Uncle Meanie and the Motorcycle Man is an ongoing saga of two scooter tramps who find laughs, fun, love, danger and all kind of nafarious adventures on the road. Uncle Meanie, Liam, is the road name for a good natured rascle who is the constant companion of The Motorcyle Man – a.k.a. Toby. ACME is a loose group of motorcycle riders who our two characters are often found in the company of. The story of how each got their respective road names is quite a story in itself. We'll save that for another time. Now let's get into one of the adventures of Uncle Meanie and the Motorcycle Man.

An ACME Autumn Ride

A Chapter in the Life of Uncle Meany and the Motorcycle Man

It is a cool crisp autumn day that literally sparkled with bright, golden sunshine. Uncle Meany and the Motorcycle Man - a.k.a. Toby - had planned a country cruise to see the changing of the seasons and get in a end-of-year-ride on one of the few warm days remaining in 2005. The word was broadcast and a few characters of ill repute joined them — they usually did whenever one or all of them were out of the hoosegow.

At 8 in the morning, Cheek, Cheek's OL Rumn’Gun and Tator rolled into the parking lot at Divers, the mobs favorite truck stop diner. Rumn’Gun rode tail gunner — mostly because when she cracks open the throttle her pipes sound like the combination of a freight train, an 18-wheeler and an ocean liner all leaving port at the same moment. Cheek usually makes her ride in the back so he can hear classic rock on his stereo. A few minutes later the Motorcycle Man arrived with Uncle Meany right behind him. They backed in next to the line of parked bikes – biker style.

After greetings, slaps on the back, and hugs all around, the motley group went into the greasy spoon and found a vacant table. The gray-haired, career-waitress came by, took our drink orders then silently vanished. Several conversations sprung up as the mob waited for their coffee. Uncle Meany was in an unusually good mood because he finally had his motor running right, or so he thought.

“Ol' Black Betty had been nothing but a pain in my neck ever since I got her. She's runnin' good today!”

You had to give Meany credit; he was true to his scoot.

Soon, coffee consumed, hearty breakfast inhaled, the mob was back on the road.

On this day ACME rode down many narrow, country lanes that were canopied with tree limbs covered in yellow, gold and orange. It was an autumn-gem of a day — a day and a ride to remember.

The Motorcycle Man was completely distracted by the wonderful day and the magnificent vistas. Before him lay a huge sweeper curve, which he became completely absorbed in as he cracked opened the throttle. The acceleration slung him through the apex like a rocket circling the moon. Coming out of the curve and straightening up, Toby looked in his mirror to see nobody following him. The first thought is always the worst one… someone crashed! Making a quick u-turn, Motor opened the throttle wide for a fast return to what he feared would be an horrific scene.

The Motorcycle Man arrived at an all too familiar drama. The group was huddled around Black Betty, with Meany standing beside her, shaking his head, a dark grimace plastered across his face.

Tator went to work. First the side cover was removed, then the carburetor, followed by the top of the carburetor. It seems the throttle had stuck wide open. Since Meany was riding number two, Toby was thankful Meany was able to hit the kill switch before negotiating the curve.

It was decided that someone would have to go to the hardware store and get a washer, or some such thing, to fix the problem. It was then that Rumn’Gun came back holding some road debris in her hand. She asked, "Will this work?" Rumn’Gun had picked up a corner of tarp with a grommet in it. This grommet was the type that fit in tabs around the tarp which were used to lash down a load. With his universal tool, Tator pried them apart, and the half grommet was used to repair the throttle. The mob was soon back on the road. Rumn’Gun felt useful and Tator was feeling very clever. The smile that split Meany's face was brighter than the sun.

The ride was phenomenal after Black Betty's little mishap. The group settled into a rhythm that only a bunch that had ridden a butt-load of miles together could possibly match. Life was good!

At a point, just a little over half the way home, Meany pulled off the road with a scowl pastered on his face. Yup, it was his engine again — a broken ring was the consensus. There was no road debris that would fix this. Uncle Meany ended up following the Motorcycle Man at about 30 miles an hour, dripping a steady stream of oil behind him. When the oil stopped dripping, Meany angled Betty to the side of the road. For a minute everyone thought he was going to take his pistol out and shoot 'Ol Black Betty. Instead, he spit a few choice words at her and threw his headband on the seat.

This little tale has no great social significance, nor will it give you unique insight to motorcycle riding. It will, however, demonstrate that things do not always turn out according to plan. Many times the solution to a problem is close at hand but not always. Motorcycles can be very temperamental. Black Betty was eventually towed in the back of a pickup. The only other mishap was when Uncle Meanie tried to help push Betty into the truck bed, he slipped off the side and did an acrobatic roll down the embankment. Nothing was broken but a sliver of pride. After a short round of applause, the bike was safely loaded – we were on our way home – all turned out well in the end.

The people in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to real people is purely coincidental. I say this because they threatened me with a sever beating if I didn't say so.

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This story is duplicated in RIDES & STORIES

This page created November 2017

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