“Don’t worry,” she comforts, “I’ll help guide you through the process of getting that Harley you’ve always wanted.” I feel reassured. I’m not frightened anymore. She’s like a hot nurse cooing, “Don’t worry. I’ll help guide you through the process of getting that colonoscopy you’ve always wanted.” Never mind that I’ve already gotten both. When Marisa’s going on like that, you just let her talk.
Click the mouse and she’ll talk some more. She’ll tell you about “the guys’ Guide to Ride.” She’ll address some of your concerns and excuses for not fulfilling your dream of becoming scooter trash. I’m referring here to the webpage for Harley’s new and somewhat belated campaign to do something special for the guys for a change, after a few years of single-minded wooing of the women; wooing that’s included distaff-specific events and promotions and lavish sweepstakes and a lot of the use of the word “empower.” At last it’s the guys’ turn, though not just any guys. The “Start Something” campaign, as it’s called, targets men 25–55 who don’t currently ride, but do read publications like Maxim, where the campaign is making a splashy debut in their “Hot 100” issue this month. And they’ve once again engaged the services of it-girl Marisa Miller, who last graced their 2009 calendar draped over a V-Rod Muscle wearing the kind of fetishist attire more commonly found at Republican fundraisers or Sandra Bullock’s side of the bed.
You don’t have to be a non-rider to enjoy the Start Something webpage, and among the entertainments found there is the “No Excuses” section where several possible excuses for your not buying a Harley are listed along with some suggested solutions to your qualms. Of these excuses my personal favorite is the henpecked-sounding, “My better half would never go for it.” The use of the quaint “better half” in this context instead of the more familiar “old lady,” “old ball-and-chain” or “the War Department” should give us some indication of the target demographic of the campaign, and included in the solutions offered is this gem: “Get her involved. Start by taking her to a dealer with you. Then talk with her about riding together. Whether on the back or on her own bike, she’ll dig the extra quality time with you.”
I don’t know how long the writer of this solution’s been married, but I can attest that my better half’s idea of quality time with me is to kick back in a recliner with a cold one and watch me pick up my own damn dirty laundry for a change. Not that I’m suggesting that this ruse won’t work—it well might—but just to be thorough there should also be a suggested response to the better half’s retort that ballroom dancing lessons would be quality time, too, and probably safer.
The most exciting part of the campaign is the big sweepstakes that, as far as I can tell, any guy can enter, even real bikers. A hundred winners will receive Rider’s Edge training, which is nice for the neophytes, but the grand prize is what’s got me stoked. One lucky dude will get a free new Harley of his choice, and what’s more, three of his friends will get their own free scoots too. And the four of them will be treated to a dream road trip, the exact route and destination also of their choosing. That’s a truly awesome prize, but I should probably point out that no matter how many friends you currently have, I can tell you how many you’ll have once you’ve won: Exactly three. Think about it. If you don’t have any friends at all now, you’ll be able to buy the affections and loyalty of three strangers, and if you have dozens of friends, the ones you don’t pick for the giveaway and dream vacation won’t be calling you anymore.
That’s a small price to pay, as far as I’m concerned, especially since there’s one more treat included with the grand prize. The winner will receive a hot date with Marisa Miller. That’s the real reason I’ve entered. Repeatedly. I’m in it to win it.
OK, they don’t actually call it a “hot date.” All they’ll say (probably for legal reasons) is that they’ll arrange for the winner to “meet” Marisa, but I can read between the lines. There’s only so much they can do to hook us up, and the rest, I realize, will be up to me and my finely-honed pick-up artistry. I can just see it now:
“Hi, I’m Marisa Miller! You must be Terry! Congratulations on winning the Start Something grand prize!”
“Thanks, Marisa. Is it hot in here or is it just you?”
“I mean, like, if I told you you had a smokin’ bod would you hold it against me?”
“Flake off, drip. I’m married.”
“Cool. We have something in common. We ain’t dead, though, you know? Wanna discuss it over coffee or somethin’? Maybe cocktails and rufies?”
“As if. Drop dead, creep.”
“Whoa. Touchy. Would 50 bucks change your tune?”
I think that went pretty well.
It’s all right here in the diaries.