Each year, Fayetteville, AR plays host to Bikes, Blues and Barbeque, supposedly one of the biggest motorcycle festivals in the country. (I’m sure that Motorcycle Week in NH is bigger, but don’t tell anyone around here I said that). For the past two years, rather than shutting down our theater and going into hiding for the week, we’ve hosted a beer garden on our grounds. For a few days, we stop thinking about the arts and instead think up to ways to deprive bikers of their hard-earned cash. Which, of course, involves beer.
So I spent my weekend relieving leather clad folks (and a bunch of college students) of their money. I am now an expert at the anatomy of the wrist, as I slapped bracelets on hundreds of them; even the ones that swayed along with their drunken owners. I dodged lit cigars, teetering cigarette ash, and billowing clouds of tobacco (and other varietals) smoke. And I got a taste of what hawkers feel as I shouted “One dolla, one dolla! Only one dolla for the cleanest restrooms on the street!”
I like bikers. They flirt with me, which is always fun. And they are generally pleasant, except when you run out of Miller Light (a lesson we learned last year). And yet, there were moments, as I watched the sea of black clad people, driving loud, belching machines up and down the streets while religious “protesters” held life size crosses up on the street corners, when I wondered whether I was living some kind of real-life Terminator-style apocalyptic vision. Luckily, I was soon distracted by the need to collect more money.
The stories are endless – here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.
- Turkey legs. Being waved in the air. Enough said.
- I saw one of our house managers tying up a biker’s chaps. Let it never be said we don’t provide excellent customer service.
- The “Larry Shuffle”- Larry is a biker. Shuffle is a form of dancing. That’s really all you need to know.
- During “Freebird,” a 50+ year old biker glided out of the beer garden and flashed his IPhone at us with a lighter on the screen (this one was funnier in person – the look on the guy’s face was mischievous and hilarious).
- Apparently, after a night of hot partying, two people decided to hang out INSIDE our ice machines.
- It was obvious to one biker that I don’t have kids because I refused to give him 3 beers for the price of two. (huh?)
- Have I mentioned the turkey legs?
- As I stood guard over a cash box, I was “held up” by a guy with two guns – that shot bubbles.
And here are some of my favorite quotes:
- “I don’t care what they say, but Jesus would not have built his cross out of PVC pipe.”
- “Oh my god, I look like I’ve been at the titty bar!”
- “You know, if you had fewer drink coupons, you’d kill fewer trees.”
- “You’re not going to card me? You bitch!”
- Bikers against dumb drivers – this one was a patch on a leather jacket
I didn’t get any kisses this year, which is disappointing. Oh well. There’s always next year.