'04 Yamaha RoadStar
Of Mice and Men...
Due to the unfortunate weather conditions, I was hardly getting much meaningful testing out of the Road Star's capabilities aside from it's seaworthiness. So I decided to preempt the remainder of the recommended route and cut straight through to the lunch rendezvous. I assumed that any fou-fou wine country bistro worth it's salt would have a fireplace that I could shiver in front of. Perhaps it would even be relatively deserted on this mid-week afternoon and I wouldn't offend too many customers by stripping off my gloves, boots, jeans, underoos and hanging my socks on the mantle to dry while I stretched my "Myrtle Beach Bike Rally" T-shirt into an 18th Century nightshirt and ordered up a tri-tip sandwich and a glass of Reserve Zinfandel. Hey, Sonny would have. Well, except for the Zin. I have rarely been accused of thinking too small, but my friends... I was thinking too small. When I emerged from the mountains, into the village of El Paso De Robles, it was apparent that not only was it not raining there, but that it had never rained at all. The only thing wet for miles was me. Folks must have thought I had ridden my bike through the local car wash or something. I passed through town to the East, and arrived at Villa Toscana, which had been designed to resemble a miniature Italian villa overlooking a picturesque vineyard. My fantasy bistro turned out to be ensconced within the confines of a five star hotel!
Still in the parking lot, I was greeted pleasantly by a lovely woman who seemed to be disturbingly undisturbed by the arrival of a 220 pound bald, goateed, soggy, surly biker at her swank hotel, crankily bemoaning the morning's importune turn of events, and ominously prophecizing the arrival of about 25 more of his besotted brethren over the course of the next hour. "Run! Tell the others! If you move swiftly, it's not too late to save the women and children!". She waited patiently as I finished my rant, the placid smile having never left her face. "Come with me", she said, "I'll get you set up in a vacant room. There's a robe inside the closet. You can take off your wet things and leave them outside the door. I'll have them put in the dryer, and get them back to you lickity split", like she does this every day. She guides me past several more pleasantly smiling hotel staff, beaming at me as if to say, "Awww, what an adorable 220 pound bald, goateed, soggy, surly biker! Isn't he darling the way he squishes when he walks!". Ms. Congeniality then opens the door to this absurdly opulent room with a view that should be hanging in a museum somewhere in France, and a bathroom the size of my apartment, pulls out a robe that probably costs more than my best suit, and tells me to make myself at home.
So about now I'm getting this spooky vibe like something is seriously, seriously wrong here. The first thing you learn as a kid growing up in NY with a bunch of "good fellas" for neighbors is that anything this rich has got to be a set up. Once the old gears started turning, it wasn't long before I deduced Yamaha's evil scheme. The optimistic weather report was a ploy to dupe me into wearing my fair weather clothes. Knowing that I would arrive at the hotel drenched, Yamaha's henchmen had tied up all of the staff in a sub-basement and replaced them with fem-bots programmed to trick me into taking off all of my clothes and leaving them outside the room never to be seen again. Then they would hold my garments hostage until I promised to give positive reviews to all of Yamaha's bikes for eternity. The fiends! So that's how they bend neophyte journos to their will. No wonder Burns snarfs so much Paxil! After fifteen years the guilt must be unbearable! Cold, wet, and miserable though I was, I would never allow my integrity to be compromised. My decision was made. The clothes would stay on, no matter what!
But then I snapped out of it and came to my senses. I must have been delirious with discomfort. That scenario had a minor, but obviously fatal flaw. Everybody knows that fem-bots don't do you in with their wits.
They use their bodies! The plan was clearly to wait until I had undressed and left my clothes outside the door, whereupon a trio of comely "maids" would "accidentally" stumble into my room and seduce me into participating in a series of acrobatic escapades so utterly decadent that I would forever associate Yamaha with extremes of pleasure, and giddily spew lavish praise at the mere mention of their products. Great Pavlov's ghost! These marketing people are far more diabolical than I could have imagined! Why didn't JB warn me? Was he in on it too? I had dismissed it at the time, but I could have sworn I detected a muffled snicker as he trod back to his office after assigning me to this junket.
There was little time. I had been in the room for twenty minutes now and they were surely getting suspicious. I needed to act swiftly and decisively. There was only one thing to do... Get naked, put my clothes outside the door and wait for the fem-bots to bust in! Woo Hoo! Yay-uh! That's what I'm talkin' about boyeee! Clothes off robe on open door drop clothes close door wait for fem-bots, pant, pant, pant. Wait for fem-bots... Wait for fem-bots... Wait for fem-bots... Hey man, what happened to the freakin' fem-bots?!
So I grab a glass and put it up to the door to listen for voices out in the courtyard. I hear voices alright, but not soft, sensual, fem-bot voices.