choose your names from. I really think I would have more respect for your friend’s girlfriend if you said that she taught grocery bagging as an online correspondence course through DeVry and moonlights her meager income by rhythmically sliding up and down a greased brass pole, lackadaisically swinging her bony hips around and around to really bad renditions of White Snake hits while drunk truckers stick ten dollar bills in her fringe adorned G-string and slap her on her pasty white, roadmap-like, varicose vein blemished scrawny behind.

“After miles of country roads, I noticed Tom reaching down to his left side while riding his Brand new Road King Classic, a really pretty bike in jet-black with whatever accessories he had purchased on his dream bike, a bike that left my “little” Honda Classic in the dust on all rides both on the road and the gas tank. I could run 100 miles and his Road King could go 200. Oh yes I do like the looks of the Road King.”

Ah!  Pavlov would be so very proud of you.  Your vivid description of your friend’s Harley evidently is drool worthy on your part.  That’s okay.  I can fully understand how the primitive sound of the Road King’s technologically retarded engine spastically trying to stay lit with each anguished rotation of its crankshaft must send every neuron in your Post Grape-Nut" sized brain firing off at once in a spasm producing cascade of gleeful pleasure and involuntary muscle spasms.  After all, one of the biggest selling points of a Harley Davidson is "simple minds, simple pleasures" as long as those simple minds have deep pockets.

Oh, and I couldn’t help but notice that you capitalized the word “brand” in your description of your friend’s Harley. Those of us who are familiar with the human psyche and who are far more learned than you call what you just did a Freudian Slip.

You say that you only got 100 miles of range to the tank of gas on your Honda?  Well, maybe if you hadn’t installed all of those saddle bags, highway bars and a three foot wide, five foot tall windshield, you might have better aerodynamics than a pregnant hippopotamus with hemorrhoids walking backwards.  Then again, there is the biker school of thought that says you don’t buy a 1000cc / liter bike (or larger displacement) for the fuel economy… Mostly that bit of advice applies to sport bikes but I’m sure it also applies to even heavier, less aerodynamic, less powerful cruisers and standards as well, especially when you start adding on all the gingerbread then sit your fat hairy ass on top to boot.

Fuel economy? 

I love how you mental pygmies try to erroneously equate fuel economy with performance, bragging that because your bike might be able to go farther than my bike on one tank of gas that somehow means that your bike is better. You proudly claim that your friend can go 200 miles on a single tank of gas … wow.   I ran into a guy like you several years ago and he was bragging how his Honda Del Sol was a much better sports car than a Ford Mustang GT just because the Del Sol got better fuel economy.  I told him if that was his biggest criteria for measuring performance, then a Yugo blew away his Del Sol because the Yugo got even better gas mileage than his Honda. 

My little CBR 600 gets, on average, 44 miles per gallon, with a few highs near 48 and a low or two near 41 (spirited riding and we’ll leave it at that). I get almost 170 miles to a tank of 93 grade premium before I hit reserve and have to start looking for a gas station (probably more if I stuck entirely to the highway and didn't have a third of my trip in heavy stop and go urban traffic). Even such, I’ve got a half gallon reserve which means that if I really wanted to coast into a gas station, I could probably get 190 miles before my tank ran dry. That’s ten miles less than your friend’s bike. Now, is that 200 miles with reserve or without reserve, Al because that does make a difference... So your friend’s bike gets ten miles more on a tank full of gas than I do?  Yee-haw. I’ll run circles around him on the road, on the drag strip and most definitely in the curves. If the price of all of that performance means I get five percent worse gas mileage than he does, I’ll suffer that penalty and smile, thank you very much. I’d rather have a 400 pound, 600cc bike with 115 horsepower than a 1000 pound, 1200cc bike with 57 horsepower, any day.

Fuel economy is not important to me, at least not in the same way that it apparently is to you. You see, the CBR600RR may not get as many miles to the gallon as your friend’s Road King but it gets almost twice as many miles to the gallon as my occasional driver / restoration project; a 1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350 (5.7 liter L98 TPI V8, THM700R4 four speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 3.27 geared rear limited slip heavy duty Borg Warner rear differential, WS-6, four wheel disc brakes). Al, I don’t care if my sport bike gets worse gas mileage than your friend’s Road King, I just care that it gets almost twice as much gas mileage as my car and that’s what really matters, at least as far as fuel economy is concerned to me.

“After all, ALL Jap manufactures have tried for years to emulate the King.”

Great gorilla gonads!  Please don’t start this tired old over the parts counter strength mental retardation again!  Let's think about this logically, now.   If the Japanese are copying Harley, then where in Milwaukee’s lineup did they steal the idea for the CBR?  Why would the Japanese try to copy an inferior design, Al?  The Honda Gold Wing (and any other import full tour class bike) stomps the ever living monkey snot out of the Harley Road King year after year. Not only have the Japanese “emulated” the King, they’ve taken the design, improved it, added more value, more options, fixed the problems that Milwaukee could not and turned around and sold a far better product for less.

Oh, and unlike the King, the Gold Wing continues to evolve, year after year. The descriptive adjectives "nostalgic," "retro," "heritage," and "classic" when combined with the noun "styling" are just PC excuses for being outdated and unable to catch up with the rest of the world.  It's a pity party thrown by Milwaukee.  In the years to come, putting a brand new Harley Davidson Road King next to a brand new Honda Gold Wing is going to be like putting Fred Flintstone’s chiseled rock car next to a brand new Lexus.

“It’s okay that you prefer a small zippy bike, hell one day they might even make one that fits your frame and style.”

So, what you’re saying here is that you’re a size queen, Al…  You’re a little man that needs a big shiny, loud bike in order to feel good about yourself but more importantly, you need a big, shiny loud bike to get people to actually notice you because without your bike, you're unremarkable as a human being and not really worth noticing in the first place.  You need a bike that swallows you whole rather than a bike that you can wrap yourself around, rather than a bike that conforms to your body type.  No, you become your bike, your bike becomes your persona, your character, and your charisma.  Your bike is like a strap-on replacement for everything in your life that is missing, for everything that you can't provide naturally on your own.

I have noticed that you put a heavy emphasis on style, like that is an important part of riding (well, I guess it is if you own a Harley that has no performance, no handling, no braking, no engineering, no technology .... all you have left is noise and style and when people look up at your rumbling junk, you had damn well better look good on it).  Style doesn't concern me because I'm an individual and as such, I make my own style rather than wear someone else's idea of what it means to look and be "cool."   I don't depend on "style" because I generate it myself through my stark charisma, my wild originality and my adamantly projected and highly contagious personality, whether I’m on my bike or not.

The only “style” that you have to your name is the one that Milwaukee has created for you, not one that you actually put together or generated by yourself. Your “style” belongs to someone else, your style is someone else's idea and someone else’s fashion, you just got to choose the parts you wanted to wear out of a catalog but what you don't realize is that anyone can buy the same stuff that you buy.  There's not just you out there, Al, but somewhere there are probably ten other Harley owners who look just like you, who dress just like you, and all of them think that they are individuals.  I find it both funny and sad that who and what you are is dictated by what you wear and what you ride.  Without your Harley, you are … nothing.  Seriously and honestly.  You didn’t create the style that you project, you’re just renting it as you go, you're paying someone else to look like they want you to look, you’re living up to their idea of what you should look like, of how you should dress.  After all, you can hardly be an original or an individual if you’re wearing and riding the exact same thing that everyone else is wearing and riding, now can you?  You can't be an outlaw if you're riding what the pop culture worships and embraces.  Harley has turned from outlaw to pop culture, which would be like Fear Factory releasing a cover album of Brittany Spears' Greatest Hits.  The only people who take Harley Davidson seriously anymore are the fools who keep them in business, the pretenders who are trying to be something they never could in real life so they rent a costume and make believe.  The only people who take Harley Davidson seriously are those who need them the most in order to be complete.

I’m five foot twelve and weigh in at 200 pounds, give or take a ten spot from time to time and I find the CBR600RR to be the perfect size for me in regard to arm reach and leg length. I’m also willing to bet that I can handle my bike a lot better than you can handle yours, at all speeds. Small and zippy beats something that has all the weight, power, grace and handling of a flatulent moose trying to roller skate uphill, any day, at least in my book.

“From the style of clothes I see you wearing, jeans, leather jacket and dingo boots and a welder’s hat, I wonder if you are a welder also or was that a wrap to keep those few brain cells intact.  I know how you feel about the “look.” I had to laugh at the “look” you have, the only thing missing was your twin from Deliverance. I know you have found your level of success in life. And the even better news for you, the Winn Dixie is going to stay in town so you can get your bargain hamburger meat and won’t have to shop the local 7 Eleven for all your clothes and beans.”

Why shame on you, Al! 

I am absolutely intellectually stunned that a diehard Harleyian like you didn’t recognize a bandanna when you saw one!  Didn’t the dealer tell you that a doo-rag is de rigueur for your particular pretend lifestyle?  I'm sure that you had to sign some kind of fashion waiver when you bought your Harley to let Milwaukee dress you exclusively while you were renting time on one of their products to ride around on and pretend to be someone you are not.  We can't crimp the style or tarnish the image, now can we?  Willie G. wouldn’t like that… 

No, what you see is a bandanna, Al, not a welder's cap.  Perhaps you had better devote some personal time to dusting off your Harley Davidson Bible and study up on your officially approved Motor Company catechism for you risk open heresy with your ignorant comments.  The Flock, sorry, The Faithful(tm) (comprising The Brotherhood(tm), The Sisterhood(tm) and The Family(tm)) are not as forgiving as I am.  I swear, the happiest damn day ever in all of Willie G.’s little fiefdom will be when somebody, some where, invents a bar and shield logo emblazoned bandanna that is both DOT and SNELL approved. They’ll make a swift fortune off of all of you style aware, fashion conscious biker wannabes.  You're not bikers, Al, you're property and Willie G. has branded you like the cattle that you are, slapping his logo on every surface of your person that he can fool you into letting him get to.

A welder’s cap?  Hahahaha!  What would you know about a welder’s cap, Al?  Why, the closest you would ever come to a "welder’s cap" would be the top of the tube of J. B. Weld that you would have to use to join back together the two halves of the frame of your Harley when it finally rusts through and rattles apart.

Winn Dixie, bargain hamburger meat, and buying clothes and beans at a 7-Eleven?  What a strange delusion you have going there!  Now, I’m not sure where you are headed with this line of double-wide reasoning but if you are wanting to discuss being able to purchase tacky clothing and lifestyle accessories with a great amount of personal convenience in a small retail outlet environment, then surely you must be talking about patronizing the rather trendy chain of Harley Davidson “boutiques.”  You are familiar with Harley Davidson’s line of “boutiques,” aren’t you, Al?  Let me refresh your memory.  These redneck white trash fashion depots sell all sorts of cheap trinkets and officially licensed and endorsed clothing from the Motor Company at an impressive premium (Billy Joel said it best when he sang "you can't dress trashy until you spend a lot of money..." on his hit "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me).  However, these Harley Davidson “boutiques” do not sell motorcycles nor do they sell any motorcycle accessories (unless you consider a gold chain with the HD logo pendant on it an “accessory” for your motorcycle but then we will discuss soon enough what you actually do consider to be an accessory for your Harley). The employees who work at these boutiques are probably dumber than the sheep that frequently shop there, not knowing the first thing about your bike should you ask them a technical question or have a problem. If you were to walk up to a HD boutique employee behind the counter and ask them a technical question, they would just stare at you like you had stepped out of a flying saucer and asked them how to recalibrate a sub-quantum hyperdrive remodulator. A Harley Davidson “boutique” is kind of like an up scale 7-Eleven for posers and white trash wannabes, however, the only “Slurpee” you’ll find inside a Harley Davidson “boutique” is the sound that your hard earned money makes when leaving your wallet.

Hmmm… I wonder when Harley Davidson will merge with Fantastic Sam's so that these “boutiques” can start offering officially licensed and endorsed Harley Davidson style hair cuts for men, women and (heaven forbid) children?  That would seem a logical exploit of the people who put style and image over performance and substance while having the large amount of disposable income required to support such a foolish ideology. Think about it!  You could go into a “boutique,” look at some HD place settings for your table, maybe try on some HD clothes, a few pieces of HD jewelry for your wedding anniversary and then get your mullet maintained in order to preserve just the right amount of constant bad-boy attitude look.  I’m sure that mullet maintenance and preventive care is an all important aspect of the Harley look and you really wouldn’t want to leave that important of a job to rank amateurs, now would you, Al?

As for the “look” that you are discussing, having a “look” (or more importantly, adhering to and projecting the trademark “style”) is strictly a Harley thing. I wear functional clothes that I can ride and work in, not an outfit that requires me to get to work twenty minutes early just so I can change. I wear clothes when I ride, not a costume. What Al is talking about here is the fact that I don’t actually have a “look” (at least not one he is familiar with) and that infuriates him because he is supposed to be an individual (it says so right there on the contract he signed with HD) and how dare anyone else pretend to be an individual, especially if they haven’t paid the money required to look and dress like an individual. There’s also the fact that he’s spent all that money on his catalog bought, officially licensed and endorsed riding gear, turning himself into a walking billboard whereas I found the same if not better quality of safety and riding gear and I did so by using off the rack items for far less than he spent. Al is also extremely confused because he doesn’t see any obvious brand logos prominently displayed on my gear, an act which is considered religious heresy throughout the Harley kingdom and is punishable in most cases by being publicly flogged with a broken off ape hanger capped with a set of three foot long studded leather tassels. Harley riders truly are very concerned about how they appear, so much so that the very act of getting ready to ride really is more akin to primping and can take the better part of an hour or two to get the “look” just right in order to ride their Harleys for 20 minutes up to the local K-Mart snack bar / cafeteria for a tasty hot dinner and possibly the chance to find a mate with better hygiene habits, less body hair and a vastly lower percentage of body fat than they have.

What I wear when I ride is functional both on and off the bike. When I ride to work nearly every day (something that Al here admittedly doesn’t do), I merely take off my gloves, my jacket and my helmet, hang them up in my office and I’m ready to slide behind my desk and begin another day of making many much dollars a year (not as a sheriff, but rather as a senior systems administrator). There I am, wearing my boots, boot cut jeans, a leather braided belt, and most often, a button up shirt with short sleeves. I even wear short sleeve shirts and t-shirts in the winter because living in Mississippi does have its climate-induced advantages. No suit, no tie, no dress shoes. When it is time to leave the office late in the afternoon, I take my jacket off of the hanger behind the office door, walk out to my bike, zip up my jacket, throw my gloves and full face helmet on and away I go. Total time from office to bike and on the road, about five minutes tops and that includes the time spent walking to the parking lot from my office, checking my bike and letting her warm up just a bit before heading out. For me, it’s a bike, a mode of transportation not an object that defines who or what I am. I choose a sport bike because it is, to me, the safest of all bike types out there and the purest essence of what motorcycling is, man and machine against Nature.

“We stopped after miles of watching him reach to his left side, his gearshift had vibrated loose and he was shifting by hand. It scared me, and I remembered all the Honda owners speaking about how reliable their Hondas were and how Harley constantly breaks down. The “Ah Ha” was rising up in me, “see I bought a reliable Honda, for a fraction of the cost of your vibrating loose Harley.” I didn’t say a word and watched as he took out an Allen wrench and tightened his gearshift back on the bike.

Feeling cocky and superior for my wise purchase, a reliable Harley look-a-like, I mounted my bike and turned the key.

Nothing happened I checked the engine cut off switch, it being new and after all, my first bike. I must have done something incorrectly. I turned the key again making sure the kill switch wasn’t thrown. Oh I know!  I must have closed the gas valve. No, now I’m listening to the purr of a Harley Davidson sitting next to me and my wise never-break- down Honda is dead on the side of the road.

What now?  The short story, Tom rode behind the tow truck on his Harley Davidson Road King with my “little” Honda Classic riding proud as a passenger. The moral of this story, they all break down, your trusted Honda included. Oh the mechanics at the Honda store told me the starter switch was melted, and used Bee’s wax to keep it in place, I wish I wasn’t making that part up. They weakly explained that the starter switch had a tendency of melting and the wax would keep the contacts from shorting out.”

No, Al, the moral of this story is that you got a good taste of what we experienced riders call “karma.”

Karma is the belief that if you do something bad, it catches up to you, sooner or later and in your case, it was far sooner than even you could have guessed. Your erection-spawning desire to prove yourself and your motorcycle far superior to that of your friend and his motorcycle, to openly laugh at his misfortune in turn came around and bit you on your own tender ass instead. One thing you learn in life, Al, is that it’s all on the wheel, everything you do in life comes back around, eventually. I’ve seen it happen way too many times and it happens to people like you far more often.

Do you want to know the truly sad thing about your life so far?  There you had an experienced, kindly old rider (who just happened to own a Harley) that was willing to ride with your uptight, pathetically uneducated peasant ass. You had someone who was willing to go out of their way to help you, to share their knowledge and their experience out of the goodness of their heart, to show you the beauty of motorcycle riding, to share their time on the road with you and all you could think about was how you could laugh at their misfortune at the first chance you got. All you wanted to do was to prove that you were the better person, that you had a better motorcycle and you couldn't wait to make this person feel small and helpless when they in turn needed a helping hand the most. You’re a real tragic piece of work, Al.

If you like stories of domestic and import riders helping each other in times of need there on the side of the road, then perhaps you should read this story (
link) about a Yamaha rider who had to use a rope to tow a Harley when it grenaded the engine while passing a truck or perhaps this story (link) about a Honda Gold Wing rider who used a trailer to tow a broken down Harley into the local Harley Davidson dealership. He didn’t need to call a tow truck because, you see, the Gold Wing is a very powerful bike and was fully capable of not only pulling a trailer down the road at highway speeds, but also of pulling a trailer loaded with a full dresser Harley on it. If your friend’s Harley is so powerful, why didn’t he just tow your Honda back to the shop?  Why did you call a tow truck when everyone knows that the first accessory that any smart Harley owner buys is a pickup truck to haul his bike around in when it breaks down?  Your friend should have left you with your disabled bike, rode his big Road King the four miles back to the suburbs, got in his Harley Davidson edition F-150 Ford pickup truck, brought it back and loaded your Honda up to carry it to the shop for repair. I guess if you have a big ass bike like a Road King with a motor producing barely fifty something horsepower, then you’re doing damn good just to get all of that weight (bike, lard ass and ego) down the road, let alone tow anything behind it.

“Okay so I move on and the day comes to buy another bike, what do I purchase, a Harley Davidson. Why?  I liked it. Pure and simple, was money the issue?  No. Did I look and test ride a Honda, yes the 1800 retro, a nice bike a Harley want-to-be and very heavy and a terrible turn radius. I like cruisers, because unlike you I do not ride to work on a bike.”

I see that you reference the curious term "Harley want-to-be" (like anyone would actually want to imitate ignorance and poor engineering) many times in your email. Let's discuss that term now in far more detail, shall we?

"Harley want-to-be"? 

Al, did you ever stop to think that the only "Harley want-to-be" you ever saw in your life was when you took a good, long look at yourself in a full length mirror?  Now, let's be honest again because honesty is good for your sorely troubled (and nigh oft retarded) soul. You may have gone into a Honda dealership when it was time to buy another new bike but you went into the Honda dealership with a very bitter attitude and with your small mind already made up. You had bought a Honda once before (probably because you couldn’t afford a Harley at that time…) and when you tried to use your Honda to prove that you were a better person than your riding partner, that you had the better built motorcycle, the Honda not only let you down, it outright embarrassed you at your greatest moment of personal glory, be that as it may.  No wonder you are bitter at Honda and its products, they shamed you in front of your self chosen peers, they made you look ridiculous before your would-be religious brethren!

The reality of the situation is that you had no intention at all of ever buying another Honda. None. Oh, you may have walked in to the local Honda dealership and looked at every bike you could but your ignorance, your severely wounded pride and your scarred male ego automatically blinded you into thinking that every cruiser, standard and tour bike in the Honda dealership was just a Japanese "copy" of what Harley is producing.  You didn't see Honda motorcycles, you didn't see the engineering or the company, all you saw was a shape and given your IQ and very limited knowledge of motorcycles, it is easy to see how you were blinded.  Thinking with your little head will do that most of the time.

You went into the Honda dealership and your mind was clouded with ignorance, you saw only what you wanted to see through ignorant eyes and you walked out with your ignorance reinforced by your own false assumptions (probably fueled to a white hot fire by your burning hatred of getting laughed out of a Honda dealership twice in your life). Amazing. I can clearly see that I was right when I suggested that the Honda dealer laughed his ass off at you when first bought your Honda Classic and you asked him for some pipes to make your Honda sound like a Harley (you probably even asked him how you could take the emblems off without ruining the paint).  But you didn't learn your lesson the first time so you went back a second time after your embarrassing fiasco and you asked the Honda dealer why all of his bikes looked like Harleys. The end result was a foregone conclusion, he laughed your ignorant hillbilly ass right out of the dealership, again, when you tried to compare his products to those sold by Harley and that was the final straw for you.  Your hatred of Honda and your journey to the Dark Side (of ignorance) was complete. Trust me, Al, the import dealers see "Harley want-to-be's" like you coming a mile away.  I've seen your kind in local dealerships before, I've seen how the dealers laugh at you when you leave.  After all, the only reason a person would buy a Harley is if they were too stupid to figure out a Honda.

What kind of bike do you recommend as a daily, long distance commuter that will spend two thirds of the total ride time on the open highway and a third of that in heavy urban stop and go traffic, Al?  As for what you should ride when commuting to work, I would think that a cruiser would be an excellent choice for riding 30 plus miles one way on a mixture of highway and city streets but I see that you disagree. A comfortable seating position, mush-soft suspension to soak up every bit of imperfection in the road, a torquey motor designed to pull strong from idle to three thousand RPM through all five gears, single tiny disc brake up front, single drum brake out back. Not what I would trust my life to, sure it's fun to ride, but when it comes to going out riding and making it home again, a cruiser isn't my first choice nor is it the best choice in my personal opinion.  After all, riding a cruiser hard is like trying to do pushups on a waterbed.

Our mutual disagreement may mean that you believe like me in the philosophy that a sport bike is the only way to commute in heavy stop and go traffic full of cell phone using idiots, red light running imbeciles and screaming soccer moms in minivans and supersized SUVs or perhaps it is the simple fact that you are afraid to ride at all in heavy commuter traffic on any kind of bike: an interesting dilemma you have presented here for us to decipher.

I can certainly understand your deep rooted fear of riding on congested city streets, Al. I know from some limited personal experience that riding a full dresser Harley in stop and go city traffic would definitely make any rider find religion really quick but the religion that I’m referring to isn’t the same religion that you worship and adhere to. Yes, I honestly do understand your desire not to ride to work on your Harley, after all, if I rode something as big as a Winnebago, I’d probably take it on long trips as well, but would use something far smaller and far more agile in heavy stop and go commuter traffic.

“I used to take the Honda to work on a 100 mile round trip to the office for fun but mainly I take nice long trips, the last one from Knoxville TN to Charlotte NC and Charlotte NC to Monroe, Louisiana, a bit over 1000 miles. This past Friday I had a nice lunch in Jackson MS, 300 miles round trip with my wife, so comfortable she fell asleep on the ride home.”

Well, that pretty much proves my theory then! The Honda was good for the open road as well as stop and go traffic but your Harley, like most big RVs, is king of the open road (no pun intended). Tell me, Al; is it true that you need to have both a motorcycle endorsement on your license as well as a current CDL in order to operate something as heavy as your Harley Davidson Road King let alone take it across state lines?  If not, then you very well should, IMHO.

Now, as for your wife falling asleep there on the back porch of your big Harley, honestly, I don’t think comfort had anything at all to do with it. Your incessant droning narcissism would threaten to invoke temporary uncontrolled, spastic narcolepsy in just about anyone within earshot. If she is cursed to share a helmet intercom system with you, chances are, no matter where you go, five minutes into the ride with you talking non-stop about how great your bike is, how much better it is now that you have a REAL Harley like you always wanted (where you can finally wear your Harley leathers and not get laughed at for doing so), and how good you look in your self advertising gear, even I’d be slumped down on the pillion spewing Z’s in a very short amount of time.

“I’d love to see your wife on the back of that rat trap you call a motorcycle. Was I comfortable?  Silly question my boy.”

My CBR600RR isn't a rat trap or a rattle trap, Al, it's a cruise missile with a saddle which firmly separates it from the tractor engine powered recliner that you own.
  My wife looks pretty damn cute on the back, her perfect ass perched up high on the rear pillion, all snuggled up close to me, no intercom, no sissy bar, just her loving arms around me as the bike carries us down the road to where ever we feel like going. I enjoy her leaning with me as we turn, tucking in tight and letting her hands wander every now and then up my chest, down my stomach ... I enjoy the ability to reach back and hold her leg, to squeeze her thigh and to run my hand down her leg to her ankle and pet her there slowly, softly, slowly, lightly caressing her as she starts to purr behind me, the vibration of her heavy breathing felt through her chest and against my back as she leans against me. Yes, you can get far more intimate on a sport bike than you can on anything made by Harley Davidson.

My wife even wrote a little musing about her first ride on my sport bike way back in the early days of our dating (over a decade ago). I still had my ’84 Honda VF500F Interceptor at the time and she felt moved to write about what she felt, the feelings that she enjoyed when she was riding with me on her very first sport bike experience. Sadly, the '84 Honda VF500F Interceptor is long gone, but the woman that I used to take riding on that sport bike is now my wife and has been for ten years now. Here is what she wrote oh so long ago:

Together, they begin a journey . . .

The freedom of the road beckons. As the animal beneath them comes to life, its roar echoes their cries for a release. The vibration of its engine deadens all senses- but one...

She, holding fast, traces her fingers down his body – outlining the contours of his features. Desire stirs within her as his muscles strain to gain control… His body is held in place by the tight grip of her legs encircling him… he does not slip. The movement of the motorcycle leaves each breathless as together they drop into a valley… and race again to the top. The steady moan of tires gripping the pavement is only magnified by the present silence – save for a whisper of a hot wind on the neck and chest.

Twisting their bodies to meet a curve, the horse beneath them responds. Darkness caresses and teases the single beam of light. The night lies awaiting them … tempting them to plunge deeper into the void of pleasure.

The temptation is too great…!

Together – they begin a journey …


by Cynthia Llyn Bullock
written 7/11/93

I found that musing written on a bit of stationary and left in my office at work the day after our first ride. I was impressed and somehow knew that I had found "that" woman in my life. I bet your wife was never moved to write something like that while riding your Harley (not if she falls asleep just a few minutes into the ride) but then I guess you kind of lose that romantic closeness and innate raw-hot sexuality of riding a motorcycle together (bodies touching, arms and legs intertwined, helmet to helmet) when you’ve got the equivalent of a pair of heavily cushioned captain’s chairs with fold down armrests and built-in cup holders separating you. I bet you and your wife look damn sexy pulling that rumbling bejeweled, tassel hanging, chrome laden land yacht into the local Waffle House for your Saturday morning paper and your senior discount specials.


Do you really want to discuss comfort on motorcycles, Al?  Fine. Let’s discuss comfort since you wanted to bring it up. You Harley owners apparently live by the word which pretty much blows a big fat hole in the macho, tough guy image that you try to project. You Harley owners aren’t cowboys, you aren’t outlaws, and you aren’t road warriors; you’re more like the little girl in the children’s’ story “The Princess and the Pea.” I’d bet that you would complain about your back aching after a thirty mile ride with a pebble caught in one of your faux retro white wall tires. All I ever hear is how tough you Harley riders are but five minutes or less on an import let alone a sport bike has you begging for the Ben Gay, two Ibuprofen and an electric heating pad. I’m surprised that members of the AARP don’t get discounts on HD merchandise just by flashing their cards at the checkout counter.

Oh, you can claim to be bad asses, you can claim that you’re all tough and grizzled old bikers on the ultimate road machine ever made by man but all you want is comfort. And noise. I guess that’s what I’ve come to expect from the Geritol / Centrum Silver Generation; a bunch of gray haired, flab sided, tub bellied, soft bottomed, comfort Nazis who are more prone to ride together and park their annoyingly loud pieces of shiny overpriced junk outside Shoney’s than they are some off-the-beaten-path rowdy biker bar. You like the vibration and the noise because it reminds you that your bike is still running (for the hearing impaired among you) and you add tassels and fringe so you can tell when you’re moving or not. Whine, whine, whine, it’s all you insufferable little scrotum pygmies ever do in your emails to me.

“My back hurts.”

“My butt hurts.”

“I can’t feel my legs.”

“My dentures just rattled out.”

“My hearing aid won’t fit proper if I wear a full face helmet.”

“Testing, one two three?  Can you hear me on the Intercom over the Lawrence Welk CD, Martha?”

“Wake up, Jo Lynda Lee!  We’re finally here at K-Mart!”

You aren’t real bikers, Al, you’re just Winnebago wannabes who buy a big, expensive Harley and pull a trailer behind it because you can’t afford the price of a full size motor home. Take off your leather chaps, all of your lifestyle apparel, throw on a pair of Bermuda shorts, an ugly shirt, brown knee-high dress socks, brown loafers then drop your ass in the middle of a KOA Kampground and most average people would be hard pressed to spot the difference between you and all the other migratory, Terminator goggled snow birds getting in line to shop for tacky souvenirs, pralines and real hand crafted Mexican blankets at the local Stuckey’s.

“Do I have chaps and a full set of leathers, yes, are they HD yes, I wore them when I rode a Honda also. The quality of the leather was better and I did not want to risk buying some cheap knock off from the Internet and Winn Dixie we just don’t have here. I didn’t care if it said Honda or Harley and still don’t. The quality was what I purchased. I know this is foreign to you, judging by the pictures you supplied and of course the pay scale of a sheriff, it is understandable that you don’t buy expensive things.”

Now, let me get this straight, Al… and correct me if I’m wrong…

You bought and wore HD brand leathers when you owned a Honda?  Oh!  Bwahahahahaha!  That would be like me buying a Ford Mustang Racing jacket and proudly wearing it when I owned and drove a Chevy Corvette. For what it is worth, I like the harness style of boot and when I went looking for this type of boot to wear (before I bought my CBR), I had a choice; dress boot or work boot. The dress boot was not something you wanted to ride a motorcycle with or wear every day. The work boot was a much better choice, especially with its non-slip sole. I stopped off at a country-western store to look at the boots and the only harness boots that they had in stock were, surprise, Harley Davidson boots. I found the overall quality of the boot to be far less than the price would indicate.  I thought that riding a Honda and wearing HD apparel would be just a little on the far side of ludicrous but I see that you readily disagree and openly embrace such facetiousness.

Now, let’s face facts (and reality), Al. If anyone is on a limited budget here, it’s you. Most of your money goes for your Harley and to maintain the bare minimum status in your trendy little make believe lifestyle.  You probably had to take out a third mortgage on your double-wide just to buy your Road King and I'm sure that your pickup gets title-pawned more often than not just to make the monthly payments on your Hawg on time.  As for the leathers that you so cherish and display like a peacock, you could have bought any number of different makes and brands of leathers (most far better than what you have) for far less than you spent, but then being able to wear that big bar and shield logo was what was really important to you, wasn’t it?  One day, it will hit you upside the head (like a 2x4 during a domestic dispute in a double wide) that when you buy anything at all associated with the HD namesake, you are paying one quarter for the actual product and three quarters for the right to wear the logo on that product.

There never really was any choice for you, especially not for safety or comfort. No, you had to pose and advertise, you had to let the world know what you rode whether you were on the bike or off. You had to proudly proclaim your allegiance to something that, as small and insignificant as it is, is still far bigger than you.  The choice was never about safety or comfort or price, it was that you had the burning desire to turn yourself into a living, breathing, walking billboard for old Willie G. The sad thing is, you have to actually pay Willie G. in order to wear his advertisement for him. Normally, people would pay you to do their advertising for them but you actually are so sold on the product that you’ll pay him for the chance to advertise for him!   You have to give credit where credit is due, Willie G. is a marketing genius and you're living proof of his ability to sell anything to anyone!  I love it!  He deserves every single penny he makes off of fools like you and you deserve every single bit of ridicule that people smarter than you heap on your shoulders. P.T. Barnum once said “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Willie G. banks on that idea, he’s made an incredibly huge fashion empire out of that fact alone and you’re living proof of his astounding total entrepreneurial success and his equally astounding total lack of forward vision.

“Ride through the mountains at 70 miles per hour and see if you get cold. Chaps serve a purpose, to reduce the risk of hypothermia in cold weather or for protection in case of an accident to save some limited skin supplies.”

You can’t seriously expect us to believe that you wear chaps for safety reasons, now can you?  Who are you kidding, Al?  Your chaps are just another part of your make believe costume, nothing more.  At the low speeds that your junk piles putt putt around at, you don’t need chaps.  Hell, you’re more likely to get grass stains than you are friction burns.  Wearing chaps for safety against high speed road rash while riding a Harley Davidson is like me installing a NHRA approved drag chute on my wife’s ’03 Mercury Grand Marquis for use by her to help slow her car down in heavy bumper to bumper traffic.

Why don’t I wear chaps?  Well, leather chaps look kind of out of place on a sport bike.  Ride through the mountains at 70mph?  Al, I ride on the open highway at 70mph in the dead of winter wearing my boots, boot cut blue jeans, a T-shirt, a button up short shirt, a pull over sweat shirt, a vest with a zip up neck, a pull over bacalava head wrap, my Joe Rocket jacket (liner inserted), two pairs (thin inner, thick outer) of insulated winter gloves and my HJC full face helmet, often with the visor cracked to enjoy the cold air. The only part of me that does get cold (tucked in close to the warm frame and the heat from the engine of my sport bike) is the top of my thighs (maybe I will think about some chaps…) but it never gets cold enough to bother me. This is riding in 30 degree weather (or below). You can imagine the wind chill of riding at 70mph in 30 degree weather with little or no fairing.  I regularly pass standing patches of ice and smoke-on-the-water, foggy, sunlight filtering down in bright sharp beam type picturesque landscapes on the side of the road when I ride my sport bike in the winter. When I get to work, I strip down to just jeans and a button up shirt or short sleeve shirt, open at the collar.

I guess that’s what separates Stoics like me from Epicureans like you.  I ride even when it is not comfortable or convenient to do so.

“Just like in my old Honda, now in my saddlebags are leather shirt, jacket, gloves, a face muffler, tools, first aid kit, pens, cell phone, clothes, and water bottles about anything I need for a road trip. On the back, there’s a travel bag with extra sets of jeans, t-shirts and travel kit. I learned that on my little Honda classic when I broke down on a Sunday and the cycle shops were closed till Monday to fix my rear flat tire. A Honda taught me to be prepared to breakdown.”

Saddlebags?  A motorcycle is an escape, it’s not a pack mule and it’s not a RV or camper. When I ride, I carry just what I wear, what’s in my wallet, a Winchester multi-tool on my belt, a handful of pocket knives (the small ones), a pair of clip-on lock blade folders (Gerber E-Z-Out and a much smaller Gerber that's so heavily worn that the finish has started coming off of the handle and blade), my PDA and my cell phone. I keep a red bulb Photon high intensity key light on my cycle key set for night time use. The tools that my bike came with are completely adequate for any repairs that I may do on the road and a small first aid kit is under the seat. Sorry, I don’t carry all the stuff that you do mainly because I consider a motorcycle to be an escape and you can’t get away from it all when you’re carrying it all with you when you go.

Oh, I’m also very glad to see that the one and only time your Honda ever broke down somehow magically taught you how to be prepared for all future mechanical failures on the side of the road. Now that you own a Harley, I’m sure that you will have plenty of opportunity to use your “considerable” knowledge of motorcycle mechanics and motorcycle repair.  After all, you know what they say… Practice makes perfect and on your Harley Davidson, you’re going to get plenty of opportunities to practice both your mechanical skills on the roadside as well as your ability to cuss like a one eyed carpenter. Don’t worry, though. If you run into something which falls outside your vast range of mechanical expertise, I’m sure that some kind hearted Gold Wing rider will be along soon enough, one who will be willing to lend a hand and give you a lift. Who knows, you might even be riding on your magnificent (if dethroned) Harley Davidson Road King sooner than you think, albeit while it is secured atop a small flatbed trailer being towed behind the Gold Wing.

“From the looks of your Honda I see why you were upset at the weather. If there aren’t clear skies, you can’t ride. From terrible traction on your racing slick tires to zero storage, you just lie down and get wet and I’m sure you must love the fishtail of water shooting up your ass. Maybe that is the real reason you love your bike. You’re secretly into water sports. The bike is an expensive bidet and a bit strange for a sheriff, but a funny picture I’m sure. To each his own. Not a rain suit in those saddle bags <grin>.”

Ah!  I see that your esteemed Duke University professor has been mobile home schooling you again ... good. A bidet?  Hell, I’m surprised you didn't think that "bidet" was a traditional friendly greeting used by Australians like "Bidet, Mate!"  It is totally amazing that a hillbilly like you knows what a bidet is, let alone that you can spell it correctly. Why, I bet the first time you ever saw a bidet (probably in your university professor's posh suburban home), you thought it was a water fountain for midgets and laughed yourself silly until she sternly corrected your social ignorance.

Since you are completely ignorant of so many things (but motorcycles in particular), here is a bit of information to bring you up to speed on the state of the art in motorcycle engineering and design. My sport bike has a piece of contemporary technology included with the advanced cutting edge design and this piece of contemporary technology is called a “fender.” Now, while this “fender” is not cutting edge (actually, they’ve been around quite some time), it is made out of high impact plastic and is shaped so as to protect not only my entire backside but also to protect motorists behind me as well from debris and detritus that has been thrown up from the road by the super fat, super sticky rear tire.

As for traction in the rain, your lack of knowledge pertaining to all things on two wheels shows through even more clearly. Many years ago, I used to cringe when I read some article where a magazine rider went and tested a new model of sport bike on a race track in some far away place like Australia or the UK, after a good drenching rain, and started doing triple digits. In fact, one article on the CBR600RR was tested in just such a set of conditions. My initial thoughts were “What the hell?!  Are you out of your God given mind going that fast on something that light on a rain slick strip?!” Then I got rained on with my first sport bike and I learned that bikes designed to hug the road safely at triple digits have amazing traction on all paved surfaces, even when that surface is slick and wet.  They have to, because occasionally hard rain visits races (as I'm sure that you, being a NASCAR fan, have been privy to watching such deluges on the TV) as well as day to day riders on the road.

No, I don’t do triple digits when it is raining, in fact I usually slow down five to ten miles an hour below the posted speed limit during a storm due to the adverse riding conditions and from what I understand of oils and chemicals on the road (and how they mix with rain water to become very treacherous). It’s not the rain that bothers me, Al, (I don’t mind getting soaking wet when I ride) it’s the fools on other bikes, cars and trucks who actually speed up in inclement conditions. I really don’t mind riding in the rain, either, if I don’t have a choice. My own personal experience has been that when it rains, all the idiots hop in their cars and trucks and hit the road, especially in Lamar county, MS.

So, while you are busy huddled underneath a bridge or overpass, swearing, feverishly wiping down your cheap made in China chrome so it won’t rust, trying to undo your saddle bags and sort through all the crap you carry just so you can get out your rain gear, I’ll just hum on by, soaking wet, enjoying the weather and the ride. I accept rain as part of the whole motorcycling experience that I enjoy so much. I know, as a frequent rider, that all rain eventually stops and at 70mph, the CBR is a 400 pound, self propelled clothes dryer on wheels when the sun comes back out. So was my ’84 VF500F Interceptor, my ’93 VFR750F and my ’95 Ninja ZX-6R.

You’re a true Epicurean, Al, one who’s not only afraid of getting your precious designer label leathers wet, but also apparently of getting your big pretty bike dirty.  There's a very good reason why you don't see very many Harley owners riding their bikes in foul weather; dog shit falls apart in the rain.

“I love watching TV and now and then a public television show will have the Star Trek convention or Star War’s groupie’s convention, I’ll look for you next time. The guy in the matching leather green race pants and a Darth Vader helmet, picking on little kids that upset your senses or cut in line for the latest bubble gum card.”

Yes, most couch potatoes do have a keen fondness (weakness) for watching TV, don't they, Al?  Ah, we’re back to that “simple minds, simple pleasures” state of being that you so obviously enjoy to its fullest. Television just goes right along with the Harley Davidson, NASCAR and professional wrestling triangle of sub-intellectual, mind dulling entertainment geared for the lowest common denominator in society. I can’t say that I really watch much TV. I’ve got satellite reception and I live so far out in the boonies that I’m lucky to get online with a speed of 28.8 using a 56k modem. I find that even though I get several hundred channels, most of the time there's really nothing on worth watching. If I find myself in the living room with some time to spare, I will simply put the satellite channel receiver on one of the non-commercial music playing selections (old ‘70’s rock, classic rock, alternative, heavy metal and atmosphere / new age / mood music), turn it down to the level of background ambience then pick up a book out of my vast collection and start to read. TV is such a waste of time and mind, I find very little, if anything of value on it these days to stimulate my formally educated brain.  I like to think of contemporary television as a sort of abortion clinic for your mind.  TV isn't something I let intrude very far into my personal life and I certainly would never use it as a babysitter for my child.  I live my life as mind over media, in other words, I don't let the black box with the pretty pictures do the thinking for me, tell me how I should dress or how I should act.

Honestly, I haven’t been to a science fiction convention in seven years, though a friend invited me recently to go with him to Wonderfest in Kentucky, but that was way back in June. I was going to ride my CBR up to Knoxville (it’s only a 500 some odd mile trip from Columbia, about a ten hour hop) and meet him there, then go over to Kentucky to the convention with a fat wallet for a few days of fun and good eating.  Wonderfest is one of the larger science fiction conventions and I really would have liked to have met some of the Internet’s finest scale modelers there, as well as see their work and take some of the modeling workshops (plastic, resin and various media). I’ve been trying to get to Wonderfest for about three years now but something always comes up where I am unable to attend. Perhaps next year.

Sadly, I had to spend that week in Jackson, MS, being taught counter-intrusion detection and systems defense, in regard to computers, hackers and networks. The fact that this course was taught by a high level professor from West Point (see, I can name drop too) who makes this business his career (and only gets leave from the Army once a year to teach this particular course to civilians) was more than enough to make me decide to skip Wonderfest. The cost of the course (several thousand dollars) and the rare opportunity to learn from someone on the front lines of the modern / current information / terrorist war made the choice to avoid Wonderfest a logical one, if not a somewhat regretful one. I would have liked to have put another thirteen hundred or so miles on my CBR over the course of several days riding. Oh, well. There's always next year... 

As for dressing up and pretending to be someone you are not, Al, let’s be brutally honest here. There are five main groups of people who dress up in make-believe costumes and pretend to be someone that they aren’t (mostly because they have no life of their own yet possess the disposable income that allows them to rent one as they go). Let me run these types of posers down for you, to make it easier to understand just where it is that you exist in the world and what kind of company you are keeping across the board.

SCA Society for Creative Anachronism / Renaissance Faire – these are the people who dress up like they were serfs and peasants, or lords and ladies and run around the woods living and selling their crafts out of large, garish tents, eating roast pheasant and turkey legs, drinking homemade mead and ale from gaudy tankards and sprinkling their speech with words like “thee” and “thou” or “milord” and “milady.” They also have really funny sounding pretend names like “Well, in real life my name is Brian Smith and I’m an accountant for H&R Block but this weekend, I am Lord Farnsmore of Dintingham and I must declare that this codpiece doth make my tiny cock itch most profoundly in these ravishingly splendid looking crushed velvet tights.” Entertainment includes people in jester or bard costumes dancing around while strumming on a lute and singing in a manner that would make two stray cats stop fucking. Highlights of the Renaissance Faire include watching grown adults don kitbashed armor made from stolen street signs and then proceed to bash each other over the head with padded sticks which they refer to as “swords.” If you see some guy walking around with a wood stick wrapped in athletic foam at his side, with a ribbon around the handle, he’ll proudly tell you that it is his “sword,” and that the ribbon means that his weapon has been “peace bonded.” What this really means is that he cannot draw his “weapon” and whack some other idiot over the head outside of the faux combat grounds else the powers that be will kick his pathetic lamer ass right out of the Faire. If that happens, he’ll just have to get in his baby blue Dodge Espresso Neon, go home all by his lonesome, and sit naked on his sofa while eating Cheetos and masturbating to Pokemon cartoons for the rest of the weekend. There’s a whole cottage industry that has sprung up around making costumes available, commercially, for these sad people.

Civil War Re-enactors – these are very sad people who simply won’t let something that happened a long, long time ago finally be forgotten. Whether you’re a Yankee or a Reb, you take pride in your authentic period costume, your carefully maintained high dollar reproduction firearm and the fact that you just spent six nights in the woods shooting black powder at some other retard before pretending to be hit and laying in a field of tall grass. There you wait, enjoying the bugs crawling over you, occasionally talking to the “corpse” next to you about how great the battle was while you lay there discussing the points spread among your favorite professional sports teams. You all wait patiently on some other retard to come around and pretend to check you to see if you’re dead or you just need to be hauled back to a tent and have your leg cut off with a hack saw while being given a shot of whiskey to kill the pain. Of course, you don’t really get your leg sawed off, but the whiskey is real and like watching professional fishing or going to a monster truck show, getting stone stinking drunk is probably the primary reason why people attend these events. I mean, after all, what educated adult human being really comes to the conclusion that they want to dress in hot clothing, run around the woods with other men, sleep on the ground, wipe their ass with leaves and eat hard tack for six days straight?  There’s a whole cottage industry that has sprung up around making costumes available, commercially, for these sad people.

Furries – Oh, how I hate
Furries. Furries are very sick people who can’t have sex normally, so they create or buy elaborate animal costumes, cut a hole in the front and back of the crotch, then pile on in a big group and have orgies that resemble the ugly collision of a bunch of sex crazed high school football team mascots. They also have really funny sounding pretend names like “Well, in real life my name is Brian Smith and I’m an accountant for H&R Block but this weekend, I am Lord Riven and I declare that I am yiffy.”  Furries even have their own language; words like “yiff,” “yiffy,” and “scritch” all describe sexual contact between one human being wearing an animal suit and another human being wearing an animal suit. The animal suits range from the very good to the very bad, from cartoonish to incredibly life-like. There are entire conventions of Furries which lead to days upon days of rampant costume hedonism and debauchery (kind of like a really sick cross between Disney’s The Lion King and the Sturgis rally). I know this because, like Harley owners, I make fun of and ridicule these pathetic souls every chance I get, especially when they email me and try to defend their sordid lifestyles. There’s a whole cottage industry that has sprung up around making costumes available, commercially, for these sad people.

Trekkies – Well, they like to be called “Trekkers” but that’s giving these losers way too much credit. I never really liked Star Trek that much, I thought it was all a bunch of moralistic high brow bullshit, the Prime Directive and such and really nothing more than a morality play set to some pretty good eye candy. Trekkies are the people you see who dress up in uniforms from Star Trek, walk around with toy phasers and tricorders and give you the Vulcan hand salute saying “live long and prosper.” They also have really funny sounding pretend names like “Well, in real life my name is Brian Smith and I’m an accountant for H&R Block but this weekend, I am Captain Tead Briley of the Spartan class Federation Starship USS Courageous. Now, if you’ll just follow me back to my room at the Mariott, I’ll strip out of this Starfleet uniform then boldly go where no man has gone before and fully explore Uranus.

The Klingons are the best, since they take it (at the same time) the most serious and the least serious, being the rowdiest of the bunch and enjoying the fact that a three day convention is an excuse to not only dress in costume, but to forego personal hygiene rituals as well, thus adding to the ambience of their characters. Did you know that there is actually an entire subculture that has learned to speak Klingon?  Apparently speaking Klingon is so widespread in some areas that at least one mental institution advertised a position for a Klingon speaking health care assistant to treat those mental patients who only spoke
Klingon. You have to love Star Trek!

There are hundreds of clubs for Trekkies (one of them local), that have their own logos and are built around the club being a Federation vessel (like a club being called the “NCC-1734 Osbourne” and the club members being the “crew” of the “starship”). Many years ago, I had the chance to see the local club in action. A few friends and I went to see a movie and the new Star Trek movie (at that time) was playing, it was Star Trek V: The Undiscovered Country, I believe. Well, the Trekkies were out in force for this show and we stood there, watching them and snickering at them. Then the leader appeared, or rather the “Captain” of their “starship,” sorry, club. He was the owner of a local hobby shop and, well, I just have to describe this for you so that you can picture it yourself. Double chins, receding hair line, greasy hair, thick eyebrows, fat ears, fat fingers, hair coming out of his ears and trying to shake hands with what was on his head. Getting the picture?  Now, imagine that he’s got on a red Starfleet uniform, the body fitting type that stretches over the rolls of Pillsbury Dough-Boy like tubbiness, and it is one size too small so it starts to look like a leotard stretched over one of those dogs that is all wrinkled. He’s got his medals and rank insignia on, all polished and gleaming. He’s got some kind of braided loop cord on one shoulder and the Starfleet communicator type pin affixed to his left breast.

So far, so good, if you can call it that…

Scan on down. From the waist below, it was a complete and utter fashion nightmare. This guy is wearing a kilt, a real Scottish kilt, bare white hairy legs showing under it and … brown dress shoes. Brown, almost knee high socks, brown dress shoes and he has those little … sock garters to hold his socks up. I guess he thought this was a good idea at the time (and I seem to remember maybe Mr. Scott wearing just the same getup in Star Trek II when Spock supposedly died there at the end) but it was enough to melt the cones and rods in your eyeballs. Trekkies. There’s a whole cottage industry that has sprung up around making costumes available, commercially, for these sad, delusional people.

Harley owners – One of the more visible and more frequent occurring instances of people who dress up like make-believe characters are the people who own Harley Davidson motorcycles.  Most of the time you're lucky since these motorized wheelchairs are often left in garages, stored in climate controlled areas, and are treated better than the owner’s children.  These pathetic souls all claim to be “individuals” yet they all look identical, it’s like an ugly head on train wreck between “Hee-Haw” and “the Stepford Wives.” They also have really funny sounding pretend names like “Well, in real life my name is Brian Smith and I’m an accountant for H&R Block but this weekend, I am "Johnny Blaze the Midnight Rider" and I’m a member of the Black Hearts motorcycle gang so you better not mess with us, bud or you and your little Jap scooter are going to get some serious whup ass on you. If you cross me, man, I’ll cut you good and deep with my officially licensed and endorsed Harley Davidson Heritage Edition letter opener!”  Leather chaps, doo-rags, leather vests, boots, bandannas, gloves and more cheap t-shirts than a Panamanian sweat shop are the wardrobe of choice. You name it and it probably has a big Harley Davidson bar and shield logo on it. American flags and POW / MIA emblems are plentiful though a vast majority of the people who display these emblems have never seen military service nor were they ever POWs. For those sad posers (namely the ones who look like they are barely out of their teens…) who run around proclaiming the "Vietnam" angle to owning a Harley Davidson, I think that “MIA” really stands for “Moaning In Agony," especially after having ridden a hundred miles on their Hardtail Sportster (an act which is tantamount to using a cactus as a suppository). There’s a whole cottage industry that has sprung up around making costumes available, commercially, for these sad, delusional dick clowns.

“You must have pretty thin skin, and a tendency to feel less than from years of self-importance and inflated false pride from buying less and expecting more.”

Actually, I have a very thick skin otherwise I wouldn’t be a police officer in the first place, now would I?  Also you have it completely wrong (again), Al.  It's rather obvious that you are suffering from insecurity brought on by years of narcissistic inspired faux self importance and a vastly inflated false pride from constantly paying more and getting less than those around you all the while not having the God given good common sense to know the difference.

“The only respect you get is from pointing your service revolver at some shmuck and hoping they resist (33).”

Ah!  Good!  I see that not only do you have severe authority issues (and no knowledge whatsoever of law enforcement) but that you are also completely ignorant when it comes to firearms as well.


I’m surprised that a pious, tiny minded, fetid little taint monk like you didn’t refer to a handgun as a “boomstick.” I don’t carry a revolver, Al. Never have, never will so I don’t know where you came up with that bit of proprietary ignorance other than the fact that besides not being able to tell a sheriff's officer from a police officer, you also apparently can't tell a revolver from a semiautomatic pistol. Truth be known, I don’t own a revolver as I consider them far too dangerous for anything other than hobby or range shooting. A revolver is so… decades out of style (much like the bike that you own). Carrying a revolver while you are on duty went out of good common tactical sense decades ago. You might find a few old detectives who carry them but most officers on the street carry high capacity semiautomatic pistols with external safeties and loaded with high powered law enforcement only issued rounds (like I carry).  If you carry a revolver on today’s streets, even in a city as small as Columbia, you’re asking to get your ass killed with a quickness.

I am highly trained on how to use my firearm and have qualified consistently in the top five percent of my group on the range. Yes, I have drawn my sidearm many times in the five years that I have worn a badge but I have never had to discharge my firearm or shoot someone and for that I thank God every time I can. In our failing society, the criminals have more rights than the victims, thanks in part to the weak minded, bleeding heart liberals. In the unfortunate set of circumstances that I ever have to shoot a criminal dead in order to protect my life, the life of another officer or the life of a civilian, then the criminal’s family will probably sue me into poverty in a civil, wrongful death suit.

There is a saying, with great power comes great responsibility. That bit of wisdom applies more to police officers than to any other profession in the world, save maybe that of the soldier. You see, police officers are mediators first and enforcers last. I consider drawing my sidearm a failure of the mediation process, it is my last option, not my first but then again, some situations simply do not allow for mediation and actually do require you to draw first and ask the right questions later. I’ve been in all kinds of situations, but the times that I’ve drawn my weapon and pointed it at another human being (finger on the trigger, ready to fire) I can count on both hands minus a few fingers and that is in five years of service. Invariably, those incidents also included the person I was aiming my weapon at either holding a weapon, threatening another person or officer, or reaching for a weapon close at hand to use against me.

Sometimes you have to draw your sidearm in the line of duty, Al. One day, I may even have to use it in its intended design and role, pull the trigger and throw a big old chunk of metal at supersonic velocities through the body of another human being, ending their life forever. I pray to God every time I go on patrol that I never have to discharge my weapon in the line of duty, it's not something I ever look forward to or even like to think about. Law enforcement isn’t about riding around, pretending to be bad asses and annoying people (that’s what Harley owners do). Being a law enforcement officer is about being a mediator between the laws of your community and the people who live there. Being a law enforcement officer is a lot like riding a sport bike (as opposed to riding a Harley). You walk softly, you carry a big stick, and you don’t use your power unless it is the right time and the right circumstance to do so. It's not about comfort or style, it's about performance. If you show off in public, it only annoys the tax payers and gets you in trouble with The
Man. Now, if being a law enforcement officer was like riding a Harley, then I’d spend most of my spare time shopping for gear out of a catalog, I’d make sure that I spent eight hours of each twelve hour shift cleaning and polishing my gear and waxing my interceptor then I’d ride around with the sirens and lights on all the time just to get people to notice me, to notice how I was dressed and what I was driving. I'd ride up and down main street and call it "patrolling" when I never hit any of the side streets or back alleys. I'd look forward to going to big "cop-only" conventions where I could buy more gear, more patches and pretend I was a bad ass with other wannabes in blue.  Of course, I'd tow my Interceptor up there to the convention, then unload it and drive around while bragging about how far I had to drive.  Wouldn't want to put any unnecessary miles on the old Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2004 edition, now would I?  That might negatively impact the resale value...

Walk softly and carry a big stick. Most of the time, a few words, a gentle rebuke and a smile get you far more mileage than a written ticket and a heavy attitude. That's one of the first things that I learned on the street. I guess that's why people respect me now, not because I've come down on them like a ton of bricks at every chance I could get, but rather because I got to know them, I was nice to them and I didn't make their life hard just because I had the power to do so. With great power comes great responsibility, but I also like to think that with great power comes even greater patience and a whole hell of a lot of understanding.

I only wish that if you (and idiots like you) were going to try to second guess my nature behind the badge or that you were going to armchair quarterback the nature of law enforcement (especially law enforcement in the deep South) that you’d at least be smart enough to base your research on something more quantitative and informative than simply watching reruns of “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “In the Heat of the Night.”

“Or asking that people threaten you so the FBI can come looking for them, did that make you feel important?  Hell they are looking for a lost girl in Aruba also, what is your point?  Besides wanting to mention somehow the FBI gives a shit about some dirt track bike rider that 30 miles pushed his brain to far back in the skull cap squeezed it and now your helmet is to small.”

No, you misunderstood the implied meaning of what I said once again, Al, but when you have the reading comprehension of a Pez dispenser, that's easy to understand. There is a difference between telling me that you're going to kick my ass (because that is the best retort you can come up with) and telling me that you're going to kill me and my family (simply because I don't agree with you). Talk big all you want, that doesn't bother me (in fact, I find it quite humorous the show of bravdo that you pretenders put on parade) but threaten to kill me or my family over a difference of opinion and that's a far different story.

I have no respect, no patience and no forgiveness at all for those who think that violence is the first answer to any argument nor do I have any mercy on those who escalate it to death threats against me and / or my family. Dog cuss me all you want, send me tidbits of your laughable pseudo-science where the laws of physics don't work the same way in your world as they do in the real world, tell me you’re going to kick my ass if you ever see me on the road, I have no problem with that; go ahead, we'll have a grand old time and a lot of fun. Send me death threats because my opinion differs from yours and I'll shut you down hard or to make it as simple as can be, Echo don’t play that.

“As for choice of careers, it’s a noble calling, being a sheriff (by the way in the military the lowest scores in the ASFAB test qualify for 3 positions cooks or military police or sanitation engineer (a very polite trash man reference)).”

It's even more noble when you volunteer your time, put your life on the line and do it for free, with no expectation of reward or payment. “Blessed are the peace keepers” or something like that as it says in the Bible.  I see that you laughingly put law enforcement officers in the same league as sanitation personnel?  Ok, I can see that but not in the same way that you intended me to see it. Yes, I think that cops and garbage men, sorry, sanitation engineers (have to be politically correct these days, wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and cause a big old frivolous lawsuit...) are very similar in their assigned jobs and required duties. Both police officers and sanitation engineers (like picking up garbage really required an engineering degree…) ride around their assigned routes, cleaning up the trash in a community, getting hot and sweaty, having people poke fun at them and tell their children "if you don't stay in school, that's what you'll be doing the rest of your life. You'll be just like him!"  Yet, when the refuse starts piling up and spilling over into the streets, when the alleyways and sidewalks become hard to walk on and ugly to look at, people like you are the first to start screaming for the law enforcement officers or sanitation personnel to get busy.  You want the police and garbage crews to do the jobs that you don't want to do (or can't do) and you want to pay them the bare minimum to do it with the least amount of benefits.

Yes, police and sanitation disposal personnel are both charged with the same job, taking out the trash and cleaning up the community. The difference between a sanitation disposal employee and a law enforcement officer is that it's a hell of a lot safer to be a sanitation disposal employee; after all, when you're a cop, the “trash” you have to clean up often has a smart mouth, has little or no respect for you, wants to run away more times than not, sometimes it wants to fight you and sometimes it just tries to outright kill you dead. That doesn't happen when you ride around in a garbage truck.  When was the last time you saw a garbage truck involved in a high speed chase with a pile of trash?

Your fervent disdain for all law enforcement in general is indicative of your long rooted ignorance and is direly repugnant to my deep running all American spirit and beliefs, Al. However, I do so love the delicious hypocrisy that is such a large part of the proprietary mental retardation that afflicts most Harley owners (and you in particular). Here you are saying “I’m really glad that you are a law enforcement officer, it’s a very good thing to have peace and order in our communities" and then you add a twist at the end which effectively says "too bad all cops are stupid.”

Al, honestly, you aren't worthy of shining my boots let alone putting them on and walking a mile in them. It is people like you who provide me with more and more justification that basic police service and protection should be a subscription only based service, subject to termination with no refund at the responding officer’s judgment and with that judgment based solely on the prevalent customer attitude.

“One of my best friends was a sheriff in NC, he would make me laugh with his stories. I used to love to hear about when they, the macho sheriffs were bored and would, as a team, group or gang in some people’s minds, but never alone would pick out an arrest warrant of someone they knew loved to fight. Then 3 or 4 of them would go pick him up, beat the crap out of the guy and feel great afterwards because he resisted arrest. He said it was great to get the tension out. I assume you are in the same class of classless. You seem to enjoy throwing your “I’m a sheriff tough guy image” around. As it seems a boy and his gun are just as big fools as a “chained wallet.” At least Barney Fife knew not to load his one bullet, it was the uniform that made his day. As I assume your little riding costume does for you, Mr. Dingo.”

Have I ever been in a fight while in uniform?  Yes, many times and not one of those times was for fun or to relieve stress. In fact, none of the times that I've ever gone fist and foot with some other human being has ever been even remotely what I would consider being able to be defined as "fun."  Like I said previously, LEOs are mediators and when that mediation breaks down (generally due to the fault of the criminal), the sugar turns to shit and that's when we have to stop being nice. When you get in a situation like that, there are no rules, only training and instinct. Training plays a large part in officer survival but like my ex-street partner once told me, "when the sugar turns to shit, you will not rise to the occasion, you will instead fall to your highest level of training."  When the talking is over with and the situation has degenerated into the ass kicking phase, well, that's when it usually gets ugly real quick. There are no fair fights, no rules, there is only survival, at any cost.  There is only the need to take the suspect or suspects down quickly, efficiently and with as little force as possible (the minimum force required to effect arrest, as we are taught) in order to prevent harm to the officers responding to the call, to the suspect or suspects and to any innocent bystanders who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Have I ever thrown the first punch?  No, but I have always thrown the last punch (or round house kick) in any fight I found myself in. You see, I have a personal code of conduct. I am nice. I am nice until it is time not to be nice. When it is time not to be nice anymore, then that is a place you do not want to find yourself in. On the street, you have the full control of my attitude and how the traffic stop or response call will go. FULL control. You, the tax payer. You, the criminal. Full control. My attitude towards you depends totally on your attitude towards me. I will match you, attitude for attitude and I won't back down or give ground. I have the rules but I let you set the table. We play the game by my rules on your table. Be nice to me, I'll be nice to you. Give me a hard time and you'll get a hard time. It's that simple, really, it is.

I also have one goal in mind when I go on duty and on patrol (but especially even more so when the sugar turns to shit) and that is to go home again, at the end of the shift, to my beautiful wife and my beautiful daughter. It's a pretty simple goal but sometimes there's a complicated, convoluted path to achieving that goal. Some shifts it's easy to achieve my one goal, other nights I don't know if I will be able to achieve it at all.  I am going home, Al, at the end of the shift, I am going home and nothing, no one, nobody comes between me and that goal. I bring the rules, you set the table. We can both win at the hand we are dealt, but it's your attitude and your actions (and your mouth) that determine the outcome as well as how we will play the hand that we have both been dealt. Nice and easy or hard and rough, it's all your choice.

You say you have a best friend who is a sheriff?  Right ... Who are you trying to fool?

Can you be honest just once in your life?  You don’t have any friends in law enforcement, not with your flagrant anti-law enforcement attitude. Your ego wouldn't last five minutes around a group of "real" law enforcement officers, not with your "stare down my nose at all cops" attitude. Oh, you may have stayed for a while with a sheriff in North Carolina but you were a guest of the community and not there for coffee, doughnuts or sparkling conversation. They probably caught you on a misdemeanor shop lifting charge at the local grocery store ( you shoved a cucumber down the front of your HD chaps so you could impress the gap-toothed, triple chinned butter troll who worked in the deli). I know from personal experience that we, LEOs in general, love to make fun of ignorant retards like you and yes, we can spot your kind coming from a mile away. Your kind is quick to bad mouth us yet at the first strange noise you hear in the middle of the night, you’re on the 911 land line (screaming louder than a lost child in Wal-Mart) telling us to come over right away and check out the noise you heard. You are the type of idiot who expects the ability to both talk bad about LEOs ...

“My taxes go to pay your salary!  Why, the only reason someone becomes a police officer is that they're too stupid to drive a taxi!”

... and yet receive friendly, prompt and personal service when you think you have a problem.

“Oh my God!  What is that noise?  There it goes again!  Where are the cops, Jo Linda?  I just got off the phone with them and I don’t even hear any sirens!  Oh, I bet those lard-asses stopped off for doughnuts and coffee along the way and here we are about to get murdered in cold blood while wearing our matching Willie G. Heritage Classic Signature series satin pajama sets with the patented Patriot Fit(tm) waist bands!"

Yes, we serve and protect, but we also remember. Oh, how we remember and we often compare notes when we get calls to problem residences (that's what the "scramble" key is for on your radio, to talk about stupid people like you in a format where you can't understand us doing so on your Radio Shack police band scanner). Cops don’t forget and cops have very good memories, Al, very good memories (it’s part of the job).

I wonder if, when I post this reply to my website, that your “friends” in North Carolina don’t find a link to this page posted on some LEO or cycle forum, read your rather low opinion of them and then come looking for you to discuss your attitude and your Judas nature towards them. Yes, if I were them, I might just rethink your idea of “friendship” the first chance I got. I'd also probably put some words on you that would make Jesus weep openly.

As for stories from the street, yes, I have many humorous stories as well from my time spent wearing a badge. I’ve been saving them up for years now, writing them down after they happened. When I finally turn in my badge, I’m going to publish my stories for the entertainment of all. Are they the kind of stories that you would be interested in?  I doubt it. None of them involve beating people up for fun or shooting people just for kicks. None of them involve me blowing someone away then standing over their bleeding body and saying something witty like “Go ahead, punk, make my day” or “he’s dead, Jim.” No. Most of my stories involve the utter stupidity of the so-called criminal mastermind and just how easy it is to catch this latest MTV educated generation of thug-life, hardcore, G-money gangsta wannabe, rap disciplined idiots. Here are two humorous incidents that I've had in my career.

Incident one:

My partner and I were on patrol the other night when we answered a call where five male suspects had pulled another male suspect from a car and proceeded to beat the ever living crap out of him. After we finished taking the statement from the victim at the ER, we got back in the Interceptor, called in our status, and continued on patrol.

"Man." my partner said, whistling as he looked at the digital photos we had taken of the victim's injuries. "Five to one odds.  He's lucky to be alive. What would YOU have done if you went up against five guys?"

"Well, it would be a little different if five guys hopped on me..." I began.

"Really?  How?" My partner asked. "You'd be out here in the ER just like that guy..."

"Well, yeah, if five guys had hopped on me I'm certain that I would be out here in the ER..." I said. "But so would the five guys and they would be out here getting treated for broken bones and having their asses kicked up around their shoulder blades."

My partner laughed.

"But you would be out here with them. What would you be out here for?" he asked. "What kind of injuries?"

"Oh, no injuries." I replied calmly. "I would be out here getting treated for exhaustion. I'm getting old, brother. Fighting five guys would wear me out. I'd probably have to lie down on a stretcher, get a little oxygen and have to take a nap after a workout like that."

Incident two:

I was typing out my end of shift reports on the computer at the station the other night when Mike and Tom brought in a guy that they had for DUI and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). He kept trying to smooth talk his way out of going to jail with all the typical lame ass, heard them a million times, pot-head excuses, even saying that if he went to jail that his wife would get fired from her job because they only had one car and she needed it to go to work tomorrow or she'd lose her job if the car got towed and impounded. I have no pity on drug users or drunk drivers, zero tolerance no matter what the sob story. My thought is, if you do the crime, you pay the price. If you are thinking about your wife and her job now, then you should have thought about it before you went and took the only car you two owned, filled it up with illegal drugs and then drove your only car around town while completely stoned.

"Hey, man, like I'm just ... just a consumer... you know, I just use the stuff every now and then. Why are you guys picking on me?  You should go up to Mexico and over to Canada and, you know, get the people who were making the stuff and bringing it over here. It's their fault that I'm smoking it and it's their fault that I can buy it over in Morgantown. Why don't you go up there to Mexico and arrest the real drug people?" the suspect asked incessantly in a very matter of fact manner.

"Because we don't have jurisdiction in Canada or Mexico." Mike told him flatly.

"But we do have jurisdiction here in Columbia." Tom added.

Bonus story because it ties in nicely with your arguments!

I went to see my wife one day at her school. She had a free period from teaching and I was providing the lunch. Her free time was from 1pm to 1:30pm, so I had to hurry as it was a small window of opportunity to spend some time together.  As Murphy rides with me sometimes, just as I got our food, I got a call about a domestic dispute at some apartments a few streets over. Needless to say, I was late to my lunch date with a bag of burgers and fries that were already growing cold. I got there at 1:20pm and Cindy and I had to scarf down our lunch before her class came back in from their lunch. We didn't make it though it was a valiant effort on our part. Cindy had just barely finished her lunch but I was tired and wanted to take my time since it had been a busy day and promised to be even more so later on. There I was, sitting on the teacher's desk, in full gear and uniform, finishing up my food when her class started coming into the classroom and taking a seat at their desks.

"Why da poh lease here?!" one boy asked, staring at me wild-eyed.

"Who gettin' 'rested?!", and other bastardizations of the Queen's English, mainly learned from watching way too much "Yo! MTV Raps!" soon followed in staccato fashion. I just ignored them and finished my burger. One of my fellow officer's daughters is in my wife's class. The daughter waved at me and spoke, I told her that I would tell her daddy that she said 'hi!'. One of the boys looked at me and then asked out loud.

"Who is THAT?!"

"That's Mrs. Shields' husband." the boy behind him said.

"He's a COP!?" the kid asked incredulously.

"No, moron, he's an astronaut!  Sheeesh!"

It was all I could do not to bust out laughing.

I can assure you that those who carry a badge around here, including myself, answer to a higher calling. We have very high standards by which we live, by which we are judged and by which we are held accountable to in the carrying out of our duties in the public eye.

In hindsight, your general lack of respect for law enforcement of any kind apparently comes from your small-minded view of the profession, but then when it comes to law enforcement, you really don’t have a great deal of experience in the matter. Given such, I hardly expect a worldly view from such a porthole perspective on your part, hence your blatant ignorance of the lives of those who are called to wear a badge and serve their community, the lives of people who are sworn to serve and protect even the likes of socially, racially, intellectually and genetically worthless individuals such as you.

“I’ll repeat the joke that my sheriff friend told right after giving me the “we love to fight to reduce stress” insight into the sheriffs department.”

“What does a cue ball and a Mexican have in common”?

“The harder you hit them the more English you get”

Interesting ..

I would like to know not only what you found humorous about this particularly loathsome joke but also why you felt that you had to repeat it ever again after hearing it the first time. You may find this joke to be a real knee slapper in your isolated village but I for one do not find it the least bit humorous. What I do find truly funny is when someone who so adamantly professes to be a much better person than I am would repeat a joke of such obvious poor taste. We’re already five good years into the 21st century and people like you are acting like it was the early 1900’s all over again. I would put good money on the fact that you’re the kind of sub-par intellectual who still refers to black people as “niggers” (though I bet you don’t call them that name to their face …).

Each human being, I firmly believe, is responsible for doing their part not only to advance the species but to end the rampant ignorance that is so prevalent in the world today. You could have kept that joke to yourself and not shared it, thus breaking one chain of ignorance but since you felt you had to share it (for what reason I do not know other than to perhaps reinforce your own ignorance of law enforcement), you have in turn lowered yourself to the same level of those you profess to despise. That's okay, though, because I’ve never expected great things from any Harley owner, in any capacity. My personal philosophy when dealing with genetic degenerates like you is “if you don’t expect too much out of them then they might not let you down.”

Do you want some REAL cop humor, Al?  Try this:

Top Law Enforcement Comebacks to Stupid Idiots and Criminals

"Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll loosen up a little after you wear them awhile.”

"So you don't know how fast you were going?  I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?”

"Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh ..did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?”

"Warning!  You want a warning?  O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket the next time, too.”

"The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?”

"Fair?  You want fair?  Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on the carousel, eat cotton candy, and step in pony shit.”

"In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC.”

"Just how big were those two beers you say you drank?”

"No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want.”

"I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail.”

"You didn't think we give pretty women tickets?... You're right, we don't ... Sign here, please.”

"You're a tax payer?  Well, if that don't beat all!  So am I!  Pleased to meet you!  Why, as much money as they hit me up for all the time, I thought I was the only tax payer in the entire county..."

and the best one by far ...

"you just missed a perfect opportunity to shut up."

Al, you are proof positive that while you can take the white trash out of the trailer park, but you can never take the trailer park out of the white trash.

“The sad thing, like yourself this person carried a gun and was hired to protect the community, albeit a much larger community. I would think you have plenty of time to play on your website with a town of 6,603 people. Jeez a real crime stopper you are, huh?  Oh oh.. Aunty May is squeezing the tomatoes again at the Winn Dixie.. Call the sheriff he’ll know what to do. Yes, I envision a city of blight, high crime and even a Batman signal in the dark skies of Columbia when a crime is so terrible you have to ride out on your Honda to save the day.”

No, the sad thing is that good people like myself (and many other fine men and women of the law enforcement community) put our lives on the line every single day for unappreciative, uneducated, upstart, nay-saying, ill bred Philistines like you. That’s the real shame in this great country. Hell, if being stupid was a socially punishable crime, you'd get The Chair (or life in school with no possibility of parole).

I would also suggest that before you display any more blatant ignorance about law enforcement that you realize that facts and figures which you find on the Internet are no substitute for actually living in a place and seeing things first hand. Until you live here in Columbia, even for a short while, then you have no right to offer your opinion on how many police officers we need and what our response to crime will take the form of. If there’s one thing I really cannot stand, it’s diet minded armchair statisticians like you who remote felch data on the Internet, find some numbers then believe that you’re suddenly an expert on what goes on somewhere else when you probably don't have the first damn clue as to what is going on where you live. I wonder if you take as much interest in local law enforcement practices as you do those that happen thousands of miles away in a city you are wholly unfamiliar with?  Why, you must be one of your city's greatest citizens, Al, what with the ability not only to give your full support to LEOs locally but to be able to offer advice and instruction to LEOs in far distant locales as well.

But … you don't support LEOs, do you, Al? 


You aren't a law enforcement officer, past or present. Yes, you probably do have some experience with LEOs though I doubt it is pleasant (much like the experience you are now having with me). The self claimed experience you brag about where you supposedly sat around with some sheriff and his deputies and chatted with them, enjoying their stories all the while thinking to yourself "what a bunch of fat tax paid putzes" doesn't count because we both know that never happened (it’s totally made up, just like most of your life is).  You aren't a LEO and you don't have any friends who are LEOs because of your rather brazen anti-LEO attitude (which is just one part of the dismal ignorance that you so proudly flaunt). If you have never been a LEO, then you don’t have the necessary experience (let alone any right) to determine whether crime is present or not in a community, to what degree it should be met and with what resources, especially in a community where you don’t even live, you've never visited for any length of time and a community in which you've never paid the first cent of taxes. If you choose to act in such a comically inane manner, then it is blatantly obvious as to who is really the one pretending to be a crime fighter, now isn't it, Al?

Oh, and for what it is worth… I only get called out to Winn Dixie when that darned old Mr. Whipple forgets to take his monthly government subsidy of lithium and ends up running around wild-eyed squeezing all the Charmin on display. Why, with just sixty-six hundred good, tax paying, God fearing citizens in our quiet little city, we can’t have that kind of flagrant anti-social behavior going on in public in our grocery stores, not in front of all the decent women folk and the innocent minded little children!  Certainly not!  It just wouldn't be proper.

“You have even gotten your 2 year old to buy into the macho image of “Zoom Zoom daddy rides a rocket, honey, he is a space man wanna-be.”

Actually, she learned those words from that Mazda commercial on TV and applied it herself to motorcycles, regardless of type. If she sees a Harley or a Honda, cruiser or sport bike, she points and excitedly says “Daddy!  There goes a zoom zoom!”  Oh, she can and does call a motorcycle a "motorcycle" but she likes to call them "zoom-zooms" more often than not.  My daughter is incredibly smart for a two year old and amazes everyone from teachers and professors to doctors and engineers when she meets them. She has over a two hundred word vocabulary and is capable of not only constructing complex sentences but she also can invent new phrases and she has an amazing tendency to put disassociative things together forming a common bond between the two. For example, one night, she and I were heading into the city to get something to eat and I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she wanted to be an astronaut. I laughed and was amazed at that so I asked verification that she wanted to be an astronaut. She said yes, she wanted to be an astronaut ... and a cowgirl, she added. I laughed again because this statement amazed me even more since I had never heard of someone who wanted to be both an astronaut and a cowgirl. When I asked her, laughingly, why she wanted to be an astronaut and a cowgirl, she replied "because, daddy, the cow jumped over the moon!"  She had put the idea of an astronaut and the Moon with being a cowgirl and herding cows because the cow jumped over the Moon. What a novel concept and it's actually quite brilliant!  I may just write a children’s story around that idea.  I’ll be sure to use lots of colors and big pictures with few and small words so that even people like you may also read it and enjoy it.

Of course, she’s only two and a half years old and already she has a larger vocabulary and greater command of the English language than you do. I’m also willing to bet that even at this young age, she’s got a higher IQ than you but the most obvious difference between the two of you is that as she is getting older, she's definitely getting smarter. Give her another two years and she'll probably outscore you on the ACT.

“Hey I’ve got it, maybe NASA is looking for a part time security guard.”

I wouldn’t know, Al.

There is Stennis Space Center down the road (about 80 miles away to the south east) where they test rocket engines and all other kinds of space technology but that’s kind of far to drive / ride for a part-time job. I think I’ll just keep my part-time security job at the local ER / Trauma Center, helping the trauma team with people that had to be cut out of wrecks, drug overdoses, domestic disputes, rapes, child molestation cases, and other extreme incidents and accidents. It’s the children that break my heart, I have no real pity for the grown ups who put their selves in the situations that they do (like doing bad drugs or drinking and driving).

Let me give you an example of the kind of experiences I would be giving up if I went to work for NASA and left the trauma center.  Just a few weeks ago, I saw a seventeen year old boy who, on graduation night, took his brand new car and went head first into an old oak tree at high speed. The tree won, no contest. Seventeen years old, his whole life ahead of him and then he was gone just like that (snap your fingers here for added emphasis). There wasn't a solid bone in his body, inside he was just so much wet dog food. We had to sedate his mother pretty heavy when she arrived and got to see the body of her son. It wasn't until she knew without a doubt in her mind and heart that the ninety pounds of pulverized, meat cooling to room temperature there on the trauma table had at one point in time been her one and only child, one she had given birth to seventeen years ago. Screams like that kind of echo through your skull for many years afterwards, Al. You remember them when you try your damnedest not to. They never go away, they just fade in and out of your memory. Sometimes you wake up and you hear the screams or the cries in your head and you get out of bed and you go and check on your own child and you kneel down beside her bed and listen to her breathe, you watch her sleep, the rise and fall of her chest under her little bed covers, the stuffed toy and blanket she is gripping and the little curl to her mouth that means she is resting peacefully. You stare at the miracle that you have been entrusted with and you thank God that you've got a healthy child that brings you so much joy in your life. Then you think of the pain that losing that child would cause you and you simply can't imagine it, you think you can get close to imagining that level of devastation, that level of loss, because you're a parent, but you can never truly know a loss that great until it happens to you.  That’s what being a police officer is like, Al.

Yes, working at Stennis would definitely be a change of pace for me. I wouldn't have to fight some whacked out drug overdose who has decided that he's not only going to rip out his IV lines out of his arm and the vacuum tube down his nose into his stomach but that he's going to beat down anyone who tries to restrain him in order to continue working on him to save his pathetic life. I wouldn't have to wrestle a crack head in the stair well and keep him from kicking a nurse off the railing to her death three stories down below, holding him in a head lock while praying that I can out fight him, out last him until the rest of the team arrives with restraints and some major tranquilizers to get this guy back under control and narc him back into docility.  I wouldn't have to fight people in order to save their lives. I wouldn't have to listen to all of the screaming and wailing, the flailing of arms and legs, I wouldn't have to get blood and brain matter up to my elbows while I'm working on some guy who took his convertible Mustang GT head on into a full size Chevy Z-71 truck and was subsequently catapulted out of his seat (because you know, seat belts aren't cool and if you wear one, you just can’t be looking stylish…) and through the windshield of the truck.  Yes, if I worked at Stennis and for NASA, I wouldn't have to be working an air bag trying to keep oxygen forced into his lungs while I watch bloody jelly and brain matter bubble out of his nose with each chest compression that the trauma team is doing or grimace when the portable X-ray reveals that there isn't an unbroken bone in his skull.

If I worked for Stennis, I wouldn't have to deal with belligerent drunks or whacked out overdoses, women who were raped, children who were molested or abused.  I wouldn’t have to deal with people with third degree burns to most of their bodies or belligerent drunks and dope seekers who hurt their little finger and can’t understand why we give them Tylenol instead of hard narcotics to help alleviate the pain. If I worked for NASA, I wouldn't have to get my boots dirty by stepping in human blood, vomit, piss and shit as I'm slamming open supply drawers, searching through the contents and throwing medical supplies to another team member as we race the clock to keep another member of the human race here on Earth instead of letting them fade into the hereafter, though the quality of their life can certainly be questioned. I wouldn't have to escort the mothers of dead teenagers to the hospital chapel, unable to answer their constant, sorrowful questions about whether their child is alive or not or why I'm taking them to the chapel instead of the ER waiting room. I can't answer any of those questions, even though I know the answers already, because that's the doctor's responsibility and I can't give out that information because it's not my place. I put up a wall of stone against their cries, against their screams because I already know the truth, I already know the truth because I was there when the seventeen year old kid checked out of this world and the machines that measure the life in a human body all told me the exact instant in time, digitally precise, when that young man stopped being a human being and became a ninety pound piece of limp meat rapidly assuming room temperature. All his hopes, all his dreams, all his unfulfilled joys ... gone forever  ... and I got to see it and it's something that never leaves you, something you never forget, no matter how many times you see it. You never ever forget how hard you fought to save someone and then watched them slip away despite your best efforts and your hardest prayers.

It boggles my mind to think of a child's life unfulfilled, of a child's life snuffed out long before its time, when a stupid mistake, an instant of inattention meant the end of everything for you. Not to know the love of your life, the happiness that comes from wedded bliss, not to see your first child born, not to hold that child in your arms and rock it to sleep at night knowing that it is defenseless and depends solely on you for protection and support. What must it be like not to ever be able to come home to a happy family, not to be there for your wife, your children, and not to walk your daughter down the isle of the church at her wedding, not to ever live long enough to see your grandchildren and possibly great grand children. That poor kid would never see any of that. He'd never hear next month's popular song, never see next year's blockbuster movie or play the next really big video game. Stuff like that makes me sad, it really frosts my jaded soul because I can't imagine the tremendous loss, the tremendous pain and the tremendous emptiness that one child's passing has brought not only to his family and friend, but to the world. I guess you have to be a parent to even begin to feel some of the pain and suffering that his parents are going through. If you don't have a child of your own, you can't even get close to guessing what the loss of a son or daughter is like. You can't.  You just can’t.  It’s impossible.


A part-time security job at NASA…. versus my part-time security job at the ER.  I think there’s merit to your suggestion and it would certainly be better than what I have now.  You can call me a “nerd” but I’ve always been fascinated by the space program and it might really be a super delicious intellectual treat to get a job down at NASA and work at Stennis (since I would be around people more along the lines of those I consider to be my educational and intellectual peers).  

Oh, my, yes!  

Working for NASA would definitely be a walk in the park compared to what I'm used to. Why, just think of the security clearances I would go through and the areas I would have access to. Think of the sites and sights and sounds that I would experience, stuff like watching the space shuttle engines and other types of rocket engines being tested down range in full power live fire test runs. Now that's the kind of "American Thunder" I want to hear, not the sound of that irrigation pump you laughingly call an "engine" belching and stuttering while it desperately tries to stay alive from crank rotation to crank rotation.

Thank you for the idea of putting my application in and seeking part-time work at the Stennis Space Center!  I may indeed check to see if NASA has any job openings and soon because Lord knows, I've seen enough human misery in my five years to fill ten people's lives with and still have a good bit left over.

Oh, and I tell you what! 

If I do get lucky enough to get hired on down there, I’ll be sure to put in a good word for you as well; after all, I feel confident that NASA would be interested in keeping a spare monkey around to shoot off into space and given your qualifications, you’re a surefire shoe-in for the position!

“What I found most amusing are the pictures of you sitting on a bike that barely supports your body and of course the black leather jacket and black dingo boots. It must really piss you off Honda doesn’t make a RR jacket for you to promote. Having to constantly defend your choice in style or lack of one. I can see where your attitude comes from. I think I’ve seen it in Wal-Mart.”

You shop at Wal-Mart?  Isn't Wal-Mart just a little pricey for your household income, Al or do you and your wife supplement your meager welfare stipend by donating plasma regularly and using the services of a reputable title pawn agent to borrow money against the value of your beat up old El Camino?  Why, I would have thought that someone of your minor social standing, your low educational background, poor breeding and obviously undiscerning tastes would have felt more at home buying their consumer goods and groceries at K-Mart, Fred’s, Bill’s Dollar Store, or perhaps even making a day long adventure out of shopping and digging through the clothes racks and item bins at Hudson’s Salvage with your wife and inlaws.  At least, that’s where I see most of the people in town who have HD logos on their cars and trucks, who wear the OCC and HD logo clothes, who sport the HD logo tattoo on their skinny needle track littered arms and who ride the ramshackle redneck scooters that carry the same hick logo. I’m sure that when you frequent these fine consumer establishments that cater to your social class (or rather your apparent lack thereof) that they don’t even look twice when you whip that EBT card out of your HD leathers in order to pay for your groceries with.  You see, you're not fooling them either.

A Honda RR jacket?  Why would I want a Honda jacket?  I pledge no allegiance to Honda. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve ever looked for a Honda RR jacket and even if they made one, I doubt I would wear it since if I ever switched bikes, wearing a Honda RR jacket on something like a Suzuki GSX-R would look out of place and probably draw the ridicule of my peers. I really don’t care for a jacket with the Honda logo on it, call it brand apathy, the exact opposite of what you suffer from. The Joe Rocket jacket fits just fine, just like my bike does, much to your chagrin and the best thing is, with the Joe Rocket jacket, I can ride a Honda, a Yamaha, a Suzuki, a Kawasaki, a Ducati, a Buell or a Harley and it makes no difference because the jacket matches each of the bikes and it isn't logo festooned for just one make or model. I like the Joe Rocket jacket because the logos are subdued and not readily apparent. Now, if you were to do something like wear HD chaps and ride a Honda, yeah, I'm sure that people would laugh at you behind your back and make fun of you to your face, if given the chance. They'd think (and rightfully so) that you were just a "Harley want-to-be."

As for bike size, for me, it’s a David and Goliath thing. Not only am I shaming the local Harley owners each and every day that I ride my uncomfortable, little buzzy 600cc Jap crap bike and they do not ride their big, loud, comfortable American sofas, but I’m doing it with half the displacement and half or less the claimed weight. I'm doing it every day in all kinds of weather and temperatures. While I’m out there, rain or shine, riding my little $8500 “rice burner” their $24,000 Harleys are sitting covered up in their garages waiting for just the "right" conditions to ride (like a crowd of people to go "ooooh!" and "aaaahhh!"). The CBR600RR is lightweight and very nimble, it rides smooth and has plenty of power to it from idle to the 15,000 rpm redline. I have taken perhaps the most uncomfortable model of 600cc super sport bike produced in the world, turning it into a daily rider and long distance commuter. I don’t need 750cc or 1000cc to best you, Al. A 600cc import bike will outperform the largest, most powerful Harley made and it will do it for a quarter of the price. I don’t need anything bigger than 600cc to hand you your ass in every aspect of the performance, handling, braking and riding regime.

As for you owning a big bike, I can understand your need to supplement your limited amount of natural masculinity with a giant, flashy motorcycle that makes a lot of noise, turns the heads of the indolent sheep as you ride by and basically does nothing more than draw attention to you by saying

“Hey!  Look at me!  I own a Harley Davidson!  I am someone!  I am better than you because I paid a lot for this bike!  I'm a real American and you're not!  Listen to the manly sound my poorly engineered engine makes when I grab the volume control knob, sorry, the throttle.  Potato!  Potato!  Potato!” 

Please don't ever kid yourself by thinking that your engine is powerful, well designed or well made.  It is none of those things and it never will be, no matter how much money you throw at it.  Sure, Harleys can be made to go faster but then that’s kind of like plumbing a turd for nitrous.  There are better ways to spend your money and if you want to go faster, it’s best not to start out with a pile of refried shit to begin with.

You are a size queen, Al. Artificially big on the outside but oh so naturally tiny on the inside.  You have to have a big, flashy bike that is loud and gaudy because without it, no one would ever notice you.  You are just another sheep in the flock.  Without your Harley, you are nothing and that is a reality you can't admit to let alone live with.  Your bike defines you, you do not define your bike but then that's what you signed up for when you bought a life instead of created one for your own self. 

Oh, for what it’s worth (and the irony fairy stops by again to say HUA!), you should remember that I’m not the one on the Harley, wearing Harley matched leathers telling someone else that it must really make them mad that they can’t find a Honda jacket to match their Honda bike. After all, wasn’t it you who wore Harley Davidson leathers while you rode your Honda?  Did you ever think that hypocrisy could be so wonderfully delicious, Al?  Bon appetite!

“I really don’t care what you ride, it looks pretty ugly to me, and very uncomfortable.”

There is an old adage that says “you’re only as smart as the most complicated thing you can operate.” I’ll understand if my high tech bike positively frightens you with all of its powerful computer controlled internal combustion magic, its cutting edge frame, its liberal use of alloys that you probably can't even spell correctly and its eyeball liquefying performance.  Yes, I understand why you own a Harley. It fits you, both physically and mentally.  Technology isn’t for sissies, for those who can’t handle deep thought and forward thinking, for those without their own personalities or imaginations, for those who can't understand that the world has moved ahead since 1959, they also make Harleys. Think of a Harley as a crutch, not a motorcycle. A Harley is used to prop shallow, intellectually weak people up and make them steady where they could not be so on their own.

“A bike to me is not about laying down and pulling my neck up over my handle bars, but again, to each his own.”

Laying down and pulling your neck up over the handlebars is the classic position that the Harley Davidson dealer tells you to assume right after you sign all of the paper work but before you ride your new bike off the showroom floor. Of course, you probably also hear the phrase “squeal like a pig, boy!” and "you sure do got a pretty mouth" said a few times for good measure.  Those phrases will invariably signal your first of many sore asses to come from owning and riding a Harley Davidson.

You have no experience with sport bikes (not being physically or intellectually capable of riding one) so I will understand your lack of understanding in regard to sport bike ergonomics (that's a big word for "riding position" and not to be confused with "economics" which is how money works). I ride in an upright position, Al. Maybe canted a little more forward than you but I certainly don’t spend my time laying down and sticking my head over the handle bars (namely because I don’t have handlebars, I have clip ons…). All riders, whether on Harleys or Hayabusas, lean over the tank and keep their head down to go faster. That's just simple aerodynamics (and we'll touch on simple aerodynamics again, later). Cowboys in the Wild West used to ride just like that when going fast on horses (and trying not to get shot or filled up with arrows like a pin cushion), bikers do it today to create the least amount of wind drag as well as to steady their fire breathing horses on take off and down the drag strip / race track. Leaning over the clip-ons at the track tends to put weight on the front end and when you have an excess of power and a shortage of weight (as opposed to your typical Harley's shortage of power and excess of weight), then fast take offs down the drag strip tend to bring the front end up off of the ground. It's bad on a 400 pound bike with 115 horsepower, but it's much, much worse on a 400 pound bike with 180 horsepower. I’ve seen plenty of Harley owners at the drag strip lean forward on their handlebars, lie down on the tank and brace their selves for launch, then maintain that position down the quarter mile (but there's only so much you can do to reduce your aerodynamic profile and make air flow better over those tremendous love handles and bushy sideburns). It’s a performance thing, Al, you wouldn’t understand. Historically, high performance motorcycles are to Harley Davidson what astronomy was to Helen Keller (and both met with about the same success in their endeavors).

Go ahead and ride your self propelled Lazy-Boy recliner, Al. I’ll ride my 600 sport bike and get just as much enjoyment out of it, probably more because I ride it more often (like nearly 80 miles to work and back every day). Motorcycling is about getting away from it all and when you carry it all with you, like you mentioned above, you defeat the whole purpose, the core essence of motorcycling. Motorcycling is an escape, man and machine against Nature. One saddle bag is one saddle bag too many, IMHO, for anything other than long distance, out of state riding. If you’re going to carry that much stuff with you when you ride, you really should just sell your Harley, get a small pop-up camper and pull it behind something highly fuel efficient like a Ford Escort.

The only differences that you would really notice in switching from your Harley to a Ford Escort and pulling a small camper behind it would be that the total vehicle weight would go down from what you were used to, you’d have a larger gas tank (you wouldn’t have to stop so often for gas) and you would have a door on each side and a roof over your head so you wouldn’t need that rain suit. Performance wise, you might even pick up a whole second or two in the quarter mile, and that includes the fact that you would be towing the trailer when you dropped the hammer.

What's that you ask? 

Silly boy! 

Of course you can still wear your HD chaps when you drive your Ford Escort!  After all, you wore them when you owned your Honda so I don't see any real difference this time around either.  You still get to be the Harley-want-to-be that you always were, that will never change no matter what you ride or drive.  Why, you can even get a HD tag for the front bumper, HD decals for the side and rear window, and a HD bar and shield logo trailer hitch protector. You'll probably still get as many laughs from other riders and drivers as you did when you proudly wore your HD chaps and rode around on your Honda but you should be used to that by now, the incessant ridicule, I mean. It's what smart people do to stupid people like you; make fun of you. It's a hobby, of sorts, and a long standing tradition if history has anything to show us.

“I would love to take you on a road trip. I’d even stop with you to gas up every 100 miles.”

Every 190 miles, Al. I get pretty good mileage with my little 115 horsepower, digitally fuel injected Honda CBR600RR, it comes from having a small engine and light weight matched to aerodynamics and superior fuel management. Four things your Harley just doesn’t have going for it.

Oh, and I have just two rules of the road for riding with you and your big Harley. On the straight away stretches, I call trail and ride behind you. On the curves, I pull lead and ride in front of you. That may seem like a strange set of requests but here is my justification for asking.

Remember when I said that we would again touch on simple aerodynamics?  Well, it is time to visit the land of aerospace engineering, Al. Let me try to bring this concept down to a level you can understand. Since you own a Harley, you are therefore a member of the lowest common denominator in society (LCD) and as such, you are probably, by default, a diehard NASCAR fan (a veritable LCD super electromagnet if ever there was one). Perhaps you’ve heard of a term called “drafting?”


"Drafting" is not a way for the armed forces to fill their ranks with hillbilly trailer park cannon fodder like you and "drafting" is not a way to draw up highly complex mechanical plans for your deer stand on a design table. Drafting is simply the act of letting a large vehicle in front of you push through the wind and reduce aerodynamic resistance for any vehicle following directly behind it. Basically, one object "busts" up the air in front of another object and therefore reduces the atmospheric stress and disturbance on the trailing object, improving air flow and reducing the power and fuel required for the second object to penetrate the same amount of air space at similar velocities. NASCAR drivers (NOTE- I refuse to call them “racers” because there is no “racing” in NASCAR, it's just a bunch of ad wearing tobacco dipping, shine guzzling inbred rednecks driving bright colored, ad slathered internal combustion powered rolling billboards while going counterclockwise in a big circle for hours on end all to the amusement of the ignorant masses) use this technique to stretch out their limited fuel supplies at high speed. I intend to use the same simple aerodynamic technique when I ride with you.


Well, I figure if I’ve got something in front of me which has the aerodynamic profile of a sheet of plywood turned sideways and that sheet of plywood is moving along the highway at a pretty good clip, I can really benefit from drafting behind you. Doing so, I should notice a marked increase in gas mileage and fuel economy, thus allowing you and I to both travel around the same amount of miles between refueling. I mean, it's not like I have to worry about getting caught in your jet wash or anything, now is it?  The real trick is going to be staying close enough to you to get the most benefit of the draft while still retaining an effective safety margin where I can have enough room to quickly react and maneuver in order to avoid the odd / random part that falls off of your bike from time to time.

Second, when it comes to curvy roads, I will take the lead as I simply refuse to get behind something as big and unwieldy as your Harley on the twisties. I've seen too many sofa drivers out at Red Bluff to ever be fool enough to follow hind rather than pull lead. Again, the basic operation of a motorcycle requires that you have some amount of forward speed in order to maintain your upright balance and I don't want to spend all day dragging my boots on the pavement, slowly scissoring back and forth behind your tubby ass just to keep my bike from falling over at the three to five miles an hour speed that we would average in the curves. Honestly, I hate the sound that my engine makes at any speed below five miles an hour, a CBR was never designed to ride long periods of time going that slow and my engine sounds like a wet cement truck with a full load when it's forced to clutch dance just to stay alive at anything below five miles an hour. I'd also get tired of the constant honking of the motorists behind me as we all waited on you to slowly boot scoot walk your Harley around the sharper corners and loop backs. A passage from the Bible reads (and I paraphrase) “it is harder for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle.” Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what an ancient terminology is referring to, the "eye of a needle" is not the literal eye of a needle, but rather a small passageway into the city, used by people, not pack animals or wagons. Taking a camel through a city's "eye of the needle" was an extremely difficult task and usually tied up the whole passageway, angering those people who were coming and going about their business. I think a modern translation might be “it is harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven than it is for a Harley to travel a curvy road.”

Oh, stop worrying, Al…

I won't run off and leave you!  I’ll just pull over, stop, and wait for you when the road straightens back out again. When you finally get out of the big, scary curves, you’ll be relieved to see my little Honda CBR600RR parked on the side of the road and me enjoying reading a good science fiction paperback. Depending on your skill in negotiating the curves on your Harley, I may have the chance to get quite a few chapters read while waiting on you, if not outright finish my book and move on to the next paperback that I brought along for our long trip. Once again, I'd be happy to share them with you but alas, the kind of books that I read are full of words and difficult concepts to understand at your level of education, and they have very few, if any, big pretty pictures.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to pack some crayons and activity books to keep you entertained.  Who knows, all that riding in the curves may just finally teach you how to color inside the lines.

“I’d even let you borrow a set of leathers when your ass froze and offer my condolences to your back after a 1000 mile ride.”

Ok, I have to ask because I'm curious…  

Do you custom order your leathers and have them special made or do you buy them off the rack?  I would think that you would have to custom order your riding gear since it must be a real step-bitch to find a set of leathers off the rack which are a size extra fat in the ass. Needless to say, your leathers wouldn’t fit me; if I wore them, I’d probably end up looking like "Rocky" the Flying Squirrel (from the Bullwinkle and Rocky show). Thank you, my brother, for the endearing and kind offer of the leathers off of your back but I’m afraid that I’ll have to pass for aesthetic, fashion and safety reasons. After all, if I were to wear your set of borrowed leathers, I might find myself in a bit of trouble fairly quick as the CBR's speedometer edged past 70mph. One good gust of wind, lacking the tall and wide wind screen protection that you have, could inflate the leathers that I borrowed from you and I would find myself parasailing right off the back of my beloved Honda.

I also wish to thank you for your concern over the condition of my back after a 1000 mile journey but again, your concerns are ill-warranted. After a thousand mile trip (one way) on my Honda CBR600RR, I’d just step off my sport bike, straighten up, let all my vertebrae slip back into place and say "Brother, I am going to sleep well tonight!” You, on the other hand, after a thousand miles on a Harley, would be begging me, with tears running down your dust caked cheeks (the top cheeks, not the bottom ones though those would probably be crying and dust covered as well), for me to ride over to the local corner consumer drugstore and buy you some Preparation H and some Asorbine Junior, each in the strongest formula available without a doctor's prescription.

“Or does your wife follow you on the exhausting ride to work with a rain suit, so her Darth Vader doesn’t rust.”

Speaking of wives who follow behind when we ride... I was wondering how you heard your wife snore over the roar of your Harley?  Which is louder?  How do you differentiate the sound of your wife snoring and your Harley clipping along at speed?  I think there would be almost no discernible difference between the two but perhaps there's a tone or pitch difference that allows you to recognize one annoyingly loud rumble over the other.  Now, if you can tell the difference between your wife snoring like a constipated grizzly bear and the sound of your irrigation pump trying to puke its guts out then those must be some really good helmet speakers you have there!  Did you get them at Radio Shack or order them out of J.C. Whitney?  Why, I bet the Kraco 8 track AM / FM radio that you hack-sawed and duct-taped into the fairing of your Road King really fills those speakers with some open-road joy. The overall cacophony must truly combine into a mind numbing, teeth rattling, skull vibrating aural assault the likes of which even Wagner would have gotten wood over.

“I just noticed you put over 5k on your toy bike, Wow.. a real rider huh. I do that in 2 months.”

Well, Al, there are owners and there are riders. You claim that you ride five thousand miles in two months but you have to realize that riding isn't the same thing as towing. You also freely admit that you don’t ride to work on your bike because of the simple fact that you’d get creamed on anything other than a long straight away with little or no traffic to get in your way. Putting a full dresser Harley into heavy stop and go city traffic is like entering a ten wheeled dump truck into the Daytona 500.

Al, you're no rider, you're just an owner and a sad and rather ridiculous one at that.

When you say that you put five thousand miles on your bike in two months time, is that five thousand actual miles on your bike, wear and tear on the tires on the cycle or are you counting the miles that your bike rides around on its trailer, towed behind your pickup truck?  You may put five thousand miles on your bike’s trailer in two months, going to shows and rallies where you can unload your bike, primp and pose, then ride around a few hours, brag to everyone that will listen to you that you're a real hardcore biker and that you brought (not rode, brought) your Harley from a far away city, but I doubt you actually ride your Harley five thousand miles in two months.  If you do, then you definitely have some masochist issues to resolve.

There’s a big difference between owning a Harley and actually riding it. I laughed one day at the perfect (if impromptu) example of the real difference between a Harley owner and an import rider. I was sitting in my office, it had been a week of bad weather and my bike showed clear signs of having been ridden in the rain for many, many miles over the past several days. The NightTrain owner came up to me and asked “When are you going to wash that rice burner out there?” I simply replied that at least my rice burner was parked out there. I then asked him where his NightTrain was on a beautiful, warm summer day with blue sky, no clouds and no chance of rain?  He walked off and didn’t say a word.  I would think that a Harley NightTrain would get better mileage than his car but I guess maybe not... Maybe it’s the investment angle, you know, if he rides his Harley too much it starts to lose its value (especially if parts start to fall off along the way to work and he either can’t find them and put them back on or he can’t afford to replace them). That’s the difference between a Harley “owner” and an import “rider.” I actually ride my bike whereas guys like you just own their bikes and brag about the fact every chance you get to anyone who will listen (and to a lot who won’t but probably can’t get away …).

“You need a scooter and a plastic helmet a cape and mask and little leather boots the wrestlers wear I’m sure your second favorite entertainment pastime besides the fantasy that you ride a motorcycle. “

Do you know what you need, Al?  No. No, not chemical therapy and at-home self-applied shock treatment using a set of rusty old jumper cables and a Sears DieHard battery (but that would be a good idea). No, what you need, Al, is to put down all of these quasi-homoerotic fantasies you are having about me and get a life. Really, you need a life.  A life of your very own, Al!  However, since your parents didn’t see fit to order you from God with any shred of imagination or creativity (if they ordered you at all), then I guess Willie G. and his “artists” will just have to step in and do what God did not and that is make you complete from the feet up. So far, it looks like they’ve done a pretty shitty job but I’m sure as you continue to throw money in their direction, you’ll slowly but surely improve. The question is, how much are you worth and how much are you willing to spend?  You may already be at the point of diminishing marginal returns, that is, you may already be throwing good money after bad. In that case, I’m afraid that you're simply out of luck.

“You’re a different kind of rider, a short run, Zoom Zoom guy, stay there. I didn’t choose the Zoom Zoom, you did. I prefer to ride comfortable, safe and in style.”

You sure do put a heavy emphasis on style, Al, (a very heavy emphasis on style) followed almost right behind by comfort. To you, it really isn't important that you ride, it's more important how you look when you ride and to make damn sure that people know what you ride when you ride it. I ride, you pose.  To me, riding gets me to a destination, for you it's your own personal popularity parade.  You wear the bar and shield logo on everything you can, I don't have the first piece of clothing or decal with the Honda logo (or any other logo for that matter) on it. Harley Davidson would be number one in America, if every person driving a vehicle with a HD decal on it also had a HD in their garage at home. HD is trendy, it's sugar coated pop culture at its finest, all fluff, no substance. That's why you see cars and trucks with the HD logo on them while the owners of those vehicles don't even own a motorcycle, let alone a Harley!  People like you are nothing more than hand puppets for old Willie G. He's got his left arm up your rectum all the way to his elbow and he's using the right hand on the other arm to help himself to the contents of  the wallet in your back pocket. You pretend to ride thinking that your once a month trip on your bike is actually "motorcycling" or the fact that you pilot a couch down some long straight road for hours on end, enjoying the comfort of your bike, the style of your chosen make-believe life all the while your wife is behind you, snoring like a constipated grizzly bear because she's bored out of her mind. You don't ride. What you do once a month isn't motorcycle riding, it's more akin to RV'ing. You're a Harley owner, Al, you're not a Harley rider. Don't ever forget the distinction between the two as it separates your kind (who I despise) from the Harley riders, a few of whom I have actually have some respect for.


Who are you trying to kid, "Mr. I-don’t-ride-my-bike-to-work"?  The only time you're "safe" on your bike is when it's parked at Shoney's and you're busy trying to find your AARP card in your wallet on a chain or when your bike is secured up on its trailer, reigning proudly from its throne.  Don't worry, though. I understand why you don't ride your Harley to work every single day like I do with my little CBR600RR; why, the fee for the wide load permits alone for transporting that behemoth of yours back and forth daily on city streets would get prohibitively expensive in a very short time!

“If you read, and I am sure you do, visit any of the motorcycle sheets and read the reviews. They have to piss you off when each one picks the Harley over the Jap bikes for road trips, from visibility to comfort to gas mileage to turning radius to storage and breaking power.”

No, it doesn't piss me off because Harley Davidson is still number two in their own country of origin, giving it up to first place Honda (Harley will never be number one and may soon fall to number three with no hope of ever rising again short of another divine miracle where everyone else in the world, for some unknown reason, just stops making motorcycles all together). If everyone was picking Harley Davidson, then they would be number one not only in their own country but also the world.  However, “everyone” isn’t picking Harley Davidson so your logic is not only flawed, it is simply propaganda spread by The Motor Company and its pious little shallow minded acolytes.

Hmmm.  You say that the Harley Davidson motorcycles all rated higher than the imports on both "storage" and "breaking power."  That really doesn't surprise me, Al. When you refer to "storage" you must mean the large percentage of time that a particular model of Harley Davidson motorcycle will spend in a non-ridden condition, kept safely covered under a tarp in some posh corner of a suburban garage or under a sheet of plastic behind the double-wide. I was also completely unaware that motorcycles were rated on “breaking” power but I guess if any motorcycle by any manufacturer could be rated really high in that particular category, it would have to be some of the motorcycles produced by Harley Davidson, hands down.

Why do I ride a sport bike?  That’s a fairly easy question to answer, Al. After all, no one ever looked at any of my sport bikes and said “Hey!  Nice Harley!”  The reason I ride a sport bike is because what I ride cannot ever be mistaken for something made in Milwaukee and that's one of the best reasons for ever owning and riding a sport bike; it sets you apart from the The Flock.

“In spite of the technical breakthroughs the japs make, they all want Harley’s market share.”

You mean that Honda, the number one retailer of motorcycles in America, wants to be like Harley Davidson, the number two retailer of motorcycles in America?  That doesn’t make a lot of sense, Al, now does it?  If Honda keeps expanding like it has, Harley won't have to worry about making motorcycles because they're going to have to start worrying about making payments on their doublewides. If any motorcycle company wants a share of another motorcycle company's market share, it is Harley who wants Honda's market share, not vice versa. Harley Davidson only builds road bikes and nothing else while Honda builds everything, from all types of motorcycles to all types of cars, even full size trucks, off road vehicles and marine craft. Honda also builds power tools, power equipment and even lawn mowers (thus proving that Honda really can build a better lawn mower than Milwaukee). Harley Davidson doesn't have a chance in hell of ever catching Honda let alone surpassing them. Hell, Honda builds its own pickup trucks, if Harley Davidson needs a pickup truck built, they have to call Ford to do the work for them.

Oh, and I wouldn’t bank too heavily on Harley’s “market share.” Harley's outrageous success has been the proverbial flash in the pan, it's based on a short term windfall from a generation that is getting too old to ride, a generation that was looking for the only thing that Harley could produce; expensive memories of a time long ago. The generation behind the Baby Boomers is going to catch Harley Davidson with their overalls down (again). Willie G. and his core group of academy trained fashion artists are going to find that it’s really hard to run for the hills a second time with one hand holding their beret on their heads and the other hand trying to pull their bunched up overalls from around their ankles.

“Harley leads the industry in the big-ticket items, the Highway machine, the King. Sure Honda makes one and BMW makes one, both nice, both feature-heavy, from electric stands to air conditioning. Both are trying to get a slice of a standard Harley has set.”

As for leading the industry, the only thing that Harley Davidson leads the industry in is fashionable obsolescence, a type of style that caters to rednecks and high dollar junk (not all of it related to motorcycles). Honda and BMW are not "trying" to get a slice of the "standard" that Harley has set so much as they are "succeeding" in correcting the mistakes that Harley has produced and they are gaining market share in greater percentages than even you would like to admit. Harley leads the industry in obsolescence and decadence, Harley Davidson leads the industry in ridiculousness. No other manufacturer prostitutes their logo on so many things that have nothing at all to do with motorcycling like Harley Davidson does. Perhaps if they built a better product, they wouldn’t need to make up the difference on the bottom line by being the Martha Stewart of mobile home decor.

Electric stands and air conditioning?  On a motorcycle…?  Oh, my!  What's coming next, Al?  A sunroof and power windows?!  Is it any wonder why sport bike riders like me make fun of people like you on your sputtering, rumbling leather covered sofas!  Somewhere, some how, the Epicureans really took over the act of motorcycling and it's been going down hill ever since...  





Bah.  A real motorcycle rider craves not these things, Al.

I'm curious as to what "standards" Harley Davidson has set?  Exactly what "standards" are you referring to, Al? 

Yes, Al, you are correct.  Harley Davidson has many "standards," none of which are enviable or worthy of being copied and put into practice by other motorcycle manufacturers. Harley’s “standards” exist not as enviable goals to be surpassed but rather as harsh lessons to be learned by other manufacturers of how not to build motorcycles, how not to compete professionally, how not to market your product and how not to manage a motorcycle company (and also how not to manage a world class race team).

“You seem to implode at the idea of Harley not being interested in the kiddies market of race toys. Those kiddies grow up and want real bikes, maybe you will grow up one day, but from the shape of that forehead, I think we have found the missing link.”

Why am I mad at Harley Davidson?  There couldn't be a simpler reason; competition.  Competition improves the breed. You need performance to compete and in order to continually compete, your designs have to evolve. Harley does not engage in direct competition, other than among its own makes (kind of like racing your sister on her Schwinn bike to the end of the street and back every year instead of training up and building the best racing bike that you can then choosing to go up against Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France to see what you’re made of). I'm mad at the fact that Harley Davidson does not compete with the rest of the world. Competition improves the breed. Without competition, you stagnate. Harley has not only stagnated, when it comes to mechanical engineering, they've started inbreeding. Harley doesn't make "new" models, they just swap parts from one bike to another and call it a "new" model. That's not engineering, Al, it's a redneck version of Legos.

A true American sport bike doesn't exist and probably never will. Buell can't give it to us, all of his designs are simply ungainly hybrids consisting of beautiful frames powered by shitty motors. Maybe Victory will step up and give us something to be proud of, there's always the dim hope there but I'm not holding my breath. There is a very good reason why you don’t see a Harley sport bike and that is because Milwaukee has neither the technology base nor the brains and experience to build something like a CBR600RR. That says something (and it isn’t good) about the state of motorcycle manufacturing in this country, a country that once put Americans on the Moon (a technological feat unduplicated even today by any other country) but is unable to compete with the rest of the world in producing a contemporary, competitive, world class sport bike. We can build rockets to take us to the moon but we can't build a decent fast motorcycle. A sport bike isn’t a “kiddie” bike and it isn’t a “kiddie” market, Al. It's a world market, a market far bigger than Harley Davidson and it's a market that they not only cannot compete in, they don't even have the machinery to enter.

Whether you like it or not, the three little pigs at Harley Davidson have built a house of straw and it is only sheer good luck and the disposable income of an entire generation of idiots, mixed with the expert myth and market spin of HD’s juggernaut advertising department, that the company has (barely) survived a hundred years (though fifty of those years are less than stellar compared to the first fifty years of the company). I doubt that Harley Davidson will be around another hundred years because you see, when the Baby Boomers die out, so does Harley Davidson’s forward momentum and they’ll find that instead of reaching the top of the mountain of success like they thought that they did that they only got far enough up the side for it to really hurt when they fall all the way back down again. Already, the long waiting lines for bikes are gone and new bikes are being left on the show room floors unsold for long periods of time, longer than the hillbillies are used to or are comfortable with.

Lawyers can’t save Harley Davidson from their second death, only new designs, new research, and the attitude that Harley not only has to catch up to the world (overcoming five decades of backsliding) but also that it has to actually become the number one motorcycle first in America and then in the world and they're going to have to do it in fact, not just word and marketing campaign. Harley is going to have to completely reinvent itself and move at warp speed 180 degrees from the direction that they are now heading. They are going to have to do something that they have never been able to do before, become proactive while they struggle under a history of reactive management and corporate beliefs. Harley Davidson is a reactive company, always has been, always will be unless they lose the old guard and get some fresh talent, some deep thinkers and some forward movers in on the top level. Harley is reactive, they defend their position aggressively and they advance only when they have to, when it is impossible not to. No war was ever won by defending the only foxhole you ever dug but Harley believes that is not only the way to fight, but that is their strategic corporate battle plan as well. This way of thinking is the key to their impending doom, as a company.

The gold rush is over, Al, and Harley is headed for a financial bust of Old Testament proportions most Rikki Tikk. I just hope that I’m around to see it when it happens because I assure you, I will drink a hearty toast of good riddance to bad rubbish. Maybe Harley Davidson will follow its core customers into the golden age and survive not by making motorcycles, but by continuing to clothe the Baby Boomers in officially licensed and endorsed lifestyle accessories like genuine bar and shield logo emblazoned Depends undergarments. I hope not… seeing a bunch of electric wheelchairs (made artificially louder and tuned for sound, not power), trapped out in American flags and leather tassels, fringe and saddlebags, all thundering up and down the halls of nursing homes, shaking the windows of the ICU unit and the oxygen tents is probably not a pretty or dignified end to an otherwise golden life. And let’s not forget all of those tattoos, soon to be on sixty and seventy year old flaps of skin hanging loose from the bone. The once proud parade of walking billboards is going to look like severe abuse at a nursing home, tattoos are going to be mistaken for bruises at anything greater than five feet away. Sad, but Harley once made golf carts, I’m sure they can move into the electric increased mobility wheelchair business quite easily, once people stop buying their motorcycles. Imagine all the accessories that the Geritol Generation can look forward to!  Harley Davidson bar and shield embossed chrome bedpans and Custom Deluxe Heritage Softtail Classic assisted mobility walkers with the optional Screaming Eagle high speed roller casters and leather grips with tassels! 

The Hillbillies In Charge (HICs) at Harley Davidson are getting very concerned, Al, very concerned because the big bad wolf of entropy is finally looming into view on the horizon (once more) and the house of straw that the little pigs have constructed isn’t going to stand up to all of his huffing and puffing this time around. Harley Davidson built a house of straw once before, it almost fell in on them and the big bad wolf almost had something tasty to eat. Harley Davidson got a second chance and what did they do with their reprieve from Fate?  Willie G. and his twelve disciples built a two story house of straw, imposed a strict dress code and put a snazzy Jacuzzi on the roof.

“And one more thing, lose the Adolph mustache, if you can’t grow one shave or is the idea to look worst (worse) then (than) you already do?”

My “Adolph mustache” as you laughingly refer to it is part of a full beard, closely cropped. You can’t really see the rest of my beard since I wear a full face helmet, a safety article that is almost completely banned from use by your pagan religion's covenants of approved style and appearance (which often take precedence over something as mundane as safety). If I had my helmet's breath deflector installed, you wouldn't even be able to see my mustache, but I assure you that what you see pictured is not some simple mustache but rather just one part of a full, close cropped beard. I keep my hair and my beard close cropped so that the crack heads and hillbillies can’t grab a handful of hair and use it like the bridle on a horse to control me when we both go down for a dust roll. Here is a picture of me without my full face helmet, just to clear up any misunderstanding on your part regarding my facial hair. I can understand the mistake, after all, you being a Harley owner, are not familiar with anything other than a doo-rag and one of those Tupperware bowls with a chin strap that you laughingly refer to as a "helmet" (and you even failed a little while ago to recognize a doo-rag / bandanna!).  Since most of my head is covered up by my helmet, and only a small part of my beard sees daylight, I know how you might have been misled since you've been taught that appearance is everything and to base your opinions on surface impressions only.  I thank you for your opinion on fashion or grooming tips but really, if I had wanted to look just like you, I'd buy my entire wardrobe out of a B&D mail order catalog, not bathe for a week then go to Fantastic Sam's and ask for a mullet weave.

Now, since we are on the subject of physical appearances, I believe it is time to discuss your incessant fixation with "Barney Fife" (which you have made references to several times in your argument). Here, let's compare some images, shall we?

"Barney Fife"
"The Andy Griffith Show"

Christopher T. Shields
your host, "Black Echo"

Hasbro's Action Team "G. I. Joe"
toy figure, circa 1970s

No, Al, I don't think I look at all like "Barney Fife" (my nose is bigger and my head is fatter and rounder) as much as I look like the old, twelve inch tall, Hasbro "G. I. Joe" figure from the early 1970's (a treasured childhood toy to be sure and oh so much cooler than Mattel's wimpy Big Jim), right down to the big old blue eyes. Who would have known that I would one day look like my favorite childhood toy!?

That's good news, though because it means that you could go and find one of these classic action figure toys on Ebay, then find some contemporary twelve inch action figure police clothes at the local Toys-R-Us store, dress up the old G. I. Joe doll and voila!  You'd have a Black Echo action figure of your very own, complete with Kung-Fu Grip(tm)!  I would suggest that if you were going for that extra bit of accuracy, you might take a razor and shave closer to the skull on top to represent my naturally receding hairline but then I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to making models, especially with the details of figures and their equipment. Also, I think Joe has more hair than me, I try to keep mine cropped pretty close to my skull, hair, beard and mustache so you might want to get a small trimmer and see if you can crop his fuzz a little closer. Oh well, any way you look at it, having your very own BE action figure would be helluva cool to say the least.  A word of advice though; I wouldn't put it too close to your daughter's Harley Davidson Ken and Harley Davidson Barbie dolls, though, because when you pull the string my doll might say some very mean things that would hurt the other two doll's feelings really bad and make them cry.

"Barney Fife?"  Damn. I wish I had a nickel, just one crummy old tarnished, dented up nickel, for every Harley owning, uneducated, no imagination, zero charisma, stinky leather clad, sub-intellectual ass yo-yo that ever emailed me and compared me to "Barney Fife."  If I did, I would be filthy stinking rich by now. Not only does your reference to "Barney Fife" prove that all Harley owners get their tired old rhetoric from the same source (The Milwaukee Orthodoxy) but also that you couldn't generate an original thought on your own if you had to do so in order to save your life. If you're going to compare me to a pop culture multi-media characterization of a police officer, then I would have to say that while on duty, I act far more like "State Trooper MacIntyre 'Mac' Womack" in SUPER TROOPERS while having the cool outlook, the dark comedy routine and quick, biting wit of "State Trooper Arcot 'Thorny' Ramathorn."

It's an interesting mixture to be sure and generally lets me keep my fellow officers well entertained at the expense of the stupid people like you (which we have to deal with constantly in the line of duty). My antics are well known and always appreciated, my sarcastic wit often brings a little bit of light to even the darkest situations that we have to face.

Yes, you see, not only do I have a thick skin, but I also have an incredible sense of humor and a self-deprecating sense of humor at that. I probably make more fun of myself, on duty and in day to day life, than any of you scooterbillies ever do. After all, if you can't make fun of yourself, you have no right to make fun of other people. There is an old saying; "whoever is without a sense of humor is at the mercy of those who do." 

“The other thing you may want to consider in your diatribe is taxes. Taxes pay your salary, yes, a simple and plain fact of your life. You exist because of taxpayers like myself that make the bulk of your county pay.”

Wrong, wrong, oh so wrong, bubba. I work for FREE which completely invalidates your argument (and subsequently pisses on your little fire faster than Smokey the Bear after drinking two six packs of Old Milwaukee's Best). Sorry to burst your bubble again but since you’ve made assumption out of assumption, you’ve left yourself wide open to trip and fall flat on your face. I exist because I work hard for a living, I don't take handouts from society and I pay my own way. I volunteer my time to my community, using the same equipment, working the same streets and taking the same risks because I feel it is a necessary thing to do.  I don't work for you, Al, or for anyone like you primarily because I have a philosophy of sorts, I don't work for people who are dumber than I am. It's just good business sense and saves you a world of trouble later on.

“On a Jap bike, due to import laws there is not an import tax, just sales taxes on the $6,000 product that you love. Well I’d bet they don’t dent the salary you are paid as an officer, and on a $ 16,000 bike well even a rocket scientist like yourself can see where this is going.”

Do you even know what you are talking about or has your runaway mouth finally jumped timing and shit a gear cog in that soggy gray Grape-nut(tm) that you call a brain?  Great. This is just more of the same tired old cliché "I bought a Harley and all my money went to America while you bought a Honda all of your money went to Japan" type economic bullshit that you would expect from someone who was money rich and mind poor while having had all the economic business experience of a five year old who's lemonade stand went bankrupt.

Now, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that you are angry because I bought a Honda which didn’t generate any appreciable import tax profit for America or my community (but did generate six thousand dollars of sales tax revenue for my community and the owners of the Honda shop who live locally and pay taxes locally). You believe that were I a REAL AMERICAN(tm) (like you) that I would have done the right thing and bought a $16,000 Harley thus generating a full sixteen thousand dollars of sales tax revenue for America and my community. You further infer that I should have had to pay a hefty tax on the import, simply because it was an import, thus you are artificially punishing me for buying a better bike made abroad at a far cheaper price than I can buy a crappier bike made locally. That doesn't make a lot of sense, Al.

What you are saying here is that if I had spent $16,000 rewarding stupidity and ass-backwards engineering by buying a Harley that the taxes generated from that sale would be a lot more than when I spent $6,000 locally. The ten grand difference between buying the import or the Harley would have, in turn, gone a long way in supposedly paying my non-existent, tax payer-paid salary.

So you think that a tariff on imported bikes would be a grand idea... it's been done before, Al. Let me bring you up to speed on some motorcycle history since we've proven that you don't know the first lick about the history of motorcycles. Let's take a magic carpet ride back through the mists of time to the gloomy days of post-AMF / reborn Willie G. captained Harley Davidson, a particularly dark little dark chapter in American motorcycle history. You see, there was indeed an import tariff (which is a type of tax, not a type of law enforcement officer like is commonly pronounced in your neck of the woods) on import bikes, placed there by the US government in order to give Harley a fighting chance to get back on its feet way back in the early 1980's. This tariff ...

"Quick, Martha!  Call the tariff!  I think someone is out in the garage trying to steal my Brand new Custom Mighty Special Deluxe Heritage Edition Soft Tail Ultra Glide Harley Davidson Road King!"

Sorry, it just kind of bubbled out but I needed a break from the dry math. Back on track...

This tariff actually punished the average, hard working American citizen for making the better fiscal choice when it came to buying a motorcycle. The US government, in effect, said "sure HDs are junk, but if you try to buy one of those better made imports, you're going to get slapped with a punishing tax because we think that HD is just keen and you had better buy the piece of crap domestic product first before you even lay eyes on the much better made foreign product or we're going to do things to your wallet that a hillbilly would consider rude."  Harley Davidson motorcycles back then were pieces of junk (and still are) so when Americans turned instead to better built, more reliable, less expensive import bikes, they were unfairly punished with additional taxes on these large displacement import bikes. This Federal government backed meddling of the free market economy financially hurt those Americans who wanted to use their hard earned money to make the better motorcycle choice. The tariff was designed to help Harley Davidson and it did, but at the expense of the average hard working Americans. That is just one example of how supporting Harley Davidson stands for rewarding failure. Harley Davidson does not build a bike that can compete with any other bike made by any other world class manufacturer. As such, they cannot charge the same price for their products that other manufacturers do because Harley's products are inferior. So, how do you make an inferior product superior if you don't do it by advancing its technology?  You tack on something that people are willing to pay for, you add something that people don't have. Style. Image. Sound. Then you charge out the ass for the chance to ride one of your inferior products and voila!  Runaway success fueled by stupid people and their deep pockets. And you want to tax imports to help that?  What are you, nuts?! 

A tax on import bikes would be as unpopular as it was economically stupid and the backlash from other countries would be immediate. When you start punishing a foreign country that you trade with, through taxes and tariffs, for importing their products into your country for sale, chances are that the foreign country that you are punishing will, in turn, place high taxes on your products entering their country for sale. It will soon be tit for tat, as the saying goes and the tariff war can escalate until either one country capitulates and removes the tariffs (due to economic hardship of not being able to sell their products in the foreign country) or trade comes to a screeching halt (worst case scenario).  HD is trying to survive in foreign lands as it is and if America started taxing import bikes (again), the other countries would in turn start taxing American bikes exported to their shores (to make up the cost of sending their bikes to our shores).

Money doesn't grow on trees, Al. For every change you make, for every tax or tariff that you impose, there has to be money to pay for it and there is a finite amount of money in circulation. If you raise taxes, that means less disposable income. If you start restricting the flow of that money, you create problems. Big problems. Taxes and tariffs are paid by the manufacturer, yes, but they are also handed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices on the units being sold. The end result is that the manufacturer doesn't pay those tariffs, not in the long run, the tax payer does. Oh, sure, the higher cost may mean fewer bikes are sold and production goes down, but that's just the market adjusting to the artificial bottleneck that is the result of imposing taxes or tariffs on imports. Less manufacturing means more people out of work, more people out of work means less money in the economy and less money in the economy means higher prices across the board.

I'm sure that if we started taxing import bikes (again) that HD would find that they had a lot of bikes parked overseas in dealer showrooms that were not moving out the door because the extra import tax on those bikes (imposed by the countries that we were taxing over here) made the HD's beyond prohibitively expensive to purchase even more so than they already are. Harley would also find that it's foreign sales would experience a sharp drop and possibly that several of the smaller HD dealerships, new dealerships that were struggling would have to close their doors and vanish in short order. America can't afford to put an import tax on import bikes, the turn around tax from other countries (which pass the burden down to the tax payer and bike buyer) would hurt Harley (and the economy) far more abroad than it would help the economy here. Harley would either have to sell fewer bikes (at the higher cost) or drop their cost (taking less profit) to cover the tariff tacked on to their product in order to sell the same amount of bikes. There's give and take in anything, economics is a highly interesting field but one that I wouldn't want to make a career out of.

Supply and demand. Tax the supply, lower the demand and that equation works on American shores as much as it does on foreign shores. Tax the (Japanese) imports arriving here, the (American) imports arriving over in Japan will be taxed (and possibly taxed even more in order to force the American import tax on Japanese products to be lifted through economic pressure). It's kind of like a staring match between nations and economies that ultimately hurts the citizens more than it does the governments. The first one that blinks loses, but if neither of you blinks, it can get real uncomfortable and real ugly in a short amount of time.

It's simple business sense, Al. I swear that I get so tired of having to teach Economics 101 at a kindergarten level to you idiot scrotum monks. I understand why you own a Harley, I really do…it’s because you not only don’t know the first damn thing about motorcycles, but you also don’t know the value of money or how money works in this country (or the rest of the world).

I'm terribly sorry that my purchase of the exceptionally well made, finely crafted and super powerful 2004 Honda CBR600RR upset you but I really had no choice in the matter because the kind of bike that I wanted, the bike that I was looking for, Harley doesn't make. Now, if Harley could (and would) build a bike as advanced and powerful as the CBR600RR, then I would be riding a Harley sport bike and not a Honda sport bike. However, Harley does not, cannot and will not ever make a bike like the CBR600RR and as I am somewhat of a perfectionist (and won't settle for second best when I have a choice), Honda got my hard earned money and Harley did not. The fact that I got four times the bike for one quarter the price proves that not only am I financially educated, but also that my mind is strong enough to fend off the brainwashing that HD's marketing department churns out. I work hard for my money and I do have a choice on how to spend it. My choice was to spend my money supporting the number one retailer of motorcycles in America, Honda, not the number two retailer of motorcycles in America, Harley Davidson. I don't reward failure, especially when the only R&D that my money will go into if I give it to Harley is for fashion research or maybe how to construct a two story double-wide. If Harley built a real motorcycle, instead of a penis with a kickstand, then Harley Davidson wouldn't need import taxes and protective tariffs to help it stay competitive with the rest of the world, now would it?  If Harley could hold its own against the other nations of the world, it wouldn't have to rely on the government for protection. Harley Davidson is like a mouth breathing fat kid who wants the playground all to himself (but has done nothing to deserve it). The other kids don't want to play with the Fat Boy so he runs and tells his Uncle Sam, whining and crying and finger pointing at the "mean" kids from behind the safety of Uncle Sam's big, protective red, white and blue pants leg. That's what your protective tariff amounts to.

I swear I don’t know what "institution" of "higher learning" you went to, Al, but if I were you, I’d be calling them tomorrow and demanding a full refund of my tuition. It's pretty evident that you didn't learn a damn thing from that trade school that you attended.

“The other thing I would caution you on is your outright predacious attitudes towards those taxpayers, women, and tennis moms, even the dolt that hit you and thank God you are alive to tell the tale.”


Tax payers do pay my salary, Al, but they don't pay me to be a police officer and truth be known, I'm a tax payer myself so some of the money I pay to the government logically comes back to me in my check. I find your logic flawed. Why should I be nice to stupid people?  What does that do but encourage their ridiculous behavior and reinforce their laughable actions? 

News flash:  Being nice to stupid people is tantamount to rewarding failure as it allows them to avoid personal responsibility for their actions, a primary reason why American society is in the condition it is in today.

Somewhere, you have to draw an intellectual line in the sand and if people cross it, you smack them right upside the head, turn them around in place, point them in the right direction and send them packing with a stern rebuke, regardless of if they cry or not. The reason that America is in the condition it is in today is that there is an abundance of flock mentality and a shortage of personal individuality and personal responsibility. We do the things that make the news today because it is never our fault. There is no personal responsibility, everything bad that happens to us is the fault of someone else and there's an army of lawyers willing to support your side of the story (and get you a sizeable cash reward for being a "victim" in the process).

There is a severe shortage of people with strong backbones and powerful, educated minds. Primarily this is due to the massive amount of failure that we have rewarded and success that we have punished through the last few decades. Americans have been systematically dumbed down over the last four decades. Our public education system is a joke. You have to pass kids who fail, you have to do away with incentives for higher achievement in the name of fairness, instead.  We wouldn’t want to hurt the feelings of the dumb kids who never tried (thereby actually making them work harder and learn more), so we take away the title of Valedictorian from the kids who did try and we reward failure by doing away with any incentive at all to achieve.  What do they have to gain by working harder than the bare minimum required?  Nothing at best, or perhaps ridicule by those who never even tried and a lawsuit from the parent of some dumb kid because of how it isn't fair that some smart kid gets an award that her child could never achieve. We level the playing field by making everyone even, not equal, but even. Everyone is supposed to be happy but there is no reward for hard work, no benefit to going the extra mile, do the bare minimum and don't rock the boat. And we wonder why our test scores are so low...

We are now told that a kid's education begins in the classroom, but that is entirely wrong. A child's education begins at home. A school is a place of learning, it is not a daycare and it is not a kindergarten, even if the lesson plans have to be lowered to that standard to get everyone to pass. It amazes me that a set of parents with a troubled child, who can't control the kid at home, somehow erroneously think that a single person, a single teacher, in charge of thirty-five kids at one time in the same room, is going to be able to do (at 1 to 35 odds) what the parents cannot do (at 2 to 1 odds). Education begins at home but when the television set and the CD player is your idea of a babysitter, then you can't blame your child's failure in school on the teacher. You have not given your child the tools necessary to compete in school or against other students intellectually and educationally. Of course, it helps a whole lot if you had those tools yourself when you graduated but that's asking for a lot these days, what with kids having kids. If you graduate stupid people, and they have children, you're setting yourself up for an entire generation of intellectual delinquents and social handouts. Have you noticed how our society has gotten dumber?  Just listen to your typical commercial on the radio or watch a typical commercial on the television and ask yourself afterwards what the education level was that the target market for that product or the target intelligence level for that product was geared towards. Have you ever noticed that there aren't words on a cash register at McDonald's anymore, there are just pictures. Kids behind the counter can't do simple math. They can't read. We are developing multiple generations of human beings who are going to be fit for nothing but menial labor.

Today's society is full of pop culture decadence. Everyone wants to be like someone else, nobody is happy with who they are or what they have. We can't stand our lives so we rush home and watch "reality" shows where someone else is having a better life and we wish we were them. Why bother with originality when you can be a carbon copy of someone else, all you need is money. We are in the position that we are in, socially, as a nation, because people like you are afraid of people like me, you are afraid that you will get your feelings hurt for doing something stupid and you want legal and lawyer protection against that. You want to wear Harley Davidson leathers on your Honda and if someone like me ever laughs at you and says that you're stupid for doing so, you want the government legislated protection to be able to turn around, grab a lawyer and sue me into poverty because you're feelings got hurt (and oh, what a horrible, terrible crime that is...). People like you want to be as stupid as you can be without fear of reprisal or getting your feelings hurt. You want to push the envelope of stupidity and in turn lower the intellectual bar for everyone else and if you get chastised for it, well, it wasn't your fault because you're just a product of your environment. You are a victim. We are in trouble, as a nation and as a society, because it is now un-politically correct to tell someone like you that they are stupid, to tell the truth, to point a finger at someone and go "you're wrong."  No one is wrong anymore because someone else is wrong and we're all just victims. No wonder our country is stagnating, socially, mentally and morally. No wonder that Harley Davidson is a success.

People like you, Al, are what is wrong with America today. Thin skinned, liberal minded pansies who don’t want to rock the boat, who don’t want to have an original thought or action of their own and who don’t know the first thing about being an American. You want to be for something without actually doing anything about it.  You're behind anything as long as you don't have to break a sweat.  You support failure. You pat it on the head, give it a hand out, dress it up in a pretty package, make sure it doesn't get its feelings hurt and you wholeheartedly encourage it to reproduce as often as it wants to.

Oh, yeah, and the guy who hit me was a complete and utter fucking idiot with no excuse for what he did other than he was a dumb ass who wasn't paying attention at all when he was behind the wheel of a two ton sledge hammer barreling along in heavy traffic. He confirmed that fact when he hopped out of his car and proudly told me that he used to ride a Honda CBR Hurricane 1000 but due to stupid people running him off the road and almost killing him several years ago, he sold his bike because he got scared and thought it was too dangerous to ride anymore.

Hello?  Paging common sense and past learned experience. Will common sense and past learned experience please report to the advanced neural processing center of the brain for disciplinary review on the double!  I mean, that guy was a classic case of stupidity bordering on the level of a Faulknerian Idiot Man Child. Did this guy not learn from his harsh experiences on his own sport bike that riding was inherently dangerous, that people in cars don't pay attention to bikes, that a motorcycle had a limited field of vision, and that as a former bike rider he should have known to be on the lookout for bikers and pay extra careful attention around them?  What did getting run off the road, almost killed and losing his bike teach him about motorcycling and cars in heavy traffic?  Not a damn thing.

I wonder if you would feel different about the situation if you had been the rider that had been hit ... If it had been your big Road King that was smashed from behind into the ground and pushed along the pavement on its side by some careless idiot. I'd bet you would have been righteously miffed if you had stood up from the wreck and if the guy who had just hit you stepped out of his car and told you very matter of factly that he used to own a big Harley like you do but because there were so many idiots in traffic, driving cars and not paying attention, that he didn’t ride Harleys anymore. How would you feel if he had told you that he had once been hit just like this and that experience had made him sell his Harley because it just wasn’t safe to ride a bike around idiot drivers any more. Chances are, you'd not do as good as I did in controlling your first impulse.

“If you believe in Friday the 13th, we have bigger issues again to deal with. I hope some senior people in your sheriffs department take that loaded weapon away from you before a black cat crosses your path.”

Sheesh.... That humor removal operation must have been really painful, especially since they obviously went through your rectum to reach your cranium and your welfare supplied entry level HMO plan wouldn't pay for a local anesthetic during the out patient procedure. Ouch!  However, the pathology lab results are finally back and the good news is that your humor wasn't the malignant kind (which means that not only did the surgeon get it all the first time he went in but that you don't have to worry about the humor ever growing back again). Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery, Al! 

Besides, it's bad luck to be superstitious.  Didn't you know that?

“I’ve logged a few thousand miles on my new bike, not a loose bolt, not a drop of oil in my driveway, and not a starter problem on the side of the road. The only accessory I’ve purchased from the stock model is a can of Glaze Wax, and from the looks of your bike, you may want to invest in some.”

Oh, I’m not surprised that your Harley hasn’t had a loose bolt, a drop of oil or a starter problem on the side of the road … yet. Trailer queens rarely do have any kind of mechanical problems, what with being pampered all of their life and towed almost everywhere they go. If you have it tied down securely on your trailer or in the back of your pickup truck, chances are the ride is going to be a lot less harsh than if the bike were actually on the road getting shaken to pieces by that reciprocating joke you call an "engine."  Oh, and considering the fact that I actually do ride my bike far more often than you, you’ll just have to excuse me if my bike gets dirtier. Some of us actually use our bikes for riding, not just for show and tell or putt putting around pretending to be something we aren’t while annoying the ever living crap out of everybody around us. More time on the road means more time out in the elements (and more chances for an accident to happen).

You bought Glaze Wax for your Harley Davidson?!  That's hilarious!  Al, you can't polish a turd!  Damn, I knew you were a complete fucking moron but you now go and prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt by telling us that you honestly consider "wax" to be an “accessory” for your bike?  Sweet, sweet eternally restless and righteously pissed off rusty old cycle chain rattling, moaning spirits of William S. Harley and Walter Davidson preserve us!

Are you sure that Glaze Wax is officially approved and endorsed by Harley Davidson for use on their bikes?  I mean, wax is such an important thing to consider when maintaining your Harley Davidson motorcycle, in fact, I think that wax choice probably ranks higher than the quality of oil or gas when it comes to the continued operation of your Harley. After all, gas is gas but since most Harleys spend far more time under the wax buff than on the road, I can understand how important it is to choose just the right polish. Before you apply the Glaze Wax to your Harley Davidson, I suggest that you ask your dealer if you can use Glaze Wax on your Harley. If you use something that’s not officially licensed and endorsed by The Motor Company, especially something like wax (which we all know is critically important to your bike's continued good operation), you might find that you just voided your warranty, be that as it may.

You consider wax to be an "accessory?"  And you wonder why I make fun of hillbillies like you...

“But I understand if you only pay a cheap price for a bike, you can treat it like it’s cheap and keep it dirty. It’s the same logic of why I never give an animal away, if someone pays for it, they will take better care of it. But I don’t assume you are the type to purchase a pedigree anyway. You’re the “buy a mutt at the local pound and shoot it if you don’t like it” type. That way your sense of power can come out all over again.”

Al, you have some serious, deep rooted power and authority issues which are even more dangerous because these issues are fed by a strong flow of ignorance, combining with a total lack of education to fuel a white hot jet of colossal scale mental retardation. I swear, if IQ were tantamount to financial wealth, your mind would be on a permanent state of welfare, existing well below the level of intellectual poverty.

You see, Al, you can keep your pedigree animals because they fit your profile as a Harley owner. Brand awareness, brand snobbery, and the wrongful assumption that money spent towards purchase or final item cost automatically determines overall item quality, all clear examples of your economic virginity.

I don’t think I’ve ever paid for any animal that I have shared my life with (I won't say "owned" because I don't believe you can truly "own" an animal) and I’ve shared my life with quite a few, including a two cherished cats that lived into the high teens in years. You can keep your store bought animals, Al, you can keep your little slips of paper that give you bragging rights among your peers and you can keep the profit that you make off of the selling of one of God’s creatures to another creature. There are far too many animals in the world, strays and such that people dump off, to ever worry about having to pay for an animal. A free dog or cat may not ever win a blue ribbon or a glossy trophy in a pet show but I'll wager good money that a free dog or cat make far better friends and companions than the animals that you buy from some breeder who raises animals not for love or respect, but for profit. Animals are damn good judges of character and if one ever adopts you as a friend, that says something that words cannot. Friendship is earned in this world, Al, not bought but then I would never expect a Harley owner to understand something like that.

A sense of power ... The only one here with a sense of power is you, Al. I think when it comes to a "sense of power" your chosen brands give you just that but it is an empty, false sense of power. You walk around looking at how other people dress and you judge them based on what you think they spent for their clothes or where they bought them. You make fun of anyone not exactly like you, of anyone who doesn’t shop where you do, of anyone who doesn’t ride the same bike you do or of anyone who doesn't dress just like you do (or dress like you think that they should dress). Al, could you be any more pathetic of a human being?  Possibly. Let’s see if you can. I'll just play out the intellectual rope a little farther and see if you take enough to hang yourself with.

“Don’t worry I’ll wave to you as you hump your gas tank and smile as I cruise down the road while you zip your way through this life. Oh and sorry for the Mr. Dingo reference. As a teenager, I sold shoes at Kenny’s to Dolts like you, the people that lived on limited budgets for new shoes and socks. Next stop Winn Dixie for some pickled pigs’ feet, kids!"

Oh, this is perfect!  Verily I say unto thee, this is absolute perfection!

Al?  You say that you were a shoe salesman at a discount / value minded footwear franchise when you were a teenager?  No wonder you make fun of Winn Dixie, you probably got turned down for a job there because you were too stupid to learn how to bag groceries. That ignominy must have really scarred your ego and traumatized your psyche, especially since all the other cool kids got all the other cool jobs in town and you were barely smart enough to work at Kenny's. It's a good thing that you didn't have to count much past ten when it came to shoe size determination. Oh, I am laughing at you now, chimp.

A shoe salesman as a teenage job!  Well, that explains a whole hell of a lot, considering what your formative years were spent imprinting your mind with. Did you get your kicks looking up little girls’ skirts, Al?  Did you try to spot those sweet little peaches?  Did you give those little heels just that extra bit of shove in order to lift the dress just a little farther and give you a peek of what you could never have in real life, save for your time spent behind the locked door of your bedroom, fervently masturbating to stolen issues of your father's vast pornography collection?  Did you compare notes on the quick peeks that you were lucky to get with the other Kenny's salesmen while you waited around to punch out at night?  How long did you put up with that routine, realizing that you had to handle and deal with dirty feet, old shoes and smelly socks all day long, that in order to make some pocket change and have some spending money you had to grovel at other people’s feet and treat them like royalty?

I simply love how you describe your ire at me for talking down to those who supposedly pay my non-existent salary yet here you are, referring to the very customers who once paid your salary as “dolts.” Yes, hypocrisy is so common among Harley owners, it's such a part of their natural character that they don't even know that they are committing it.

Well, I now know when you reached the highest level of success in your life but that was a long, long time ago in a little podunk town far, far way. You were once an employee for Kenny's and you've never achieved greater, reached higher or risen farther since that time, have you?  Where is the proof in my accusation?  Let's review the facts, shall we?  They are very damning.

You have no sense of humor. You have no imagination. You stopped learning a long time ago. You stopped thinking for yourself a long time ago. You subscribe to a make-believe lifestyle yet you make fun of those still capable of enjoying make-believe. You don't know the difference between a revolver and a semiautomatic pistol. You don't know anything about law enforcement in general. You don't know anything about motorcycles. You don't know the history of the motorcycle, especially in your own country. You don't know anything about economics or how money works. You foolishly believe that cost is always synonymous with value. There's probably more but those are the immediate ones that come to mind.

Damn, Al!  Do you have any strong points to your character at all?

Shoes. You know shoes, Al!  Think about it!  The one thing that you have consistently been correct on in this debate is what type of boots that I wear. Shoes, style and fashion, according to you, are your three strong points and they pretty much rule your life. That's good since you're weak on everything else. I simply love the fact that you're not smart enough to tell the difference between a police officer and a sheriff's deputy yet you can spot the type of shoe that someone wears and identify it from a picture on the Internet. Further more, you can then extrapolate what that person does for a living, their income and where they shop as well as how they live their life, even when you're wrong on so many counts!  Damn! That would be a really neat skill to have, if it worked perfectly, but only if you were a shoe salesman with no higher ambition in life.  You have a sense for shoes, style and fashion, three things that most men could care less about, but your sense of style and fashion belong to someone else, you're just renting them as you go. It's shoes that are your specialty, Al. You are lord and master of footwear, don't let anyone ever take that away from you because it is yours and it is special.

Yes, you reached your apogee in life a long time ago but you couldn't hold onto that level of success and you've been back sliding ever since. Face it, Al, you were at your greatest when you worked at Kenny's and you've never reached a zenith like that in your life since. Maybe you should have stayed at Kenny's and made a career out of the only thing you were ever good at... who knows, maybe by now you would have had your own store and been making some real money. It must really be sad to wake up every morning and know that the only God given talent you ever had, the only marketable skill you've ever been good with revolves around identifying and selling shoes and that you wasted that one opportunity you had to be something oh so long ago.

Now, to the final question of this exchange and one I'm sure that you (as well as my other visitors) would very much like the answer to. Why did I constantly refer to you as "Al" during our debate?  Fair enough. Like I've said before, I bring the rules, you set the table. When you sent an email entitled "Mr. Dingo" then you were setting the table for which you would play by my rules. When you took on an aggressive attitude fueled by your own ignorance and stupidity, you were setting the table for which you would play by my rules. When you referred to me in a degrading manner based on the make of boots that I wore, I in turn decided to refer to you by a name that is synonymous with your experience and the highest achievement that you have ever reached in your lackluster life, be that what it may. After reading your email (laughing my ass off at you) and seeing that you referred to me not only by the make of my footwear as well as a pop-culture, media spawned caricature of a law enforcement officer, I in turn decided to refer to you during our debate as "Al" which is short for "Al Bundy," another pop-culture, media spawned caricature. "Al Bundy" (from the TV show "Married with Children") is the quintessential bumbling idiot and life long loser who just barely managed to find a niche in society where he could eke out a meager existence by working as a shoe salesman. It describes you perfectly.  I'm sure you recognize your media alter ego, especially since you admit to spending so much time watching television.

Terry in his natural habitat

Let me share one final bit of friendly advice with you, Al, sorry, Terry… Never make fun of another man’s boots because no matter how much (or how little) the other man paid for his boots, it's still a damn safe bet that his foot size is going to be a lot larger diameter than your rectum and, in case you haven't been keeping up on current events, your rectum is right where I have just placed my Dingo boot-clad right foot with some appreciable authority and not a little bit of physical effort. I think it's a pretty good fit, don't you, Terry?  I ask that question simply as a courtesy to your professional experience, what with you being the self proclaimed shoe expert. After all, I figured if anyone knew about proper fit, it would be you. Maybe if you squirm around in just the right way you can tell me, by feel, right where my big toe is, if I have any room to grow and if I need a larger size boot or not.

Oh, and Terry ... ? 

May the Force be with you.