Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Flying Dotman

The Peppermint Squad, that intrepid gang of motor scooterists pledged to patrol Dorchester's tangled streets to promote Justice, Tolerance, and the Dorchester Way, have a legend that they share on rainy nights in their headquarters in Codman Square. It's been a rainy week in Dorchester and the squad was kept in home base most evenings, performing minor repairs to thier mounts and emptying bottles of Hoffenreffer Private Stock. The close quarters and malt liquor and repetative tap-tap-tapping of raindrops on the rooftop lent themselves the sharing of scooter folklore.

Cherrypicker asked Raisin, "Have you seen the Flying Dotman yet?" Raisin is a newcomer to this band of merry vesparadoes. Every rookie is called 'Raisin' until he or she has earned his or her 'peppermint-handle,' a monniker that cements their place in the squad's hierarchy. Raisin replied, "I've never even heard of the Flying Dotman."

Agent Widowmaker, who had been adjusting the brake cables on his "Princess Go-Go" Chinese scoot, looked up. "Beware the Flying Dotman, Raisin. You're lucky you've never seen him." Widowmaker looked dead serious and spoke in baritone though his voice is usally a bit higher pitched.

"Who's the Flying Dotman?" Raisin felt his comrades were pulling his leg. Tweedledum pulled up a milk crate next to Raisin and, after settling in and taking a pull of Private Stock, told this story:

"On foggy nights when the moon is full, a specter haunts the skies above Dorchester Bay," he began. "No one knows how or why, but a doomed scooterist rides the fog on nights like that. He's an old-timer by the look of his ride. He steers a Honda Super Cub looking to find his way to the Great Beyond. Locals call him the Flying Dotman because sight of him portends an impending crash."

Tweedledum continued. "I was on Morrisey Boulevard one night, after a few pops at Tom English's, when I saw the Flying Dotman. He must have been forty feet tall leaning around a fog bank on his Super Cub faster than I would ever take a curve like that. He was glowing with an eerie light, surrounded by a green nimbus. Apparently, when he was alive Massachusetts didn't have helmet laws becasue he was only wearing a painter's cap. He took the turn and sped off in the direction of Mattapan, disappearing into a passing cloud. When I got home, I mustn't have put my kickstand all the way down when I parked because my bike was flat on the ground the next morning."

Raisin shivered. "I'm not going down Morrissey any time soon on a foggy night," he said.

"I wouldn't advise it," Tweedledum replied. Widowmaker nodded in agreement. Cherrypicker said, "Who's going to make a run to ODB Liquors? We're running low on liquid refreshment."

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