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Bullin Through Life: Adult supervision

By Buckshot

Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Well, I’m not quite sure what got ahold of me, whether it’s age or insanity, or a combination of both, but I’m buildin’ something outta the ordinary an’ off the beaten path for this year’s golf cart, mower, mobility scooter, and walker races. I decided after the last races that Reggie’s mobility scooter was just too damn slow, an’ I don’t think Ray’s gonna fall for the old hitchin’ a ride trick anymore, so I decided I had to come up with something stupid… uh… I mean different to enter the competition with! I wanted to soup up Reggie’s scooter, but she put a stop to that right away. Damn adult supervision always gets me…

A while back, a buddy gave me one of those little Chinese quads after one of his kids turned it turtle an’ got skinned up (yeah, I know it ain’t a Harley, but I hate the thought of takin’ a Harley engine outta circulation), an’ after lookin’ at the damn thing for a while, I thought a motorized bar stool is just what I need! It’s got those big ol’ knobby tires on it, so I shortened the swingarm up by about a foot an’ that brought the back tires up under it till they almost hit the shifter. It’ll be a rigid frame thingie, but I’ll have to run a shift lever up top with linkage down to the trans anyway, ‘cause my foot won’t fit in there.

The front end looks like an Indy car now, with tubular A arms, independent suspension an’ all that, so I’m choppin’ all that high tech crap out, an’ makin’ a straight axle with “hairpins” to bring the front end back till the tires almost touch. It’ll be almost square instead of rectangular, but I think it’ll look pretty cool. It may not turn too sharp, but the sharper it turns, the less likely I am to see the ripe old age of 70 in one piece… Naturally, it’ll have cup holders and an ice chest, because after all, it is a bar stool! I’d be farther along, but I ran outta Argon for the MIG welder, an’ I haven’t made it into town yet to get the tank filled. I know there’s a lot of other things I should be doin’, but this is fun!

Buildin’ this monstrosity brings back my childhood, an’ some of the goofy stuff I did when I didn’t have adult supervision. Back in the early ’60s, Fresno was a hotbed of racing activity, with countless people buildin’ hot rods, choppers, Indy cars, midgets, and anything with wheels that you could stuff a big engine in to terrorize the streets. One local guy named “Blackie” Gejeian was one of the first to start building hot rods, fast bikes, and show cars, and went on to become an international legend. His son, Charlie, and I used to hang out together an’ cause hate an’ discontent pretty much everywhere we went, which was pretty much everywhere. In eighth- or ninth-grade metal shop, I built a mini-bike frame that looked like a chopper, with a stretched frame, long front end, and a tall sissy bar. Back then, they used to sell small spray cans of paint in all sorts of cool colors to paint model cars with, an’ I used those to paint it candy lemon-lime. I “borrowed” the engine off my dad’s mower an’ stuck it in the frame. I tore up the neighborhood on it for a while, and one day Charlie showed up with a Mason jar of race fuel. He thought it would be a great idea to squeeze a little more power outta that little engine, an’ I couldn’t agree more. We dumped it in the tank, an’ it took a while to get it to fire, but when it did, it sounded pretty healthy. It may have been nitro; he never did say, although thinking back, the cloud of white smoke did smell pretty ripe. That little Briggs and Stratton ran like a scared rabbit for about half a block, when the piston disintegrated. Needless to say, our lawn looked pretty long an’ shabby for a while.

I guess I learned to be a local terror from my dad, who was pretty wild in his younger days, and passed the torch to me as he got older. When I was six or seven, he took an old 26-inch bike and built a mount for an old Ford starter on the frame above where the pedals normally went, and welded a sprocket to the starter drive. He spaced a second sprocket out, cut the pedal arms off the bellcrank, and ran a chain from the starter to that second sprocket to drive the original chain. He strapped a battery on the back fender rack, and used a rheostat (I believe it was off an old arc welder) to control the speed. I don’t know whatever became of it, but it disappeared before I could ride it, and I believe Mom had something to do with its untimely disappearance.

Anyway, this 125cc five-speed bar stool should be fun if I can just get away from that adult supervision thing long enough to test its full potential, an’ maybe I can sell it for enough to buy a Sportster engine for the next one! Shhhhh! Don’t tell Reggie!

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