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May 27th
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Big Toys, Small Boys

motorcycle1The louder the noise the smaller the equipment

Let’s get one thing priapically straight: Men who ride extremely loud motorcycles have extremely small penises. The louder the bike, the smaller their naughty bit. Though the empirical evidence of such a correlation is scant at best, the phenomena have gone beyond the reaches of urban myth.

To date, there hasn’t been much research to prove this. Studying such a correlation would simply be too dangerous, far more life-threatening than calculating the temperature of active volcanoes or attaching satellite tags to great white sharks viciously mating with each other.

Imagine this: Sound researcher (acoustician) measures the decibel levels of a Harley pulling into Margaritaville in Capitola. The sound is off the charts. As our biker dismounts his steel steed, raising one leg over the saddle like a hound pissing on a hydrant, the scientist timorously approaches the man.

“Excuse me kind sir,” our acoustician says. “I measured the sound of your ride at 135 decibels, a mere five points below from what is considered the threshold of pain. My colleague and I—yes that quivering man in the locked car over there—are trying to determine if there is an acoustical correspondence to the vociferous sound wave propagation emitting from your modified, after-market exhaust pipes and the size, weight, length, girth of a motorcyclist’s penis. Would you like to participate in our study? I’ll gladly offer to buy you a drink for your troubles.”

But science often bumps up against the planet’s great mysteries without conclusive evidence. This fact doesn’t stop us laymen from covering our ears as another sonic discombobulation roars by and exclaiming to ourselves, “Oh my, that dude is so loud he must be smaller than a...(insert your favorite species of protozoa here).” Since the cops are generally too busy to enforce the noise ordinances or want to be hullabaloo outlaws themselves, calling up this theory lowers the decibels by a factor of about two (20 db). Rather than be pissed off about the sudden gale of sound, we can instead be muddled with sympathy.

Isn’t it sad, we say to ourselves, that a man could become so small that he would feel compelled to compensate his powerlessness with a loud motorcycle. Stranger still, that he would brazenly announce this fact in public with every twist of the throttle.

In this country, new motorcycles must not make more than 80-decibals of noise, which falls somewhere between the sound of a vacuum cleaner (70 db) and a lawn mower (90 db). Yet, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, a not-for-profit trade association that promotes motorcycling and the motorcycle industry, nearly half of the five million or so motorcyclists in the United States modify their exhaust systems to make them louder.

One of the makers of the after-market pipes goes by the name of Samson Exhaust. “Every product has been thoroughly tested to improve performance, enhance appearance and give the sound customers are looking for,” says its website. And what sound are customers looking for? The names of the exhaust pipes tell it all: Slasher, Rip-Saws, Cannons, Hell Raiser, Shark Bite, Ghetto Blasters, Big Guns, Short Schlongs.

OK, I made the last one up. But just remember: It only took a pair of scissors and a brave woman to sap Samson’s strength.

I rode a motorcycle for a few years. A 1974 Honda 550 that I bought used so I could attend UC Santa Cruz. It had a lot of muscle (at least I thought so) and without it I would have found too many excuses to skip class, the biggest being the mobile cattle corral of the campus shuttle. I was trying to expand my mind not limit it, and the motorcycle did more for my education than a pile of textbooks reaching the handlebars.

It got better gas mileage than a hybrid, and after class I often found myself cruising up either Highway 9 for no better reason than the sublime joy of leaning into a turn.

This being an old motorcycle, eventually my muffler cores rotted out from the salty sea air. The bike got louder and louder and my penis became meek with alarming miniaturization. My sex life suffered too. Soon I began to do the unthinkable: stuff my pants with various phallic-shaped vegetables that resembled my former manhood. Squash left to ripen on the vine well into autumn seemed to work best. And my once, ever-so-glorious Florida now looked and felt like the state New Jersey.

In quiet desperation, I inserted steel wool up the exhaust pipes, which helped some with the noise abatement. Consequently, my penis grew back in physique and conceit, almost to the point of being comparatively normal—and no, I don’t find pleasure in comparison. But the steel wool eventually rusted away and I retreated back into my small world. Of course the university chicks didn’t know about my travails. All they saw was a badass biker, a rebel defying the tofu laws of convention. With my considerable powers of male intuition, I was certain they all wanted a long ride through the redwood forest. And I would have stopped and given it to them had my mufflers been working properly.

Eventually, the bike broke down and I bought a car. It was a difficult decision, made easier by a few near accidents with lane-hogging SUV drivers, who, as it turns out, also share the same compensating affliction (along with men who own 50-foot yachts and red Italian sports cars) with even more undersized severity.

But I miss the good Honda bike. Even now, when I see a motorcyclist cruising the highway, I am filled with wistfulness and petite penis envy. Someday, when I am old and golden and my thoughts no longer include sex every nine minutes, I’ll buy a Harley. Once more I’ll feel the cares of the world flying effortlessly below my chrome mufflers on the rushing road. Besides, by then motorcycles will have electric engines. And all I will hear will be the sweet swoosh of wind in my face, my penis as durably stiff and wrinkled as winter squash.

Bruce Willey, writer at large, was last seen heading into the hills to escape the noise and the wrath of the Hell’s Angels.
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