The Biker and the Soy Latte


My kids watch a show called Ridiculousness.  It is exactly what it sounds like – ridiculous.  It shows videos of dumb people getting hurt doing ridiculous stunts.  My son calls it “the face plant show.”  While I don’t necessarily approve of their choice in television viewing I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.

When I write books, I spend a lot of time thinking about the environment.  When world building you must consider cultural climate, character’s personalities and their quirks.  But sometimes, reality is just so ridiculous that I cannot imagine being that absurd.

The latest – a biker war broke out at a Starbucks in California.  A STARBUCKS!  Now if you put that in a query an agent would laugh you right out of their inbox.  It just isn’t believable.  Yet, it happened.  You can read the article here  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/hells-angels-gang-fight-w_n_1062730.html

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark analyzed the situation for Reuters, saying, “It was all about who would be allowed to hang out at the Starbucks downtown… Only in Santa Cruz would you have biker wars over who’s going to control pumpkin spice lattes.”

Really – do you believe it?  I am kind of having a hard time with it.  I grew up with bikers and they wouldn’t be caught dead at a “yuppie joint” like Starbucks.  Nothing against Starbucks – I love it!  It’s just not where you would expect a territory war to break out… especially considering the participants.

If I were writing a novel with bikers as characters – a spice chai tea would never enter the picture.  Picture this:

Roy, a big ole boy from the mean streets of Detroit, pulled up on his 2010 Harley Davidson Fatboy.  The flames on his tanks weren’t half as menacing as his skull encased headlight.  As he put his kickstand down, he dismounted his steel steed, flexing his jaw to add to his rigidity.  The chain connecting his wallet to his belt jingled against his leg, as he pounded his fist in the palm of his other hand.  Someone was going to pay.  His right hand donned the letters H A T E on each of his digits – and it was going to be firmly planted in the bastards suck hole.

He made his way into the Starbucks *insert record scratch here!*  WTF?  What the hell is he doing there?  Why isn’t a dust riddled hole-in-the-wall bar in some far off town… It’s like we’ve reached the pinnacle of the Twilight Zone.  Is he gonna toss back a Carmel Macchiato when he’s done?

But I digress – I wouldn’t call a Hell’s Angle a wuss by any stretch of the imagination.  I’ve met these folks and they aren’t what you think.  Not everyone in a motorcycle club is a murdering, gun toting drug lord.  These folks have a particular soft spot for kids and actually do a lot to raise money for charity… Pick your jaw up off the floor – it is true.  There are a lot of good folks out there with patches on their jackets.  I KNOW THEM.

I beg of you, sir biker, we love our bad boys.  That’s what makes you sexy. Don’t wuss out on us.  Next time you want to duke it out – please choose an appropriate place. . . ya’ kinda just lost a little street cred.  God forbid you wind up on a show called RIDICULOUSNESS!

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