Wednesday, October 03, 2007


(Sorry, this one has been sitting around in draft form all week. I figured I should probably wrap it up and get it out...)

The 5-story trapeze of escalators climbed higher and higher above the blue and green slate mosaic below. This is where the 20-screen multi-plex was. This is where I was going to see a movie.

Perched high atop the tall mall, I purchased my ticket. It was Friday night, and I was alone in an odd town. I wasn't really sure what was playing. I just walked up to the counter. A quick glance told me that 3:10 to Yuma was about to start. So was Superbad.

Now, I like a good western, and 3:10 had a strong cast. However, I recently received a strong recommendation from Amanda to see Superbad. Since Amanda and I share the same 14-year-old-boy sense of humor, I went for the comedy.

Hindsight being what it is, I can see now that I made the wrong choice. However, it did have its high points. Trust me though, save it for Netflix.


A major sub-plot of the film centers around a young boy with a very bad fake ID getting mugged while purchasing booze, only to be befriended by a bumbling duo of exceedingly bad police officers. The cops are dim-witted, but drunk on power (and beer). They are arrogant, belligerent and juvenile. They protect no one and serve only themselves. They oppress the weak. They never stop for red lights.

And this caricature, it seems, is closer to the truth than I originally thought.

All day Saturday, the next day, I sat quietly in a conference room. Where I had expected a raucous gathering of Klingon-like heathens, slogging ale and riding choppers up and down the hotel corridors, what I found was row after row of banquet chairs filled with serious inquisitive men (in dirty leather jackets) discussing politics, law and taxes. This was a business meeting, not the pagan rite I was hopeful/fearful of.

We were addressed by lobbyists, lawyers and an Idaho legislator. Guys with goatees and beer guts chimed in intelligently about Supreme Court rulings and NHTSA studies. The mood was sober. A generous collection was taken up for a fallen comrade.

As a side note, and counterpoint, the hotel scheduled a simultaneous Quilters convention in the banquet hall next to ours. The quilting ladies broke early to go drinking, while the bikers continued late into the day with their discussion of proposed Senate bills...

So anyway...

I developed a new respect for the organization and its members. While these guys looked intimidating, they were really just doing their own thing, while playing inside the rules.

Then we left for dinner.

We convened en masse upon a local bar and grill. The DJ, taken by surprise by the motley crew, was ill-prepared with his music library. The hip hop quickly stopped, and an odd assortment of altered classics began to play. Free Bird, for instance, with a disco beat. A heavily-sampled Devil Went Down to Georgia, interspersed with disjointed rap lyrics... You get the picture.

I sat at a table with my boss, his wife, and a few other coalition leaders. We drank beer (or gin) and told war stories of the bad old days. Service was slow, but the beer was cold.

Suddenly, a small commotion arose behind us and several folks darted out the front door. We didn't think much of it until, one by one, the bystanders started coming up to our table. While there were several lawyers at the meeting earlier in the day, my boss and I were the only two at the social. "The feds are here!" they said, "They're rousting our boys out in the parking lot. You gotta DO something."

So, we did.

They weren't lying. The parking lot was lit up like a Disney parade, with red and blue lights flashing and spinning. Spokane police in fine blue uniforms stood toe-to-toe with the dangerous old men from the local Christian Bikers club. The cops were fishing for contraband. The Christian Bikers were telling the cops about Jesus.

Behind this crowd, dodging in and out of shadows, were the others. Crew-cut dudes with team jackets bearing initials like "FBI" and "ATF," milled around looking for... something... who knows what. There was no reason for them to be there. The group inside was peaceful, just a bunch of burly guys quietly eating dinner.

Sure, the DJ was committing crimes against humanity, but that wasn't the group's fault...

A small group gathered on the porch behind the evangelicals. My boss and I waded out into the fray. We made our presence known, but maintained a respectable distance.

Now, it was probably all a matter of timing, but once we arrived on the scene, the storm troopers began to pack it in, their fishing expedition having resulted in nothing. I could see that it was a fortunate coincidence. However, to some observers, it had the appearance of the lawyers showing up and chasing the feds away.

Who knows? Who am I to argue over the perspective?

Having had enough adventure for one night, we headed back to the barn. I was actually in bed by a respectable time that night, alive, unharmed, but probably with a brand new FBI file being opened under my name.


  1. I thought Superbad was amazing. Of course I saw it with Ryan and my brother John. I don't think I would have enjoyed it in Spokane alone. It is a social movie.

    As far as the cops, did you use the Jedi mind trick? "These bikers are not the bikers you are looking for..."

    Did they offer you their women in thanks?

  2. Ah yes, the lawyers show up just in time to save the day. Now thats funny. Did you really say that there was a Christian bikers club?
    What is this world coming to?

    Since you are hanging out with these people now have you purchased any leather chaps yet?
    just sayin...

  3. No leather chaps, but my motorcyle safety class starts tonight.

    And Inog, the movie would have been better with beer.

  4. You are a sad sad man if you hated Superbad.

    The Feds should have arrested you for being a sourpuss.

  5. I didn't HATE superbad. I just found some of the jokes repetitive.

  6. Dr. Brian, the way most people drive, ignoring other CARS let alone guys on bikes...I'm surprised MORE bikers haven't found Jesus out of fear alone.


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