The show had bikes from Japan and Europe, but the main attraction were the high-end Harley-Davidsons and custom choppers built right here in the U.S. of A. Send me a letter if I'm wrong, but I think choppers are the bikes with the long front forks that are parked outside of divey biker bars in bad movies. The nice ones at the show were priced between $20,000-$35,000 (approximately 15 to 20 times what I was hoping to pay for my early midlife crisismobile). The choppers at the show tended to have elaborate airbrushed paint jobs. The typical paint job looked something like tattoo-art-meets-Panama-City-T-shirt-shop. It actually looks great on bikes, though, especially in tandem with the polished chrome that frames it.
One of the most memorable choppers on display wasn't a motorcycle. It was the Dixie Chopper, the self-declared "World's Fastest Lawnmower." The standard models have a top speed of 18 mph, but according to the sales rep, custom models have been clocked at 84 mph. The Dixie Chopper was just a couple of tables away from a guy selling dental insurance.
One of the nicest things about the show was the race/sex/style hodgepodge in attendance. There were beefy biker gang-looking types standing next to scrawny nerd types standing next to lesbians. My favorite city-too-busy-to-hate scene of the day was when I saw a 30-ish black couple buy a Nazi bike helmet for their young daughter. Dad signed the charge slip on top of a glass display case inside of which was a big "Proud To Be White" sew-on patch. Incidentally, these days, toy Nazi helmets are made in Pakistan of all places.
I met several nice people at the show. One guy tried to sell me gutter guards. After I explained that I'm a renter, he began to detail all of the programs aimed at helping people become homeowners. I also had a brief chat with black-haired, impressively bosomed model Taylor Kennedy. I asked her to pose for a photo on a bike. While she was posing, she explained that she's in the January edition of Playboy's "Natural Beauties." After I got my photos, she shook my hand and told me that "if I ever need anything," I should just let her know. She seemed genuinely friendly. I think I might ask her to come by in a few weeks to help me move some furniture around or maybe wash my car topless. The worst she could do is say no.
Nice balls: When I think of gray, snow-flurried February afternoons, I naturally think of baseball. Apparently, I'm not alone, because Turner Field was opened up for the Braves' Winter Fanfest on Saturday. For free (or $10 to charity if you wanted player autographs), baseball lovers and newspaper columnists could wander through Turner Field. The main attraction was a chance to go out on the field. Attendees could run the bases, catch fly balls and grab their crotches just like the pros! Running the bases was fun, but watching kids do so was even more fun. Some of the kids were so young that their dads had to lift them onto the bases. My favorite, though, was a grade school-aged boy who made a point of falling and rolling in as much dirt as he possibly could while running the bases. It was his one opportunity to stain his clothes with big league dirt and, dammit, he wasn't gonna blow his chance.
Rappucino: On Sunday nights, Decatur's Java Monkey lends its awning-covered patio to a Kodac Harrison-hosted open-mic poetry session. Though he's a talented, respected and fun songwriter, poet and pontificator in his own right (and write), here Harrison confines his contribution to hosting and making sure the atmosphere is supportive.
One of last Sunday's highlights came early in the night. Dressed in a tux with tails, Montez Edwards offered comedic spoken word in the guise of "Chocolate Pavorattay." Rapping in operatic style, he included snippets of Nelly, Public Enemy, and ended his performance by removing his coat to reveal a nipple-baring shirt. Take that, Janet.
The show's "feature" poet was Nashville resident Stephanie Pruitt. My favorite of her poems was "Contrived Reality," which cleverly identified and thus deflated the assumptions people make about a person when they see a certain skin color or clothes.
All's well that Roswell: You may not have noticed if you weren't in Roswell's Waller Park, but Sunday was officially "Bam Earthquake Day" in the city of Roswell. Mayor Jere Wood declared it so over a P.A. system immediately before a charity soccer match (they call it football in Roswell) matching the DeKalb Select 3 League champion team against Atlanta's Iranian Select team. Wood is running for State Senate.
Even with former Iranian national teamer Nasser Vosough tending goal, the Iranians were unable to stop the more physical DeKalb team. The score was something like 4 to 0 at the half (no scoreboard, so I lost track). Though the match wasn't close, there was still plenty to do. The concessions stand sold food and hot tea while dance music blared out of the P.A. for much of the match. The woman collecting the admission charge was so caught up in the music that she could barely stop herself from dancing and singing along to Ricky Martin's "Cup of Life" long enough to take my money.
Yay, pot-related arrests. Good use of my tax money. Lotta lives saved.
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