I’m Speechless…

 

…well, not really.  This is me, after all.  But following along in the vein of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who made the same announcement during the worst of the debacle at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, and then followed it with several hundred more of their words, here–with the hope that I’m more on point, or at least more interesting, than their Royal Wokenesses–I go:

I just came back from getting a cortisone shot in my knee.  I’ve probably got a small tear in the meniscus, and I may need surgery at some point, but we’re taking it one step at a time.  Jen (the Physician’s Assistant) is very good** and it didn’t hurt much–very unlike the one I got a few months ago for trigger finger in my left hand.  That one was excruciating.  And it didn’t solve the problem long-term, as they assured me it does in about two-thirds of the cases.  So most definitely surgery in my future at some point for that one.  Deep joy.

Most of the trip home from the doctor’s office (about nine miles) is Interstate highway.  Once I get off the Interstate, I’m on narrow country roads which may, or may not, have road markings.  They’re not heavily traveled, and we don’t speed because of all the bends and the hills.

Approaching me in the other direction, I espy a motorcycle.  I don’t know much about them, don’t like them all that much (my only experiences riding on the back of one were less than enjoyable), and am always mindful of that old saw about motorcycles:  “It’s not a question of if; it’s only a question of when.”  (Sorry, I know there are those here who enjoy their excursions.  I’m happy for you.  It’s just not my thang, and when I encounter them on the road, I’m always on my guard. )

Sooo…here he comes, approaching me at speed, on what I’d call a “mid-range” model.  Much more than a scooter, but certainly not the largest motorbike I’ve ever seen. (Those were in the parking lot of a movie theater, the day Mr. She and I, my stepdaughter and my mother-in-law, went to see Casablanca on the big screen.  Once we’d got ourselves parked and sorted out, we realized we’d lost Grandma, and discovered her being treated like a queen, and holding forth in the middle of a mass of guys who were part of a Harley ride.  She was having the time of her life, and they were on the point of tossing her onto the back of one and taking her for a spin.  I suppose she was in her early 70s at the time.  Not much older than I am now.  LOL.)

Anyhoo, the guy coming the other way got closer and closer, and as we passed each other, I noticed two things:

  1. He was not wearing a helmet
  2. He was wearing a mask

Crimenutely.  People–even those on motorbikes–have lost their ever-loving minds.

T.E. Lawrence and his beloved Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle.  On May 13, 1935, only two months after retiring from the army, he was out joyriding, swerved to avoid two boys on the road, went over the handlebars, and suffered a fatal head injury.  One of his attending neurosurgeons was so affected by Lawrence’s injuries that he embarked on a research project which led to the adoption of protective headgear for both civilian and military motorcycle riders.  A bit more on the sad end to a fascinating life, here.

PS:  I suspect my opposite number was not a local.  The locals have far too much sense.  I was enjoying myself hugely in the company of a bunch of truly deplorable friends and neighbors (Trump voters all) the other day, whose bewilderment with those denuding the shelves at Tractor Supply of Ivermectin and slurping it up themselves was profound.  Most of them were willing to consider the possibility that Ivermectin might help with Covid.  None of them thought taking the veterinary formulation on one’s own and without medical supervision was a good idea.  And all of them were ticked off that–as I’d predicted–it’s become much harder for those of us who need it for our livestock to acquire it locally.  People are driving out here to buy it (apparently the paste is more popular than the liquid, but both of them are sold out) without much concern for the people who actually live here. In much the same way, interlopers during hunting season are the ones who leave decapitated bucks to rot in the woods, and who throw their fast-food leavings (and other insalubrious garbage) out onto the road.  The natives just don’t do that.  Thus, I conclude that the daft brush on the motorbike came from “away” somewhere.  Still shaking my head, though.

**Jen the Physician Assistant is just another piece of evidence in my stepdaughter Jenny’s longstanding and often borne-out theory that–when you’re looking for a smart, efficient woman in any sort of office setting to help you–if you can find one whose name is “Jennifer,” your chances are pretty good she’ll fit the bill.  She would know.

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  1. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid.  They keep the bugs out.

    • #1
  2. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    I’ll take your word for it.  This was a homemade cloth version–not one I’ve seen before–not a mylar or other see-through visor.  So not sure what it was designed to keep the bugs out from.  Certainly not his eyes.

    • #2
  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    There used to be an informal “90/90” rule in motorcycling: 90% of the bad accidents happen to people who have been riding for less than 90 days. We used to say, “Ride as if the road is made of oiled glass covered in ball bearings, and as if you’re invisible to other motorists”. 

    And yes, wear a helmet. Bikers can be really stupid about that. 60 years ago, when California required motorcycles to have side mirrors, our usual surly, recalcitrant brothers on wheels conformed with the law by using dentist’s mirrors. 

     

    • #3
  4. Michael Brehm Coolidge
    Michael Brehm
    @MichaelBrehm

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    I was just about to say that the guy was probably sick of picking gnats out of his teeth.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    So much for the old joke about how to tell a happy Harley rider.

    • #5
  6. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Britain has made some world-famous, world class motorcycles. The Brough was no longer made when I was riding, but in the ’70s, there was still the holy family of great English bikes: the “snortin'” Norton, Vincent, Triumph and “beezer”, BSAs (British Small Arms–as if Harley Davidson and Smith and Wesson were the same company). 

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Britain has made some world-famous, world class motorcycles. The Brough was no longer made when I was riding, but in the ’70s, there was still the holy family of great English bikes: the “snortin’” Norton, Vincent, Triumph and “beezer”, BSAs (British Small Arms–as if Harley Davidson and Smith and Wesson were the same company).

    • #7
  8. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    There are two types of motorists. People in cars and organ donors.

    • #8
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    She: always mindful of that old saw about motorcycles:  “It’s not a question of if; it’s only a question of when.” 

    My dad’s saying was: “Get your son a motorcycle for his last birthday.”

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    EJHill (View Comment):

    There are two types of motorists. People in cars and organ donors.

    Yeah.  Folks on tractors aren’t too far behind the second type, either.  That’s why I’m careful.

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Britain has made some world-famous, world class motorcycles. The Brough was no longer made when I was riding, but in the ’70s, there was still the holy family of great English bikes: the “snortin’” Norton, Vincent, Triumph and “beezer”, BSAs (British Small Arms–as if Harley Davidson and Smith and Wesson were the same company).

    Yeah.  I have Dad’s BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) shotgun–the one with which he killed the man-eating lion in Nigeria, somewhere in the 1950s.  Getting it imported into the USA after he died, and because all my British relations were scared to own it, was quite an endeavor.  But with the help of Mr. She, who was well-able to charm the pants off the gun guys–not literally, thankfully–blessings on the United States Marine Corps), we prevailed.  I remember going to pick it up when it finally made it through, and the case-hardened guy who’d been helping us almost crying with joy at the leather case it came in with all the travel, and plane and ship labels all over it.

    It’s a piece of history.  Not least because it was a wedding present, in 1904, from my Grandfather to my Grandmother.

    I know absolutely nothing about BSA motorcycles.

     

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    She (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    I’ll take your word for it. This was a homemade cloth version–not one I’ve seen before–not a mylar or other see-through visor. So not sure what it was designed to keep the bugs out from. Certainly not his eyes.

    I once was stung on the roof of my mouth.  I don’t wear a mask, but I keep my mouth closed.

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Michael Brehm (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    I was just about to say that the guy was probably sick of picking gnats out of his teeth.

    Question: How do you know a happy biker?

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    So much for the old joke about how to tell a happy Harley rider.

    I’m too late.

    • #13
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    She: if you can find one whose name is “Jennifer,” your chances are pretty good she’ll fit the bill.

    Say what?

    • #14
  15. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    She:

    Anyhoo, the guy coming the other way got closer and closer, and as we passed each other, I noticed two things:

    1. He was not wearing a helmet
    2. He was wearing a mask

     

    I have seen this too and been baffled. Yes, it was clear the mask was a Covid mask and not a bug mask.

    My motorcycle riding son would note that the face shield of a full face helmet eliminates the bug in the teeth issue. And that without a full face helmet plus a full riding suit (“leathers”) with reinforced elbows, knees, and a back plate, and gloves and boots, a rider is just asking for trouble. 

    • #15
  16. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The only proper response to either the Duke or the Duchess intoning the words “I am speechless” is to immediately interrupt with “How refreshing. Thank you.”

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Flicker (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    I’ll take your word for it. This was a homemade cloth version–not one I’ve seen before–not a mylar or other see-through visor. So not sure what it was designed to keep the bugs out from. Certainly not his eyes.

    I once was stung on the roof of my mouth. I don’t wear a mask, but I keep my mouth closed.

    I sympathize..  Once, on a tractor mowing excursion, I ran over a nest of ground bees.  17 stings on my head.  Awful.  Not sure I’d have survived, had I not had the forethought to turn the water hose onto myself and get rid of them, before begging Mr. She to take me to the emergency room.

    • #17
  18. JCM Member
    JCM
    @JCM

    A few years ago I was driving on the expressway and a girl riding a bike passed me.  She was wearing cut off shorts and a tank top – that’s it, no helmet, no shoes.  Don’t you use your feet to shift gears?

    • #18
  19. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    JCM (View Comment):

    A few years ago I was driving on the expressway and a girl riding a bike passed me. She was wearing cut off shorts and a tank top – that’s it, no helmet, no shoes. Don’t you use your feet to shift gears?

    Sure do, but the shift engagement is usually light and easy, easier than a car’s. The hand clutch and throttle are also subtle. That’s one of the things I found interesting about motorcycles before I owned any: when the traffic light changes, the rider hardly appears to be doing anything, the bike just mysteriously accelerates into the distance. 

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    She (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Masks on motorcycles predates covid. They keep the bugs out.

    I’ll take your word for it. This was a homemade cloth version–not one I’ve seen before–not a mylar or other see-through visor. So not sure what it was designed to keep the bugs out from. Certainly not his eyes.

    I once was stung on the roof of my mouth. I don’t wear a mask, but I keep my mouth closed.

    I sympathize.. Once, on a tractor mowing excursion, I ran over a nest of ground bees. 17 stings on my head. Awful. Not sure I’d have survived, had I not had the forethought to turn the water hose onto myself and get rid of them, before begging Mr. She to take me to the emergency room.

    I was scared with just one.  It’s good you weren’t alone.

    • #20
  21. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    JCM (View Comment):

    A few years ago I was driving on the expressway and a girl riding a bike passed me. She was wearing cut off shorts and a tank top – that’s it, no helmet, no shoes. Don’t you use your feet to shift gears?

    Sure do, but the shift engagement is usually light and easy, easier than a car’s. The hand clutch and throttle are also subtle. That’s one of the things I found interesting about motorcycles before I owned any: when the traffic light changes, the rider hardly appears to be doing anything, the bike just mysteriously accelerates into the distance.

    I always thought the coolest thing, among many, was pulling the clutch and releasing it at the same time.

    • #21
  22. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    She: It’s just not my thang, and when I encounter them on the road, I’m always on my guard. )

    You can bet that motorcyclists are on their guard when they encounter cars, too.

    • #22
  23. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Back in the ’70’s, when I was riding and reading Cycle magazine, it’s editorial position was against helmet laws, but that anyone who didn’t wear one didn’t have a brain to protect anyway.

    • #23
  24. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    She: It’s just not my thang, and when I encounter them on the road, I’m always on my guard. )

    You can bet that motorcyclists are on their guard when they encounter cars, too.

    We got rear-ended by one in the 1970s, on PEI.  My mother had slowed to make a left turn, and was signaling.  The (not-very-bright) young man on the motorcycle wasn’t looking, and plowed straight into us.  Fortunately, he was just bruised, but the bike was in a pretty bad way.  It was a sickening thud though.  I remember it as if it was yesterday.

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I always wore a helmet, but not because you had to.  I just thought it looked cool . . .

    • #25
  26. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Stad (View Comment):

    I always wore a helmet, but not because you had to. I just thought it looked cool . . .

    I always wore full coverage helmets, and that fact probably saved me thousands of dollars of dental work one time.

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    I always wore a helmet, but not because you had to. I just thought it looked cool . . .

    I always wore full coverage helmets, and that fact probably saved me thousands of dollars of dental work one time.

    I always wore a 3/4 helmet.  Didn’t like the fit of the full helmet, and I still believe it limited my peripheral vision, regardless of what the experts said . . .

    • #27