These things accumulate and every now and then I pile some of them together that I haven’t used and rather than just letting them sit in cold storage I run a column of these individual thoughts. Like I mentioned the last time I did this, I think to fully appreciate any of them you should read each separately with a short pause between. After a moment you still might find many of these pretty damned stupid and not worth the effort, but then again maybe not. Anyway, here are a few of ‘em.......
“Healthcare accounts for over half of all bankruptcies in the United States.” That’s from a recent TV news program. Shame on our American healthcare system!
Then lastly for this month there’s this memory.... it’s called the “Who’s more burnt?” incident in the file.....
My region used to do a huge pig roast every early October. We’d use between four and five good-sized hogs with tons of beans, potato or macaroni salad, and rolls to serve at least a thousand attendees. The owners of the facility took care of the beer concession and we’d hire two or three bands, recruit plenty of vendors, and allowed a free swap meet as part of the paltry $8.00 gate admission.
One of the early years of doing that (I think it was the second) a bunch of us were there the evening before the actual event with five dressed hogs to prepare, which we did by stuffing them, tying them on the spit rods, spreading out the charcoal, and doing any other preparatory tasks that could be done that early.
The two guys who volunteered for the ‘Night Watch” were to spend the night there and start the fire about midnight, keep it tended as it slowly turned to coals, place the pigs over the coals later, then take turns napping while they took their time with a few other minor chores. Instead, they ended up getting totally wasted and fell asleep (properly spelled p-a-s-s-e-d o-u-t).
The next morning the rest of us returned and started to freak when we saw them crashed beside their little campfire....out cold! The pigs were supposed to begin cooking shortly after 2:00 AM, but instead the fires didn’t even get started until we showed up about 9:00 AM, just an hour before the gate opened. By noon the porkers were still mostly pink when somebody got the brilliant idea to throw on more fuel and really stoke the fires up.
Almost on cue, at exactly one o’clock, four of the pigs caught on fire and literally burst into flames. Folks were just a-running for water hoses and more than one woman (and man) actually screamed! The other pig would have caught fire, but one of our hung-over “Night Watch” dudes soaked his dirty old sleeping bag from a keg of beer and threw it over the only pig that wasn’t in flames. It got real stinky as the plastic and the nylon from the sleeping bag which covered that entire smoking hog melted into the charcoal and also onto the pig. THAT pig got thrown into the back of someone’s pick-up never to be seen or smelled again. The remaining four had to be pulled away while the wet charcoal was changed and re-started for each spit, after which the meat continued to cook for a few more hours.
Now, all this was done within complete view of a gathering crowd of VERY hungry bikers who were starting to bitch about getting fed some GOOD food. A few wanted their money back (and we gave it to them) but most people were satisfied with bits of cooked and/or burnt pork that were sliced off until nothing was left but half-cooked carcasses.
Finally the bands started playing and that distracted everyone from their grumbling stomachs and their disappointment. It wasn’t our finest hour but it did teach us to get our act together.
Our Region Hog Roast continued for fifteen more years and became the mainstay event of our region. But that second one served to make us very aware of the importance of having a back-up plan for any unforeseen situation. Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong....it will. And from then on, instead of many hogs, we’d only cook one for show. The rest of the meat came from convenient pork roasts due to all the waste (and the hassle) that you get from a whole hog even if it’s done right.
Competing events throughout ensuing years put on by businesses (who often had absolutely nothing to do with biking) whittled away the participants of our Hog Roast. We eventually gave up the event completely when the cost began overriding the benefits. Now about the only way we can make any money for ABATE is through sponsoring bike runs because there is hardly any overhead cost there. Donations usually take care of the extras like door prizes, food, and music.
Looking back, much money for ABATE and many memories for us all were made in those long ago days when bike events were total parties put on by and for bikers instead of corporate productions done entirely for income and profit.
Well, that’s it for this month kids. Enjoy your summer, ride safe, and remember to....