I was sitting at the bar on a Friday night, (tonight, that is) anticipating the delivery of my rather picayune sounding pork chop dinner and talking to Mike, a new friend who was drinking his. About an hour later a couple of guys walked in.
The first wore leather... a jacket and chaps. The second, a larger, hairier man, sported street clothes and a markedly more friendly disposition.
"Do you sell them or ride them?" My words were the first to meet the newcomers, as I noticed the more rotund one sported a golf shirt bearing the Harley Davidson emblem.
"Uh. Well, ride." Not nearly as friendly as me. A little disconcerting, considering they were the 'cheechakos' in the crowd. The look from the thin man was a clock-stopper.
"I just wondered, I am an admirer of the machines."
Silence. They turned to the television, suddenly fans of baseball. I suppose they were chafed by the apparent meddling of a green outsider.
"My friend rides, he just started a couple of years ago," I said, trying to break through ice thicker than northern Greenland. "It sounds like a cool lifestyle."
The fat guy acted as if he didn't want to kick my ass, while my friend Mike glanced away, intent on watching Albert Pujols strike out.
Finally, skinny leather man spoke. "If you'd been riding since the 60's, you'd know what the lifestyle means. Newcomers are hard to get to know."
I'm not one to create friction, so I figured I'd change the subject to protocol. Things like waving to other bikers, how you park them, where the Harley convoys go, etc. "Club members aren't my kind of rider."
I figured my departure time had arrived. I was two sheets to the wind anyway, so I paid my tab and bid them a pleasant weekend.
In any fraternity, new members are the most important element. It didn't seem like thin-man wanted new riders. I know other guys with Harleys who have great dispositions, and know how to have fun without taking it too seriously.
Lord forgive me, but maybe I'm destined to be a Kawasaki guy.*
*psyche, just kidding. I wouldn't do that to myself.