Even old-timers can hear the call of the wild

July 14, 2019

As year-round residents in a resort, we understand that many visitors are stressed out by the time they finally arrive. It’s all the planning, driving and hoping for the right weather. The thought of being in a motel with six kids when the weather forecast is for rain all week, well, it’s enough for you go out and do something impulsive, like let someone into your traffic lane.

Scientists tell us if you are from New Jersey, you are stressed over anything starting with the word taxes. If you are from Washington, you are stressed over spelling the word transparency.

And if you are from Pennsylvania, you are stressed out over the last two minutes of any Eagles football game. And by the time you are through with us, the whole peninsula is berserk. Nerves are stretched so taut, even the blink of an eyelid can sound like Velcro ripping open on the front of a coat.

Nowhere was this need to decompress more evident than when I pulled up to a light the other day. They were to the left of me. They were to the right of me. With the roar of their engines reaching the decibel level of a fishmonger calling out an order of calamari, they waited patiently for the light to change. They never make eye contact. They don’t have to, for they have what is called instant respect. OK, maybe it is fear.

Yes, you’ve probably seen them too. Motorcycles! Last week, on a beautiful sun-kissed weekend, you couldn’t help but notice the groupings and think that this is the ultimate stress buster.

There is something about motorcycles that makes you envious, as your bank-owned vehicle idles pathetically beside them. The best your car can do when the light changes is to cough and go forward hopping like a bunny rabbit.

No, motorcycles conjure up images of being free, just you and that open road, the wind whipping through your hair and no worries. No hybrids or motor scooters that hit a top speed of 20 miles per hour for these guys.

In this age of technology, it’s nice to know you can be out there without being a slave to every piece of equipment beginning with the letter “i.” These guys don’t worry about messages telling them if they would like to make a call, hang up and dial again. Their reputation is such that telemarketers don’t even call for fear they will be beaten up over the phone.

Who can forget Marlon Brando and his gang in the movie, “The Wild One,” taking over the most dangerous place in town, the soda shop.

They did this just with an insane amount of hair gel.

Revving the engine next to you is the big hulking driver with his black leather jacket, alien-looking helmet and leather boots. There is always some babe perched behind him wearing a bandana and sequined top. Look again. Mom?!?

That’s right. The call of the wild today isn’t limited to young motorcycle gangs anymore. Former riders have grown up or at least conquered their midlife crises. Seniors are in; gray hair and arthritis are revered. You can image that CPA – one day he throws down his pen, looks at the row of figures in red ink and says to himself, Hell’s Angels, here I come!

And that lawyer looks across the table at the two bickering clients in divorce court and says to himself, Lord give me the strength to fit in a pair of black leather pants!

Forget staying home to babysit those grandchildren. Been there, done that. And who needs sitting around a yard sale, hoping you’ll rake in three bucks for a used set of shrimp forks. It’s the asphalt the older generation is looking toward to give enough thrills before their bladder springs a permanent leak.

You might need a stepladder to climb on because of all your replacement parts, but it also might be time to answer that call of the wild. Move over, Beethoven, here we come.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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