seriously contemplated autoplay…..
“No!” he [Johnny Depp] said. “That’s impossible! I’ve never known a Monday night without a game on TV. What is the stock market doing?”
“Nothing yet,” I said. “It’s been closed for six days.”
“Ye gods,” he muttered. “Not stock market, no football—this is Serious.”
Just then I heard the lock of my gas tank rattling, so I rushed outside with a shotgun and fired both barrels into the darkness. Poachers! I thought. Blow their heads off! This is War! So I fired another blast in the general direction of the gas pump, then I went inside to reload.
“Why are you shooting?” my assistant Anita screamed at me. “What are you shooting at?”
“The enemy,” I said gruffly. “He is down there stealing our gasoline line.”
“Nonsense,” she said. “That tank has been empty since June. You probably killed one of your peacocks.”
At dawn I went down to the tank and found the gas hose shredded by birdshot and two peacocks dead.
So what? I thought. What is more important right now—my precious gasoline or the lives of some silly birds?
Indeed, but the New York Stock Exchange opened Monday morning, so I have to get a grip on something solid. The Other Shoe is about to drop, and it might be extremely heavy. The time has come to be strong. The fat is in the fire. Who knows what will happen now?
Not me, buster. That’s why I live out here in the mountains with a flag on my porch and loud Wagner music blaring out of my speakers. I feel lucky, and I have plenty of ammunition. That is God’s will, they say, and that is also why I shoot into the darkness at anything that moves. Sooner or later, I will hit something Evil and feel no Guilt. It might be Osama bin Laden. Who knows? And where is Adolf Hitler, now that we finally need him? It is bad business to go into War without a target.”
September 19, 2001
“My plan was to keep moving. Never slow down. Keep the car aimed straight ahead through the rain like a cruise missile…I felt comfortable. There is a sense of calm and security that comes with driving a very fast car on an empty road at night…Fuck this thunderstorm, I thought. There is safety in speed. Nothing can touch me as long as I keep moving fast, and never mind the cops: They are all hunkered down in a truck stop or jacking off by themselves in a culvert behind some dynamite shack or in the wilderness beyond the highway…Either way, they wanted no part of me, and I wanted no part of them. Only trouble could come of it. They were probably nice people, and so was I—but we were not meant for each other. History had long since determined that. There is a huge body of evidence to support the notion that me and the police were put on this earth to do extremely different things and never to mingle professionally with each other, except at official functions, when we all wear ties and drink heavily and whoop it up like the natural, good-humored wild boys that we know in our hearts that we are…Those occasions are rare, but they happen—despite the forked tongue of fate that has put us forever on different paths…But what the hell? I can handle a wild birthday party with cops, now and then. Or some unexpected orgy at a gun show in Texas. Why not? Hell, I ran for Sheriff one time, and almost got elected. They understand this, and I get along fine with the smart ones.”
I never got to sixth gear, and I didn’t get deep into fifth. This is a shameful admission for a full-bore Cafe Racer, but let me tell you something, old sport: This motorcycle is simply too goddamn fast to ride at speed in any kind of normal road traffic unless you’re ready to go straight down the centerline with your nuts on fire and a silent scream in your throat.
When aimed in the right direction at high speed, though, it has unnatural capabilities. This I unwittingly discovered as I made my approach to a sharp turn across some railroad tracks, saw that I was going way too fast and that my only chance was to veer right and screw it on totally, in a desperate attempt to leapfrog the curve by going airborne.
It was a bold and reckless move, but it was necessary. And it worked: I felt like Evel Knievel as I soared across the tracks with the rain in my eyes and my jaws clamped together in fear. I tried to spit down on the tracks as I passed them, but my mouth was too dry… I landed hard on the edge of the road and lost my grip for a moment as the Ducati began fishtailing crazily into oncoming traffic. For two or three seconds I came face to face with the Sausage Creature….
But somehow the brute straightened out. I passed a schoolbus on the right and got the bike under control long enough to gear down and pull off into an abandoned gravel driveway where I stopped and turned off the engine. My hands had seized up like claws and the rest of my body was numb. I felt nauseous and I cried for my mama, but nobody heard, then I went into a trance for 30 or 40 seconds until I was finally able to light a cigarette and calm down enough to ride home. I was too hysterical to shift gears, so I went the whole way in first at 40 miles an hour.
Whoops! What am I saying? Tall stories, ho, ho… We are motorcycle people; we walk tall and we laugh at whatever’s funny. We shit on the chests of the Weird….
But when we ride very fast motorcycles, we ride with immaculate sanity. We might abuse a substance here and there, but only when it’s right. The final measure of any rider’s skill is the inverse ratio of his preferred Traveling Speed to the number of bad scars on his body. It is that simple: If you ride fast and crash, you are a bad rider. And if you are a bad rider, you should not ride motorcycles.