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8.24.2014

Déjà Vu All Over Again


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I presume this happens to other people... the standard conversation. You know, when your normal way of being provokes predictable comments from the hoi polloi.

I have several of them. 

The one where I subvert little girls.

The one where people confuse me with the Amish.

And the one where motorcycle dudes have to comment on me and my bike.

These convos are so familiar that it is like Name That Tune!  two notes in and I know where we are going with this. I have learned to play with these chats, seeing  how the outcome changes if I change my lines. 

In Miracle Motors, there is a classic example of the MotoDudes convo. That time I succumbed to the temptation of a wee bit ó snark. Snark is one of my besetting sins.

Last weekend I had a great Off the Grid ride. One of the things that made it great was that every meal that I took in public, I took at a lunch counter. I don't always want to rub elbows with randomly selected humans, but sometimes I get in the mood. I was in that mood last weekend. 

When I was a child, all sorts of people sat at the lunch counter, men, women, working people, old ladies in fancy hats and gloves, kids with enough coinage to get a hand made soda. These days it's hard to get anything more than pie at the counter and  mostly men sit there, often old men. Solo women take the booth. So sitting at the counter has become a micro-subversion.

Last week I stopped for the mid-morning, gasoline, pie and coffee break.  The gal aimed me at the booth  - 

"I can sit at the counter?"
"I have plenty of booths, honey, right over here"
"Thanks, I'd like to sit at the counter - these fellows won't mind - I hardly ever throw food." 

Two middle age guys look up at me. I put my helmet down on the counter 
One guy grins.
"Well!  I bet you aren't riding a Goldwing!"     Here we go...

"No, and honestly, I wouldn't ride one if you gave it to me for free." (oops, snark)
" Well, then - I don't like you!" He said laughing and turning to the next guy who got up and paid for his pie.
"Well, sir. I am completely ok with your dislike and the side order of judgement. - Mind if I eat pie?" (probably snark) The waitress arrives and chuckles as she pours me coffee.

"Aw, I was just kiddin' - I ride a Goldwing."
"I had guessed that."

I let the silence sit while I got my triple berry heated up. Then I decided to turn this convo for the friendlier.

"I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan 750." I volunteered
"Well, that a nice bike, a good size for .... you"  ( a female person)
(swallow snark) "Thanks - I've been riding this bike for 20 years, we are well suited for each other." 
"Actually, the Goldwing is so big it's only fit for the freeway - it's not like you can ride it downtown here just for pie. It doesn't actually get out much. Where are you headed?"

"I'm not sure."

He looks perplexed. I explain the off the grid trip, where I go where the wind blows me, sans electronics, and even I don't always know where I will end up." The waitress is back, trying to refill full cups.

"Wow, that sounds like fun, my reckless buddy asked me to ride with him to Reno once, but Jeez, that's too far..." 

We bonded by comparing our best and worst weather days. His was a rainy day exploring Mount Saint Helen's after it blew, mine was on Macos Pass in Colorado." 

"You used to live in Colorado?" 
"Nope, I was on my way to Texas and back." He stares, blankly, checking his mental map.

"So you pretty much don't have any immediate family, do ya?
"Oh, not at all, I am married and have grown kids and a grandchild - I am a regular matriarch."

Now he is looking a little confused. "Does your hubby ride?"
"I am married to a beautiful woman named Alivia." The Waitress is no longer pretending to pour coffee, she's just standing there watching this exchange.

"Well, ok, fine, does your.... does She ride?"
"Yep, but that doesn't change my need for the occasional solo ride - she understands."
 Now his tone has changed, he is speaking softer, it's gone from challenge to confessional.

"Honestly, I'm jealous. My wife would never tolerate me going off by myself or going farther than a day ride." 
"That's tough, I bet your Goldwing is missing you. You know, I never have asked permission, but it is important to have a blessing. Sometimes you have to earn that blessing." 

"When do you have to be home?"
"Monday morning - I have to be at work."
"What do you do?"
"I'm the vice principal of an alternative high school - And on Sundays I am a Quaker minister..."

And then the traditional silence ensued.


  


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Comments:
Oh my Dear Friend! I love your snark.

Sorry I missed this one from awhile back.
Blessing on your occasional "off the grid". Marcile
 
I love the snark, it was so earned. I can't believe I missed this when it was first written. Solo adventures, Praise God, refill the tank.
 
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