That said, there are some moments when nothing but a good four letter filled primal blast will do. Think hammer and thumb interface, "reply all", or perhaps after receiving an IRS notification of audit. A mere "golly gosh" or "darn it" just won't deliver the necessary emotionally satisfying after-glow of the rat-a-tat-tat of a staccato string of profanity. Nope, swearing satisfies the soul. At least for the moment, and apparently, for a lot of us, that's just long enough. Given my aforementioned "context rule" I also refrain from wearing stuff that contains really vile verbiage...unless of course it's super funny. Sometimes wit just has to trump propriety, sometimes. But for the most part, I don't sport profane utterances on my person.
|See what I mean, scratch was dead center|
So why is there a f**ker sticker on the rear fender of my Harley Road King (aka "Paint Shaker") in plain sight for all to ogle no less? Fair question fellow Chromie, fair question. It all started with a painful moment, as do most of life's truly memorable lessons. Remember when that grizzled old biker told you never to polish your machine (stop smirking, damn you!) while wearing any sort of metal on your wrists or hands? You know, watches, rings, bracelets and the like? Well, it's not for nothing that the old bastard felt compelled to part with that little nugget. It was advice I should have heeded.
Fast forward to a balmy summer evening in B-Hood about a year ago; me in my garage, lovingly applying another coat of wax to the vivid black of the Road King's metal work. With each successive pass Paint Shaker was even more resplendent under the neon of the garage lights. Like a true Zen master, I was losing myself in the process, when in the blink of a gnat's eye, SCRRRRAAAAATTTCH!!! One momentary lapse in hand/eye coordination and the ring I shouldn't have been wearing in the first place cut a "to the metal" gash right in the middle of the Harley's rear fender. Yes, it was one of "those" moments....Motherf**ker!!!! Sorry kids, that's how it went down.
After another ten minutes of even more creative venting, I set about trying to craft a workable solution. I mean this divot was right on top of the fender, there wasn't a more visible place on the bike. Great. Touch up paint was out of the question, it would only end up looking like some black wort on the surface of the steel, and removing the entire fender to be repainted, while the most elegant of fixes, seemed a bit excessive, not to mention expensive. Plus, I didn't want to have to recount my obvious stupidity to total strangers. Nah, there had to be a better way.
Enter the sticker drawer. Every motorcyclist worth his weight in Red Line has a massive stickie collection stashed somewhere in the garage, it's like a commandment or something. I would see what I had, maybe there was an appropriate "cover up" lurking in my tool box. Maybe not. First off, I'm not real keen on putting stickers on my bikes, of any kind. And if I do, they have to have some deeper meaning to me beyond the mere pimping of my allegiance to some nifty product that may or may not actually be on the bike, or me. For instance I do have a Richmond HA support stickie on my oil cooler, they're good guys and I've worked with them on a number of events, that makes sense to me. On the inside top lid of one of my saddle bags are some stickers we collected on the '08 ride to Sturgis, massive sentimental value, also not visible to the general public. No this fender stickie would have to be special; right size, right design, right meaning.
|Not too big, not too small, just right|
And then it hit me, the Fender sticker!! Well not an actual "Fender" sticker, but the "F**ker" sticker that looked like a "Fender" sticker, it was perfect! You're not following are you? Let me explain. See there's this guy that goes to a lot of the big rally's on the west coast, he sells mostly Motor Cult clothes, but he also deals in assorted trinkets including stickers. One stickie in particular caught my eye a few years back at an Easy Rider show in Sacramento. It was only a couple of inches long and looked just like the Fender guitar logo, except for one tiny difference, it actual read "F**ker". Too damn cool.
But don't the Fender people frown on you selling these gems I asked (I know a thing or two about trademark law, and these little bad boys were clearly violating multiple statutes)? "Not at all", said the booth's owner, as a matter of fact, he'd sold a number of the F'rs to actual Fender employees (obviously none from the legal department). Crazy. I asked him what was the inspiration for the stickie in the first place. This is good.
Seems our hero was an amateur musician of sorts, a guitar player to be exact that had a preference for Fender's best. At some point in his career he was lucky enough (so he claimed) to have a photograph of him playing said brand of guitar published in a Fender print ad. As you can imagine he was stoked, as would any aspiring unknown. Months passed, a new guitar was needed, and said artist decided he'd contact Fender to see if he could get a discount on a new instrument. Not free mind you, just a discount greater than he could score at say, Guitar Center. Seemed reasonable, after all they used his image with zero compensation. Sadly the answer came back, "have you tried Guitar Center?" Our man was pissed. Not enough to stop using the guitars, but enough to send a message. Hence the "F**ker" stickers in the likeness of the actual Fender logo. Proving yet again that hell has no fury like someone who feel jobbed by the man. He replaced every actual Fender sticker on his guitars with the new and improved version, and viola! a legend was born. Or something like that.
Needless to say, I had no choice, once I spied the stickie in my drawer, done deal. It was the right size, conveyed just the right emotion, and was stylized enough that the casual observer could assume I was just another music lover expressing my affinity for a storied brand. Or they could look closer...hey, that sticker says.......I'll be damned. And best of all, I don't think mom would wash my mouth out with soap. Then again, she hasn't actually seen the sticker. We better keep this to ourselves.