August 08, 2008

Goloka, pasties and a tuning center

One of the striking things about the biker rally in Sturgis is contrast.

Like the poster for Christian Motorcyclists of America, next to a "Dirty Girls" poster.

Like the T-shirt that went by saying "Eat. Sleep. Fuck. What else is there?" (I promise you there were several far more explicit T-shirts, plus several occurrences of net-like fabric over pasties). Beside it walked another T-shirt with a picture of Mohandas Gandhi and "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind."

Like the mother and her 4 kids, wandering through the hordes handing out Jesus literature, while above me where I stand watching them, a loudspeaker belts out a song that has these lines, I swear: "I'm going to play some shit tonight/play some fucking shit tonight." In fact pretty much every line features the word "shit".

Like the adult store that features, prominently displayed near the entrance, a shelf full of Goloka Nag Champa Agarbathi. As sexual aids go ...


The John Fogerty concert. I drove there running ahead of sudden massive clouds that turned sunny afternoon into threatening dark evening. Took some back roads, including a long straight Dakota stretch just gravel through fields, so I could avoid the biker-jammed Sturgis drag. When I turn into where the concert is to be, a young lady leans into my window and tells me Larry the Cable Guy, the other act on the bill, is not going to perform. "There will be two other bands", she says.

I've come for Fogerty, so I don't much mind. Next, a man leans into my window and tells me to stay with my car in the parking lot until they advise us differently. The storm is about to hit us, and there have been reports of quarter-sized hail. So it's better to have shelter available -- the car -- than to sit out in the open waiting for the concert to start. With plenty of others, I wait in the parking lot. And wait. Some people give up and leave. I wait. It rains, suddenly and violently. No hail, but the wind is so strong that I feel the car being buffeted, which doesn't seem to be happening to the massive Ford pickup truck to my left. The virtues of small Korean cars.

A full hour after the scheduled start of the concert, the rain lets up and we walk up to the box office. Three guys from the staff were struck by lightning. Concert cancelled, mail in tickets for a refund. Woman behind the counter doesn't know how the three guys are, or how badly they were hurt.

And I had come to hear Willie and the Poor Boys playin', with my nickel and all ready to tap my feet. So much for that.


Plenty of mention of DILLIGAF. Here you go.

Also this poster: "Come and see Ron Ogren, dead and in the morgue for 3 hours. Come and hear a dead man talking. August 6, 630 pm". Too bad I had to leave before that.


Dennis Kirk's Performance Tuning Center is a large gleaming black truck trailer with an opening and a ramp at one end, conveniently positioned at the start of the Sturgis drag. As far as I can tell, and judging from the delectable sounds in there, this is what happens. You drive your bike up the ramp and in there, and they do something to it that produces twice as much noise as anything that's already on the street -- and bear in mind that there is a steady stream of extremely noisy bikes passing -- and you drive out again, ready to make your extra-noisy mark at the bike rally.

That's "performance tuning" for you.


And after bikes ... Writing this, I sit under a tall tree under the half-moon Wyoming night sky, my laptop charging off a post stuck in the ground that has an outlet, and I'm surrounded by enormous beasts. Mostly white, but one or two a sort of grey. Silent enormous beasts, though one or two emanate a sort of quiet hum.

RVs. On this drive through the United States, I have the impression that RVs are now bigger than ever. There are ten that I can see around me, and most of them are the size of buses, and not small buses either. The one across from me has a Suzuki SUV standing next to it, and the Suzuki looks like a toy.

You drive one of these things about, pull into a RV park and plug into one of these posts, connect a water outlet and even a cable TV link, and voila! All the comforts of home, but on the road.

Look at me, by way of contrast: tiny tent and sleeping bag, done. Two nights ago I had to actually sleep in the car, because a violent thunderstorm had left even the inside of the tent sodden.

The only other tent in this RV park is next to mine, and is about five times the size of mine. A couple and their young son. Inside and outside, they have an inflatable sofa (!), assorted lamps, three foldable camp chairs complete with sockets to hold your beer. All the comforts of home.

Look at me, by way of contrast ... but I already said that.


Anonymous said...

did you see McCain there? did you get a free air pressure gauge?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Well, I went up to the box office to try to get in to see McCain. They wanted $63. So I spluttered and politely declined. I had paid the same amount already for a Fogerty ticket ... and in the event, that show got canceled so I saw neither dude.

But hell, if I had known they were handing out free air pressure gauges, I might have paid up ...