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A Money Makin' Idea
One fine evenin' recently a few of the bros and I were sittin' around the old cable-spool table out back of Pilgrim's Topless Quick-Lube, Saloon, and Shootin' Range. We were coolin' down our throats, talkin' about scooters, and livin' the life. Our recent trip to Sturgis was still in the air.

Like every year when we talk over our trip to Sturgis, the subject of guys haulin' their bikes came up. Used to be, when we were younger, still iron of ass and hard of head, we condemned the practice completely. It wasn't common then, and we figured that those guys all squatted to pee and prob'ly slept in flannel pajamas with feet in 'em. Well, it's funny how the years and the miles change your outlook. We still ride, and ride hard and long when we have to, but by now if a guy's paid his mileage dues and can still fix his scooter by the road, then hell, why shouldn't he trailer it if he wants once in a while? There's not one damn thing he has to prove any more.

We all agreed though, that there's no sorrier character than the fool who hauls in and unloads, skips shaving for a day, puts on a sneer and calls it an "attitude," then strolls around trying to make out like he's been there and done that. He's just taking up space in the universe that oughta go to a real biker. Whatever that is, it ain't him.

The conversation eventually drifted around to how to make some Sturgis money for next year. Whatever we were gonna do needed to be low overhead, portable, and irresistable. A couple of the guys used to make a few bucks in the field of imported pharmaceuticals, which fit the bill for what we needed, but they finally gave it up as a bad deal when they hit their forties.

Then Gully lit up with a sly smile, like he'd found a fifty in his pocket and didn't want his ole lady to know. "Boys," he said, "I watched a guy last week had a phoney, bolt-on kicker on his Heritage. He came outa the tavern, checked to see if the girls were watching, and stomped that pedal while he punched the starter button. I reckon we could sell a guy like that just about anything he thought would make him look like a biker, so here's what we do."

Gully had the start of a plan. Like a lot of plans, it improved with discussion, and the discussion improved as throats got cooler.

Gully's got a motor out of a '63 VW in the back of his garage, and Gator said he had an old airboat prop somewhere. We'll just weld up a frame to carry that motor in the back of my pickup, feed it from an outboard motor gas tank, and hang the prop so it blows to the rear. Then we go to Sturgis and set up at one of the rest areas outside of town where these wannabes unload.

Usually these clowns we'd talked about will unload, then send momma with the rig off to the campground or motel. They'll take the long way 'round to town, sometimes as much as 50 miles or so, to get their hair ruffled and maybe a little dust or dirt on the bike so they can roll in lookin' like they been on the road. Hah!

Since they want appearance, we'll give 'em appearance, and they won't have to suffer the nuisance of that long ride to town. For a price, that is.

Before they head out they can pull their garage jewelry up behind our rig. We'll fire up the blower to a 70mph breeze and toss a little dirty water into the air stream. That'll give their scooter that thin layer of road grime it needs to pass a quick glance from a chick or another poseur.

But like selling anything else, there oughta be extras for the suckers to spend money on. I mean, have you seen the chrome doodads Harley sells now? And how these characters snap 'em up?

We figure the basic dirt treatment oughta go for about 25 bucks. If the guy wants to sit on the bike in his leathers when we do it so he'll pass scrutiny too, that'll be another fifteen.

Makin' the scooter look like he had to drive through muddy construction will require extra effort. We'll have to sling some mud up into the fenders by hand, and use a little blower to spray mud on the front of the engine. That all takes technique, 'cause he's not gonna want his machine to really be dirty, he just wants it to look like he had a hard time. Special stuff always costs extra, right? Twenty bucks oughta cover that.

Gotta have some bugs. How could a guy ride from L.A. to Sturgis and not get bugs on his headlight and stuff? The bug treatment is gonna cost though, 'cause we've gotta get the bugs somewhere. Even if it's as easy as going to a truck stop in Gillette or Rapid City and scrapin' presplattered bugs off windshields of the big rigs, it still takes time and effort, so there's another $25 add-on, easy. If they want fresh bugs the price will go way up. We haven't worked out how much time it'll take to collect a bucketful of of grasshoppers, june bugs, butterflies, and mosquitoes yet, but it'll for sure be pricey for the customer.

Then there's the tan. Most of these guys got their tans either poolside or in a tanning salon. I mean, their faces are evenly tan from the hairline down to their necklines, at least. And that ain't the kind of tan ya get on a scooter, is it? Ya gotta have the white stripe across the forehead from wearing a do-rag, and half-circles under the eyes from sunglasses. Underneath the chin ought to be a little lighter, too. The tops of the ears oughta be red, and the nose at least a little pink, right? We figure Cue Ball's ole lady can lay on some makeup that'll look just like the real thing. That's a reeaal personal service, so it'll have to be at least $50.

Total it all up and it comes to $135 for the entire treatment. Offer it as a package and I think we can peddle the whole scam for a hundred bucks a pop. We'll be offering franchises for Daytona and Laughlin next year. Whaddya think; wanna buy in?

┬ęKent Lundgren, 2000