Dad here; there is a mountain pass in the Smokies known as the Tail of the Dragon. Riders travel from all over the world to pay homage and test their mojo on her 318 curves in only 11 miles; for many, it’s a one way trip, as the Dragon is known to bite the cocky or unprepared.
I made my pilgrimage to the Dragon’s Lair last October, and it was everything it was said to be, curve after curve so deep that my foot pegs grinding on the asphalt were a omniscient reminder that there are limits that must be respected. After numerous passes, I came up on an odd creature; imagine a hobbit toddling through the forest on a Bergman scooter. Curly gray hair poking out from beneath a beanie helmet, a black windbreaker flapping in the breeze, his ensemble completed by a pair of sparkling white tennis shoes poking out of baggy blue jeans; I didn’t know what this guy was about, but I did know that I didn’t come all this way to have my ride stuffed up by Bilbo Bagging elderly uncle.
Thankfully, he waved me past, and I began to strafe the curves with extreme prejudice, but something was wrong with my rear view mirrors; they seemed to be filled with that old man on the scooter. I know “objects may be closer than they appear” and all that, but this was ridiculous; this guy was seriously reeling me in. But why race when you can dance? Why not revel in each other’s skill instead of engaging in a passing contest?
Our high speed groove was quickly halted by a sedan whipping out of an antique mall parking lot directly into my path, so close I had to pass in the ditch. I remember a glimpse of her eyes as I flashed by on the right, her eyes wide with realization of what her inattention had almost caused.
As gross tonnage equals right of way, altercation is almost always never the answer; I let it go. After picking my seat from where my butt cheeks pinched it, rearranging my laundry, if you will, I proceeded on towards Deal’s Gap.
My elvish friend pulled in a few minutes later, flopped his kickstand down and extended his hand. With a thick British accent, he said, “that was the best save I’ve ever seen, mate, but you’re looky it happened when it did, because I was about to overtake you”.
You should never judge a book by the brother; it turned out that this old guy was both a retired British Secret Service agent and ex-road racer who delighted in vacationing in the US with the sole purpose renting scooters to embarrass would-be Ricky Racers.
Now I’m sure that you’re wondering, what does this have to do with Max E Million? I’m convinced that this man was Max’s doppleganger, as this is exactly how this hairy little goofball operates. Example: we received an incredible gift box full of goodies from Aunt Kathy yesterday, but as is proper, we were going to make the inmates wait until Christmas to open it. I guess that you think you can see where this is going, but you just wait…
Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode of “As the Casa Churns”