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1 AN OLD LAND ROVER
STORY 38 SELLING A MOTORBIKE JACKET ON EBAY
Where my wife
becomes a Biker of the
Below is a transcript of the description on the original Ebay advert
A GENUINE LEATHER MOTORBIKE JACKET.
MADE BY SECOND SKIN.
THIS IS NOT A CHEAP PLASTIC IMITATION.
REAL COWS DIED FOR THIS JACKET. COWS WITH ZIPS AND STUDS AND THINGS.
I was once a hairy biker;
I am still a biker but most of the hair has left the top my head and migrated down to my ears, nostrils, and lower back. The only way I will achieve a head of hair is to either wear a rug or grow my ear hairs long enough to be able to pass them each side to the top of my head and tie them in a bow.
I still though ride a motorbike, an old Honda CX500, exciting enough for me.
My greasy haired beloved one was whittling on for ages about getting her own motor bike so that she may have some independence and not to have to rely on me to take her to the shops or her new job at the sewerage works. She seems to have an affinity with this sort of job. I just hope she does not bring any of it home with her. It came to a head when she asked for as lift to her friends house (Who happens to be in the wife’s coven**) and in an act of pure unthinking bravado I suggested she use her broom. In desperation after a ten minutes of being syllable* hit around the head with her wooden leg I suggested she take motorbike lessons and she may even borrow my old bike
(*Syllable hitting, a much beloved past time of old time jailers, 1950’s mothers, and some sadistic teacher,s involves the reinforcement of a sentence by hitting, vis-à-vis. YOU whack WILL whack NOT whack DO whack THAT whack AGAIN whack.)
(** The wife is a witch in her spare time, although she looks like a witch all of the time. Its the warts and boils that do it, Oh and the pointy teeth.)
Ever since her experience on her mobility scooter, (see story 21 on my web site. Selling a Wheel Clamp.) I think she has got aspirations of becoming a Hells Angel as she has pictures of Meatloaf and Marlon Brando adorning the lounge walls, she also nonchalantly leaves Harley Davidson sales leaflets around.
My dearest has taken 25 driving tests some of which she failed in very spectacular ways. (See story 28. Selling a Highway Code.) Suffice it to say there was not a driving instructor within a radius of 50 miles that would answer the phone to her. In fact there is not a driving instructor within a fifty mile radius parse, because my beloved has put them all out of business, mainly through stress related illnesses, car write offs and their manic desire too stay healthy.
The local motorcycle school had not had the pleasure of my wife’s company ……yet.
And so I prepared my beloved old BSA Bantam motorcycle. it was the very same one I passed my test on many years ago, and had kept it in the shed hoping one day to do it up and pass it on to my son so that he may renovate it. Little did I realise that fashion would go full circle and scooters would come back into vogue, and as retribution for me being a Rocker, and making him do his homework he decided to go down the Vespa route and become a Mod complete with 20 rear view mirrors, 16ft ariel with obligatory furry tail attatched, a Parka and white socks.
He also does not know one end of a spanner from the other. How many fathers have kept hidden in attics and sheds the results of hobbies or pastimes from their youth, hoping to pass them on to their children so that they may enjoy the thrills and excitement the father did? Only to be told by an eight year old that a Hornby train set was ‘so boring as they turn back the screen to spend yet another hour playing Call of Duty and getting arthritic thumbs.
I searched the attic and bought out an old ankle length waxed coat that was twenty sizes too big for me but which fit my little maker of methane perfectly. Also an open faced helmet, WW2 flying goggles and padded trousers, a little mildewed but perfectly serviceable. But oh no my Supreme mistress of the wobbly thing decided that she had to have a full set of racing leathers costing ten times more than the bike was worth. So off we went to the Motorcycle Accessories in Leicester to look for an outfit.
08 April day 2 of sale
I have to be rather delicate here….it concerns very large people and tight full leather motorcycle gear…..they do not go together. Normally clothes are worn to show off the good bits and hide the bad bits. You do not have this luxury with full leathers, First they are made a lot bigger and baggier around the backside to allow you room to bend forward when on the bike. When off the bike if you are a thin person this does not look too odd but with the larger person this baggy posterior bit can actually drag along the road when you walk. Also the rest of the suit for safety purposes is a tight fit and so shows off your actual size not the size normally hidden by yards of chiffon, a baggy jumper, or Tee shirt. In other words you can look like the Michelin X man with a very saggy bottom on a bad hair day if not very very careful.
I will give the guys at Motorcycle Accessories their due they tried for many hours to find a set of leathers the right size but alas or not depending on your viewpoint there was not one to fit. There was not a cow born big enough to give the leather my dearests body shape demanded. The waxed coat would have to do.
09 April day 3 of sale
All learner motorcyclists must pass a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) before they are allowed onto the Queens highway. They then have to take full practical test within 2 years.
So it was on a Sunday with an ankle length waxed coat, padded trousers, open faced helmet white silk scarf and flying goggles that my wife presented herself to the school of motorcycling. Looking very much like one of those flying aces from the First World War. Possibly a very overweight Biggles or Baron Von Richthoven.
The driving school used a roof top factory car park on Sundays for the very basics and practice of manoeuvring etc. The last thing we want on Britain’s overcrowded roads are wobbly learner motorcyclists. They may get in the way of the wobbly Volvo car owners.
I don’t know who I was most nervous for, her, or the instructors. For my part I moved my Land Rover and trailer well out of the way just in case disaster struck, which when my wife tried to do anything new, it normally did. (Just read the stories on my web site)
My wife, The Titanic of Glenfield brook, has a way of cleaving through life much as the ocean liner of the same name, powering itself through a heavy Atlantic swell, parting the waves before it. As the liner my wife casts to each side any who stand in her way, this is done in a more unthinking than malicious way. She only sees her goal, not what stands in the way. (Very much like the Titanic as it hit the iceberg). This is very evident when she is being given instructions; She is the nodding head sort, who champing at the bit to be off gives the impression of taking in everything that is said, when in fact they absorb absolutely nothing.
All went well in the classroom apart from her chewing the ends off most of the pencils. The instructors were under the impression that she understood most if not all of what they were saying. But no, all she was thinking about during the lesson was what were we having for tea and what model Harley Davidson she was going to get.
They then went to the bike to do a bit of simple manoeuvring.
10 April day 4 of sale
The first lesson
The instructor offered to demonstrate the art of throttle and clutch control but no, my wife thought she knew it all and gave him the full baleful red eyed stare that said if he knew what was good for him he would dispense with all this talk and just let her ride. Did he think she was an idiot?
She sat astride the motorbike and choke full out she kick started it. It burst into life. She gave the throttle a violent twist, so violent in fact that it stuck open. With the engine now screaming she kicked the gear lever down into first. She had forgotten the clutch altogether. The bike finding itself in gear reared up on its back wheel and shot off, my wife gripping the handlebars, knuckles white. My little Hells Angel Her mouth open in a scream no one heard above the din of a madly revving motorbike was carried across the rooftop car park at ever increasing speed and down the exit ramp. The car park was seven stories up, the ramp spiralling down like a cork screw. My dearest hit the top at 40 mph and due to centrifugal force was riding on the side wall of the ramp like the wall of death found in fair grounds. Round and round she went leaving a trail of black smoke as the choke was still out. On reaching the bottom she had gained considerable speed, finally shooting out onto the main road at nearly 80mph a blur, oily smoke and flames leaping out of the exhaust as the overheated oil ignited. Across the road she sped narrowly missing a lorry and ending up in the pub car park on the far side of the road. Her and the bike bounced up over the bonnet of a car and flew through the upstairs window of the pub. The bike belching out acrid smoke went through the bedroom, the flaming exhaust setting fire to the bed sheets. She then sped down the stairs into the bar where she went sailing through the front door back across the road and straight up the ramp again. Finally coming to rest in the car park at the top in exactly the same spot she started from. When the smoke had cleared it was obvious that the bike was a total wreck as the engine block had melted. The badly buckled wheels then collapsed the red hot tyres melting the tarmac. The astonished open mouthed instructor had not moved from the spot he was in when she started off on her destruction derby half a minute ago. Scratching his head not believing what he had just witnessed he walked back into the office.
Far below the fire engines arrived to quell the fire now raging in the pub. The regulars risking their lives to save various barrels of beer and lager from the conflagration. Because it had happened so quickly people who witnessed the event were certain it was a flaming meteorite that had plunged through the pub window.
Whether my wife was fazed by what had happened I will never know. She very regally stepped off the bike which was now a lump of charred and blackened metal and walked sedately into the office, smoke rising from her singed coat tails.
11 April day 5 of sale
I have spoken before of serendipity or chance. It just so happened that the instructor had been knocked off his brand new bike a week before by an aggressive motorist who talking into his mobile phone and taking little interest of what was in front of him forced the instructor off the road in his attempts to pass. He was only bruised but his shiny new bike was a write off. This was not the first time, his job meant he had to observe the speed limits all the times and this sort of thing was a regular occurrence with impatient car and lorry drivers. It was now payback time especially to drivers who use mobile phones.
I had just loaded the steaming wreck that up until a few minutes ago was a lovely old bike back into the trailer, expecting my wife to turn up in a few minutes with the failure slip, cursing all examiners for fools and dullards.
Not so. After a few earnest words from the instructor, who should come prancing across the car park but my beloved holding aloft a piece of paper and beaming from ear to ear? The prancing up and down would have shook a bit of plaster loose in the building below, also due to my wife having more teeth than the average and the fact she filed them to a point always makes me think of a shark when she smiles.
It seems the instructor was not sure if she was a really skilled biker who knew how to handle her steed or the fact that she had lived to tell the tale was a pure fluke. It did not matter, the only picture in his mind was of my wife wreaking carnage upon the motorist, and if she was let loose the damage she would cause would fully repay all the heartache he had suffered at the hands of Joe public, the car driver. (This was obviously a man at the end of his tether).
So off we went home, my wife babbling on about 1000 cc Super bikes, and doing “Ton Ups” on the A46 bypass. This was despite only passing the first stage of her driving test. I was thinking more along the lines of a small twist and go scooter.
Another “I have to be rather delicate here” moments….it concerns very big people and small motorcycles. When learning to ride you are restricted as to the size of engine in the bike, this normally means that these bikes are out of necessity small, this may suit the average person but with the very large, the bike has a tendency to disappear under their bulk. When you see someone rather large who seems to be going along the road supported by their coat tails is in fact riding a small motorbike or scooter.
12 April day 6 of sale
She gets a bike
After many hours of talking I persuaded my beloved to have a small scooter on the grounds that
a) She stood less chance of killing herself.
b) She stood less chance of killing anyone else.
c) Should she have a crash of any sort she would just roll over, and not as in the case of a superbike sail 100 foot through the air and demolish buildings and other things.
d) She was paying for it, and a Harley would cost a lot more than a scooter.
e) She should get a small cheap bike to practice on as it was less expensive should she come off.
f) Very cheap insurance.
D with a bit of E and lots of F finally persuaded her, as with most women it’s the purse strings that win in the end……Or so I thought.
And so I got her a little twist and go scooter with no gears to complicate matters, surely even my dear little destroyer of worlds could not get this wrong.
The whole episode with biking lasted 2 weeks. They were very exciting weeks both for my wife and the local motorists. Whereas her car driving lessons were always with an instructor who could if he or she thought the situation was getting out of hand apply the brakes on the dual control, or dive out through the door or sunroof. Here she was on her own.
Twist and go
It was a twist and go scooter, so she twisted and went, albeit not very fast. The last I saw of her on that day was her tootling slowly down the road wobbling from side to side her mobile phone in one hand and her Yak Dung pipe in the other.
What I did not know was that as soon as she was around the corner and out of sight she drove straight to the instructors house and parked it in the garage. Ten minutes later out of the garage rode what can only be described as a marauding Goth/Viking/Hun, thundering off down the road in a cloud of burning rubber and asphalt on of all things a Harley Davidson, lent to her by the instructor who had given her the pass.
My dearest had a deep residing hatred of car drivers blaming them for the fact that she had failed most of her 25 driving tests which was unusual as normally it was me who was blamed for most of the disasters that befell my little toxic pickle.
Her zeal though was fueled by the instructor’s last earnestly spoken words in the office on the roof top car park just before he gave her the Pass certificate.
“Madam you are the chosen one, it has been written that a person would come from across the seas who would wreak chaos and havoc upon the infidel mobile phone using motorist, especially that most feared of persons the Volvo car driver. Go with my blessing my daughter, you will be my sword of Damocles, search out the other three so that ye may come together to become, The Four Bikers of the Apicalipsyst … no … Aplastilapsic …no … Aplistylocisp …….. no ………. Aplistilopsoc …… Apulciploptic ……. You know ….. Thingy’s ……. Them.
(It should have been Apocalypse but he had found the end of his tether and his mind was in serious danger of breaking loose along with his false teeth).
A lot of his babbling she did not hear, the only words that sank in were “The chosen one, mobile phones,cause chaos, and havoc”. After those words she heard only an incoherent jabber. What all this had to do with Damacockles and the other three Apple opsics or whatever they were she did not know or in fact care? She was man enough for this job (I really could not fault her on that point). She did though hear his last words which were ‘You may borrow my Harley’.
13 April day 7 of sale
Well day 7 and not much interest shown. In the past I have given a rousing speech from the bard to chivvy the troops on so to speak. I wasn't going to this time but have recieved a rap version of my St Ebays Speech, based loosely on Sheakespears St Crispin Days speech from Henry V.
St Ebays day speech.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
The rap version was sent in by a gentleman named Danny Dreadlocks (Urban rapper and king of bling) of Oadby in Leicester.
Rap version of St Ebays Speech
Me happy homies, me rock steady crew.
Bid wiv me an be one of der few,
Dat is ma bro even if yo dissed,
Dis sale goin down jus can't be missed,
And gangsta's in der cribs all smashed out,
When dey got no ganga de all will shout.
They'l old der standin eavy when dey seed,
Da ones who came wid me an won de weed.
Benjamin Zephaniah eat your heart out.
The story continued.
And so began her short lived reign of terror. No one knew who this biker was, covered head to foot in an old waxed coat, Second World War German helmet, white scarf and goggles. Some said it was the ghost of Ernst Gripfink a handsome German pilot who during the war was unfortunate to crash land in the local brook and upon escaping in his dinghy landed on Glenfield beach where he was taken captive by the WI never to be seen again. (All of the men of the village had joined up mainly to avoid their wives cooking which left the ladies of the village a little frustrated).
Others said it was something to do with the Large Hadron Collider and that a Hell Spawn from another universe had been allowed through the portal and we were all doomed doomed and thrice doomed.
And so in a few days
Our local policeman who was a young recruit named Blenkinsop, soon started receiving complaints from various car owners after they were accosted by the mysterious biker.
Statement made to PC Blenkinsop by Mr Troon.
I pulled up to the junction and yes I was speaking on my phone I admit that. I heard this motorbike pull up beside me but took no notice, all of a sudden this great big hairy hand reaches through the window grabs the phone out of my hand and just squeezes the phone until it disintegrates. The biker then said “Have a nice day” and rode off. I was too shocked to do anything
Statement made to PC Blenkinsop by Mr J Jones.
We wuz jus goin down the road yu know like when this motorbike came beside uz yu know like innit, yellinat uz like tu turn the sarnd down on me cd like yu know. Me an me mates told him to *********(go away) an then like e started like yu know ittin the roof wiv a sledge ammer like….We wuz dead scared cos weed erd that this guy ad ad is ed ripped off like yu know by anuver guy oo got angry like innit. Yu know car rage like. We got aht an jus ran like yu know. When we got back the car wus a wreck like yuknow..........innit ............like....
14 April day 8 of sale
Statement made to PC Blenkinsop by Lady Penelope.
I was late for the hairdressers so I thought to avoid queuing with the other oiks why not drive over the village green. By the way my husband does know the Chief Constable. After all it is a very expensive 4x4 you know and it seemed a good idea at the time. Why should I have to wait with the commoners? I did say my husband knows the Chief Constable didn’t I. Yes, well as I was saying I was halfway across the green when suddenly this lunatic in a steel helmet and goggles is standing in my way. I tried to nudge him/her/it out of the way but he just stood there my wheels were spinning so much the car buried itself into the green. This, this, this ……this person then then has the effrontery to tell me….yes me to ……. “Sort that one out”. Its cost me hundreds of pounds to get it towed off the green and have it fully cleaned, and all because of that person. I did mention the Chief Constable didn’t I.
There were many more reports made to PC Blenkinsop over the next 10 days, all in the same vein
PC Blenkinsops story
A few words about PC Blenkinsop
He started at Glenfield Police Station as a raw recruit a year ago. Very soon after his arrival he disappeared turning up 3 months later naked curled up in a Co Op trolley, babbling on about being abducted by aliens and how he was kept in a dark room his body the play thing of these detestable things.
He was going for therapy and slowly getting better, but the psychiatrist was of the opinion, to use the technical words. “He is just a few pallets short of a full load.
(For the real story of his abduction see story 11 on my web site ‘Selling a Hitch Drive on Ebay’)
Extract from story 11on my web site.
After an incident which left the PC bruised and battered on one side of a wall with my wife on the other
Trainee PC Blenkinsop crawled on hands and knees to the window and peeked over the sill, my wife in the meantime had used the window ledge on the other side to lever herself painfully up, The accident had done nothing to enhance her rugged beauty . Wild eyed with dishevelled hair, and bleeding copiously from abrasions received on her one point pavement landing she poked her head up and came face to face with PC “B”.
Most people on meeting my wife see her first from afar. They then have ample time to organize and prepare their brain to register the Bloodshot manic offset eyes, the wild shark like grin with far to many pointy teeth, and the various skin ailments my dear one is prone to, They also have time when getting closer to comprehend the size and shape as well as the ever present odours which constantly surround my little peach. PC Blenkinsop did not, he had the full in your face sudden unexpected confrontation from a mere six inches away, receiving the full force of what can only be described as extra surround sound, vision, and smell. Akin to seeing a cheap “b” rated horror movie in 3D. He did what most people would do in this situation. His mind unable to comprehend the messages coming in overloaded and closed down, PC “B” promptly fainted, falling forward into my beloveds large meaty arms.
My hairy chested one, who normally had men trying to escape from her, took this as an amorous advance and covered his bald head in kisses hoping to revive him. It did in fact give him a very serious skin complaint, and he now wears a “rug” to cover the pustules’ and eruptions. She did consider the kiss of life, but desisted on remembering times in the past when she had done this, and the recipients had either over inflated and exploded, or died of toxic contamination of the lungs very soon after. She did the next best thing and carried him over her shoulder to our garden shed. He is still there now a plaything of my wife’s, (this takes the pressure off me), although the screams at night are a bit nerve wracking. My dearest says it is the uniform that turns her on so I am going to take her to see the Cold stream Guards at Buckingham Palace in the hope they use her as a regimental mascot and keep he
A few months ago my wife tiring of his puny efforts in the “Down there” department gave him a sleeping pill and dumped him naked in the Co Op car park.
15 April day 9 of sale
PC Blenkinsop has a weird experience
After a very irrate telephone call from the Chief Constable PC Blenkinsop decided it was time to sort it out. Also the local newspaper had started deifying this vigilante saying he was a modern day Lone Ranger, or The Cisco Kid. ‘Bringing justice to our mean streets’.
No ….. There was only one law in this village and he was it.
And so he started driving around in his own car in plain clothes, windows open, radio blaring, talking non stop into his mobile phone.
He had stopped at a junction when a motor biker appeared at the side of him. This is it he thought, adrenalin pumping.
The biker leaned over.
A smell wafted through his window, a familiar odour, what was it? A mixture of Ode de Onions, with a touch of Urine. …….. Suddenly he knew. In his mind he was transported back to that dark and awful place.
When he finally got back to the station he was a babbling wreck mumbling about “Its space aliens causing the problem” “I must hide” The only place the poor man could hide was in his mind, which is where he went. The trouble is he locked the door. He is still in the asylum and sits drooling all day. He is in the same room as a photographer with a staring eye.
My wife alarmed by this near miss and feeling rather guilty about the present state of PC “B” decided that her reign of terror must cease and told the instructor that she had completed her Apple optics and hoped Damacocklese would be pleased.
For my part I thought she had spent the last few weeks scootering around the village and knew very little of what was actually going on.
I used to wear the motorbike jacket on my Bantam which is now beyond repair.
Also due to a small weight increase,
Ok medium .......
Oh yes and who are we trying to kid.
Hey I have only put on a few inches.
Thats your waist, its the bit above that hangs over your belt I'm talking about. Oh and your 'man boobs'
Mmmmmm I see what you mean ok .....ok......Due to a HEFTY weight increase it will not fit. So I thought I would “Ebay” it.
Got there in the end didn't we?
Yup the truth hurts though.
I bet not as much as those tight trousers you wear, because you are overwi.....
You don't have to rub it in you know.
What the lard?
Thats it I have had enough I am going jogging tomorrow.
So why are you eating those Mars Bars?
To give me energy.
You've not quite got the hang of this exercise-diet lark have you?
16 April day 10 of sale
This is hard work.
Do you realise a cow died so that this wonderful jacket could be created. It gave up its life willingly, knowing that its sacrifice would benefit mankind. Was this unselfish deed for nothing?
And this was no ordinary cow, oh no. It came complete with zips and studs and a very nice lining. They dont make cows like that these days. In my day a cow was a cow and proud of it, not like your wussy cows of today. No nowadays they are Mollicoddled in heated barns with machines to milk them. In my day they were milked by the farmers wife who had hands like 20 grit sandpaper, when a cow was milked in them days it knew it had been milked. And heated barns .... pah ..... In my day cows stayed outside come rain or shine. Manies the winter morning that I was sent out with hammer and chisel to break the ice sheet that covered them.
I have heard that leather motorbike jackets are going to be the 'in' thing at Skegness (The East coasts premier resort). Imagine, you walk down to the beach wearing your Union Jack shorts and Hawaiian shirt only to find a beach full of leather clad sun bronzed 'in' people. Only then will you think back to that fateful day 16 April when you DID NOT bid on what would be the fashion statement of 2009.
The jacket sold to a canny gentleman from Yorkshire maybe swayed by my closing arguments. He may know something we don't, maybe Bridlington will be the Leather coat hotspot. He could just feel sorry for the cow, bringing a sort of dignity to its death.
I think though it may be the rap interpretation of the Ebay speech as his postcode begins with YO.
I recently sold a sheepskin flying jacket to a gentleman who lived in New Zealand. At this moment he is in intensive care in a Wellington hospital. A very sad case of revenge. I did warn him but he obviously took no notice.
During the tanning process of sheep hides the oils in the coat are kept in to ensure the waterproofing of the leather. This oil residue has an odour, that odour being particular to the sheep the hide came from. Whether by bad luck or the fickle finger of fate we will never know, but as he was walking his dog whilst wearing the coat in a field he was severely trampled by a herd of sheep. It transpires that the herd of sheep were the direct descendants of the sheep slaughtered to make that particular flying jacket. Coincidence? Fate? Who knows. Another true story from The Outer Limits.
Copyright © David B Forrester