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Blogroll (kinda) update

August 7, 2008

A few years ago, I was at a Cultural Sensitivity class for a company that will remain nDaUmPeOleNsTs. Wow, typo.

As a smoker, you get to meet some very interesting people. One of which I met that week was a biker who was body and soul against the helmet law. This was my introduction to the concept of the Nanny State. We got about 3-4 breaks a day where the too-soon-to-die-of-cancer among us would go down to the streets of Wilmington and partake of our slow suicide.

I grew up among bikers. My dad rode an old Triumph before trading that in for jumpy but majestic Cessna. My uncle rode Harleys since before I can remember. But, when you grow up around something, it never occurs to you to make it a topic of conversation; it’s just part of your life. So, it came to pass that seven zillion years into my adulthood, I found myself discussing helmet laws with a man who was a stranger.

I admit, I had never put a whole lot of thought into it, so I was all for a law that bikers should wear a helmet. Hell, we were talking about my Uncle Pat, his buddy Cort, and all the guys that made me laugh until I fell asleep, tears of mirth lining my tired, Christmas-dazzled eyes. Who would want those wonderful, lively folks to die?

And I stated such in my conversation wih this biker who was trapped with me in this hell of corporate touchy-feely bullshit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone command my attention as he did when he told me, “If you’re going down the highway and you wreck, what the fuck do you think a helmet is going to do? At best, it would make me a cripple, and son, that’s worse than any death you could hand me.”

What can I say? I was rocked. I imagined Uncle Pat, Aunt Caroline, or Cort spending their remaining days in a wheelchair, paralyzed. And, frankly, I know death would have been preferable to them. There were conversations that I overheard between them that described their rides as freedom. Freedom that they knew they were unable to obtain otherwise. When I sat by that garden in a Wilmington hotel and imagined that freedom taken away by an ill-considered law, I got angry and I got smarter.

Well, this new link goes to Chainsaw and Girlgeek, a collaborative website of Shirley Vandever and her good man, Chainsaw. Check it out!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2008 10:42 am

    Hmmm, I wonder if we know the dude you were talking to? Thanks for the shout-out Joe ! (P.S. Chainsaw does all the work on the site, LOL. I would go for more girly colors).

  2. August 11, 2008 3:08 pm

    More folks should drag out their old vinyl and play Janis Joplin’s, “Me and Bobby McGee.”
    Noooo, dont youtube it, listen to it.

    Maybe I was born 10 years too late.

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