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GOING THE DISTANCE
"THE HISTORY OF THE SEEDY X-BAR & GRILL"
SEEDY X-BAR: LET THE PURPLE MADNESS FLOW!
EXCERPT FROM ENGLISHMAN'S EDITORIAL IN ISSUE #100 OF "THE HORSE BACK STREET CHOPPERS":
"It's hard to put into words exactly how momentous reaching issue #100 is, for me at least. I clearly remember picking up issue #100 of 'Iron Horse' and, after reading it, resolving never to miss another issue... which I didn't... until after David Snow left and Chris Pfouts came in, and the content went downhill faster than George's health after the last Smoke out. #100 of the old IH featured the first encounter with Genghis, the Shovelhead-loving martial arts type, whose writings were instrumental in me acquiring my first (and only) American V-Twin powered machine. A couple of times back then, I sent in stuff for 'Back Talk' and remember how cool it felt when I'd open my favorite magazine and see something I'd written in there. Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined I'd be doing what I do for a living now.
Yeah, after Snow left and the infamous 'Fish Bike' Triumph was featured, I figured it was the end of an era. There was no longer any point in searching the truck stops for the magazine. It felt like I'd lost part of the family. Then, one day I caught sight of the first issue that Hammer was editing.. the cutline read 'The Boys Are Back.' saying that JT Nesbitt, Flynch and Genghis were back on board. This was a huge relief to me. It's like everything was okay with the world once again. As a bonus, Genghis mentioned in his column that he was frequenting internet bulletin boards...which was a strange concept at the time and prompted me to search around to see if I could find a reference to it anywhere. This led me to a message board entitled 'The Seedy X-Bar & Grill' where, indeed, Scott Wong was chatting to us mere mortals on the 'net. It was here that I first encountered other staff members of the magazine, notably Hammer and a couple of other local guys."
Back then, Englishman went by the Also Known As, of #69. We all took numbers as a humorous playing off of the absurdity of it all, and we also became known as the "Seedy Goons," more on why later. There was #00, who was Bugs (Bob Belcher). There was #78X who's Russ Thornley from Canada. Russ rides a shovel and also has a boat. His old lady is known as "Island Girl," whom all Goons cherish because of her rabble rousing at other internet boards. Way to go, Island Girl! Island Girl's an incorrigible troublemaker who we had to bail outta jail too many times to count. Too bad she didn't keep that righteous '78 Vette. That was a good getaway car for her.
Island Girl is also a PowerPoint whiz who helped me immeasurabley when I converted my retinal photography lecture from film slides to PowerPoint.
The Seedy X-Bar & Grill has over the years since it's establishment in 1997, become a repository for misfits and oddballs, especially of the Third Kind. Are they the children who come at you with knives? Just remember, I didn't teach them.
For example, there's #3 (AKA Jack X) who's been AWOL for over a decade, now. Has anybody seen him? Rumor has it that Jack is stuck in a box somewhere, from which he's known to sporadically jump up, at the slightest provocation. A provocation can consist of something as subtle as anyone whispering, "Niagra Falls....sloooowly I walk...step by step...." Jack did become rich however, from founding a nationwide fast food franchise which he named after himself.
There's also #4,5,6 who is collectively known as Covert Ops X bcause of his clandestine forays into enemy territory at Honda boards. His infiltration technique involved a repetition of the phrase, "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" while insinuating himself into their dialogue.
He is obviously Sybil's brother. I guess that multiple personality disorder runs in the family. Either that, or #4,5,6 is impersonating an IRT uptown train on the Lexington Avenue line. Let's count ourselves lucky, that there isn't a Seedy Goon named "The Taking Of Pelham 1,2,3."
There's JJ from Frisco, who's #7. Too many hits of orange sunshine taken at a Dead concert at the Warfield, caused JJ to ride his Harley full-blast into the northern California hills, forever to exist as a recluse, mumbling to himself, "NOOOooooooo.....Godot will never find me..." About six years ago, he finally stopped waiting for Godot. I visited JJ at his shack in the middle of nowhere last year. he had a thriving business making and selling Jerry Garcia dolls on the internet. They all accurately were missing a finger on Garcia's guitar pick hand.
Who can forget MP5X, #5---who was in the U.S. Army and rides an FXR? We haven't seen him for a while. He'll be back though. He shows up once in a while. There are others who pop into The Seedy unexpectedly, from time to time.
There's Recon Man X (#9), Joker X (#10), #11 who's also known as "McNasty," #13 who is also known as "LGS X."
The resident computer Goon is Gary P. who has offered to render all of my malfunctioning laptops, once again functional. I wish I had his technical smarts. I'd to refer to him as "Mr. Data," but I'm afraid that he might call me "Captain Picard" in return.
Then there's "Mr. Zapp."
That's Mike Zaputil from Arizona---man, don't get him started on foreign bikes! Mike's an ace Harley wrench who's
a friend of Sonny Barger's, and has worked in Sonny's shop. He likes his bikes, COLORFUL! Mike's a good guy, man. He just cant't stand any other motorcycles, except Harley-Davidsons, and I'm with him, man. Harleys are best---screw the rest.
We'll station Mike at the Mexican border, and deputize him so that he can ask for ID from suspicious looking migrant workers congregating on Phoenix street corners. They're probably illegals, anyway.
A Kool Goon is Reb (#51) from Maine, who is a conscientious and dedicated, old-school biker. The term "old school" is overused these days, but it applies to Reb. Too bad he's a New England Patriots fan. Oh well, nobody's perfect.
There was #12, who is Hammer, AKA "Hammer X"---who probably won't be dropping in anytime soon. If you have to ask, ya can't afford the story.
#14 (Tony) who's also known as Atxls (which is sort of like "The Performer Formerly Known As Prince", but less pronounceable), is from Seattle. He rides a righteous Sporty (I forget her name), and is an original alumnus of The Seedy. Tony's patiently waiting for the Seahawks to return to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, it won't be with Pete Carroll at the helm. Where's Bill Parcells when ya need him?
Tony's been through so many beautiful women since The Seedy was founded,that we've erected a monument to him in The Seedy's Ladies Room, right next to the Tampax machine. There are quite a few dedicated Sportster Pilots at The Seedy, besides Tony. Two other hardcore Sporty aficionados, are Grog X and Phrapp X (#420). Look out, the hot Sporties are comin' through! Watch yer feet.
There are also some Panhead freaks at The Seedy, notably "19Panhead50" and Shovelin It. 19Panhead50 is a hardcore Pan-Goon.
Shovelin It also has a clean panhead rigid in addition to his Rosabilt shovelhead. But you know what his main ride is, don't you? His righteous shovelhead, of course.
Then there's a Goon we talk about in hushed tones. Very hushed tones. His name is Frank P. who's #15, AKA "Double Hook X." Frank's a well known deepsea fisherman who enjoys shark fin soup, and singing karaoke at clam bars. Just not Umberto's Clam Bar in Little Italy in New York. He said something about wanting to live a long life (and prospering). Omerta, baby! Do you think Tony Soprano's looking for a certain fishing vessel, decorated with "If You Don't Ride A Harley You Ain't Shit" signs plastered all over it?
One of our faves is #16 (Bill Collier), who's PXL (Panama X). Bill's a proud one-percenter who's been with The Seedy since The Seedy's inception. Bill gets around, often riding cross-country with his son. Bill digs his Twin Cam Harley, often pretending that it's his old Sportster on 'roids.
How about JWX, who's #333 (John Warren) AKA "HTH" which stands for "Halfway-To-Hell?" In case you didn't realize it, John is a professional radio guy who does a decent Leo Gorcey (Slip Mahoney) impression, although HTH refuses to move back to Delancey Street. He told me the other day, "Aisle move back to Delancey Street when Satch joins MENSA, aw when Mugs Mcginnis inherents the gigabyte of da See Eee Oh of BP!" Guess what? Mugs is now in charge of fixing the Gulf Leak. Mugs said, "Oh yeh, oil plug dat hole alrite! Wots her name again?"
All of us Goons are grateful for the excellent health of #333's old lady, The Conster. Like many Goons, John and his wife have gone through many trials and tribulations, to come out ahead well and happy.
Two Righteous Brothers, who've never lost that loving feeling for Rosabilt Motors, are the W. Brothers, Shovelin It ("SI") and #714. SI still lives in Jersey (he is not "The Situation" of "Jersey Shore" fame), but his brother #714, moved to Florida, where the sun shines perpetually on golden roads and Blue Hair Honeys.
Other Goons were #115 (Loon X), Geno X who was #27, T-Man X who was #76, Tusk X (#77), Nick X (#65), #80 (G2X), #40 (LGX, AKA "LONE GUNMAN X," Gene from Pennsylvania). We have some female Goons. One's named Granny X. Her number was #61. There was also Legs and Hellkat, but they never took numbers. Hellkat (HK) is a Brit, quite proper and all that. Legs is a swingin' midwesterner, still out there turnin' guys on. She's known for her flying toasters---whatever that means (don't ask). I have soft spot for Goon Fshovelhead, who had the prescience to keep his Sportster, in addition to his beloved shovel. Besides, he's a Queens Boy like me. There's a Goon named "Hacksaw." Guess what he does in his garage?
We have in The Seedy's gentle fold, Double Clutch X, who is #313. We even had our own maintenance staff in the personage of Janitor X (Ozz) who refused to take a number. His job was to clean up the blood after Bouncer X wiped the floor with flamers. Janitor X quit his job in a pique over receiving his salary in the form of rare urinal cakes. Hey man, those'll be worth something someday!
There are currently more inactive Goons than active ones, but they return once in a while to have a cold one.
Speaking of urinal cakes, The Seedy is also famous for it's legendary urinal cakes, which inspired the writing of many a romantic ballad in their honor. The Seedy's fragrant urninal cakes are known far and wide in saloon lore. Reportedly, Chanel Inc. is desperately attempting to capture the essential fragrance of The Seedy's urinal cakes in its laboratories. Man, that is magic in a bottle waiting to happen!
There are many Goons, but none as illustrious as the mysterious Bouncer X, who kicks all manner of riff raff and sundry trolls and flamers to the proverbial curb (can a virtual curb cause physical injury?).
With his mighty stainless steel plunger, he wreaks havoc among the malcontents who come to The Seedy to look for trouble. They discover trouble in the form of Bouncer X's size 12 engineer boot, which is quick to stomp. Believe it or not, Bouncer X would spark a constitutional debate over the freedom of speech among bikers on the 'net. More on that later.
Let's back up a bit to see how "The Seedy" came about (The Seedy X-Bar & Grill message board became known far and wide, as simply "The Seedy.") Here's some historical perspective.
Before The Seedy took form from my Goonish imagination, there was the "Virtual Biker" on the 'net. In fact, the "VB" might still exist today. I found the VB quite by accident one day while surfing this new medium we called the Internet, in the late '90s (thank you, Al Gore). The VB was comprised of a number of self-satisfied Biker Lite types, whose specialty appeared to be chest-beating.
In fact, they had their own M.C. I forget what it was called. I think they called it the "VBMO" or some such. In any case, I was amused for awhile, playing their silly little games. They even asked me to join their internet M.C. Trouble was, they wanted me to prospect for this virtual club. How lame is that?
Prospect? On an internet make-believe M.C.? That was too much Virtual Bullshit fer me, man. The place began to smack of country club regulations for the elite on wheels.
I hightailed it outta there to create The Seedy X-Bar & Grill message board. Our regulars became known as the "Goons" because of our rude behavior of throwing out any dissenters, at the single drop of Purple Madness Beer.
Others on the 'net, particularly denizens of the aforementioned VB, said that we were "infringing on free speech," by bouncing flamers out of The Seedy.
I begged to differ. We had the right to stifle any and all assholes at The Seedy, because we were a private institution. VB'ers, and all other flamers were perfectly free to express themselves any way their little hearts desired, as long as it occurred outside The Seedy X-Bar & Grill's doors.
Bouncer X and the rest of the Goons became synonynmous with the Free Spritedness of The True Biker. Biker Lites beware! Bullshit was not tolerated at The Seedy! You could come in and stay for a few mugs of Purple Madness if you behaved yourself. Otherwise, it was Bouncer X's stainless steel plunger or his size 12 engineer boot, fer you, suckah!
The Seedy has been around for 13 years, now. It has been a constant in the lives of the Goons---many of whom got divorced, gotten married, had children, moved out of state, and changed their Harleys during the life of The Seedy X-Bar & Grill. Goons have come and gone, but be certain about this: The Seedy will always be around, like an old friend. Hey man, just drop in and have a few brews. When ya do, it's Purple madness on the house for everyone! Before I sign off from this column, here's a message from Bouncer X. Later.....
"HEY, BEHAVE YOURSELVES AND YA WON'T END UP AT THE END OF MY STAINLESS STEEL PLUNGER. GOT IT? OVER, AND DEFINTELY OUT!"