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Old 12-12-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
mscuddy
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Default Hippy Bob & the Bighorn

You wouldn't believe how much money people want for used bikes anymore. This happened last weekend, and it's all true. I swear.

Hippy Bob came into some money recently, and asked me to help him find a used motorcycle. He had around $2,000.00 to spend, and I thought "no problem, we can find a nice bike with that much cash, easy."

So last Saturday, we got a copy of the Recycler and started looking. I suggested a dual-purpose bike, but anything would do, as long as it was cheap and reliable. If you've seen the Recycler, you know the paper classifies motorcycles by model year, so we started with 1990.

The advertisement that caught our eye was for a 1990 Honda XL500. A solid bike, the seller wanted $900.00 for it, and since Honda 4 strokes are pretty much indestructible, it might be a bargain. We called the number listed, and set up a time to go check out the bike. We were getting our hopes up, this might be the one.

The address turned out to be a tiny beige house in Sunland, next to an open aggregate pit. Before we were able to get out of the truck, the skinniest human being in existence, came bounding out of the house to greet us. He seemed real excited.

"YOU HERE TO LOOK AT THE BIKE?" he yelled. Why was he yelling? Bob and I looked at each other, puzzled.

Bob cracked the window a little, and replied "Yes, we called about an hour ago."

"WHAT?" yelled the human string bean. He was about six foot three, and couldn't have weighed more than 140 lbs, tops. He had on filthy blue corduroy bell-bottoms, ratty Adidas sneakers, and an oil stained "Big Daddy Rat" tank-top.

"YES." Bob yelled back at him.

"OH, SORRY, I HAD A LITTLE ACCIDENT WITH DYNAMITE A COUPLE MONTHS AGO, I'M KINDA' DEAF, LET'S GO LOOK AT THE BIKE, FOLLOW ME." and pointed to a path, that lead through some old cars and other junk that littered his front yard.

We got out of the truck, and followed Icabod down the trail. After weaving our way through one piece of wrecked machinery after the other, there, leaning up against a tin pump shed, was the XL. Or what was left of it.

The Honda was a mess, tufts of saddle material poked out of the seat, between layers of black electricians tape. There was no headlight, the front fender was missing, and the bars were bent. Everything that wasn't covered with oil, was rusted. The original red paint had faded to light pink. A big white rubber drain stopper replaced the original gas cap, and it didn't have any hand grips.

"WANT ME TO FIRE IT UP?"

Before we could say anything, the guy whipped out a can of quick-start, pried the boot off the air cleaner, and squirted a liberal dose of schnitzel right into the carb.

"NO, STOP, IT'S OK, I'VE CHANGED MY...." yelled Bob.

Ignoring Bob, stick-boy started it with his left leg, and screamed "LET ME WARM HER UP FOR YOU" over the racket of the un-muffled engine. The old, tortured XL made horrible clattering noises, as he brought the beast up to redline, stomped it into first and disappeared down a goat path next to the shed.

Bob and I could hear the XL thrashing around for a few minutes, but after a while the noise stopped, and everything was silent. We waited around for the guy to come back, but he never showed up again, so we got back in the truck and left.

Scratch that one. Bob and I agreed right there, that if a potential seller produced a can of quick-start prior to the sale, the deal was off, period. Back to the Recycler...have to be more selective next time.

Down the list of bikes for sale, we found another one that looked interesting; "1976 Kawasaki 350 Bighorn, original owner, $1,000.00. OBO." We called the number, and spoke to some lady who said "John" owned the bike, but was in the garage, and couldn't come to the phone. We asked her if we could stop by and talk to John. She agreed, so we got the address, and boogied on over...

The place turned out to be a classic white mansion-style house in the hilly section of Glendale, with big Greek columns, and two six foot tall clay urns, guarding the front doors. It was kind of dilapidated though, with peeling paint, overgrown trees and bushes. We looked at each other, shrugged, and rang the oversize doorbell.

About a minute later, a lady in her 60's opened the door. She was dressed in a 1/4 length mink coat, black evening gown, full makeup, and a tiara. "Are you the boys who called about the motorcycle?"

Bob and I both gasped "Yes?"

"Well come in, come in." she said, and ushered us inside. When we got in the house, we noticed all the furniture was covered with sheets, and a musty, closed-in smell like mothballs hung in the air. "Let me get John for you" the lady said, and stepped out a side door. Bob and I just stood there, looking around at all the stuff covered with dust and cobwebs.

We waited around for about 15 minutes, and were about to leave, when the lady stuck her head back through the door, and said; "John's in the garage, you can come out and see the bike now." We obliged, and stepped into the back yard.

The yard was overgrown with weeds, and had a big 4 car garage built behind the house. It was the size of a barn. The two main doors were closed, but the one side door was open, and we could see a dim light glowing from somewhere inside. The lady had vanished, so we moved closer to the garage, and peeked inside.

Sitting on a stool, at the end of what seemed like a long dark tunnel, like a trap-door spider, sat John. So much crap was stuffed into the garage, it had formed a tunnel, about 5 feet high, and two feet wide, going all the way to the back of the building.

John was sitting back there, motioning us to "come on in..."

So we both said "what the hell" and stepped in. It was musty, dark, and you almost had to feel your way along to get through it. I bumped my shin on an old sink, and knocked my head on a low hanging crate at the same time. Something hissed, and scurried between my feet.

As we got further in, the light improved, and we could start making items out. It was staggering. Old vases, lamps. Boxes full of old shoes, electric space heaters, fondue sets. Broken televisions, washing machines, plastic bags full of cans. Bed frames, water coolers, bicycles, couches, end tables, clocks, chafing dishes, rugs, all piled on top of each other, in a solid never-ending mass of stuff.

When we finally reached the end of the tunnel, there sat John, in a kind of hollowed out junk cave, on a stool in front of a small workbench. He was smoking a pipe, wearing clean bib-overalls, and had a train engineers hat on. A lone, bare 60 watt bulb provided the light.

"Howdy boys, come to look at the bike?" said John, and punctuated it with a little puff of smoke from his pipe. He looked just like an elf, perched on his stool. I expected him to whip out a box of Lucky Charms.

"Er, yes. Where is it?" asked Bob.

"Over there, in front of the Hudson" replied John, and pointed to some dark, unseen corner of the garage.

Bob and I looked over to where he pointed, and squinted into the darkness. We could just barely make out what seemed to be a white and purple '55 Hudson Jet, with boxes of junk all over it. Sticking out between the wall of the garage and the Hudson, was the front fender of a motorcycle.

"Jeezus" I said. Bob agreed.

With John's approval, we carefully started moving boxes, bags, lamps, rugs, baskets, one at a time, and made a single-file path to the front of the Hudson, about 15 feet away from the main tunnel.

There, wedged between all the junk, was a nice original green and silver 1976 Kawasaki Bighorn, with 2700 miles on the clock.

Now I don't normally suffer from claustrophobia or anything like that, but the thought of being crushed under thousands of pounds of junk had occurred to me, since our impromptu "pathway" probably upset the delicate balance of several huge, teetering, junk filled boxes directly above our heads. In fact, the whole place could have come down at any moment, and we'd never be seen or heard from again. Like coal mine accident victims. They'd just put up some little white crosses in front of the garage.

"Bob, let's split, this is a lost cause."

But Bob was too engrossed with all the neat junk he's found while making our way to the bike:

"Wow! Look at this! An Oster combination blender-back massager! An electric ukulele...and check this out...an......an art deco wafflemaker...shaving mugs...a box full of...toasters!"

I finally managed to get us out of there, but not before Bob bought a grandfather clock, some Packard hub caps, and a Coke machine. And we still have $1500.00 left. There's always next weekend.
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Last edited by mscuddy : 12-12-2009 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:35 PM   #2
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I think I visited that same house on the East Coast. Thanks Cud!
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:28 AM   #3
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Cool old story Cuddy. Keep em coming.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:18 AM   #4
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"Hippy Bob." Man, I wish I had a friend named "Hippy Bob."

Great story Matt. I've been wondering when you'd start up with the good stuff again.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:00 AM   #5
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Wish I could have seen that last house, good story Mscuddy.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:41 AM   #6
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Moke1K, go rent "Sunset Boulveard" with William Holden and Gloria Swanson if you want to get the vibe.

I swear, it was like life immitating art. The lady did show up at the door in full evening attire, mink coat and everything. And John was sitting at the end of the tunnel, like a trap-door spider. It was creepy.

We would have had to use dynamite to get the Kawasaki out of the garage. I wanted the Hudson myself...
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
"Hippy Bob." Man, I wish I had a friend named "Hippy Bob."

Great story Matt. I've been wondering when you'd start up with the good stuff again.
On MO we have the next best thing. A friend named "Hippy Ken".
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscuddy View Post
Moke1K, go rent "Sunset Boulveard" with William Holden and Gloria Swanson if you want to get the vibe.

I swear, it was like life immitating art. The lady did show up at the door in full evening attire, mink coat and everything. And John was sitting at the end of the tunnel, like a trap-door spider. It was creepy.

We would have had to use dynamite to get the Kawasaki out of the garage. I wanted the Hudson myself...
Oh ok I understand! Read this after the email. Duuuu
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscuddy View Post
Moke1K, go rent "Sunset Boulveard" with William Holden and Gloria Swanson if you want to get the vibe.

I swear, it was like life immitating art. The lady did show up at the door in full evening attire, mink coat and everything. And John was sitting at the end of the tunnel, like a trap-door spider. It was creepy.

We would have had to use dynamite to get the Kawasaki out of the garage. I wanted the Hudson myself...
John and the entire situ sounds JUST like a friend of mine named "Dumpster Dan" that lived in Modesto in the '70s - he an' another friend of mine's sister lived in a duplex that he'd filled in a similar manner whilst dumpster diving. I swear dude, that was how he made his living (that and sellin' a bit of weed on the side).

One time, The Man decided to stage a drugraid on another duplex in his complex - the home of a REAL dealer. Only, they got the wrong number and hit Dumpster Dan's place (which conveniently warned the REAL Dealer - who literally managed to U-Haul his shyte out right through the middle of the cops....).

OH! What a "crime den" they thought they'd found! Immediately they thought "Fence" and started rifling-through all the sheer junk DD had stacked to the ceilin with room only for "walkways" throughout the house - literally smashing shyte left and right (think - what if it HAD been stolen property? YOUR stolen property?)

My friend Jim happened-along right about then. He walks up, his sis and Dan are sittin' cuffed in the front yard, occasionally ducking a flying busted toaster or the guts from a smoked VCR or receiver, and says "Hey! WTF's goin' on here?" One of The Man turns says "Are you her BROTHER?" Jim goes "I....." and never gets to finish except for "MMMFF! RRNFF! HMMMNRR!" with his face planted in the lawn, four cops with batons on top of him.

After lumpin' him up a bit, and cuffing him literally hand and foot - they toss him face-down in the back of a cruiser (with the windows up...... in the middle of July..... in Modesto CA.... ) and finish smashing everything in the house for the next 45minutes into shrapnel in an effort to find stolen property - ANY stolen property. Then they release Dan and Jim's sis, and (almost as an afterthought) took my friend Jim downtown. Somehow they missed entirely a set of scales, and about a lid of grass sitting on the kitchen counter - it was still sittin' there, untouched, when Dan went in after to survey the damage.

Jim sat in a cell for 44 days, while they attempted to come up with something to charge him. The morning of day 45, they tossed him his smelly, grass-stained clothes. Told him to get dressed, then bum's-rushed him out the front door and deposited him on the sidewalk. Didn't charge him with anything, never processed a single sheet of paperwork on him, never asked him any questions (except for "Are YOU her BROTHER?!!"), barely even fed and watered him while he sat in the cell.

Modesto's Finest.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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One time me an a buddy, Marty Morgan, were screwing around on Hollywood Blvd. on our 360 Yamaha Enduros (his a '74, mine a '73).

About three blocks before Hollywood & Western I decided to do a whellie on my Yamaha for about a block. Some beat-up Chevy Malibu pulls up behind us, and the passenger holds up this flashlight with a red lens on it, and motions us to pull over.

Marty and I looked at each other, and I yelled "FAKE COPS, SPLIT" so I took off up Western to Franklin, while Marty pulls over, and the Metros beat him up a little. You know, nothing that will leave a mark. So I waited around for about 20 minutes up the street, at the hot dog place watching the whole thing unfold.

The metros finally split, so I rode over to where Marty was gathering himself up, and Marty yells "YOU BETTER SPLIT, THEY WANT TO KICK YOUR A$$. BADLY" So I took off at top speed down Franklin Ave. To make a long story short half of the Hollywood LAPD chased me down Franklin Ave. up into the hills above Marshall High School. I ditched 'em, but riding back to my apartment on Franklin & Talmadge the helicopter spotted me, and I'm busted.

All of a sudden now there a three Helicopters, 9 cop cars, along with the beat up Malibu Metro car screeching around the corner, sliding to a stop, cops running everywhere with their guns drawn. I freaked, threw my RT3 on the lawn, and ran up the stairs to my apartment, with the metros in hot persuit.

When I got to my door, the Metros where wrapping billy clubs around my helmeted head (Bell TX500) and trying to drag me back down the stairs. My Girlfriend opened the door, and thought I was being mugged (Plain clothes cops) so she stated hitting them with the ash-tray stand that was at the top of the stairs, they punched her and threw her back in the apartment.

The Metros then threw me down the stairs, and when I stood up to run, they tackled me and smashed my face into the lawn, and about three of 'em sat on me. After a few good kidney punches, they threw me, bleeding profusley onto the back seat of the Malibu.

After I spit out a few teeeth and a lot of blood all over the back seat, the passenger narc looks over all excited and said to me "WOW, THAT'S A FAST 360! I'VE GOT A 360 ENDURO TOO, BUT YOUR'S IS A LOT FASTER! IS IT STOCK...WOW!" I just sat there silent. These guys were nuts.

So they take me back to the Wilcox Hotel (Hollywood Division) and I sit around for a few hours, a lady cop cleans me up a little bit, and they kick me loose.

Got my bike out of impound the next day, and never heard anything about it. No summonds, nothing.

The L.A.P.D. called it "Beat and Release".

Fine with me...I've ditched a lot of cops, and you have to be gone within the first 5 seconds, or you get chased and eventually busted. You have to disappear. Bushes and alleys help greatly.
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