We've not had any motorcycling tomfoolery recently have we? I've only got a few minutes as I'm only working a half-day (Half a day longer than I usually do shouts everyone who knows me!)
I remember once, being in a bar (The Silk Mill in Derby, for those who are/were local) when a good friend of mine, Paul came up and said,
'Can you do me a favour Dude?'
'Yeah, for you, anything mate, whaddya need?'
'There's this Chinese girl...'
'She won't leave me alone, I mean, she's nice, but... Well... She's not really my type, friend of a friend, too close, pooping on your own doorstep and soforth.'
'And what would you like me to do?'
'Well, can you scare her off?'
'And how would I do that?'
'Well, she likes the idea of the whole biker thing, and I'm currently vehicularly embarrassed.'
'So, could you take her on the back of the trike and hoon it about a bit? Put her off the whole idea?'
'Yeah, whatevs mate, just let me finish this (non alcoholic *cough*) pint.'
So I finished my pint of weak lemon drink, walked over to the table and introduced myself.
'Alright Paul, not seen you for a while, you been OK? Who's this lovely lady?'
'Awight Dandy! Yeah, fine, this is Lin (I honestly can't remember what her name was, but this will do, as it's easy to type).'
'Pleased to meet you, what you up to?'
'Well funnily enough, we were just talking about you, how your bikes got three wheels and everything, Lin wondered if she could have a look?'
So we went outside, the Silk Mill was one of those places that everyone parked their bikes outside in a line, like you see in Hollywood films, the trike was at the end of the row. Lin looked at it and smiled (At this point I would normally type in a Wishy-Washy stylee Chinese pantomime accent, but that would be racist... And also I had a go and it was virtually unreadable, so you'll have to make it up yourself)
'It's very nice,' she said, 'It's got three seats?'
'Yeah, helps when you go shopping, or for carrying slabs of cans.'
'Are we going for a ride?'
I looked at Paul, 'If it's OK with you Mate?'
'Yeah, sure, knock yourself out!'
'You come too,' She said to Paul,
'Erm, no, I'm OK, I've been on it before,'
'No, you come, I'll put my arm around you and keep you safe.'
Now, I thought that this was embarrassing for him, but bloody funny, so I walked up and whispered, 'So, what do you want me to do?'
'OK, right, carry on with the plan...'
'If you're sure.'
I gave my lid to Lin, put on my shades (even though it was dark), threw my leg over the saddle and thumbed the starter. Paul and Lin got on the bench seat at the back, got comfortable and He slapped me on the back. The trike took off like a scalded cat, Lin hadn't got her feet on the pegs properly and kicked me in the armpit, which sent us swerving briefly onto the other side of the road, even over the engine I could hear Lin squealing. We got to an island near the busy marketplace and did a couple of circuits, the right hand wheel coming off the ground a couple of times, before heading into town, past rows of kebab shops and drunken townies.
I was doing precisely the legal limit (officer) when one particularly booze addled reveler in a Fred Perry shirt, Farrah trousers and loafers stepped out into the road and put his hand out, pretending to be directing traffic. I grabbed a great, steaming handfull of front brake, which as you can imagine did not a sausage, and we slid towards him, I didn't want to jam the rear brakes on, as the first thing that would have happened was that we'd have locked up and my passengers would have gone shooting off the front.
Now, you can't lay a trike down and swerve around things like you can on a bike, believe me, I've tried, but if it's got wide bars, you can sometimes get enough leverage to get the back end to break traction if you jam the throttle open, sometimes you can even do this when you mean to. I just missed the guy... Just got around him... and spent the next, hectic few seconds fighting the mother of all tankslappers.
We passed the Island Rock Club (once featured in AWOL, but now a multi-storey car-park), Lin was still screaming and we got a couple of cheers and waves from the guys outside sat on their bikes drinking 20/20. As my anal sphychter was still twitching uncontrollably, I decided that I'd had quite enough excitement for one evening, slowly pottered around the island and headed back to the pub.
I pulled up at the end of the row of bikes, paddled the trike back into her space, cut the engine and got off.
'So, how was that?' I said as I turned around,
'That was great!' replied Lin as she jumped of the seat, bouncing up and down, full of adrenaline, 'That bit where you nearly hit that guy, and when we nearly tipped over, let's go again! Paul, can we go again? Paul?... Paul!'
I looked at Paul, Now I'd never seen a dead body at the time, but I remember thinking that that's what one must look like... He was grey, his mouth was open, his eyes were staring straight ahead and his right hand was glued to the mudguard bracket.
'Want a glass of water mate?' I asked
'Or a brandy? I could run to a brandy maybe... I'll get you a brandy, Lin, here's a quid, get him a brandy will you?'
She wandered into the pub and seconds later came out clutching a tumbler of brandy.
'Here, drink this, you'll feel better.'
As he sipped, the colour started to return to his cheeks, his claw-like grip relaxed, and his jaw started to work.
'Kill.' He whispered
'Sorry Mate, what?' I leaned in closer
'What? sorry, still not getting you..'
'I'll F*cking KILL YOU!' He yelled as he launched himself out of the seat, towards my face.
The chase didn't last long, across the road, down the river, into Town, around the marketplace, took him a few minutes to calm down when we both ran out of breath, He eventually saw the funny side... I think it was a couple of years later if I remember correctly, he ended up being the best man at my wedding.
I was in the Vic, the brilliant live music venue opposite Derby Rail Station one night, at closing time, talking to the landlady (oddly called Lin too), when her daughter wandered into the bar.
'I'm off home Mum, I might just get the last bus.'
'Ok, see you tomorrow.'
As she opened the door, we all heard the sound of the last bus driving past. I made the 'Wah-wah-waaaaaahh!' trombone noise and necked the last of my bottle of Newkie Brown.
'You'll give her a lift home won't you Dandy?'
'Ermm... If you like,' I turned and asked, 'Where do you live?'
She told me and it turned out that it was sort of on my way home, but she was blonde, and cute and nineteenish, and her Mum ran a pub, so it could just as well have been in Yugoslavia and I would still have said yes.
'Haven't got a lid though, it might mess your hair up.'
We all trouped outside, and everyone who was still there watched her clamber onto the back of the trike, there was a massive cheer as she wrapped her arms around me, slightly tighter than was absolutely necessary but I can't remember complaining.
We slowly pulled away and drove, very sedately down the street and stopped at the traffic lights. She released her grip slightly just as we pulled away and ended up grabbing on to the waist adjusters of my leather as she shot backwards before managing to claw her way closer until she was pressed into my back and her arms were crossed in front of me (Did I mention I used to be a bit skinnier than I am now?)
It only took about fifteen minutes to get her home, I pulled up by the side of the road and looked at her.
'Only, I can see all of your teeth.'
'Lips... are... Dry...'
Turns out that she'd been grinning so broadly for the entire trip that her lips had stuck to her gums and she couldn't move them.
Now I'm somewhat more worldly, and if I wasn't happily married of course, If a young, pretty, blonde, air hostess (Did I mention she was an air hostess? Or she was training to be an Air Hostess at least, or something) sits on the back of my trike and complains that her lips are dry, there are certain ways that I could remedy the situation, but at the time, I helped her off the back, watched her get her key in the door then went home.
After all, I had work in the morning...