Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Two Wheels Good
So I know next to nothing about motorcycles. With a wife, son, career, mortgage, and the various other accoutrements of OnceWereBachelor obligations, I’ve a feeling I never will know more than I do now. I’d love to own a fancy Ducati café racer, but that ain’t happening any time soon.
The primary thing I know about motorcycles is that they make you cool. After all, riding a motorcycle made Fonzie cool, even when he was jumping sharks on waterskis. There was a pre-teen period in my life when I would’ve given anything to be like him. Especially after each Thursday night broadcast, I really believed that one could make sodas come out of vending machines for free by hitting them just right, or getting girls to swoon with a snap of fingers.
But I digress. Motorcycles.
I don’t think I’ve ever even ridden a motorcycle, and I probably never will. The closest I came was riding my college housemate’s Honda C70 Passport, more a scooter really. I remember one night I had about five minutes to return a video or suffer another night’s rental charge. I borrowed his red and white Passport, donned his helmet and roared down Prospect St. towards the Alpha Video off Wisconsin Ave. Having never learned to drive a stick shift car at that point in my young life I snapped through the gears recklessly, lurching forward each time. Just as I turned a corner I downshifted, accelerating into the bumper of a parked car. The sudden stop sent me over the handlebars, right in front of two dozen Georgetown students eating dinner at Booeymonger’s, a popular sandwich shop. Having some residual Fonzie-wannabe DNA in me, I thought it uncool to strap my housemate’s dorky white helmet on at all, so the sudden impact sent it flying off at 30 mph. I remember hearing a girl I knew from my African Ideas of God class blurt out in fright “Ohmigod, his HEAD came off” as she came rushing out the door to help.
I realize that, although it may not be with motorcycles or leather jackets or magic fingers, I’m still trying to be cool like Fonzie. DNA from those Thursday nights is still there, and at this point in my life, I shouldn’t have to struggle to snap down that dorky white helmet, but I do.
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