MY MOTORCYCLE RIDE
I never dreamed slowly cruising on my
motorcycle through a rural Vermont town could be so incredibly
dangerous! Little did I suspect.....
I was on Beech Street - a very nice
neighborhood with perfect lawns and slow traffic. As I passed an
oncoming car, a brown furry missile
shot out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in
front of me. It was a squirrel,
and must have been trying to run across the road when it
encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there
was no time to brake or avoid it - it was that close. I hate to
run over animals, and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a
should pose no danger to me. I barely had time to brace for the
impact. Animal lovers, never fear.
Squirrels, I discovered, can take
care of themselves!
Inches before impact, the
flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing
my oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve in his little beady
eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he
screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was
maybe, "Die you gravy-sucking,
heathen scum!" The leap was nothing
short of spectacular ... as he shot straight up, flew over my
windshield, and impacted me squarely in the chest.
Instantly, he set upon me. If I did not know better, I would
have sworn he brought 20 of his little buddies along for the
attack. Snarling, hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a
frenzy of activity. As I was dressed only in a light t-shirt,
summer riding gloves, and jeans this was a bit of a cause for
concern. This furry little tornado
was doing some damage! Picture a large man on a huge black and
chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and leather gloves,
puttering at maybe 25 mph down a quiet residential street, and
in the fight of his life with a
squirrel. And losing...
I grabbed for him with my left hand. After a few misses, I
finally managed to snag his tail. With all my strength, I flung
the evil rodent
off to the left of the bike, almost running into the right curb
as I recoiled from the throw. That should have done it. The
matter should have ended right there. It really should have. The
could have sailed into one of the
pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I
could have headed home. No one would have been the wiser.
But this was no ordinary squirrel.
This was not even an ordinary
This was an
EVIL MUTANT ATTACK SQUIRREL OF
DEATH! Somehow he caught my gloved
finger with one of his little hands and, with the force of the
throw, swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing
impact, he landed squarely on my back and resumed his rather
anti-social and extremely distracting activities. He also
managed to take my left glove with him! The situation was not
improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were continuing, and
now I could not reach him.
I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of
the throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the
handlebars, and my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy
twist through my right hand and into the throttle. A healthy
twist on the throttle of a Valkyrie can only have one result.
This is what the Valkyrie is made for, and she is very, very
good at it. The engine roared and the front wheel left the
pavement. The squirrel
screamed in anger. The Valkyrie screamed in ecstasy. I screamed
in ... well ... I just plain screamed.
Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser,
dressed in jeans, a slightly
wearing only one leather glove, and roaring at maybe
50 mph and
rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street on one
wheel and with a demonic squirrel
on his back. The man and the
squirrel are both screaming bloody
murder. With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my
other hand back on the handlebars and try to get control of the
bike. This was leaving the mutant
squirrel to his own devices, but I
really did not want to crash into somebody's tree, house, or
parked car. Also, I had not yet figured out how to release the
throttle .... my brain was just simply overloaded.
I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little effect
against the massive power of the big cruiser. About this time
decided that I was not paying sufficient attention to this very
serious battle (maybe he is an evil mutant
squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got
full-face helmet with me. As the faceplate closed partway, he
began hissing in my face.
I am quite sure my screaming changed intensity. It had little
effect on the squirrel,
on The Dragon maxed out (since I was not bothering with shifting
at the moment) so her front end started to drop. Now picture a
large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans,
a very raggedly-torn t-shirt, wearing only one leather glove,
roaring at probably 80 mph,
still on one wheel, with a large
puffy squirrel's tail sticking out
of the mostly closed full-face helmet.
By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse. Finally
I got the upper hand ... I managed to grab his tail again,
pulled him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard
as I could. This time it worked ... sort-of. Spectacularly
sort-of ... so to speak. Picture a new scene. You are a
cop. You and
your partner have pulled off on a quiet residential street and
parked with your windows down to do some paperwork. Suddenly a
large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans,
a torn t-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing only one
leather glove, moving at probably
80 mph on one wheel, and screaming
bloody murder roars by and with all his strength throws a live
directly into your Beartown Police
I heard screams. They weren't mine... I managed to get the big
motorcycle under control and dropped the front wheel to the
ground. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop in a
cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign of a busy cross street. I
would have returned to fess up (and to get my glove back). I
really would have. Really. Except for two things. First, the
did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about me
at the moment. When I looked back, the doors on both sides of
the patrol car
were flung wide open. The cop
from the passenger side was on his back, doing a crab walk into
somebody's front yard, quickly moving away from the car. The
who had been in the driver's seat was standing in the street and
was aiming a riot shotgun at his
own police car.
So the cops
were not interested in me. They often insist to
"let the professionals handle it"
anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I could clearly see
shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery from the back
seat. But I could also swear I saw the
the back window, shaking his little fist at me, shooting me the
That is one dangerous squirrel.
And now he has a patrol car.
A somewhat shredded patrol car
... but it was all his.
I took a deep breath, turned on my turn-signal, made a gentle
right turn off of Beech Street, and sedately left the
neighborhood and the environs of Beartown. I decided it was best
to just buy myself a new pair of gloves. And some Band-Aids.
Needless to say, I won't ever visit
your quaint little village of Beartown again!!!