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Old 09-07-2011, 08:53 AM   #1
Skippii OP
Hookers, my lad.
 
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Oddometer: 6,506
Eek Cat Herders Campout III: More adventure and excitement than I could have imagined

WOW.
I don't even know where to start...this was definitely one of the most
exciting motorcycle trips on which I've been. Motorcycles, explosions, guns,
girls, crashing, a hurricane...this trip had it all. I've ended up in the
bushes before, but usually that's related to a high-side or something. This
time, everything was just crazy--and incredibly fun!
This weekend was the third annual Cat Herders rally: a grouping of the least
organized dual-sport riders in the Shenandoah valley, camping out together
in Mount Jackson, Virginia.
I love riding off road, and while it doesn't ever stop me, I'll admit that
my Ninja 250 isn't the best machine for that task. I also own a home-built
dual-sport made from a mixture of Ninja 500, a Suzuki dirt bike, and a bunch
of scrap metal and rebar I found in a dumpster (seriously--I really did pull
most of it from a dumpster). That bike, however, I'm not riding right now as
I'm halfway through preparing it for the Shenandoah 500 rally next month.
The first year, I'd taken a DR350, which had been perfect for both the
dual-sport rides and the more extreme off-road/ATV park called Tasker's Gap.
Last year I took the Ninja 250, and while I had an absolute blast riding that
on Tasker's, I fear that if I keep smashing the engine down on those rocks,
one of these times it will develop a catastrophic oil leak. There was one
other reason I didn't want to take the Ninja again--I've been experimenting
with various exhaust pipe and muffler designs. I'd tried a few different
designs lately, and by far I was most happy with the most recent one.
Previously I'd had one which did a decent job quieting it down without
restricting much flow, but the problem was it sounded horrible. Very
abrasive and harsh, and everyone said they'd much rather have it louder and
sound more pleasant than listen to it as it was when riding around me. So
last week I'd cut it open and replaced that design with another baffle. This
design worked great--pretty quiet, but with a very deep tone since this
baffle focused on attenuating high frequencies rather than low frequencies.
I guess the baffle perforations were a bit too large, though, because lately
it had started blowing a cloud of fiberglass out whenever I started it. Not
wanting to give my entire neighborhood asthma, I just pulled out the baffle
a few days ago. That makes it louder--but since I live one block from the
interstate, and work less than a block from the interstate, if I idle or
coast those short distances, I can get by like this for a few days, and just
take my car when I need to go anywhere else, and get a new baffle within a
few days. It's honestly a bit hard to tell how it sounds, since I'm the one
riding it. It doesn't really sound much louder from my position, but I
have a suspicion the difference is more noticeable for other people around
me, so I don't want to do any group rides at the CH3 like this.
Conveniently, though, for the past few weeks I'd been attempting to arrange
a time to help out a friend of mine, Rachel, with a Yamaha XT350 dual-sport. It
needed some basic work done to it--nothing too major, just headlight
adjustments, cable lubrication, and bending the levers back to their
original positions after some drops--but we never seemed to be able to have
the same day off together to work on it.
About a week ago, I'd offered to do all of the work and give her some new
parts for it, and in return, I'd get to ride it for the weekend. She really
liked the idea, and after confirming that it was in otherwise good condition
and ready for the campout, she said she'd leave the key with the bike before
leaving for work. I was a little surprised she wanted to do it, because I've
always thought she actually hates me, but then again she does like riding
and is completely inept with any tool more complicated than a screwdriver,
so I suppose it's a great offer for her, too.
She lives about an hour South of the CH campsite, and I have more friends
who live just an hour Southwest of her, who have a large shed where I work
on bikes (I've purchased the majority of the tools in the shed, but have no
where to keep them, so our agreement works out nicely for all of us.) My
first idea was to ride the Ninja to her house, then her bike down to the
workshop shed on Thursday, fix it up, and ride it back to the campout, then
drop it off at her house and switch back to mine on the return trip, as she
lives on the way home for me. And, of course, get a new baffle for my Ninja
while I'm at the shed.
There only problem with that is that I don't sleep.
I might only get an hour or two of sleep a night sometimes, and even if I'm
unable to actually fall asleep, I still notice a difference in my ability to
ride a motorcycle. As a result of this, I've mostly given up making any
solid plans--if I'm able to sleep, that takes priority. This week, my best
efforts have awarded me only with about one hour of sleep every 8 hours of
being awake or so, consistently for the last few days. Not wanting to ride
like that, I spent most of Thursday at home, lying in bed wishing I was
asleep, until finally around 8am on Friday, I drifted off, not awakening
until 3:30 in the afternoon. I was happy about that--I don't bother setting
an alarm, as when my insomnia gets this bad, sleep is more important than
anything else (even though my work as expressed their disagreement when I've
arrived 2 hours late). Still time to pick up Rachel's bike, do a few quick
fixes, and get my tent set up before dark.
I removed the top box from the luggage rack on my bike, and strapped on some
luggage suitcase that I was going to give to Rachel and mount on her bike,
then strapped on my tent and sleeping bag on top of that. This was not the
tent I wanted to take. I wanted to take a tent Mike/HBN had given me. I wish
I knew where it was...I only know it's not at my house, and that the last
time I remember seeing it was shortly before the 3-months of problems I had
last year with severe amnesia. Luckily my memory is much better now, and
these days it only seems to affect me when I'm very sleep deprived. The tent
I have is not waterproof, or even water repellent--at best, it might be
called "slightly drizzle resistant" and since we're going camping right as
Hurricane Irene makes landfall, I'm know I'm going get wet.
And not just at night, either. A week and a half earlier, I'd ordered a new
waterproof rain suit when I'd first leaned about the hurricane. On
Wednesday, when I'd expected it to arrive, I got an e-mail from the store
saying that even though they'd advertised having 10 left in stock, they
couldn't actually find any of them anywhere, so they were giving up and
canceling my order. Why it took them 7 days of searching before they came to
that conclusion I don't know, but at this point I couldn't order anything
else in time, so I just grabbed a large garbage bag and hoped it wouldn't
rain during the hurricane.
Here's the bike, packed up and ready to go. Generally, you want to keep the
weight at low as possible when preparing for a trip, but this vertical
packing method does make high speed turns more fun.


More info about that tie-dye duct tape and toy gun later on in the report.
It's about a two hour trip to Rachel's house. She's at work, but as
promised, she left the key on her bike, ready for me to take. There are some
cobwebs on the bike, leading me to suspect it hasn't been ridden very
recently, but I switch on the choke, give it a few kicks, and it starts
right up. I kick it into gear to take it for a quick lap around her driveway
to make sure it runs before I unpack all the stuff from my bike onto hers.
Well, it runs okay. That's not the problem. The problem is it doesn't stop.
There are no front brakes. From a quick inspection, I'm not even sure it
there's a piston in the master cylinder. Back brakes are there, but they
don't do much.
Not wanting to die a horrible death this weekend, I get back on my Ninja 250
and leave to get a milkshake at a local diner. Leaving her house, I notice
her other bike, another Ninja 250, also appears as though it hasn't been
ridden since last year. Maybe she's given up riding altogether. I'm not
sure, but I'm rather surprised.


I'm a little irritated about all this. On one hand, I know that it's my
responsibility to make sure any bike I'm going to ride is safe. On the other
hand, if I'd offered my bike to someone who'd based his vacation plans on
being able to use it, I'd at the very least make sure it actually stops and
starts. As I'm furiously sucking a delicious but thick raspberry milkshake
through a straw much too narrow, I pull out my phone and sent Rachel a quick
message saying "Nice try, but if you really want me dead, make it so the
brakes don't fail until I'm doing at least 60mph".
She immediately calls me back, highly concerned, and asks, "Is my bike
okay?"


Another hour of riding, I arrive at the Cox Compound, where the campout is
held. There a good amount of people there, although several people had
canceled due to the hurricane. The amusing part about that is that no one
actually seemed deterred by the weather--they only backed out because they
felt an obligation not to leave their families alone in danger along the
coast while they went out riding!
I chatted with some fellow riders, about a variety of topics....oh, who am I
kidding? They all wanted to discuss the same thing: The Facebook update I'd
posted the day before.
For those who missed it, here's basically what happened: I'd been at a
restaurant, eating dinner, when I thought I recognized a girl a few tables
down, but couldn't place her nor remember her name. I evaluated my options,
and concluded that the best thing to do would be to determine who she was
before I spoke to her--a conclusion based on Facebook conversations from the
day before, where it had been explained to me that I should use as few words
as possible when talking to girls in an effort to avoid seeming "creepy". So
I pulled out my cell phone, secretly took a picture of her with the built-in
camera, uploaded it to Facebook, and asked all my friends to identify her
before she finished eating and left the restaurant. Let's just say that most
people--both on Facebook and at the campout--did not agree that my solution
was either logical or a suitable use of technology.
If you really care, the screenshots are here:
http://www.skippii.com/pics/creepy.png
http://www.skippii.com/pics/talkingtogirls.png
Then we all gathered around and sang "Happy Birthday" to Mike/HBN, who
apparently had a birthday that day--or at least told everyone so in order to
get cake.








Shortly after that it began pouring down rain, which reminded me
that I still hadn't set up my tent. At least it's a simple design, so I got
it set up in less than 2 minutes, and got my sleeping bag and all my
electronics inside before they got too wet.
I then returned to the "compound," the huge metal construction that
sheltered us from the rain, where I saw that a girl I'd talked to last year
had returned.
I'd enjoyed talking to her, as she'd been as entertaining as she'd been
drunk while discussing her breast size and flirting with us. Or, maybe I'd
been flirting with her. Not sure now, probably both. I did remember that I
had a photograph of her chest (covered the her bra, of course) uploaded to
the online photo album from last years campout. I also remembered that we'd
been referring to her as "Upper Mountain Trash". I could not, however,
remember her real name.


She waved, and seemed happy to see me--and then sensing my hesitation,
reminded me her name was Crystal. "Hello," I say, practicing both
recommended economy of words as well as "not being creepy". The change in
her expression instantly tells me I've managed to offend her anyway. She
later said I'd given her the impression that I didn't remember her and
didn't care. I can't win with girls. I suck.
The evening continues, and we all have fun. A bunch of the Cat Herders who
still haven't learnt their lessons from any of the previous campouts here,
at Laurel Fork, or BWDR, started gulping down Moonshine.








As for myself, I indulged in venison instead.

The night progressed into the sort of events that could
only happen with us--specifically, a group effort to check Mike/HBN for
fleas, ticks, and lice.


And we ate more cake.

Okay, a quick side note here. Some of you may have heard about "electronic
cigarettes", which are essentially vaporizers for liquid nicotine. As I
hobby, I've build and sold a few. They're pretty simple, and there's a lot
of room for creativity in their designs. They seem to be very effective and
helping people quit smoking, and are apparently quite healthy in comparison,
so I'd brought a couple to the campout for fun. One of them is built inside
of a toy gun--just stick the barrel in your mouth and pull the trigger. You
can see it in the first picture in the side pouch my luggage loaded up. It's
so wrong, but not when compared to the other device--which is built inside
of a rubber sex toy. People say they often get curious comments from others
when they use e-cigs in public. Believe me, you get a lot more questions
when you stick a big cock with orange lights in your mouth, suck on it, and
blow out a vapor mist.



Well, of course it charges up from my bike.

You also get some very strange looks when you pull
out a syringe with a hypodermic needle, which is used to refill the liquid
in the vaporizer. Quite a few people wanted to try the gun, but only one
person was willing to try the other device.

Here's a picture of Crystal sucking my cock.


I talked with Crystal quite a bit that night. It was nice to get to know her
better. Honestly, last year had been fun, but we hadn't exactly had any
meaningful conversations--it was mostly me and two or three other guys
testing to see how far she'd go despite having a serious boyfriend. This
time, we talked about our careers, Russian nuclear tests in the 1950s,
Schwinn unicycle design in the 70s( I was wearing a shirt from my days in
One For The Road, a unicycle club while I was in college, and Crystal
mentioned they'd recently purchased one at a yard sale), and other topics
less conducive to flirting--probably a good thing, since she'd brought her
boyfriend, who's about twice my size. And drunk, as was proudly announced on
his shirt.
Of course, with my somewhat warped and misogynistic views on females, I
generally save flirting for people I don't really respect. Crystal is
actually interesting, so I focus my efforts on simply not scaring her away.
It actually seems to work, and we continue talking until about 3:30am, at
which point everyone else seems to have gone to bed besides us, Brent
(Chrystal's boyfriend) and their friend, er... I think his name was Eric.
I'm terrible at names, but I'll just go with Eric for the purpose of this
ride report. I think that's right.
Anyway, Crystal invites me to join them back to her house (no, not like
that), just a mile up the road. Not being completely sure of Brent's ability
to drive at that point, nor particularly thrilled with the idea of walking
back home in pouring rain in the morning, I suggest I follow them on my
bike. I offer Crystal a ride on the back, and she accepts, but then I
remember that I don't have a spare helmet and tell her I can't take her
without a helmet. I go to get my bike, and as I'm putting on my gear, I see
their Jeep leave as Crystal walks up to me with a helmet. I don't ask where
she got it, and throw a few bungee straps in my pocket so I'll be able to
carry it back with me.
I start up the bike, and carefully and slowly ride out of the parking lot,
watching out for the wet grass and inexperienced passenger, and a few
minutes later we arrive at her house. Eric and Ryan are nowhere to be seen,
so Crystal takes that opportunity to show me something she's kept secret.
She pulls out a little box from which she removes a photograph of the two of
us together last year.
I can't help but find it odd that only a few hours earlier she was
criticizing me for taking a photo of a girl in a restaurant, but I suppose I
probably was aware of that picture being taken at the time, even if I have
no recollection now. Brent and Eric arrive shortly afterward, and as they
enter, Crystal gets up to move the photograph away from his view. They have
a short argument in front of me, with Crystal saying his attitude towards me
is hostile, and him not exactly disagreeing, but he then mellows out and we
talk a bit. He shows me the unicycle he'd purchased. It's a nice model in
good condition, almost identical to my first unicycle. Crystal than serves
me some delicious chicken and dumplings, and when the men go to sleep,
Crystal and I move out to the porch to continue talking and play with the
animals: an 85+ pound dog, and a 27 pound cat.

Around 6:45am, Crystal begins
to get sleepy, so I head back to the campsite after she writes her e-mail
address on the back of the photo and gives it to me. People are beginning to
stir in the rising light. As I pull up next to my tent, Michub sticks his
head out of the tent next to mine. "Good morning," I say, followed by a
modest "I hope I didn't wake you up driving through the campsite."
He assures me that was not the case--he'd been awake since I'd started my
bike a mile up the road. A few tents further on, Scott was already loaded up
and ready to head home to Maryland to share the excitement with his wife as
the hurricane razed their house.
Having enjoyed the food only a few hours earlier, I skipped the breakfast
run and spend the morning just hanging out, watching the weather channel's
coverage of the storm. Irene had hit land in North Carolina, and the news
crew seemed to dare the weatherman to step back into the ocean another 10
feet every time they went to commercial. I'm guessing they had a bet going
on to see if he could still report while submerged up to his neck without
laughing, but by the time he was reporting up to his waist, I started to get
a little bored and started asking people who was ready for a ride.
I talked to Denis, but he was holding out for the "experienced" off-road
ride planned for later that day. That had been the ride I'd originally
planned to join on the XT350. I'm sure I could have done it on the Ninja,
too, but not in any reasonable time frame and it's no fun riding if other
people are waiting for you. Denis gave me an Aerostich suit for which he had
no use, something we'd discussed online. I tried it out, and it fit
perfectly. Oddly, this was the second year in a row someone had given me
gear. The previous year someone had taken pity on me at the sight of my
ripped and patched black leather pants I'd had from my high school punk rock
days, and given them to me. They were great, but a bit too large for me
then, and even more so since I've lost a good deal of weight in the last
year. Those pants are now available free to anyone who needs them, as the
Aerostich ones are all I'll need.
When a group of people said they'd wanted to go soon, I checked with the guy
who'd be leading to ask if any of them needed fuel first. Everyone else was
good on gas, so I said I'd quickly go to the gas station 4 miles away and
fill up while they prepared. 10 minutes later I returned with a full tank,
and the other riders were almost ready to go. I took the opportunity to drop
about 15 pounds of pressure from each tire, as the traction was less than
optimal along the wet dirt road. A minute or so later the nine or ten of us,
all on dual-sports except me-- pulled out of the campsite. For the first
stop on our ride..... we went to the gas station, where everyone filled up.
Hey, we don't let just anyone be a Cat Herder....you've gotta EARN IT.
Handling was much better on the dirt roads with the lower pressure, and I
had no problem reaching 70mph on the long dirt straights. Fast enough for
me, and I'm not trying to race these guys on the DRZs and KTMs.


The first part of the ride is mostly street, which we don't make too exciting as the
roads are wet. I don't think I've ever ridden on the street with tire
pressure this low before, so it takes a little getting used to the extremely
heavy steering. I've never ridden a Harley Davidson before, but I imagine
this is what they feel like.
We take 211 (I think?) to a really long, straight dirt road, and then
PSUcanary shows us about a little know technical dirt trail open to the
public that he says he's been on before.
Once we arrive he qualifies he previous statement--he's been on it before,
but only on foot in the dark, so he'd not entirely sure what it's really
like.
This road is beautiful. It's my favourite kind of ride. Rocks and boulders
everywhere, the type of ride where you really have to think carefully as you
pick out your lines 3 feet at a time, choosing a path where you won't dent
your rim climbing over that rock or smash your engine coming down the other
side. It's the reason I don't have a lower fairing on my Ninja. I was going
to bring up the rear on this section, since I'm expecting to be the slowest
rider, and assume that everyone else expects me to, but one of the other
guys tells me to go in front of him. Kinda cool that after years of me
telling people the ninja 250 can handle off-road at a pretty quick pace,
someone finally believes me.
We didn't go all the way to the end of the road--I'm still not sure why, but
after some good riding, the first riders had turned back and signaled the
rest of us to also turn around and head back. Wish I'd gotten some video
navigating the rocks in the woods, but I did get a clip of me on much
easier beginning of the trail. Well, maybe it's better I didn't, because I
now if I tell you that it was 10x worse 100 meters on, you'll have no choice
but to believe me.

We continue on our loop, and begin our return to the campground. At some
point, I get a good splash of mud on my face shield, and slow down as I try
to wipe it off with my gloves. It doesn't help much, just smearing it and
further obstructing my vision. I try again, wiping across with my thenar
(that's the part of your hand where the muscles that abduct and flex the
thumb..oh, just look it up.) I dunno what kind of mud this is, but it does
not come off, and just seems to be scratching the plastic, so I give up and
flip up the face shied, pulling going slow and blinking furiously as the
dirt stings my eyes.



Maybe I should put my front fender back on.
I arrived back at the compound around 1pm, and changed out of my suit,
talked to the few people hanging around who weren't out on rides, mostly
trying desperately to dispel the rumors circulating that I'd been having sex
all night with a married girl (Note to self: Next time, begin with "We did
not have sex," NOT "She's not married," for more credibility). It was at
this time that I first began to feel a little drowsy, so I figured it would
be a good time to take a nap. Since my tent isn't large enough for me alone,
I have to take out my leathers and luggage, lay that on my bike, and move
into the tent by 2pm.
By 3pm, I wake up and notice it's starting to rain again, so I hurriedly get
up, throw on my shoes, and move my belongings back into the tent, wishfully
hoping that the tent will keep them at least slightly drier than leaving
them out in the rain. My nap has left me feeling refreshed, and I see more
people around the area, so I decide to socialize a bit. Mtnflow and his
group arrive back from his hardcore ride around that time, and I chat with
them for a while. They must have been chasing the rainclouds, because they
reported significantly more rain than we'd seen around the campsite. A bit
after that, food arrived. It was fantastic and delicious, and I consumed a
quantity sufficient to put even me into a deep food coma. By the time I was
finishing off my second plate, it was no longer raining, so I retreated back
to my tent hoping to catch a bit more sleep. I lay down on my sleeping bag,
closed my eyes, and emptied my head, forcing my body to relax. A few minutes later, I felt that tingling drowsiness start to creep over me, as
consciousness fades to black. Ah yes, this is good. I'll be in a deep sleep
in no time, no doubt dreaming pleasant fantasies of motorcycles and HOLY
S--T WHAT THE F--K WAS THAT???????
I can not begin to explain that nature of whatever had interrupted my rest.
I'd felt the ground shake, but this was nothing like the earthquake we'd had
earlier that week. There was a thunderous explosion...had the campsite been
struck by lightning? But people were cheering and applauding. Wide awake but
very disoriented, I unzipped my tent and peered out. Everyone was standing
around looking in my direction, and there was a huge cloud of smoke between
us. Someone pointed right at me and laughed. I got up to investigate. I had
no idea what I'd missed, but I knew it was awesome.
When I saw the perpetrator, proudly wearing a shirt that read “Warning: I do
stupid things” pick an object up the (significantly indented) ground, I
recognized it immediately as a concussion mortar.


Back when I'd done a lot of theater stuff, I'd taken a class in stage pyrotechnics, so I'm familiar
with flash pots and concussion mortars. But I've never seen one this big
before. I believe he said he used 3/4 of a POUND of pyrodex powder. That
would be equal to about 500 .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifles at 100 grains
each. Let's just say it was really freaking loud. Then again, they say my
exhaust is, too...so, okay. Maybe I deserved that.
No way in hell I'm going to fall asleep again after that--or, maybe ever--so
I get up and socialize a bit. I think. Honestly, I'm having a hard time
remembering the order of the events from this point on. Probably some
combination of the sleep deprivation throughout the weekend, and the fact
that I'm typing this a week later, because the hurricane knocked out all
power to my house for a week, so it's entirely possible that I've mixed up a
few things. Maybe the food was served at this time--in which case, I must
have stuffed my face earlier exclusively with Motocox's daughter's delicious
cupcakes and Mike/HBN's birthday cake.

Either way, they were both wonderful and I had lots of both.

Continued, as I've reached the limit per single post...
__________________
"Umm be careful what you say, this is Skippii....
You may get it delivered in the form of a shake or some interperative dance routine that involves nakedness, pizza and a stuffed raccoon..." -DCrider

Skippii screwed with this post 09-07-2011 at 09:36 AM
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:55 AM   #2
Skippii OP
Hookers, my lad.
 
Skippii's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Oddometer: 6,506
It was around this time, though, that one member brought out a toy for us to
play with, a MAC-10 fully automatic submachine gun (He did have all required
permits, for those wondering). Lucky for us, we had a certified firearms
instructor at the campout, which hopefully made it a bit
less terrifying for everyone around. It's one of those strange feelings when
you're pretty sure you know everything he's going to say (it's an extremely
simple gun), but you're still listening with full attention to every word he
says because, you know, you're holding a freaking submachine gun. I've
shot other guns before, but those don't even compare! After spending a few
seconds emptying a clip, I still don't know what to make of it. It's
an interesting experience, and I definitely enjoyed it and glad I got the
opportunity, but I certainly have no desire to go out and get one of my own.
I will say I'm in awe of anyone who can hold the trigger and keep the
bullets in a 15-foot radius after half a second.

I don't remember much of the next few hours. I know that it started raining
again. I recall at one point I went back to check on my tent to see if it
was dry. Amazingly, it was completely dry--my sleeping bag had absorbed all
the water from everything else. A bit later I checked again, and with the
sleeping bag now saturated, there was a good inch of water on the floor of
the tent. I didn't bother checking any more after that, but at one point I
did return to place a large flat rock underneath the kickstand of my bike to
prevent it from sinking into the mud and falling over.

Crystal had returned at this point, and as I'm standing directly next to
her, one guy approaches me and loudly asks "So, are you gonna nail that
married chick tonight or what?" I turn around to face him, and see that
Brent is right behind him, and according to his T-shirt, he's drunk.

I shake my head in despair and walk
away. When I later try to explain to him that, funny as it may have been,
those comments just might get me killed, he explains the he hadn't realized
who Crystal was, saying he thought it was the girl in the gray dress. I
informed him that was Lauren, Mike/HBN's girlfriend, but he either didn't
believe me or didn't understand. I believe he may have been a bit drunk.

I really wish I could remember the reason behind it, but the next thing I
remember is being back at Crystal's house, on her couch with her when her
boyfriend Brent walks in. He doesn't seem all that happy. "What are you
doing?" he demands.
"Nothing. What are you doing?" Crystal responds.
"I'm getting my shotgun."
Okay, I might not always be the quickest to pick up on subtle hints, but I
immediately take this as a sign to get the hell out of their house. Crystal
offers to take me home, and after another argument with her boyfriend about
which car she can take, she takes me back to the campout in the Volvo.

When I arrive, one of the guys takes me aside and explicitly explains to me
that I desperately need to get laid, and says he'll do anything he can to
help me. I do my best to explain that while that may well be true, I'm NOT
trying to have sex with her--I just enjoy talking to her. I have some major
ethical and moral issues with having sex with a girl who has a boyfriend
who's going to shoot me. He ignores me, and promises that I can sleep with
her in his camper, and he'll find somewhere else to sleep. I begin to
object again, and he cuts me off by saying he'll be extremely creepy towards
her so that by comparison, I'll seem normal. I really don't know how to
respond to that one. True to his word, throughout the night he'd approach
Crystal and whisper things in her ear that would either make her blush, or
leave her with a priceless look of shock and total horror.
After a bit more socializing, Brent and Eric return (thank God, without a
shotgun). After whatever the hell that other guy had been whispering in her ear, she almost looked happy to see Brent again.


Me, Crystal, Eric, and Brent:

I spend the next 20 minutes standing in one place, not allowed to move,
because Pantera had come on the radio, but we could only get good reception if someone was
standing directly next to the receiver. KoRn came on after that, and again, I had to stay put as the antenna. Brent apparently likes KoRn, and I wasn't going to argue with him.


I was kind of sorry to miss some of
this conversation, but also was happy to be able to contribute something to
the party. After that song, Brent steps outside for a while. When he returns, he comes straight up to me and asks why someone had just told him I'd had anal sex with Crystal earlier in the day.
This is a bit of a tricky question, but I suggest that it was probably a
joke. Or, perhaps, someone else also wants me dead. He seems satisfied with
that answer, and returns to drinking. Kevin comes over after a while and
offers the two some relationship advice for a few minutes, until Brent falls
out of his chair and passes out on the floor.

We all help him up, and he stumbles outside in the rain and immediately
passes out on the gravel, but eventually gets back up with some help and
sits down with us again. After a while he gets back up and wanders outside
into the rain, and then five minutes later returns to say he he'd just
driven the Volvo into a ditch. We advise him to stay put, and Nick, Crystal,
and I go off to examine it, and together we manage to push it out. Crystal
decides that this time, she won't leave the keys in the ignition.

Eric and Nick leave to take Brent home so he can get some sleep, while the
rest of the remaining crowd retreats to their tents or the couches in the
shelter. Crystal and I continue talking and playing with local wildlife until Nick and Eric return.


When they return, Eric's mood seems to have changed. Before, he'd been very
friendly to me, but now he seemed very hostile. I have no idea why. He said
that last year, he'd been on Tasker's Gap and had seen me there, and didn't
believe that I'd been there. I told him that I didn't quite follow his
question, but yes, three of us had gone there last year (me on the Ninja,
them both on DR350s), and that I love (and am quite well known for) taking
my ninja to places it wasn't designed to be. Then he said he knew I'd been
there, but that I didn't like it, and had hated the trip. I explained again
that I love abusing the Ninja, but that just made him upset, and he started
cursing at me, calling me a piece of ****, and a liar. I responded by saying
that I might be misunderstanding him, and suggested that maybe we'd be
better off having this conversation in the morning after we'd gotten some
sleep. Can't say I really expected that to work, but I figured it was worth
a try. It just made him angrier, and he demanded we have the conversation
right then. Then he turned to Crystal, and told her she needed to pick sides
right then, and choose if she wanted to be friends with me or him, but
absolutely not both. Nick stepped in at that point. For those who don't know
him, Nick is an extremely likable person, and he has a very clam voice and
a permanent, friendly smile.


He's pretty much my top choice for cooling down
a situation like that. So while he's talking to Eric, I quietly sneak around
them and go back to my tent.
Think whatever you want of me for that. I'm a pacifist sissy. I'm not going
to argue or fight, and I have no problem running away. I have almost no
social skills to begin with, especially not in situations with heightened
emotions. I don't like drama like this, so if I'm in any way causing it, I'm
happy to walk away.
I am happy to say that something like this is extremely uncommon for me. I
know people who have stuff like this happen around all the time, either
because they cause it or attract it or just hang out with crowds who enjoy
it. I am not one of those people. I can't think of the last time anyone's
yelled at me.
Next to my tent, standing in the rain, I think about my options at this
point. I can wait a while and see if Eric calms down or goes to bed, I can
sleep in the swimming pool of a tent, or I can just pack up and go now.
Pretty easy choice--It's 4am, and I was hoping to leave kind of early in the
morning anyway, since I need to stop by my friend's house to install a new
baffle in my muffler. I've had an awesome time so far. The last hour has
been a bit confusing, I suppose, but certainly in no way puts a damper on
the rest of the weekend. I don't really see any point in waiting around in
the rain for a few more hours just to say goodbye to people before I leave,
so I begin to pack up my stuff, content with the weekend.
After a few minutes, crystal walks up, and apologizes for Eric's change in
mood, and says he's heading back to their house to sleep. Indeed, I see him
get into his Jeep at the bottom of the hill and drive off. That doesn't
change my decision, though--I've still got to leave soon, I don't want to
sleep underwater, and all the couches are taken. Crystal thinks I'm crazy to
want to leave in the rain, but I ride enough in all weather that it doesn't
affect me much.
"Why don't you just come back to our house to sleep for a while?" she asks.
I pause, and look up at her. Is she serious? Yeah, she looks serious.
"I really don't think that's a good idea" I say.
"It'll be fine" she promises.
"I don't think Brent and Eric like me"
"No, they don't."
[pause]
"I am NOT going back to your place".
I think she understands my concerns (and fears), so she starts to help me
find all my stuff in the tent to load into the luggage, when we see a car
pull up again. It's the Jeep.
"I think he just came back" Crystal says. "Oh, Brent's with him now."
"What? Why?"
"I dunno. Honestly, I'm a little scared" she says.
"I'm going to go hide in the bushes".
Yeah, go ahead and make fun of me if you want. I thought about it, and I
just couldn't see how any good could come from any interaction with them, so
turn off my flashlight and hold my head high as I cowardly run to the
trees, tail between my legs.
As we're ducking behind the trees and bushes, I turn to Crystal.
"Are you just scared for yourself as well, or just for me?"
"I don't know"
Well, I enjoy the company. Hiding alone in the woods is boring. I ask her if
she thinks this is actually a good idea. I'm not fully convinced myself. I'd
kinda figured they just didn't like me, and were upset with her. I wonder
if she just went home with them, the situation would simply be resolved. On
the other hand, if she's remotely concerned about her own safety, that's
obviously not an option.
"You know, they think we're having sex," I say. "If they find us together in
the bushes, that might not look too good."
She laughs. I've gotta admit, I like a girl who can laugh during stressful
times. Kind of like Melissa (Reddish Knob Girl), who ended up getting
rescued by police at 2am when I first took her out to lunch all those years
ago. We tell a few jokes, as we watch Brent and Eric stumble through the
campsite, yelling out our names, but not having any luck finding us as they
hadn't thought to bring flashlights.
Eventually they get back in the Jeep and drive up the hill towards the Cox's
house. I have no idea what their intention was there, but shortly afterward
they went all the way back down the hill to the compound, entered, and then
emerged again a few minutes later with a flashlight.
I went deeper into the bush.
That's not a sexual reference about Crystal, by the way. I just mean I made
sure I was well hidden. We waited another half hour or so, watching them,
joking that as ridiculous as the situation was, this was actually kind of
fun. It felt like being a kid again hiding under the bed from your parents
because you got in trouble in school. I'd forgotten about all those great
times from high school.
I turn to her and ask, "Was he serious about getting a shotgun? He wouldn't really shoot me, would he?"
"I don't think so," she replies. "He just likes to play with and show off his guns when he's drunk."
That at least makes me feel somewhat better.
"And what about Eric?"
"Oh, he can't have guns. He's a convicted felon."
Somehow, that doesn't put me completely at ease.
Finally, they gave up, got back in the jeep, and left the campground to go
home, and we walked back out into the open. 5:20am--we'd been hiding for
over an hour. We go back to my bike and tent, which we disassemble. She asks
why I'm bothering to pack it up and keep it, since it's obviously not very
effective. It's a good point, but I'm obviously not just going to leave my
tent as trash in someone's yard. Even more to the point, I can't help but think it
was a total waste of space and time to bring it for a total of one hours of sleep.
But it's too late to worry about that now, so on the bike it goes. And, immediately
following that, down goes the bike, flopping over on the left side,
shattering the mirror and breaking off the mirror stalk. How does mud that
soft do that much damage? Oh well. I lift up the bike, and ask Crystal to
find the rock that had been under the kickstand. I guess it had slipped off
or something. She says she can't find it, so I ask her to hold the bike
upright and make sure it doesn't fall again while I find something to put
under the kickstand. She takes the bike, I turn my back, and hear it crash
again--the time on the right side. There goes my GPS mount. I assure Crystal
it's not her fault and that I'm not upset, and search for the rock, which I
find about 3 inches below the surface of the ground, well sunken into the
mud. I lift up the bike again and make sure it's secure, and look around.
Normally at a large motorcycle gathering, if there's a sound of a motorcycle
crashing, everyone immediately sticks there head out of their tent to make
sure it's not theirs. No one stirred this time...which is perhaps a good
thing, since that would seem to indicate that they won't wake up as I start my engine
and leave the campsite, either. I put on my gear, and say goodbye to
Crystal. We hug, and I tell her I look forward to doing all this again with
her soon. I kick my bike in neutral and coast down the hill away from the
other tents before starting my bike, then start down the road towards the
rising sun.
My first stop is the gas station just down the road, for two reasons.
Firstly, to re-inflate my tires back to pavement-appropriate levels,
but more importantly, to wash of my face shield. I'd forgotten about
all the mud on it until I'd set off, and I definitely didn't want to
keep riding like this. Washing and wiping it, it becomes apparent that
while much better, that mud has left my face shield scratched. I can
probably get a new face shield for it cheaply, but I've been thinking
it's getting close to time for a new lid anyway, so I'll probably just
replace it and keep this one for those rare times I carry a passenger.
I'd talked to MtnFlow the day before about the Valley Dual Sport Tag
game, and he's given me some hints as to the new location. And by
hints, I mean he entered the place into my GPS for me. Perhaps not
quite the way the game is supposed to work, but we've always been happy
to bend the rules for pretty much any reason, especially if a tag is
stuck and we want to get the game moving again.
Actually, he'd given detailed information to JeepNGoose first, but I'm not sure he was listening:


So I head south, occasionally stopping to pull the GPS out of my tank bag and put it
back in, as my mount was broken off. I arrive at the location without
much trouble, but can't find the tag cache among the wasp nests at the
sign. I snap a picture and head towards my friends house in Clifton
Forge.

I take nice back roads and enjoy the ride there, but I do start
to notice some of the effects of sleep deprivation returning. I'm not
falling asleep or anything; I'm just seeing strange spots and things
in the road that aren't there. It's the annoying part about insomnia:
just because you can't sleep doesn't mean you don't need to. I stop a
few times to take a break, which seems to help. Just before their
house, I stop at the Napa Auto parts store on Douthat Rd. I don't need
any parts (luckily, since it's closed on Sundays) but remembered it
was a long gravel driveway, so it would work as a new tag location.

Once at my friends' house, I upload the tag photos, chat with my
friends, and decide to try another attempt at sleeping before doing
any work on the bike. It's about 11am, so I ask them to wake me around
3:30, so I'll have time to install the baffle before leaving for work.
Amazingly, I actually get to sleep and feel quite rested when my
friend comes in to ask me "Did you say you wanted to be woken up at
5:30 or 7:30? I can't remember."
It's a little after 5:30 at that point, but I don't mind, I'm just
happy to have gotten some sleep. I join my friends for dinner, but
don't have time to do any work on the bike as I have over a three and
a half hour drive to get to work by 11pm. Around 7pm, I give my work a
phone call purely out of curiosity to see if they have any
electricity--reports have said that much of Richmond and Petersburg do
not, but my work doesn't have any issues. I get on the bike and fill
up with fuel at the gas station a few blocks from their house. From
then on, it's interstate all the way to work. I pull out of the gas
station and go the single block towards the ramp to I-64. Midway
though the turn onto the highway, something suddenly doesn't feel
right and immediately after that I slam hard on my right side into the
asphalt.
I stand up, dust myself off, and look around. I'd just ridden over a
bunch of gravel. How had I not seen that? I curse myself for the
stupidity of riding with a scratched face shield. Not that I would have
been able to get a spare on a Sunday, but had I realized that it would
impair my vision to the point where I wouldn't be able to see a pile
of gravel even while riding over it, I would have done something
different.
I'm completely fine. I wasn't going more than 15mph. The Aerostich
from Denis has proven its effectiveness already. There's a small bit
of pain on my left ASIS (hip bone) where the left handlebar hit me
during the dismount, but no pain or on the side that hit the road.
The bike is looking too happy, but it's not too bad. The right front
turn signal is cracked, but the mirror is fine. Apparently dropping it
at 0mph into soft mud is able to shatter the left mirror, but crashing
it into the road does nothing more than a very small scratch on the
plastic on the side of the right mirror. The tail section is where the
problems are--namely, the tail section has somewhat fallen off. That's
not entirely related to the crash, though. I'd had to cut through a
lot of the tail sections plastic to mount the luggage rack, and I'd
noticed it had been further weakened last year during the
Shenandoah 500 off-road event. My solution was to secure it "softly" so
it wasn't so rigid and wouldn't fatigue and wear--aka, zip ties. Those
zip ties had broken from the impact.
A car pulls up at that point and a woman gets out of the passenger
side and asks if I'm okay. I assure her I'm fine, and bend over to
lift up my bike.
"Don't try to pick it up by yourself!" She cries. "My husband's
already called 911, they'll help you!"
I assure her I'm fine, but that these bikes tend to dribble a bit of
fuel out of the gas cap, and since I just filled up I'd rather not let
too much leak out. Besides...I've got a black bike lying down in the
middle of the interstate ramp with no traffic lights around. I think
it would be smart to move it out of the way.
As I pick up the bike and walk it to the side of the road, I hear her
relay our conversation to her husband, and they hear him, still on the
phone with the 911 operator, exclaim "THERE'S GASOLINE SPILLED ALL
OVER THE ROAD." I want to grab my own phone and also call 911 and say
"No, there's not," but I figure the best thing to do at this point is
just hang around and, as much as I prefer not to have them involved,
wait for the cops to arrive.
I call my friend again, and ask if he'd mind coming down in case I
need his help. After about 5 minutes, the ramp is filled with
vehicles. Three emergency rescue squad vehicles, one ambulance, one
firetruck, and 4 local police cars (and a few minutes later, my
friend). A friendly rescue squad worker takes me aside and check me
over, telling me that I seem fine but she's concerned that my pulse is
a little high--which I wouldn't have thought would be uncommon in my
situation. The police ask to see my license and registration, so I go
to the tank bag to pull out my wallet.
Unfortunately for me, the wallet isn't the only thing that comes out.
It would have been a lot better had the damn dildo vaporizer fallen
out of my tank bag. At least then they would have seen it and wanted to
stay the hell away from my bike. But no, instead, out falls the
syringe, complete with hypodermic needle. I grab it and shove it back
in as quickly as I can, but it's pretty obvious the cops have seen it.
One of them leans over and says "Um...you don't mind if we take a look
through your stuff, do you?"
While the other cops are running my license and checking my insurance
registration, I have a brief conversation with one of the officers,
where I politely explained that it had been a bit of a pain to load
all that stuff onto the bike (though I skipped all of those details),
but eventually, I gave up and consented. I learnt my lesson eight
years ago about saving space by putting all my prescriptions in the
same bottle, so at least I know I've got all those correctly labeled.
I'm not too familiar with the laws, but I suspect dropping and then
hiding a syringe might motivate a cop to get a warrant, and that's not
going to save me any time--which is really the only thing I'm worried
about. Although either way this goes, I'm not going to make it to work
on time.
They go straight to my tank bag, pull out the syringe, and then get on
the radio and call in state troopers. The friendly EMT comes over to check
my pulse, and says it hasn't really gone down. As I'm sitting down by
the side of the road, trying to explain to the EMT why I have a giant
rubber cock, a severely modified toy gun, liquid nicotine, and some
hypodermic needles mixed in with highly controlled prescription
medications, I really question how it never occurred to me before that
this could result in an awkward situation. She understands, and finds
it a bit amusing, and I ask if she'll help explain it to the
police--one of whom is heading towards me with a questioning
expression on his face.
"Are you diabetic?" He asks.
"No," I say, but knowing what's coming next, I ask "Have you ever
heard of electronic cigarette devices?"
"No."
"Ever heard of a kind of nicotine vaporizer used to help people quit smoking?"
"No."
Oh, this is going great. Luckily, the EMT joins in then and explains
to him what it is, how it works, and why I had the things I did.
Two more cop cars show up at this point--state troopers. They ask for
my license and registration as well, and proceeds to run it again,
then turns to me and ask where I'm planning to go and what condition
my bike is in. He has me turn on the ignition, and I show him that the
headlight, taillight, and all 4 turn signals are still working. Of
course, the taillight and rear indicator lights aren't really attached
to the bike as I show him that--but they could be. I've got plenty of
zip ties.
I introduce my friend, and tell the officer I'm going back to his
house, four blocks down the road. The officer nods and says that as
long as we go straight there and my friend follows me, I don't have to
bother reattaching the license plate or fender, so we just put that,
along with my tent and sleeping bag, in the bag of my friend's car,
then return to the officer.
He doesn't say anything, and pauses to contemplate for a moment.
Finally, he speaks.
"Well, I don't really see any reason to report this as an accident, or
give you a ticket for reckless driving. Here's my card if you have any
questions or if your insurance needs anything. You can leave now."
I took the card, thanked him, put on my gear, and headed the four
blocks back to Teddy's house, where I got off the bike, got into his
car, and we drove two blocks back again to the Dairy Queen to indulge
in a well needed milkshake. After that, I pulled out my phone to
explain that I was not going to be there at 11:00 that day. I was
pretty surprised to see the time on my phone. I'd been with the police
for over an hour. As I was looking at the clock on my phone, it
rings...it's my boss.
I answer it, wondering what he's going to tell me, but suspecting I
won't want to hear it.
He says he's just calling because I-95 south of Richmond was jammed
with an accident or something. He didn't want me to get stuck in the
traffic because it was very important I got there on time due to how
busy we were that day. I thank him for the heads-up, but explain
there's just one other little problem: I'd just crashed my motorcycle
almost four hours away.
"Are you okay?" he asks.
"Yes."
"Are you in pain?"
"No."
[pause]
"So what's the problem?"
Maybe he hadn't understood me correctly the first time, so I explained that I'd need at least an hour or two in order to do temporary repairs
to be able to ride back to work, which was still 190 miles away. He
said he'd call me back in a little bit, and a few minutes later called
to say he'd found someone to cover my shift for tonight. That was good
news, as now I wouldn't have to leave until 11am in the morning to
work my next shift at 3pm. Evaluating what needed to be done on the
bike, are realizing it would be much easier in the daylight, I didn't
bother to do any more work on it that night. The next morning, I started the temporary repairs utilizing several zip-ties and my roll of duct tape, securing the taillight section to the luggage rack with my roll of brightly colored duct tape--the same roll you can see in the very first picture of my bike loaded up.



Originally, I'd purchased this tape just because it looked cool, but a day later I realized it serves a much more important purpose. My left hip, where the handlebar had hit me, was started to show some discoloration on the bruised area, and within a few days this bruise perfectly matched my tape.

Certainly, these repairs are temporary, but they're strong enough that I won't have to worry about getting home, and perhaps more importantly, getting to work on time. Over the next few weeks I'll be repairing the cracked windshield, turn signal, and fairing, and getting a more permanent mount for the tail section, but for now, I the zip-ties hold it in place, and the duct tape prevents it from moving around too much. As I leave my friend's house, with my face shield open, I stop by the side of the road where I'd gone down the evening before, and take a picture of how it looks in the light.

I'm reminded of the old expression, "Gravel: It's like ice for the summer!" The most frustrating part about this, though, is that I'd just spend the weekend riding on gravel and dirt roads at very quick speeds with no problems, then then crashed at 15 mph on one small section of gravel. I suppose it makes a big difference when you're not expecting it...
Regardless, as I pull onto the interstate highway heading home, I don't think about that. Instead, I think about everything else that happened-all the good times and good people at the Cat Herder's Rally. Camping trips are always an adventure, and this one was especially exciting--honestly the best time I've had all year.
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Skippii screwed with this post 09-07-2011 at 11:13 AM
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
HBN
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Thanks for the entertaining read and details to dissuade the rumors. Good to see you again.


I couldn't help but be reminded of the song "Everything to Everyone "

"I think you are blind to the fact
That the hand you hold is the hand that holds you down
"
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
Mullet
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And here I was think this kind of crap only happens to me and my boys... I know where you're coming from my man.
Good report.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
tastroman
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Thanks for that. I'd probably say bullshit if you did not have the photos to back it up. Probably the best 2 day rr I have read to date.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
badguy
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Thanks for a good read during lunch...it's always an adventure with you
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
Das Perp
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Best ride report ever. Scintillating. Sell the rest of my seat; I'm only using the edge. Seriously.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #8
aschendel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tastroman View Post
thanks for that. Probably the best 2 day rr i have read to date.
+1
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:05 PM   #9
FOXedupONE
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Location: Raising the cub in the foxden, B'ville,VA.
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The unusual adventures of Skippii's luck strikes again. Glad you made it out in one piece once again despite your mishaps. Syringes,cock cigarettes and rumors of anal sex with mountain trash girl in the bushes, for real Skippii? Well it made for good read as I woke Gabbi in the hospital while she naps from bursting out laughing. Only you Skippii you are one of a kind. Sorry I missed seeing some of this fun and shenanigansin person this year.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:25 AM   #10
ONandOFF
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Thanks Skippii for sharing; I missed the campout this year and hated to, but I'm glad you all had an exciting time. Catch you on the flip.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:51 PM   #11
[TASF]Overkill
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After reviewing the photographic evidence of you and this Crystal character, and I don't consider myself possessive or the jealous type... I would have shot you. :-) Or at the very least, scattered gravel all over your route home.

[TASF]Overkill screwed with this post 09-09-2011 at 01:59 PM
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:32 PM   #12
Skippii OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [TASF]Overkill View Post
I would have shot you.
Just curious, but why?

I know it's kind of an awkward question, but if I'm not trying to have sex with her, would you shoot me just because I'm enjoying talking to her?
Or would you shoot me because you don't trust her to be around me (In which case, why not shoot her?)
Or just as some punishment for something I did you thought was unethical? What was it?

I dunno, I have to admit that I'm biased towards thinking I shouldn't be shot in general. Also, being shot for doing something is one thing, being shot for wanting to do something is another. Getting shot because someone thinks I want to do something/someone I wouldn't doesn't seem right, but it brings up the argument about whether it makes a differents of whether or not it makes a difference if I want to do something or not, even if I won't do it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:51 AM   #13
FOXedupONE
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She's got your dirty sex toys in her mouth. You should have probably been shot regardless of what you may or may not have wanted to do.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:19 AM   #14
Berto
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Damn Skippii What a great ride report.Nothing like some drunk white trash hillbillies to make a party more interesting
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #15
ClearwaterBMW
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what a great report
a lot more description of the events and pictures than we usually get
WHICH IS A VERY GOOD THING
the pictures were great
looks like a fantastic time
thanks for sharing it all with us
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