There are three words I’m training my doctor not to use, but they still lead off most of his monologs on caffeine, porterhouse steak, dirt bikes and dragging one knee on the ground. “At your age…” he says. The guy gets paid out of my checking account and the limited largess of some shifty corporate insurer. He has the sort of vocabulary that can stun a Cape Buffalo. So let’s rephrase that, shall we? I know: old habits die hard. For both of us. I stopped acting my age in the sixth grade, and it’s too late to start now. Still, Mr. M.D. is channeling the same over-torqued persona that’s been trying to drag me into adulthood since junior high. And he can’t call my parents, who finally made peace with the fact that I would rather recite Yamaha RD350B porting specs than the Periodic Table. Luckily, objects in the rear-view mirrors have limited relevance. As good as it was, the 75 RD350 presently awaiting thoracic surgery in my garage always acts its age. Especially when I don’t. This is usually a good thing. Bel-Ray smoke is a superb mosquito abatement agent. But when more potent over the counter neuro-chemical measures are called for, apply liberal amounts of 07 Honda CBR600RR to twisty pavement, preferably between 11,000 and 14,000 rpm. Repeat as necessary until symptoms persist. It’s the asocial spirit of the RD in an exponentially better behaved sporting package. Welcome to double the horsepower – and then some – with half the noise and none of the smoke. Even adjusted for inflation, $7400 is a chunk of cash for a clean, low-mileage norepinephrine generator. But discretionary dollars are a little easier to come by than they were in the financial horse latitudes between high school graduation and gainful employment, even if spare time isn’t. If there is one genuinely cruel byproduct of the Responsible Adult Syndrome, that’s it. The good doctor figures it’s time to dial things down after a certain number of birthdays. Okay. I’ve learned a few things, some via hard/painful/expensive experiences that would less enjoyable in reruns. I’ve leaned out my Café Americano intake, cut back on grilled cloven-hoof mammal flesh and developed a taste for grilled salmon. I’m still exactly cautious a motorcycle, but I am more careful. Leather and armor beat Betadine and sutures 10 times out of 10. I won’t wick it up without enough real estate to execute Plan B, just in case an 08 Eddie Bauer Expedition plows through Plan A. Life is still a calculated risk. I’d be a bigger idiot than our esteemed production staff is convinced I am without humoring my M.D., J.D., D.C. etc. But I pick and choose. Shuffle off into the low-carb, caffeine-free, classic rock, minivan twilight if you must. I’m keeping the keys to this CBR handy. Or maybe the 08 YZF-R6. And the next time somebody tells you to act your age, don’t listen
Act Your Age
Written by: Tim Carrithers on October 31 2008 2:20 PM
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