HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!!
Every now and then I make a list of things I want to do in the New Year. Sometimes I even make an effort to DO those things for a while before I say, “This is stupid. I’m not so sure I even want to pay attention to this crap. It simply isn’t THAT important.” That’s because I usually set my sights too high. And even if I can hold true to course for a while, I soon get tired of it. So this year I’m going to be more realistic about things and set goals that are more do-able... things that are NOT going to show me that I can’t even do what I myself have set my sights on doing.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far...
1. I will NOT get involved with a beautiful sex freak who will think of nothing but ways for her to satisfy my every need and desire. Nope! Not gonna happen!
2. I will NOT bore all my friends about how healthy I’m eating. And to make sure of that I will intentionally consume foods that are UNhealthy.
3. I will NOT become one of those non-smokers who grimace and preach every time anyone lights up a cigarette. And to insure that, I’ll continue smoking like an old freight train. Nor will I freak out if someone is bitching about it. I’ll just assume that if they can sit around a campfire, they can sit around me, or they can move their healthy asses to someplace else.
4. I will NOT shave my beard off to make myself look younger which has been suggested a few times. And why the hell would I want to look younger anyway? I wasn’t into young chicks even when I was young (‘nuff said.)
5. I will NOT start an exercise routine to “get in shape” because I am “round” which IS a shape (‘nuff said about that too.)
6. I will NOT brag to everyone about how many miles I put on the scoot. Why should they care? And that’s between her (the scoot) and I anyway.
7. I will NOT enter a male anatomy contest. (But if I DO, I will donate my winnings to charity.)
8. I will NOT get a stupid-ass job just to fill my retirement time. If I need something to do THAT bad, I will use my time for something worthy... like doing research on the pursuit of self-indulgent pleasure in all its forms.
9. I will NOT wash my bike any more than absolutely necessary because it wears the paint off (unless the person doing it is wearing a thong and high heels).
10. I will NOT ever wear a thong OR high heels.
11. I will NOT wear ANYTHING in a hot tub unless little kids are present.
12. I will NOT eat snails or anything else gross, even if someone I usually trust says, “Try it! You’ll like it!”
13. I will NOT advertise on FaceBook what I had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Nor will I whine and bitch about things that are obviously bad to anyone who isn’t evil or an idiot.
14. I will NOT lend anything I wouldn’t want, or couldn’t afford, to give. That way if it’s not returned it will mess with THEIR karma and not MY attitude.
15. I will NOT wear any shirts other than Hawaiians and T’s (no statement, it’s just a comfort thing).
16. I will NOT develop a taste for rap. Music should always have a melody whether it’s hard or soft rock, jazz, blues, classical, R&B, bluegrass, big-band, country, folk, salsa, swing, or polka! That’s what makes it MUSIC!!
17. I will NOT ride my bike any faster than it can go. (Huh?)
18. I will NOT ignore the safe word... again. I promise. I really, REALLY promise!
19. I will NOT associate with known politicians unless it’s for the sake of ABATE. If that’s the case, I will seek forgiveness from God if he happens to be paying attention.
20. I will NOT discard anything that can possibly be of use to somebody. There is far too much waste in this world and way too many landfills. Okay, that might be too tuff realistically, so I’ll change that to “most” things instead of “anything”. (I just gotta slow down on acquiring more “stuff”!)
There. That should just about do it.
Having goals can be a good thing. Having the goal of NOT doing things can be even better in my opinion because I’ve grown increasingly lazy in my twilight years and the less effort I have to put into anything, the better. I even stopped putting effort into most friendships when that becomes too much work.
There was a time not so long ago that I’d love to have “friends” come over to my house for parties. I had a pool and a full bar, so my place was a magnet for everyone... recent acquaintances, old friends, drinkers, stoners, couples, singles, lost tourists, and police. Then when I temporarily shut down the bar due to my supporting of an ex’s drinking issues for a year or more, I realized that most of these people weren’t really my “friends”.
A friend is someone who throughout time is consistently there for you, and because of that, you should be there for them. Thank God I’ve rarely actually “needed” anything I couldn’t take care of myself, but I’ve definitely helped some people who, once their problem was rectified or taken care of, forgot to stay in touch and maybe that’s for the best. No matter how busy someone might be, a phone call only takes a minute, and my number hasn’t changed in thirty two years. My father taught me that no matter how many friends you THINK you might have, you’re lucky if the number of your TRUE friends equals the number of fingers you have on one hand. And that’s not a bad thing, nor is it something you should forget.
For instance: I’ve been in the biker community since I was a teenager in the late 1960’s when I realized that riding dirt bikes was (in my case) a step towards riding street bikes. For the past fifty years I’ve heard the term “Bro” or “Brother” thrown around so much that I eventually stopped being irritated when someone I didn’t even know referred to me as “Bro” just because they ride a bike, have ridden bikes, or they even just know someone who rides and they want to be part of some kind of “brotherhood”. It doesn’t make me cringe like it used to simply because I realized that bikers used to use “Bro” just like long-haired hippies used the peace sign.
In my long-haired days (which really never ended) throwing the peace sign at someone was acknowledgment and recognition that you and the person you were throwing it to were part of a specific lifestyle that was separate from the rest of society, and that you both shared the same sentiments. It was often a sort of code, a password.
In my early days of being a “biker” the same thing could be said about “Bro”. But now I don’t know what the hell it means when it comes from a stranger, other than someone is trying to sound cool. So I just smile and reply, “Dig it man.” with a nudge nudge and a wink wink like something from an old Monty Python movie.
I’ve used the phrase “Brothers and Sisters” playfully in this column in the same way that a medicine show barker would use it, and we DO share our memberships so we ARE connected. But as my dad said about friends, thinking every biker is your “Bro” is not only wishful thinking, it’s a flat out mistake and can be dangerous (can I get an “Amen” to that brothers and sisters? LOL!)
Just like I’m sure that the old blues and jazz musicians used to laugh at rockers, and the old beatniks used to laugh at hippies, I’ve caught myself internally laughing at new bikers, and that’s just plain WRONG. Being a righteous member of this lifestyle, like being a mountain man, an athlete, an artist, or the writer of a column for a biker magazine, doesn’t have anything to do with seniority and sometimes I have to remind myself of that.
Speaking of that...
I’ve been doing this for a long time (almost twenty five years now!) Like I’ve bragged on many occasions, I never seem to hear of anyone bitching about what I write... which is strange when it’s written for bikers because we can bitch about anything (I know I can!) On the other hand, I rarely get any good feedback about it either. I don’t even know if that many people are reading me these days... especially since many of you are now opting to just get the magazine on-line to conserve money for the organization. Of course I know there are still thousands of you out there, but it doesn’t seem that way when poor old Bummer is sitting alone in his office pounding out useless shit every month to be sent to the editor for the purpose of “lightening up” and providing simple entertainment for a magazine that is mostly about the workings of this association, promoting our political agenda, and various legal stuff.
Now don’t get me wrong... I really enjoy doing it. But I’ve been wondering if more than just a few people are taking the time to seek out and read me now. The server we use for our on-line magazine doesn’t register the hits, so we never know how many go on-line for it, or what they’re reading when they do.
Before, that didn’t matter so much because people would often take their magazine to the bathroom with them, to a doctor’s appointment, pass it on to friends, etc, (I LOVE going to the bathroom with you) so eventually y’all probably read most of it, including my ramblings. But taking it with you anywhere and absorbing the whole magazine isn’t always practical if you’re reading this on-line.
So, do me a favor and let me know if I should keep this up whether you’re reading this on-line OR if you have the magazine in your hands. Call me at 330-872-1198 and ask for Bummer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, my name on FaceBook is Robert Baldwin from Newton Falls, (Ohio for any of you from outta state duh!) and message me, even if it’s just a thumbs up. Or you can pass it along somehow through ABATE officers or the state office just to let me know that pumping this out each month is still relevant. If you’re NOT reading this... (Okay... THAT doesn’t make any sense whatsoever).
Contrary to all this, if you have any complaints, just disregard everything I’ve written after “Speaking of that...” LOL.
And once again, welcome to 2018, it’s a NEW year folks!!!!
Talk at ya next month,