Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Kid's toys

Shortly after I got the Beast, I realized it fit like a hand into some deeply buried, long-forgotten psychic glove stuck back in a crevice of my tiny brain. At one point, I stood and looked at it for the longest time, from all different angles, and like the Grinch, I puzzed and puzzed 'til my puzzler was sore.

Then I realized exactly what it was.

The Beast was the very incarnation of ten-thousand doodled rocket-sleds inspired by countless saturday-morning cartoons. In my imagination, in second or third grade, they had very powerful rocket engines that ran on mystery juice, or turbo-motors that allowed them to fly in air and dive underwater. But my imaginary rocket sleds did not have much carrying capacity or wind protection, not to mention anti-dive front suspension or six-pot triple disk linked anti-lock brakes or electronic engine management, did they?

Actually, when I'm in the saddle, I have to laugh because what The Beast reminds me of is...Ultraman. Same color scheme (the photo doesn't show it, but it's silver with red accents) and on the top of the gas tank, slightly off-centered, is the filler cap, a silver circle right where that weird little light was in Ultraman's chest, surrounded by bands of red and silver. The odd, asymmetrical vents in the fairing also suggest some kind of crooked mask, but the Ultraman analogy more or less ends there.

Sadly, the Beast generally won't let me leave long, multicolored slashes of flame across the sky, as I had hoped to do by this point in my life (not to mention the lack of death-rays). But when I look into the faces of the drivers around me, I think I'm lucky to be a lot closer to the way I felt back in second grade than most.

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