Put a helmet on Hubley

Yesterday, instead of writing, I went to the motorcycle show at Lars Andersen field. One of my favorite things about being a writer, I’ve decided, is that in order to avoid doing my favorite thing in the world to do, namely write, I will try almost anything. This is great, because I’m pretty timid by nature when it comes to new things. But because I have all these deadlines to avoid, both actual and self-imposed, I wind up trying all sorts of fun things, like going to the motorcycle show. If you ever hear that I’m sky-diving, you’ll know I’ve gotten a book deal.

Anyway, the motorcycle show was great. I went with my friend Christine and her boyfriend Robbie and our friend Eddie. It’s a great group to go to just about anything with. We’re all fairly mellow and self-sufficient in terms of wandering around on our own at these things, and everyone has an interesting perspective to offer, partly because we’re all from different places.

Christine is very sweet, quiet but tough the way some shy people are, and weighs as much as my left thigh. She had a belt on that would have made a dandy garter for a normal-sized person, except that it had an enormous KISS buckle on it. I’m pretty sure that she could have whipped it off and used it as a weapon if necessary. And just think how funny you’d look, with KISS-shaped welts all over your face. She’s from Boston, but you probably figured that out from the KISS belt. We love metal in Boston. It’s a whole thing.

Robbie’s from Maine, as I figured out when he called several members of the Red Sox “shitbirds” the other night. Shitbirds are the official state bird of Maine. I know this because Mainers are always yelling about them. Lot of pride in the great state of Maine. Robbie’s also the funniest person I’ve met in a long time. We were discussing some of our snottier mutual acquaintances, and I said, “It’s like you have to apply to be friends with these people,” and Robbie said, holding up his fists, “Yeah. It’s like, ‘is there an application fee? All’s I got is two fives.'”

Eddie is an Okie. At one point, we were in the Transportation Museum, which is this old barn that the Andersens turned into a garage for their many expensive automobiles, and we came upon a room full of saddles. “Oh, look!” Eddie said. “It’s the Okie Room!” He then proceeded to point out various parts of the saddles to me, in case I should ever need to rope some doggies. Did you know that if you try to hold their leads in your hand, without using the pommel on your saddle, that you can break your wrist? Well, according to Eddie, you can, and I believe him. Fair warning.

Anyway, enough about where people are from. The point is that we had a good time. Motorcycle shows are only mostly about motorcycles. They’re also about fashion and dogs. We saw some great dogs (as opposed to doggies, see above), including a weimaraner puppy who didn’t feel very well, but still raised his wee liver-colored head gamely for a pat. Now there’s a dog. Desperate for approval. I like that in an animal.

The title of this entirely back-asswards piece comes from a game Robbie invented called “Put a helmet on Hubley.” The point of the game, I guess, would’ve been to put helmets on me, because I’d look funny wearing a helmet. I like games like that. Everyone wins! Anyway, we didn’t get to play that game, because there weren’t a lot of stray helmets roaming around. Most of them were on riders. But I did get to sit on the 2005 Triumph, which was so freakin’ huge I couldn’t get my legs around it. The guys from the dealership thought this was maybe the cutest thing they’d ever seen in their lives, I could tell. They kept saying things like, “Aw, you look really good on it!” And, “Well, maybe you could wear heels.” To their credit, they didn’t dissolve in hysterics the way I would have.


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