You would be surprised by how much research I do for my columns. I’m sure you are even surprised right now that I said I did any research at all. But really, sometimes I even use the Google! On occasion though, the research just ruins a good story.
For instance, in preparation for this week’s column, I have been thinking of telling you the saga of my stolen motorcycle, affectionately named Daffodil (pseudonarcissus). As is often the case, I would rather be doing anything else besides actually writing the column because I haven’t chosen a topic; last night instead of writing I watched an Amy Schumer (age 37) HBO special, whose name I would have just spelled “Shumer” had it not been for IMDB.com. I even updated the operating system on my Mac, which carefully ate up 57 minutes of time — preventing me from writing — which happened to be exactly how long the comedy show lasted.
Anyway, the reason I call my motorcycle (and my raft, and any trivia team I am on) “Daffodil,” is because it is ludicrously non-masculine.
I enjoy the internal monologue I have as I am racing to work downvalley (at the Aspen Business Center) at 45 mph (that’s about the fastest I am comfortable driving Daffodil) as I imagine what all the babes in cars going the other way must certainly be thinking as I fly by at a relative speed of 46 mph (the babes are stuck in the traffic jam coming into town). “Wow, look at that incredibly handsome, virile man’s man in a leather coat heading home on his crotch rocket after what was most certainly a hot stayover with a woman named Stacy or Linda.”
The reason they think I must be heading home in the morning in the opposite direction of Aspen is because, of course, no “man’s man” actually lives in Aspen. Aspen has bro-brahs, architects, artists and lawyers who hate ice cream and cookies. Real men live in Rifle, or perhaps Silt. Not Parachute (pop. 1,115) though: A real man would never wear a parachute, so why would they want that name on their mail?
The reason they think I am hot is because they can’t see me beneath the several layers of armor I wear because I am frightened of riding a motorcycle. However, a naked slug (gastropoda) is somehow very attractive if it manages to be driving a motorcycle. Motorcycles do that to people.
As I drive by and watch the commuters yearn to be my Stacy, I am thinking, “I should get a license plate that says, ‘DAFODIL.’ That would be hilarious.”
However, research now informs me that motorcycle license plates can only have five characters. Perhaps it could be “DFODL” or “DAFDL.” See how cruel research can be? No one would read that and think, “Oh, Daffodil! How clever and unexpected on a masculine motorcycle such as that.” Instead they would spend some time trying to figure out an acronym that fits, probably involving some recombination of the phrase, “Dilf” and “DL.”
In reality though, they likely wouldn’t be looking at my license plate. The armored plates in my motorcycle pants make my butt look too great.
Anyway, the other day I went to check out Daffodil, which I distinctly remember pushing into its assigned winter storage area at Hunter Creek last fall. There are a lot of motorcycles under their storage covers in this remote corner of the Hunter Creek parking lots. But I remember where I put mine because I was one of the first ones to store my motorcycle in that area and I remember thinking, “I’m going to be blocked in by so many other bikes by the time this is full.”
I was pushing it because the last time I rode Daffodil it broke down in the roundabout and I had to have it towed to Hunter Creek.
Daffodil wasn’t there.
“This is great, I don’t have to worry about getting Daffodil fixed!” was my first thought. Then, “Who am I kidding? With a name like Daffodil it was definitely neutered a long time ago.”
But really, where was it?
I knew I must just be slightly mis-remembering exactly where I put it, so I went around and looked underneath the covers of all the remaining motorcycles and it still wasn’t there.
“Come on Miss Maisie. No one stole Daffodil. But if they did, they are going to be very disappointed it doesn’t run.”
Miss Maisie is not my imaginary friend. Miss Maisie is my real friend, a colleague’s mini-bernedoodle puppy (canis lupis adorablis) that I was walking. Perhaps the most gorgeous thing on this earth aside from my armored butt.
I took a deep breath and decided I must be crazy, so I did a thorough and careful second check of every single motorcycle there. Still no Daffodil.
How was I going to pretend I was a Dirk or Magnus? The man’s man riding home downvalley every morning after a romantic tryst with the barmaid, without the phallic Daffodil between my legs? So many schoolteachers, moms and school bus drivers will miss their moment of sexy daydreams every morning in the summer. This wasn’t just a personal crisis; this was a cultural blow to housewives from Truscott to Basalt.
A couple of days later, I was helping my neighbor with his car and asked him to verify that I wasn’t crazy and had him look at the motorcycles with me. “Let’s do the research properly before I call the police and report it stolen.”
I described my motorcycle and we began looking. He said, “Is it this one?” And I said, “Yes. Yes it is.”
Somewhere near Delta, Colorado, there is a man who has to live with the fact that his fantasy football team, the “Pound Dawgz” was bested by the “Daffodils” in their fantasy football league championship. You may reach Whiting at email@example.com.