Knowing Not

Taking writing
classes can become
something of a habit,
if you let them.

At least,
I find it to be so.

Not that I apply
much of anything
I learn to my posts
here on the
Muscleheaded Blog –

– it seems
like I can
only write
this thing
from that special
twisted-kilt
perspective
with the off-pitch
punctuation
with which
it’s been
produced for
oh so, zso
many years –

– if I try
and work
at being all
phonologically
persnickety
or
technique-driven,
all I get is mulch.

And not
the good
kinda mulch
that helps
gardens grow,
either –

– more the
kinda mulch
that they dig out
with tractors
and throw it
on the rubbish to
keep it all from
blowing away.

But there’s
one piece
of advice
I’ve heard
repeatedly
over the
years, and
I’ve worked
assiduously
at applying –
” Write What You Know “.

Which maybe
explains, to
some extent,
anyway, why
the Muscleheaded
Blog is written
on what could
be a 3rd grade
level –
– cause I don’t know
anything much.

Don’t get me
wrong here…
I’ve studied a lot –
but it’s like some
really smart guy
once said to me –
( It might have been
Joseph Campbell ) ;
” Learning just teaches
me how little that
I really 
know. “

And if
Mr. Campbell
didn’t think
knew much,
what chance
have I got ,
I ask you?

Anyhoo….

I’m violating
another one
of the principles
of good
writing
this morning….

Because I’m
typing stuff
that’s completely
off topic from
where I thought
I was going
with today’s
post.

Yet again.

But since I already
have written most
of it, I guess I’ll just
cut to the punchline
of what should have
been the point :

Never ask a question
for which you don’t
really want to know
the answer to.

Oh,
and,
never end
your sentences
with a
preposition.

.

!!! HOY !!!

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Take The Magic Carpet Ride

a3I got a very nice
little letter
from a new reader
who asked
me some questions
about motorcycling —

Does one get too old
to learn how to ride one?

How hard is it?

What are the things
to look out for when riding?

How does one know
what they need
on a motorcycle?

Despite the fact that
the issues she asked
about are a bit more
complicated
than can usually be
answered on a single
blog post,

I think I have showna8
in the past an
absolute talent
for completely
oversimplifying
even the most
complicated of subjects….

So I guess I’m the
man for the job.

Ahem.

I started riding
motorcycles when
I was 13 —
(my parents knew NOTHING
about it, and lucky thing, too)

I was doing handyman type
chores and babysitting
(yes, I was babysitting —
hey, I needed gas money)
for a couple that lived
in my neighborhood,
and the lady of the house
took a liking to me,
and let me take
their early 70’s era
Suzuki 500 motorcycle
out on occasion.
(It was red, of course)

She figured it wasn’t
hard (to ride),
and what harm
could I do in the end?

I figured that I’d
just learn on the go.

And both of us turned out
to have had the completely
wrong idea.

(Although one or two
of her other ideas
I totally enjoyed)

But, I didn’t wreck
the bike or anything.

And it wasn’t powerful enough
for me to go really ape with it.

Just enough to scare
the living beee-jeeezus
out of me several hundred times.

And I guess what
I’m getting at herea31
is that,
no matter how you learn:

whether it be in a riding class,

or you just decide to wing it
in the off hours of the
Wally World parking lot,
a34
you’re facing a steep
learning curve as it is,
so bring plenty
of cojonic audacity,
and start to learn on
something small and light.
(it’ll be cheaper to replace)

I don’t really see age
as a limitation,
personally…

although I do know chef
Alton Brown, who was
famous for riding his m/c’s
back and forth to his Atlanta
area studios recently decided
to quit riding saying that he
didn’t feel comfortable
with the age-related loss
of reaction time and
situational awareness.

But, anyone familiar with Alton
also knows how anal
the guy can seem about things —apol
all things
and motorcycles
aren’t really going
to keep one in any
kind of comfort
zone most of the time,
anyway.

I don’t blame him,
but as for me,
I’d rather be the guy with the pickle
riding off the mountain
when it’s time to me to GO .

And if you don’t
get that reference,
you’re obviously not a biker.
Yet.

aNYHOO…..

I think most motorcycle
dealers these days
will give you a referral
to a local training class —
those classes are usually 4-6 Saturdays leading up to
getting a m/c license or such.

They do them at
the Police Academy here,s
on a specially designed course,
and I will often spin by
and watch the fun
on my way home
from the gym.

Some people have no business on a
motorcycle
— ever —grannie

But you
(and everyone else)
will know who
they are
right away
in a class like that.

They usually either flunk out
or no-show on the second class,
so, no worries.

Is it difficult to ride?
Naaaaaaah. Eazy Peeezy.a

Is it difficult to ride well ?
Oh man, damn sure, it is.

You got no idea how difficult.

So what’s to be done?
Practice,
Practice,
Practice,
Practice.

Which means
Ride,
Ride,
Ride,
Ride,
and Ride.

You must learn
to be totally bug
comfortable with:
the throttle,
brakes,
clutch,
gears,
and all the safety equipment.

(not to mention, bugs in your teeth, pebbles smacking you in the leg, sand in your eyes, birds flying into you, and so many assorted goodies like that …… )

Do me a favor, though —a35

Forget where
the horn switch is —
— if you’re in a situation
where you’re tempted to
use it, you should instead
be totally focused on
slowing, stopping, evasion,
and balance —
beeping your horn
takes a measure of biker
valuable time and
attention away from
you at the
exact time you need
all of it.

You really need to
be able to operate
every piece of your
bike blindfolded.

(just don’t try it)

 

In an emergency,
there is absolutely
NO TIME to look
for your kill switch,
choke, high beams,
or your gas toggle.

You must learn where
your sled’s center of
gravity is, and how to
use it to control your bike.

And you need to be able
to stop and turn on a dime.

Otherwise, you might as
well change your name
to Parto D. Pavement.

Cause people in cars have
4 solid walls around
them when they’re driving,
and, though either ignorance,
forgetfulness,
or maybe they just
don’t give a fuck —
they usually drive like it.

What’s a little dent on
a fender to them, after all?

But a collision —
— any collision —
to a motorcycle rider
is potentially life threatening.

No four walls.
Just hard concrete.

So YOU must learn
to read their little minds —
to drive defensively,
and to always assume
the ‘cage driver’
is about to do
something stupid.

I like to make eye contact
with people coming
out of side streets,
I will throttle back
until I’m sure they’ve not
only seen me,
but also have decided
not to pull out anyway.

And sometimes they fool you anyway.

I know plenty of riders
who have ruineda4
a perfectly good
Mercedes-Benz paint job
with their essential bodily fluids
because they assumed that
driver was competent.

(Blood and guts are acidic
and absolutely ruin
a car’s finish, ya know)

Assume they’re all
morons, and you’ll
be much safer.

As for what type of
motorcycle you’d want….thr

Well, as I said,
lighter and smaller
would be my recommendation
when you’re learning.

You can get a nice used bike to learn on
for under a G
just about anywhere.

Once you’ve built some skills —
that’s the time to talk
about something with
power, style, class,
and a long term financing contract.

Don’t buy into the whole
‘ Real Bikers only ride
Harleys ‘ bullshit, either.a1a1

Real Bikers ride whatever
(and whomever) they like ,
and they don’t give a fuck
about who says otherwise.

Buy what you enjoy
and are comfortable on.

I’m here if you got questions —
as long as you don’t ask me
‘the elephant in the room’ one.

Well —
OK….

I’m thinking it took me
40-plus years
to feel like I could ride
my way out of a paperbag….

Your mileage may vary.

.

PS: I think I mighta forgot
the part in her letter when
she asked about turning and leaning —

It’s tricky to explain,
but briefly:

You lean the bike – not you.
If you’re banking to the right,
then your head and shoulders
should still be perpendicular
to the ground,
while your weight,
since the bike is leaning right,
will have to shift slightly left
to keep your center of balance.
But you can drive your foot
down into the right pedal
to ride the bike harder
into a steeper right turn.
This one takes practice,
but just remember,
the bike turns, you don’t.
And passengers should always
mimic the driver’s position.

Zoom, Zoom.

HOY !!!!!

.

types

.

.

Advice From Suzie Wonder

boothI have often wondered who those people who write advice columns get their advice from….

I guess it’s obvious enough from most of those columns,

that they just make up their insipid answers as they go along.

And no matter,
how good or how bad the advice is,

….you can’t really lay any responsibility on them if stuff goes horribly horrible.

Cause in the end,
the hopelessly hopeless people
who are writing the letters, abby
are expecting sage advice from a know-nothing, busy-body society columnist.

The woman’s been wearing the same hair-do since 1952,

….. and you’re expecting relevancy.

What I really want to see, though —

are the letters that end up in Dear Crabby’s trash bin….

Oh yes– depraved

the questions–

and especially the answers

—— that don’t make it into the column.

Even optimists for hire can have their bad days, ya know.

And, I would imagine that all those sh*t-canned letters and answers would make much tastier reading,

or at the very least,
more digestible

….. than the horrible pablum those advice columnists usually serve up.

We here at the Muscleheaded Blog were thinking on similar lines,suziewonder
and we have had our Science Editor, Suzie Wonder working on it.

After all–
she’s a natural for that kinda work, right?

Well, this morning,
I had taken the liberty of shuffling through the post that Suzie Wonder was writing,
( as well as her inbox )

….. y’know,
just in case there was something I could use —

Ummm….

All I can say is that I’m not gonna do that again.

Why,
oh why,
oh why….selfie

would strange men send Suzie close-up selfie pictures of their junk ???

…… when all she’d want to do is hack ’em off and hang ’em from her rear view mirror, is beyond me.

I mean,
where do these guys think she got those other ones from, anyway?

So anyway —

To make it up to her (me getting caught rummaging through her stuff)
— and to keep MY OWN junk from joining her collection —
I told her I would post her column unedited.

So now:
” Ask Advice From Suzie Wonder ” :

bad
Dear Suzie Wonder:
I am a 20 year old male, and I recently took a prescription medication that had the side effect of making me lactate.
My pregnant girlfriend thinks it’s funny, and says we can share the nursing duties when she has our baby.
What can I do?
Signed, Larry.

Dear Lactating Larry:
Human breast milk is healthier than formula, so, suck it up.

.

.

petmonkeyDear Suzie Wonder:
My boyfriend and I have a terrible sex life. It’s gotten so bad that the only time I want to hold his hand is to get the angle right,
…. but then, even if I am lucky enough to get close to orgasm, he yells “Geronimo” and it spoils the moment for me.
I’m feeling very frustrated at this point.

Dear Frustrated:
By return post, I have sent you a list of “100 Famous Indian Chiefs”.
Have him try one of the other names on the list next time.

.

.

smartDear Suzie Wonder:  
How can I lose 50 pounds in a single month ?
Please, nothing complicated–
I’m a simple guy, looking for a simple answer to a simple question.
Is that too much to ask for crying out loud?

Dear Simple:
No, it’s not too much to ask,
…. and I’ll be happy to give you a simple, sure-fire way of doing it.
Amputation.
Let me know how well it works for you.

.

.


fondlingDear Suzie Wonder:
I had a terrible eye rash last year and my friend said, putting mayonnaise on it would help. I took his advice and put mayo on my eyelids and it didn’t work. After I told him he started laughing like an asshole.
Turns out he was not serious at all. What should I do?

Dear Mayo-boy:
Put some mustard on your head, spin around three times,
and then say: ” I am a human hot dog“.

.

.

bathroomDear Suzie Wonder:
I was born with a pointy nose.. so when I got older, I told all my friends I was going to have it surgically altered. I went, but it ended up looking worse than ever. Since then, I’ve been getting ribbed a lot about it. My mother says that people aren’t laughing at me, they’re laughing with me. What do you think?
( selfie pictures of nose, and another body part, (equally over-sized), enclosed )

Dear Bergerac-boy:
No, they’re definitely laughing AT you.
Did you ever think about using that nose of yours as a can opener?
As for the other picture, you should really consider a career in the circus.

.

.

freshcigDear Suzie Wonder:
I have to give an oral dissertation for my Divinity Studies class final, and I haven’t a clue on how to proceed, since I paid absolutely no attention all year.
Any ideas?
Sincerely yours, Buck.

Dear Lazy-buck:
Print out the lyrics to Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and recite those.

.fathead

——follow up letter

Dear Suzie Wonder:
Thanks– I think that idea for my Divinity Studies class final might just work —-
…… but what about my health sciences class final ?
Buck.

Dear DumbANDLazy-buck:
Try John Lennon’s “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”.

.


.

badadviceDear Suzie Wonder:
I like to write on my hand,
and this drives my girlfriend crazy.
She’s really disgusted by it,
and threatens to break up with me if I don’t stop doing it.
What do I do next?

Dear Ink-boy:
Get a tattoo to solidify your relationship…

— make it nice and dark, so you can write on your hand all you want and she won’t be able to see it.

.

.

schoolDear Suzie Wonder:
Hi again. Thank you for the response on my lactating question. My pregnant girlfriend and I have been fighting over what to name our baby when it arrives. It’s making my medical problem worse, because we can’t agree. I think Larry is a nice name, and she doesn’t. What do you think?
Signed Larry (again)

Dear Milk-boy: I dunno why you persist in asking me insipid questions about your stupid life, but I don’t see how naming a kid after a guy who gives milk is gonna help things any.

.

.

HOY!

.

twit

 

 

 

In Trouble Again

1

Notice: I am not an attorney.

(You gotta pass a literacy test to even get into law school.)

I am not a non-attorney spokesperson.

(Not that I even know what the hell that’s supposed to mean when they say it on those commercials about suing drug companies and such..)

I have never played an attorney on TV.

(I couldn’t even stand that Matlock TV show,
…. and Andy Griffith is from around here.)

No attorneys were involved in the writing, production values, spell checks, legal consultations, or any other aspect of this here posting.

Not only that,

….. but I’d be perfectly happy if a extra-large size log-flume boat-full of lawyers were to sink into the murky depths of Lake Winnepauhsawk…

…… Lake Winapehseh….

err…… umm……

………… Lake Winnie.

I don’t even own a suit and tie anymore.

Honest.

As far as I’m concerned,
… briefs are only the kinda underwear ya wear when all yer boxer shorts are dirty.

None of the contents of this post constitute anything even resembling legal advice,
……. and you’d have to be more than half crazy to think it does.

2

No matter where you go in this great country,

there are a couple things….
sorta like “rules of the road”…….

……. that really don’t change much.

You never order spaghetti anywhere other than in an Italian Restaurant……

You never ask a strange woman with a big stomach when the baby is due…….

You never wear a bowling shirt and shorts to a wedding ……..

You never spit into the wind, or tug on superman’s cape…

…….. and you don’t never sass around with the man.

While the first three might end up causing you a simple case of diarrhea,
a hasty embarassing exit,
or some puss-eyed looks……..

The sass-the-police thing, well, that can lead to more serious , shall we say , consequences.

Of course, as you may have already learned in yer travels and trevails,
…. being nice to a cop ain’t necessarily gonna get you out of a jam……

It’s more like the difference to your perineum between a dry, chapped finger and a well lubed, manicured one.

Let’s say you’re toolin down the road in your lime green 1983 Plymouth Reliant with the burned out left taillight, hanging headliner, and the “Honk If You’re Horny” bumper sticker…..

( You say you don’t got a ” Honk If You’re Horny ” bumpersticker?
……….. hey– you don’t know what yer missin ! )

Anyhoo….
You glance in yer rearview mirror , and see the unwelcome sight of a ‘blue light special’ —
a brand new Crown Victoria with the word ” E C I L O P ” painted on the front —
—- which indicates that the local constabulary would like a word.

There are some serious mistakes you can make here, without really thinking about it, if you’re not careful.

If you truly want to come out of this encounter with the PoPo with a nice little warning and a short lecture on being more cautious in a school zone…..

……. instead of an expensive ticket, summons, or worse —-

( and who wouldn’t —
….. I hear they’re serving bologna for all three meals these days at the jail… )

You’ll take Yer Ole Uncle Nut’s not-constituting-legal-counsel advice on a coupla basic things.

‘Cause YOU know wuz speedin….
I know you wuz speedin….
and what’s more…..
the COP knows you were speedin….
and the JUDGE already knows it, too.

I mean, he ain’t pullin you over to get your phone number.

Unless you live in Union County, North Carolina….
…….. and then, only if you’re a cute hottie in Daisy Dukes.

Lets say you don’t and you ain’t.

Pull over completely off the right side of the road, if possible.
I flat out guarantee—
if you stop in the middle of the road, or onto the left shoulder,
you will be leaving with a ticket at the very least.
And the cop is wondering whether you’re smart enough to even BE driving.

Don’t get outta the car.
If he wants you out of the car, he’s got an intercom – he’ll tell ya.
In which case, he probably ain’t pulling you over for speeding, bud….
….. where did you say you got that Plymouth Reliant from, anyway?

Roll down your window.
Come on, what makes you think he’d pull you over and then want to
play twenty questions in sign language with you through the glass?

Don’t make any sudden or furtive moves.
If you suddenly reach down under the seat, he’s probably not gonna assume that you’re just putting your gum ( as opposed to GUN ) away for later use.

Have your license and registration ready.
Again, this might be counter-intuitive for some people,
but NO – he ain’t gonna just take your word fer it.

Greet the officer politely.
Here’s where a lotta folks get in trouble early on.
There are some things you can say as a greeting that are perfectly acceptable here,
….. and others– not so much.

Examples of recommended greetings:
“Good morning, Officer”
“Good evening, Officer”

Examples of not-recommended greetings:

“Just what in the hell do YOU want?”
“Don’t you have anything better to do?”
“I wasn’t just doing 80- your radar is defective”
“Hey, you’re cute for a Police Officer.. “
“Do you know who I am?”
“I’m not drunk, I swear.”

Or, any reference to donuts, his heritage or his mother.

Wait for it.
The next move is the officer’s…..
don’t ask him why he pulled you over-
you can bet he’s gonna tell ya soon enough.

If the Officer greets you with a question , keep your answer short and courteous.

Good morning… how y’all doing today? ” — should not be answered with a 10 minute dissertation about how rotten your day is and how your great-aunt Harriet is having hemorrhoid surgery at this very moment and how you promised to be there, should she happen to wake up asking for ya.

A smile, a “fine, thank you, how are you?” while handing him your license and registration, will do quite nicely.

I mean, you can manage a smile, can’t ya- this doesn’t have to be the Spanish Inquisition, you know.

Once you get past the usual pleasantries, this is where the going gets a little slick.

If he just takes your license and registration, and goes to check it on his computer, you’re doing ok so far.

Let’s hope they haven’t updated the NCIC with that little incident from 1973 at El Bunny Rancho in Vegas….

( What ever happened to “What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” anyway ? )

If he starts asking you questions — you’d better pay attention.

Cause the cop ain’t just asking questions fer no reason —
—- he really does have other things he could be doing, after all.

He’s listening not only to your answers, but to HOW your answer, and your overall demeanor.

He’s looking at you– your body language, how nervous you are, whether you are a threat.

I mean, he don’t know you from one of the crazy lady down the block’s 40 or so house cats.

So, he’s got just a coupla moments to size you up — figure out just kinda animal you iz – or ain’t.

Don’t get him thinkin’ you’re anything else other than a nice feller with a loose gas pedal and a junky old car.

3

Remember this:

Cops don’t ask a lotta questions they don’t already think they know the answer to.

If the Officer asks you:
” Do you know how fast you were going? ” ,

this is just the kinda thing that is gonna tell him a lot about what kinda guy you are.
( That is, if you’re not careful… )

Again, he already knows how fast you wuz going- or he wouldn’t be asking ya.

So, your best response is going to be something as close to honest as you can manage without totally incriminating yourself ….

“I’m afraid I might have been a little over the speed limit”

would be preferable to:

“I wuz trying to get this hunk of junk into triple digits to get around that damned school bus up ahead”

If he leads off with “Do you happen to know the speed limit here?”,
-(you should know the answer) –
….. expect the question above to immediately follow….
……. he’s just checking to see if you’re an idiot, first.

If he asks you ” have you had anything to drink today ?” — he’s not asking you for a beer.

Something about you or your driving has set off his drunk-o-meter.
You’d better figure out a sure way to sober up, and toot suite, buddy.
Cause there’s no winning answer to this question—- once it’s asked, you’re in trouble.
Every possible answer has a hidden meaning to a Police Officer.
Check out the following translation chart.
On the left is your possible answer.
On the right is the cop translation.

No == ask more questions
Yes, one beer == you’ve been drinking
Only a couple == you’ve been drinking for a while
Three beers == you’ve been drinking all day
You know how it is == you’ve been drinking with his wife
I’m not drunk == damn, you’re drunk as a skunk
I’m drunk == you’ve got crack on you, too

If you have failed miserably up to this point,
……. there almost inevitably comes the magic question:

You don’t have anything illegal in your vehicle, do ya… no knives, guns, bombs, hand grenades…”

Buddy, if you have gotten that question —
Ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City.

…….. ‘Cause the next one is the one about consent to search.

And how you answer that one…..

……… well, don’t ask me… you’d better get an attorney.

Maybe one or two of them know how to swim.

4

PS…. just a friendly word in your ear:
If they read you your rights, remember — SILENT.