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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hell Incarnate. At Least In A Six-Foot Radius

*** continued from previous post ***


"Thank you," Mom said, "Is it possible for me to get a cup of tea?"

"Of course. David? Coffee?"

"Yes please, black."

"Be right back," Leeza said, and whisked herself into the kitchen. This woman never walked, never bounced. She floated around like a Fairy-Tale Princess on ecstasy. Minus the cat-in-the-hat striped stovepipe, and the propensity to disrobe with each new song.

I squeezed your mom's hand, which meant, "See? This isn't so bad."

Mom didn't return the squeeze, and I looked at her questioningly. She moved her eyes in a darting fashion to indicate our breakfast companions.

Crap. You know I'm not the most observant person in the world. Unless you have an extra arm growing out of your forehead I'm pretty likely not to notice. And even then, the arm would have to be unusually large. Or waving. Or have some of those huge rings on the fingers. On further inspection it appeared that we had been seated with the only unfriendly Canadians in the entire world. There were over 300 of them with knives, and daggers, and what could have been - although I'm not positive about this - an attack army of trained weasels hidden in their shirts.

No, I'm exaggerating. Here is what we were facing: One large, suspicious, and slightly nervous family. There were two men, in their mid-forties, two women about the same age, an elderly woman in her 70's, and various children that seemed to expand, then contract in number every time I glanced at them. None of this northerly entourage smiled. The two men sat with crossed arms. It was a symphony of flannel and denim and boots. My mind reeled at the sight. Sweet Mary and Joseph, what have we gotten ourselves into?

For you see, these were the most dangerous of Canadians. These were the out-doorsy flavor of Canadians. No mistake, and no other way to put it gently - these were authentic Canadian hikers.

A table of Canadian hikers all related to each other and two frazzled bikers from THE STATES. Woot woot! All aboard the fun train!

As you know the motorcycling community is generally treated as lepers by the likes of hikers and bicyclists. This is completely understandable. We are a loud, noisy, and sometimes quite unruly bunch. I always give the courtesy of a wide berth on the road but I don't think that helps. Basically, internal combustion is anathema to these groups. If you run across a 'herd' – that’s the proper term for a group of bicyclists, no. . . you don’t need to look it up – anyway, if you encounter a herd on a bike, derision will pour forth upon you like syrup from a pitcher. Unless you yourself are part of a larger motorcycle group. Then, all of a sudden people get all friendly in a hurry. But when we are riding alone, and happen to stumble onto a feral herd, if confronted I will take a moment to point out that they didn't walk to the mountains. And if they are so eco-friendly why do they have cycle racks on their cars? Yet you must be careful. Logic like that only leads to madness. Madness and bent bicycle frames and hiking sticks stored where no hiking stick should be.

Oh that's right! I'm one mean cripple when pressed. I am Hell incarnate. At least within a six-foot radius. Beyond that? Not so much.

Not that anything like that has ever happened. In reality I just give them room, wave and smile. Oh, but the ‘Hell incarnate within a six-foot radius’ is completely true.

*** the journey continues ***

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