Readers of my books will recall the astonishing green house in Merrylands where I lived with a bunch of sluts, knife-fighters, future murderers, brothers, and drug-addicts. Terrible things happened in that house. But not always. Sometimes wonderful things happened there as well. But terrible things were by far the majority of occurrences. Of course, at the time, these events did not seem terrible at all. They seemed normal.
And I guess that was what was so terrible about them…
It was a warm and sunny day when a new evil came to the big green house in Merrylands.
And it was a terrible evil.
Presumably it came, unbidden as it were, to teach me a lesson in humility.
It was wasting its fucken time. I did not do lessons in humility back then.
But it did teach me another lesson, for which I remain grateful to this day. So I guess that was a good thing.
And that was the only positive from that terrible day when evil came to my house.
I was sitting on a milkcrate in the driveway outside the garage, a screwdriver in my hand and black hatred in my heart.
My Shovelhead sat beside me, hoisted on a trolley jack, its rear brake assembly scattered on the cracked concrete under the back wheel.
I could no longer even look at the bike.
I could hate it perfectly well without looking at it. Eventually, I would have to look at it and do something about it – because a Shovelhead without a rear brake really does need to be looked at.
But right at that moment, if the whole shitcunted lot spontaneously combusted, I would have lit another cigarette from the flames and warmed my balls by the flames.
Like most of my mechanical disasters, this one began with the best of intentions. The rear brake was not sitting square upon the disc rotor – a situation brought to my attention the previous evening by Mark.
“Your rear-brake is fucked up,” he said to me as I stood frying my dinner eggs on the stove.
“What’s wrong with it?” I asked.
I poked the eggs with a knife and considered this diagnosis.
“It’s sorta not sitting straight on the disc.”
“And how did you see this?”
“I dropped a bag of dope on the ground and when I bent down to pick it up, I happened to notice your fucked-up brake.”
“You got some dope?”
“I got a whole ounce!” Mark beamed and wobbled a plastic bag full of what the cops always called “vegetable matter” when they were arresting you.
My lop-sided back-brake would clearly have to wait until the morning. Bongs needed to be smashed.
The next morning, I went to peer at the rear-brake.
Mark was right. It sure did look skewiff. I gave it a shake. It appeared to be fastened properly. I gave the pedal a press with my foot. That seemed in order as well.
I briefly considered taking the bike for a ride and seeing if anything untoward happened when I applied the back-brake at speed. If that went poorly, then I would have to go to hospital. And I was far too busy to go to hospital that day. So a test-ride was off the cards.
Besides, I had not noticed anything untoward when I’d come home the previous evening, so only two possibilities for my brake being this way presented themselves.
The first was that Mark did this to fuck with me for putting relentless shit on his ironhead Sportster. I quickly discounted this possibility. Mark was not a saboteur of motorcycles. It was not the done thing. Sure, we had all pulled each other’s plug leads off for shits and giggles, but fucking with another bloke’s brakes was bullshit. Marc was a Canadian hockey player so he was sick and twisted on levels that even astonished Big Dima from time to time – no small achievement – but he wouldn’t fuck with my brakes.
The only other possible scenario was the Spontaneous Shovelhead Shit paradigm.
Shovelhead owners will understand perfectly.
Things would happen to Shovelheads. Sometimes because other things happened first, and sometimes apropos of fuck nothing.
Shit fell off. Parts cracked and failed. Stuff leaked. Wires would strip themselves and short out. It’s what Shovelheads did. You accepted it and moved on or you went mad and killed your family with an axe.
I was a long-term Shovelhead owner, and my family was still alive, so I decided it was the Spontaneous Shovelhead Shit thing, and went and got some tools.
I had lots of tools which I had inherited from my father. Most of them were utterly useless for working on Shovelheads because they were carpentry tools. The mallets were good, as were some of the files, and I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t used some of his old wood-chisels as screwdrivers from time to time.
I also had other tools which I had either bought or acquired by borrowing them from other people and never giving them back.
I was okay with that. It was a Circle of Life thing. People borrowed my tools all the time and never gave them back, and then it was my turn, world without end.
So I went and got a bunch of things for dealing with my crooked back-brake – a big screwdriver and a small screwdriver, a claw hammer, pliers, and a medium-sized shifter. I had no idea if these were the tools I’d need, but that’s the base from which all Shovelhead repairs commence.
Marc came out just as I’d finished tapping the caliper off with a hammer and screwdriver, which had then clunked onto the ground and disassembled itself. I’d stared at the bits for a few seconds, then sat down on my milkcrate and lit a durrie.
“What’s the go?” Marc asked after peering briefly at the results of my mechanical mastery.
“No idea,” I shrugged, lunging back the Dunhill I’d lit to help me settle my brake-fixing nerves. “I thought I’d take it off, smash it to bits, then put it back on and see if it’s still crooked.”
“Top idea,” Mark nodded. “I’m gonna go to the bottleshop. Want anything?”
Fuck him for even asking, because that was when the door opened wide and allowed evil to enter.
And fuck me for being both a dickhead with an overstimulated imagination and a retard for girls in white bikinis.
Had I said “Just get me a case of beer”, there would have been no evil.
But that’s not what I said.
I had been watching TV the other night and I’d seen this commercial for a wondrous new drink. It was being glugged by hot chicks in tiny white bikinis and a few really fit blokes, who would, the commercial clearly implied, soon be feeding the giggling bikini girls a variety of cocks in the beautiful pool they were all frolicking in. Obviously thanks entirely to this new alcoholic beverage.
My reasoning for what I’d told Marc to buy was not entirely idiotic.
Our respective girlfriends, their friends, and the never-ending progression of girls who loved to party with bikies, were a lot more fun when they were brim-full of savage chemicals and alcohol.
And so were we. It’s how shit rolled in the 80s and 90s.
We all liked the same drugs. So that was not an issue.
Alcohol was a different thing.
The blokes mainly drank beer. And girls didn’t much like beer. Some blokes also drank bourbon and coke. And the girls would drink that too – not because they liked it, but because they didn’t like beer and there was no other alternative unless they brought their own. And they usually didn’t, presumably because hot girls are tight-arse misers.
But now, with what I had seen on the TV the other night, there was a very promising new alternative.
My girl did not have a white bikini – but she sure as shit had this crazy red one she rocked hard, and I had been known to get partially nude from time to time myself.
In my mind’s eye, I saw this new beverage as opening all sorts of new party doors, where sugar-breathed girls would dance like wild sluts while we sprayed them with the garden-hose because we did not have a pool.
But the only doors my next words opened were the doors to evil.
“Get me a case of West Coast Cooler,” I said to Mark.
“It’s a new thing,” I explained. “I saw it on TV. Chicks love it. It’s weapons-grade. They will insist you pull their hair when they’re sucking your dick.”
“What’s it called again?” Mark asked.
“West Coast Cooler.”
“When do the girls get here?”
“The girls aren’t coming,” I said. “I’m gonna drink it. See if it’s worth drinking.”
Mark gave me one of those looks. You see parents looking at their kids eating paste in the exact same way. Then he shrugged and went to get the West Coast Cooler.
I felt I should put the rear-brake back on the bike before the he got back.
That went as well as most of my mechanical forays went. The caliper sat there just as crookedly as it had before, and I had managed to gouge a nice furrow in the disc while using the big screwdriver as a positioning chisel. I gave the brakes a pump, saw the pads close and open on the newly-modified rotor, told myself nothing I had done would make the Shovelhead brake any worse than it had been braking before, and went and had a fat line of speed.
Once again, this was all normal.
One does not embark on a piss-drinking session without lining one’s brain with the finest anti-drunk chemical ever invented. And this was not my first rodeo. I felt I had an idea where this was going.
I was wrong. But I did not know that at the time.
I had never consumed a wine-based cooler before – hell, I did not even know it was a wine-based anything at the time. I saw hot, wet bitches drinking this shit and whore-dancing, and that was all I needed to see.
But since I needed to keep my wits about me, I shnorked a goodly line of goey, and went and put a cushion on the milk-crate. Then I got another cushion and another milk-crate for Mark, and our al fresco garden setting was good to go.
Mark returned and I saw him walk down the driveway with a box of Tooheys under one arm, and a pale blue box of evil on his shoulder.
I helped him put everything in the fridge, then grabbed a bottle of West Coast for myself and asked Mark if he wanted one.
He looked dubious.
“What’s in it?” he asked.
“I am not sucking you off no matter how drunk we get.”
We laughed, I opened the two bottles of West Coast Cooler with my Bic lighter, we clincked bottles, and drank deeply.
“Fuck, that is awful,” Mark spat.
“Piss off,” I said, looking at the dark green glass bottle with a new admiration. “It’s…um, it’s like…erm, a soft-drink.”
We drank some more. Four big swallows and the bottles were empty. We burped, and I went back to the fridge.
“You want another one?” I asked Mark.
“Go fuck yourself. I’ll have a beer,” he replied.
I brought him a beer and we sat in the warm sun, laughing and joking, and I made trip after trip to the fridge. In less than an hour I’d necked six West Coast coolers and my mouth felt like I’d eaten too much fairy floss. Other than that, I was happy, and pretty clear-headed, thanks to the speed I’d had.
Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.