For several minutes Bubbles sits frozen, gripping the steering wheel, her feet still jammed on the brake. Slowly she relaxes her stranglehold on the wheel, and slumps back into the seat. Her eyes fall on her stuff, scattered to the floor of the passenger side. Pulling her things together, she finds her cell phone. Who to call first? The interview. Cancel the interview. She punches in the number and . . . nothing. Dead spot.

“Shit, shit, shit! I knew something like this was going to happen."

She feels the urge to cry, but she forces it away. Gingerly she pushes the car door open and steps outside. Wind-blown debris clings to the tall weeds. The car is about twenty feet off the road. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she looks down the road in both directions. A plastic shopping bag scampers by. As she takes a step towards the embankment, she feels something wrong . . . Damn! Her heel! She turns and kneels down to look inside on the floor of the car. There, behind the brake pedal lies the errant heel.

"Why did I EVER even THINK of borrowing this stupid piece-of-shit CAR?!"

Grabbing the heel, she slams the door and reels back to fling the heel as far as she can. Thinking better of it, she puts it in her pocket, but, overcome with frustration, she begins banging her fists on the roof, screaming, kicking the tires and generally losing it. Finally, her profanity and her energy both spent, she flops on her back, exhausted, onto the hood of the car. With her long legs dangling from the fender she closes her eyes and tries to collect herself. Should she attempt to walk to find help? Or should she patiently wait, hoping that a cop may eventually come by . . . ?

She's startled from her thoughts by a rumbling sound, growing louder and louder. Sitting up, she looks towards the road to see motorcycles! Fifteen or twenty of them, each straddled by a big, scary biker! Beards and tattoos, greasy sleeveless jackets, and bandanas, all of them dismounting and coming towards her! Petrified, she sits frozen to the hood. Ignoring Bubbles, the bikers begin to circle the car. They peer into the windows, nose around the wheels, and look underneath. Finally, one of them speaks,

"C'mon, off the hood."

Slowly Bubbles slides down the hood and stands a few feet away. Again they ignore her as they continue to scrutinize Big Brown. She considers fleeing. Just take off! Run! Then, remembering her heel, she decides to try and remain calm and hope for the best. Still, she's trembling, and her eyes again fill with tears . . .

One of the bikers has the driver's door open and, hunkered down, half-in and half-out, fiddles with something under the dash. His t-shirt rides up, exposing his vast hairy gut. Suddenly, Big Brown roars to life, Steppenwolf’s biker anthem blasting through the air. A cheer goes up, as they sing along,

Get your motor running,
Head out on the highway . . .

The guy with the gut squeezes in behind the wheel, and the others gather at the front of the car. He puts it into reverse, and the others dig in and shove. Kicking up mud, the car finally jumps back, and the crew quickly switches to the rear. Pushing and cajoling, they soon get Big Brown out of the muck and up the embankment and onto the shoulder.

Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space . . .

The bikers gather around the idling car, back slapping and guffawing, singing along, mightily.

Bubbles jumps as she realizes one of the bikers, an older guy with a huge ZZ Top beard, is gesturing at her, urging her to come towards the car. Hobbling on her broken heel, she cautiously makes her way up the embankment. As she approaches the bearded one yells,

"Skutch! SKUTCH! Turnnat Down. I said, TURNNAT the fuck DOWN!"

The music diminishes to merely deafening. As she reaches the shoulder Bubbles finds herself face to face with the Big Beard as the others gather around.

"So, you wanna tell us what happened here?" growls Big Beard.

Bubbles opens her mouth and nothing comes out . . . her eyes well up again and in a little voice says, "It's my friend's car and I had to borrow it, and the gas pedal got stuck, and . . ."

"Gas pedal stuck? Cholly, get some WD-40, from my kit. "

". . . and it was going too fast, and and it wouldn't stop, and I went off the road . . ."

"OK, OK, I get the picture. Shoot some of that on the pedal rod, Cholly. Make sure it releases."

"Her voice a pathetic little squeak, she asks "Are you gonna let me go?"

"Let you go? What's your name, skinny girl?"

"B-B-Bubbles. Sir."

A roar of laughter from the group.

"Well, Bubbles, consider yourself a victim of free expert roadside assistance from the Disturbers Motorcycle Club, Camden County Chapter."

"You mean I can go now?"

"Not just yet. Did you hurt your foot?"

"Oh, no. it's my heel. It came off."

"Gimme that. Franker, you got some Superglue? Yeah, that'll do it." Oh, and one more thing. It's time for the traditional rescue blazing."

Big Beard pulls out a big, fat joint. The others form a tight circle around the two.

"Oh, thank you very much, but I can't, you see . . ."

Before she can say another word, Big Beard has fired up the doobie, taken a big pull, then put it to Bubble's lips. She tries to make it look good, but does her best to take only a little hit. All eyes are on her, as she feigns holding it in deeply, then she coughs dramatically.

Again the crowd rocks with laughter.

Big Beard says, "Where you headed?"

"Um, I'm going to Princeton. Job interview.

A few sniggers from the crowd.

"Well, we can follow you as far as Scudder's Falls Bridge, then we head to New Hope. Princeton's not far from there. Maybe twenty, twenty-five minutes."

Bubbles smiles and says, "I don't know how to thank you guys. I always thought bikers . . ."

"Hey," barks Big Beard sternly, "I am NOT a BIKER. I am a motorcycle enthusiast.” Pointing to the others he says, THESE are BIKERS."

More guffaws.

"Thanks, Really, you guys are so cool. Thanks so much."

Bubbles gets behind the wheel of Big Brown and pulls out on the road. The motorcycles blare, and she sees them pull out behind her in the rear view mirror. Nervously, she gets Big Brown up to about sixty, as she begins to feel the effects of the grass.

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild

"All right, it's cool. A little stoned, but must maintain."

We can climb so high
I never wanna die
Born to be wild*

As she crosses the bridge into New Jersey, she looks back to see the bikers peel off onto Route 32, waving as they head up the River Road.

 

* Words and music by Mars Bonfire
© MCA Music (BMI)
All rights for the USA controlled and administered by MCA Corporation of America, INC


 


 

Bubbles Meets the Prince of Darkness
International Assholes' Day
Bubbles Runs the Voodoo Down
Bubbles Takes a Magic Carpet Ride
Big Brown lets Bubbles Down
Bubbles, Baked and Fried
Bubbles, Biff and Binny
Bubbles and the 99 cent Epiphany
Bubbles' Trip To See the Doctor
The Doctor and the Prince of Darkness Meet Again
The Doctor and the Naked Glory
More Troubles for Bubbles
What a Lame Vacation
Cristo Redentor
In Careless Act, 17 Drown, 3 Survive.

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