I Hate Myself

Someone needs to be jealous of me right now, and if You won’t do it, I’ll have to.

Sitting poolside at the Riviera Golf Club right now, relaxing after a ride on Ducati’s newest Monster baby, the bike in pole position to make people wonder why in heck they ever considered a 696.  For $9995, you get everything the $8995 mini-Monster has, plus better suspension, ABS, radial brake calipers, more horsepower and a pretty single-sided swingarm. It rides nicely along, steers well and has so far exhibited none of the dreaded traditional “Monster weave.” Adam, a nice kid from everywhere, can wheelie his until it runs out of gas. I’ve never actually seen anyone wheelie around a traffic circle before, and it encouraged me to remember the limits of a sommat worn carcass with reflexes closer akin to a gentle campfire than a lightning strike.

So anyway, nice bike. There’s one parked fetchingly by the pool right now, in front of three of its rather more badass brethren: a Hypermotard S, a Streetfighter S, and an 1198 S Corse. A horse is a horse, but not the Corse — this is a bike for which I would consider an accelerated track to back surgery (if you know me, you know this is no idle bravado; it’s more along the lines of pure madness).

G-D, but it’s gorgeous, from the perfectly sculpted swingarm up to the race-painted alloy tank. WANT!  Even though I couldn’t do anything with it worthy of its construction. You might as well hand a Stradivarius to a square dance fiddler. He’d admire it the way gorillas hoot at helicopters, but it’d be painful to watch him play.

It’d be painful for me, too. The bike is designed to test both your youthful fitness and your disposable assets. In my case, my back and knees are no longer disposable assets, which makes the fairly comfy Monster (seat is just okay, but at least it looks like a Corbin) a far more realistic proposition.

In June — the ripe end of spring, the beginning of sweet-soft summer — everything in Italy from about four meters off the autostrada in any direction smells soothingly of jasmine. Along the Riviera, every fine female form seems to have gotten the tans that we ordered in Seattle, but which have never arrived. Forming a suitable background for the lovely bikes, Italian mermaids breast stroke gently up and down the calmative blue waters, perhaps keeping an eye out for the rest of their swimsuits. I’ve been helping them look.

A word about that pool, which is just cool enough to gently lower your core temp, and just warm enough to keep your muscles loose as you bubble along.  There’s a bridge across its waist, which is 19 meters wide. The pool is 89 meters long. For those of you playing along at home, that makes the pool — the pool — eighty percent larger than the property upon which our three-bedroom house is perched. I thought we had a pretty good-sized backyard, but now I realize that I could probably swim easily from one end to the other, holding my breath. Y’know, unless it’s raining or something.

There was a little Ducati backpack waiting in my room. It’s all red and stuff; it will look well on a pretty girl, and I have the very one in mind. But before that, there are track events to ride, information to memorize (I have it on good authority that it will also be presented on a prosthetic memory device, proving once again that this greasy-screened laptop is smarter than I), and roads to ride all around Rimini. That all starts in a few minutes, cocktail-augmented for our protection (oh, shut up; we’re done riding for today).

In the meantime, there is this pool…


  1. Yes Jack, we know it is a tough life, but some one has to lead it! Take it easy man! Don’t get yourself all riled up over the political seen and try to just relax and pretend that your back home in the rain! Think puddles, and mud… Try to force yourself to have a good time. Send your friends at the VME a post card.. PO box 4341 Seattle, WA. 98194 See you safe at home, likely crying…

  2. Italy…
    Si sa che Dio da ke noccioline a quelli che non hanno denti…

    Sorrisi & fai attenzione con ke Ducati – sono bestie gentili.

  3. Oh, can it, Jack! Whine whine whine… wait, that’s me. You, I suspect, are wine, wine, wine… or maybe a steaming cappuccino right about now. A hats off gorilla hoot to your wonderful writing. Wish I was there.

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