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Bran to be wild!

Remember the reckless summer fun of our youth? Carefree days spent scraping gum off the school cafeteria chairs? Oops, wrong memory.

Where's the one I want ...ah, there...galloping horseback with friends over a lumpy field at midnight. No vision, no helmet, no fear and - yee-haaa! - no sense.

Back then, "wild and crazy" meant blowing off curfew, stealing Mom's cigarettes, or baking those "special" brownies. Now our drugs of choice include gingko biloba and the latest snake oil for bone density or prostate health.

We goose the old adrenals by tossing back an espresso before bedtime, risking a trim by that 20-year-old hairstylist with multiple piercings, or (gasp!) purposely not flossing. Holy gingivitis, what a rush!

Nothing delivers a summer rush the way motorcycles do. Youngsters zip through traffic on small, sporty bikes, clinging like baby monkeys to mama's back. Not Boomers, though.

We be cruisin' bolt upright on machines that dwarf the Starship Enterprise, with console gauges in large print, a refrigerated tray for bran muffins, and a fold-out hot tub that seats four.

A recent ride with my friend Bob served up a nifty rush, with my keister ensconced in the wraparound passenger saddle like a sack of potatoes. Happily, his galactic Harley spares a body the public humiliation of perching on the seat like a racing jockey - a most unflattering pose unless said body has really small, firm potatoes.

We were groovin' even before we cleared the end of Bob's driveway. The first challenge was mounting the beast. Jumpin' jack flash, I've ridden smaller Clydesdales.

We piled up old Arthritis Today magazines for me to stand on, but dang! Bob kept stopping to read them! So I jumped from the roof.

Caution: When wearing a caftan, gather up the excess yardage before leaping or it'll snag and rip the gutters off. I hate when Bob screams at me.

The biker babe persona is way cool, but my heart was set on a fairytale princess, lounging sidesaddle on P. Charming's steed whilst my gown and cape billowed in the wind. Turns out, "sidesaddle" and "billow" on a cycle are so not good.

Apparently, spinnakers belong only on boats. I hate when Bob yells the "F" word.

Helmets protect the cranial pudding, but for "we bad" vibes, nothing beats bare heads or bandanas. Hats need chin straps! I'm still grieving my favorite sombrero.

And easy with the fringe, amigos, especially on your black leather support hose. Newton's Law says the speed at which fringe seeks out whirling spokes is directly proportional to its length. Or, is it a state law…?

Of course, the standard senior passenger dismount is to grab a low-hanging tree branch. But if you've eaten your bran flakes, Tootsie, I say go for the old "Flower Power" method. You know, the one when you race alongside a semi on the highway, seize the cab's side mirror, swing onto the running board, and moon a wide-eyed trucker. Again, watch the sombrero and caftan.

Make bug cleanup a snap by removing all dental appliances prior to the ride. And no, that's not hair in my ears, just a few bee legs caught in the hearing aids. Aw, no trophy bugs from your ride? Project that coveted road-weary look by dabbing eyeliner around your tear ducts.

Motorcycle parts heat up nasty, so check your shoe soles for gum before the ride. None on mine - Whew! But good golly, my rubber flip-flops had a low melting point. I hate when Bob weeps like that.

Let's blend image with safety! My new tattoo is an 18-inch dragon slithering around a can of Ensure. It also displays my blood type and Blue Cross phone number for surgical pre-authorization.

And for that wild "cocker spaniel in a tornado" look, I'm gluing a celebrity wig onto my helmet: Cher model #128. Oh wait, that's stupid. Someone my age should have more class.

Whoopi's dreadlocks, it is.

Copyright © 2007 Mary Tompsett

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