I rarely leave the greasy enclave that is my group of friends on weekends, but something strange was in the air and I deviated from my usual routine.
I had a vivid reminder last night as to why my gregarious nature leads me to only hang out with like-minded greasy-folk.
Living the rockin' life is an undiluted, intense existence inside a microcosm. Like any microcosm, the inhabitants rarely mingle with outsiders and other cultural influences do not permeate, thus leaving the culture pure and untainted.
Like the Cajuns of Louisiana, we revel in our music and culture. The only reminder of our uniqueness, is the strange looks we have to endure on a daily basis.
Last night was an intense example the likes of which even Fellini himself couldn't imagine. As for myself, I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.
Drinking and craigslist are usually not a good combo. I sometimes impulsively buy shit that I end up regretting. Two nights ago was no exception. After many e-mail exchanges, I agreed to purchase an adult tricycle.
You read that right; a tricycle. For some reason, I have this thing about trikes. When I go to parties and there is a kiddie trike there, I'm gonna ride it. I just can't help myself. Maybe I should have joined the shriner circus.
Just before leaving to attend a monthly rockabilly night, I made last minute arrangements to pick up said trike. The dude was moving and it had to go now.
I took the subway to what is probably the most deserted part of town. It was getting late when I arrived and there wasn't a beer store to be found for love or money.
As I finally arrived to the dude's place, the pungent odor of pot filled the air. That would probably explain why I exchanged e-mails for four hours with this a guy for a 60 dollar bike.
The young stoner was nice enough, but he was talkin' his fool head off. I had a hard time getting away from him, the call of beer and rockabilly was strong and I was getting squirrely.
I finally got that contraption down the stairs and began riding down the empty sidewalk.
It wasn't empty long, because I soon had some company: a police cruiser. The cops were slowly driving along side me and eventually blocked my way in an intersection.
I must admit that it was a ridiculous site in the cops' eyes. A 6 foot dude in full rockabilly regalia, sporting a greasy pomp,gritting his teeth and furiously pedaling a trike. The short cranks and single speed made me pedal really fast, making it look even more ridiculous.
A lot of adult trike are designated for people with mobility issues. The cops seemed unsure if I had a disability or was simply a mental patient who had just escaped from a nearby half way house. They just told me to wear a helmet and let go merrily on my way.
Two seconds after that, a passer-by stopped me to ask where I got the bike because he wanted one. His limited English made the conversation longer and began to get the attention of said cops who put the cruiser in reverse. I was just about to sell the trike to the passer-by for 100 bucks when the cops pulled up again. I just took off and they left me alone. I grumbled to myself that those cops just cost me a c-note.
Keep in mind that I was sober while all this was transpiring. I needed a beer right now. I knew of one bar close by. I rolled down the hill, wavering from side to side. Those trikes are hard to ride, and when you slam on the coaster brake, you skid sideways and nearly wipe out.
All this happened in full view of the bar patrons. I locked the trike and walked in the bar. 30 or so heads turned simultaneously and I saw a few gals mouth " oh my god". I bellied up to the bar and ordered from the smirking bar tender.
He asked how I got my hair to do that, and I just muttered something about " Mexican hair grease". He left me alone after that.
Tiring of being an object of derision and feeling like a fish in aquarium, I pounded my second pint and took off.
I rode down a busy thoroughfare to get back to the subway ignoring a few cars honking and a few jeers from suburban yahoos going downtown to act like fucking retards.
On the train, I ignored the bemused expressions from a gaggle of Japanese tourists.
I finally arrived at the rockabilly bar amidst howls of laughter from my friends who all had had a hefty head start on drinking. I quickly went inside to order beers so I could catch up.
There is something about a trike that makes everyone want to sit on it. As I returned outside, the scene was getting more and more hilarious as one greaser after the next took turns riding the trike on the sidewalk.
This particular bar is in another deserted part of town and the only one around, so even on rockabilly nights, it can attract its fair share of freaks.
One particular freak didn't want to pay cover and a huge altercation ensued. Not content to leave well enough alone he kept coming back for more, egged on by some skank. There was some story about her being form Spain, but she looked more like she came from Cordova st. ( where the crack whores prowl).
This fool's third attempt to cause shit resulted in him getting clocked right in the head. The freaks eventually left.
About an hour later, 3 fashion-victim louts showed up, all of them wearing really shiny white shoes (!?).
They were parading back and forth in front of the bar, sporting that kleenex-box-in-the-armpit stance.
That obvious provocation did not go unchallenged for long. A group of very large greasers poured out of the bar, and faster than a blink of an eye, a full on rockabilly rumble had started.
It ain't like the movies; it happens fast, ends fast, it's hard to say what happened, and all the participants get hurt.
The last thing I remember was seeing three pairs of really shiny white shoes haulin' ass down the street. The strange part is that nobody's pomp got messed up.
There will some aches and pains this morning, but I guess those very large metrosexuals now know not to provoke greasers for no reason.
Everybody needed beers after that. When I finally got home, I cracked a few more beers and asked myself why the hell I bought that trike.