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November 25, 2020

Worthy to Print Column: Wanna Ride?

By George Worthy, Gonzales Columnist

Gosh, it seems just like yesterday, yet we find ourselves still being told to batten down the hatches as we still have a long way to go. Has it really only been eight months? Ah, but not to worry. The Federal Government is on the job to free us from these shackles. We keep hearing of the explosion of Covid-19, but the party never ends.

There are multiple parties in my subdivision with not a mask to be seen. Like these partygoers, I am incensed about the mask requirement, and though I hate it, we have a weasel in Sacramento that keeps throwing out laws like he is the world leader. You’ll be cited with a heavy fine if you are caught roaming around sans mask, but if it helps I’m going to obey.

My family made a trip up to Discovery Bay this past weekend. My favorite daughter was celebrating her for…ah… a birthday. She had her grandson there, and even if you had a clear invitation to be there, you would not have been allowed to even park your car in front of her house if you didn’t have a mask on. She had plenty to pass out, so it wasn’t really a burden. However, before we continue about the virus, allow me to tell you of a miracle that occurred in the Worthy Casa.

Here we were on Friday, just goofing around in the backyard, when I remembered that the motorcycle had not been ridden in a while. Now if you deal with motorcycles at all, you know they can’t be stored for very long before the gaskets start drying out and oil leaks occur. At least that’s what I told my blushing bride. She is so afraid I am going to have a wreck that I rarely ride it until she is out on some mercy run for someone that has the virus.

As I was so softly pushing it out of the backyard, she came strolling along and gave me the “stink eye.” If you don’t know what the “stink eye” is, you are not married to a Swiss maiden. You only get that gift when you have never rebelled against her wishes. I anticipated her next words, so I hastened to get the bike out in the driveway. Have I ever told you that you can’t anticipate what a Swiss lady will do? She just smiled at me with those soft brown eyes. The stink was gone as it usually goes when she is planning on surprising me.

Upon hearing her next words, I almost dropped the motorcycle, which would have been a catastrophe of epic eye stink. She asked where I planned on going to keep the gaskets wet. Now I am not in the habit of even knowing where I will go when I am caught doing stupid, so I just sort of looked around and saw the waste facility upon the hill.

“I’m just going to ride up to the dump,” I replied. Now if you know My Sweet Lorraine, what she said next would probably have surprised you too. “OK,” she smiled through her former anger, “I’ll go with you.” If it wasn’t for the left front fender of my car, I would surely have dropped the bike.

“You’ll go with me?!” I asked, as if she had just told me she was with child again. “Yeah, I’ll go with you.” She was smiling when she said it, so I just thought she had tried to make a joke. “Look at you,” I said trying to defuse the situation. “You’re not dressed for a motorcycle. You don’t have leathers or a helmet.”

Too late, I realized my mistake. She was given all the paraphernalia by her loving husband many years ago. It was practically new. So I handed her a helmet and she slipped on the seat behind me. As she started to get on, I started to tell her to watch out for the exhaust pipe as it gets really hot. Too late, I discovered my mistake. She had touched the pipe with her lower leg and put what we call the passenger burn on her calf. You cannot, even in your wildest imagination know how I felt.

I started apologizing immediately and she simply said, “Shush! I wanted to do this.” Truthfully, it was but a small burn. About the size of a quarter, but to me it looked like the size of a dollar bill. I was mortified. I said, “That used to happen to Tara all the time, I’m so sorry!” She wouldn’t hear any more excuses.

Just to put a closer to this misadventure, when we got to my daughter’s house, the first thing she did was show her wound to Tara, my loving daughter. “Huh!” Tara said. “I’ve got a half a dozen scars on my leg from when he used to take me to the babysitters when I was about 3 or 4 years old.”

They compared scars and Lorraine felt like she was now part of the motorcycling public. I was now not only a terrible husband, but a neglectful father. I started to stand in the corner for the rest of the afternoon, but to be honest they both forgave me, as they knew I would never do anything to hurt either one.

Of course my daughter has grown out of her desire to ride with her daddy. Something she used to cherish and still does according to her, but I’m afraid that, even knowing it was an accident, it might be another 40 years before I get Lorraine to ride again.

I made Lorraine promise to not tell her mother just as I made Tara promise she wouldn’t tell her mother either. It gave both of them a break in the monotony of the stay-at-home order and a story they can tell when they reach my age. Now they both understand that if you don’t ride, you cannot understand why others do.

God Bless.

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