I don’t know if y’all know it or not, but I have a motorcycle. Actually, I have three motorcycles, but the one I want to tell you about, is the one my wife Janet got me for Christmas a couple of years ago.

It’s a Harley. I’ve always wanted a Harley and was too cheap to get one myself, so she got it for me. I love it. I named her Dixie. What? Don’t y’all name your stuff?

Anywho, like I said, I love Dixie. When I’m home, and the weather cooperates, Janet and I take off on her. We usually don’t go off on long trips, ‘cause I’m gone a lot, but we ride her when we can.

There are a lot of Harley riders out there who think that if you don’t ride a Harley, then you aren’t a real biker. Then, there are some bikers who think that if you ride a Harley, you’re ridin’ a piece of junk.

Well, I think all motorcycles are cool. I don’t care what kind they are. Don’t get me wrong, Harley’s are my favorite, but just because they’re my favorite, doesn’t mean they’re everybody’s. Out of all of my motorcycle friends, there are only a few who ride Harleys, and some of their bikes are a lot prettier than mine.

Now, the reason I’m tellin’ y’all this, is because of what happened to me the other day.

I had gotten off the road early (I’m a mild mannered sales rep durin’ the day, and then I pull off my clothes, put on my cape and become a writer of junk by night), and I put on some suitable ridin’ clothes (a T-shirt, blue jeans and boots), and climbed on ol’ Dixie, and headed off for a ride.

Janet had left a note that she had gone to the beauty parlor and would be back later, so I figured I’d get a little ridin’ in and wind down from being on the road.

I was ridin’ along, when Dixie started coughing’, indicating’ that she was about out of gas. I reached down, switched to the reserve tank, and made my way to the gas station. I pulled in, killed the motor, stuck my credit card into the machine and started pumping’ gas.

Just as I finished gassin’ up, I heard a humming’ noise behind me. Up drove a guy about my age on a beautiful foreign-made bike. He pulled up to the pump next to mine, and climbed off his bike. He pulled off his helmet, looked at me and my bike, then turned back to the gas pump.

“That sure is a pretty bike,” I said.

“Yeah, it is, isn’t it,” he said, soundin’ sort of snobbish. “It’s the newest off the line. It’s got everything you can get on this model. Plus,” he added, “It’s quiet,” he said as he looked at Dixie. “Is that a Harley?” he asked, sayin’ the word Harley, like he was hawkin’ up an oyster.

“Yep, she sure is,” I said proudly.

“Huh,” he said. “I don’t see what the big deal is about Harleys.”

Well, now I hadn’t put down his bike and he was about to get me riled talkin’ about Dixie like that, when I noticed a car pullin’ up slowly beside this boy’s bike. I looked and it was Janet. She was headed home and saw me at the gas station and pulled in. What happened next couldn’t have happened any better than if we had planned it.

She drove slowly by the other bike, and the man looked up at her, and smiled. I don’t blame him. She had just gotten out of the beauty parlor and she was lookin’ pretty shiny. That means good.

She smiled back at the man and continued drivin’ slowly until she came to my bike.

“Hi there!” she said in a sexy voice. “Is that a Harley?”

“Yes ma’am,” I smiled.

“I just love Harleys,” she said.

“You do,” I said, continuin’ with the charade.

“Yeah. There’s just something about a Harley.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah, but I’ve never gotten to ride one.”

“You haven’t?” I said. “Well, we just ought to do somethin’ about that. Why don’t you give me your number and I’ll give you a call sometime and take you for a ride.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” she said. “I don’t live too far from here, so why don’t you just follow me home right now.”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Please,” she smiled. “You won’t be sorry.”

“Well, OK then,” I grinned.

As Janet pulled past me, I turned and looked at the other dude. Man, I wish I had a picture of his face. His mouth was hangin’ open so big, his chin was about to hit his belt buckle. Then he looked at me.

I smiled at him. “It must be the Harley,” I said.

Rusty Mitchum lives in New Harmony, Texas, where he writes a regular column for The Lindale News and Times. He says the only reason he writes is to keep the voices away.