Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Irritating Social Encounters (Part the First)

Recently, one warm Friday evening I rode straight from work to a casual social event, an outdoorsy kind of gathering held on a charming deck under the shade of towering trees. I parked Beast in an out-of-the way corner, hung my helmet and gloves on the mirror, and walked in wearing my Joe Rockets over typical business casual stuff: khakis, blue shirt, loose tie—the typical corporate uniform.

With my usual social aplomb, I snuck into the nearest corner to scope out the situation and tried my best to be invisible. After all, if you've been a motorcyclist for any time at all, you understand how that act conveys invisibility upon you unbidden, so it's hard to fathom why you aren't able to invoke it at will.

In any case, there I am doing my best Ficus impersonation, when—much to my dismay—I see Ms. Snarky McChardonnay making a beeline for my little sanctuary with a leering, eye-rolling expression that was equal parts condescension, patronization and double-vision.

She walks right up to me. "What's THEEE-ISS? she squeals in an oaky voice (with undertones of vanilla, apples and pears) as she tugs on the sleeve of my 'Joe Rocket'. "Did jew rod yerr 'HARR-LEEE' here?"

Now right there, she lost me. Since when did 'Harley' become a synonym for 'motorcycle' anyway? I stared at her blankly, watching her teeter from side to side ever so slowly for at least fifteen seconds.

"This, " I said, zipping up my jacket and walking away, "is my S.U.V."

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