The Redneck and the
Thursday, August 1st, 1996
I called my mother and set up a lunch date. She worked in Nursing Administration at the local hospital 5 miles away and I worked at Magnolia Federal Bank in the Information Systems department. She was agreeable to the lunch date and I told her to meet me at Taco Bell by Chesterfields, a nice half way point between us. I hung up, grabbed my Hein Gerrick riding jacket, gloves, and helmet and stepped out back to my parked green, white, and purple '95 Ninja ZX-6R sport bike. Dark skies welcomed me as I walked out the rear entrance of the bank. I'm hoping that the rain will hold off long enough for us to have lunch and for me to make it back to work without getting drenched. I fire up the Ninja, and head to Taco Bell to get a parking spot.
As I passed Kamper Park, God decided to drain his bathtub and I made it to Taco Bell only slightly moist. Once inside, God really let the bottom fall out and the second flood descended upon the Earth. I looked out at my Ninja getting washed for free and realized that I was effectively stranded until the rain quit. My mother shows up and makes the usual motherly comments about the weather and my choice to ride my motorcycle, etc. I tolerate them and we have a great lunch together. After lunch, we're sitting there and the rain hasn't stopped. I decide to just ride the bike home in the rain, getting soaked, take a shower at home, change into some dry clothes, and take my '84 Mazda RX-7 GSL back to work.
My mother leaves, using her umbrella to get out to her car. I wave from the window as she leaves and sigh, mentally preparing myself to get absolutely drenched. I put my Hein Gerike white and green "Ninja" embroidered jacket and matching gloves on, and started to put my color matched HJC helmet on.
"Hey, mister!" comes this little voice.
I turn and look around, then down, at this little boy, about 6 or 7. Typical red neck child, GI buzzcut, Kool-Aid mustache, stained shirt, dirty clothes, etc. I look down at him, holding my HJC color matched helmet in my gloves.
"Yeah?" I ask him.
"Did you ride your motorcycle in the RAIN!?" he asked, extra emphasis on the last word.
"No. I was riding when it started to rain so I pulled in here for lunch and to wait for the rain to stop..." I said.
The kid looked down and started to shuffle his feet back and forth.
"My daddy said you're weird for riding a bike like that."
I looked down at the kid sternly.
"He did?!" I asked playing along.
"He says you're stupid for riding in the rain."
That pretty much brought out that little part of me that is 110% PURE EVIL. Some of you KNOW how evil I can be when I'm provoked, so you'll relate to this. I turned to the little boy and rapidly asked him if his daddy was here at Taco Bell. The boy nodded and said 'yeah', smiling with that ignorant redneck child smile. I sighed and kneeled, squatting and bending at my knees. I asked the boy if he would ask his daddy something for me. The little boy shuffled his feet again and nodded, looking up and smiling, saying 'yeah...'.
"Now, ask him this for me and you have to word it just like I tell you, think you can do that?"
The little boy nodded and said "Sure!" with the enthusiasm that children get when an adult hands them something that they think is very important and carries a great deal of responsibility.
"Ask your dad if your mother was his sister before they got married." I said slowly and softly.
The little boy turned that around for a few seconds, mouthing the words.
"Now, what did I just tell you to ask your daddy?"
"Ask daddy if mommy was his sister before they got married!" the boy said excitedly.
I had him repeat it one more time just to be sure. I held out my gloved hand and shook the kid's hand. He lit up like a Christmas Tree.
"I have to go! Remember, ask your dad that question for me. Bye bye!" I said, putting on my helmet and walking out of Taco Bell into the rain.
The seat of the Ninja was covered in a puddle of rain water and the rain hitting my helmet sounded like hail on a tin roof. I wiped the seat off with a swipe of my gloved hand and threw my leg over my horse. The Ninja fired up instantly, and I backed it out of the parking spot, kicked it into gear, and drove slowly around the back of Taco Bell. The kid watched me from the lobby of Taco Bell. When I rode around back, he ran to the other side of the restaurant and watched me reappear. I pulled in behind a car at the exit onto Hardy street and chanced a over the shoulder glance back at the restaurant. The little boy was standing beside his redneck father and some troll of a mother with a few other small children at a table near the window. The little boy was jumping up and down and pointing at me. The dad looked out the window at me, listened to something that the little boy said, and then with an effort that was visible from even my distance, forcefully slid himself out of the booth and headed for the door at a fast trot.
The car in front of me entered traffic. I put my signal on, eased onto Hardy Street and managed to catch the green light at Highway 49, turning towards my home just three miles away. I'm pretty sure that the redneck mongo made it out to the parking lot before I passed through the first green light. I never looked back. There is an old saying:
'Don't send a boy to do a man's job.'
Don't send your boy out to tell me that I'm weird for riding a different motorcycle than you do or that I'm stupid for getting caught by nature. If you do, you deserve exactly what your boy brings you back.
Live and learn.
I rode home, got a hot shower, dried off, got fresh clothes, and hopped in my '84 Mazda RX-7 GSL to head back to work.