TO MOTORCYCLES AND MAIDENS AND THE MEN WHO RIDE THEM

His name was Lucho. We wondered (but never asked) why a Chinaman had such a Spanish-sounding name. Master Mechanic at The Great Escape Motorcycle Shop, which catered to road racers (the type of racing, not the street need-for-speed imbeciles), he’d tune your Duke and ten test-ride it, alighting as if on air despite his diminutive size. Once aboard, he’d pick his way through traffic with the ease of a cowhand on a cutting horse. Had you ever raced, you could sense the cool competence. (The floorboards & fringe crowd may stop here.)

Clinging to common Caucasoid confusion over where Chinese ends and Japanese begins, I often showed up with suchi for lunch, nevermind that Lucho steadily seemed to stow something Spanish in his lunch pail. Turns out, the guy was from Ecuador, the son of Chinese immigrants to that charming Country. He spoke Mandarin Chinese (we think) and elegant, almost-Castillian Spanish; English: not so much. One day the owner groused that while Mr. What’s-his-name was a whiz with a wrench and a dynamometer, he was a bit off-putting to customers who wanted an explanation of their bill (Did I mention that motorcycle racers tend to be tightwads?). “WE got this, Boss, pipes up coupla us, vowing to teach the bantam Bolivian some American.

Somebody surmised that it would be easier to learn limericks, so we began with a selection from the American Man of Letters du jour, Andrew Dice Clay. (Problem?) Our choice for Lesson One was the classic, Little Bo Peep, to wit:

“Little Bo Peep, fucked her sheep; blew her horse, licked his feet…etc.”

Little Luncho diligently drilled on this Masterpiece of the Spoken Word for days. Sensing, real wrongly, that he was ready, we called the Boss into the back and stood our star student on the dyno. Having already been promised that we’d get him laid, the torque-curve’s transcendental tuner proudly put forth:

“Riddle Bo Pip, fucked her ship; brew her whore, ricked his fit…”

The critic’s cliché about there not being a dry eye in the audience instantly came true, except that there were a few wet pants as well. Needless to say, we called him “Rucho” from then on.

Note: Coupla years later, who shows up for an endurance race but the little Uruguayan. Due to this profession we had never seen him quite clean, but there he was in pristine leathers aboard an impeccable racebike. (Racers will practice on any damn thing, but they bring their best on raceday and proceed to risk the entire edifice [and their own ass as well] for a second a lap.) I was reminded of how easily that small Salvadoran shot through traffic on a test ride… Well, no wonder! That kid was fast!

Lookin for a moral? Get nothin, ‘cept maybe y’all might not be too quick to stereotype folks. (“Liberals” may disregard: this shit’s over your head.)

P.S.: Yes, we said “Ecuador”, “Bolivia”, etc. Coulda proffered Paraquay or Peru, for all you’d know. Thank your lib-ral NEA (union, no competency testing) teacher.

Final thought: Il Lucho quickly grasped the intricacies of our illogical language.

Q: If Jimmy Kimmel mocked Melania’s accent, and she speaks five fucking languages, would he not make fun of Lucho, who “only” commands three?

A: Who cares? I stopped watching Kimmel when he playfully pointed a shotgun at the camera(man). I’m a “gun nut”; he’s the “I didn’t know it was loaded” fool.

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