Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Ninja Christmas

2011 Ninja 250 on Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA
We are talking about motorcycles for no reason except that two wheels set a soul free.  The old, littlest Ninja, with its Reagan-era aesthetics, which carried me from Boston to New Orleans, is retired.  You can read about that trip in the sidebar to your left, fourth item down.

On Christmas Eve Day, the new Ninja 250, will be careening past its 3000th milestone.  That's not bad for two and a half months without a scratch.  A motorcycle provides the best view on a bridge clogged with rush hour traffic.  A working stiff doesn't get many hours to ride, but when New Orleans' streets offer an invitation, there is nothing to do but turn, and join the parade.

The old Ninja 250 used to happily respond to the monniker, "The Littlest Ninja in [whatever city we lived in]."  The chitin of the new Ninja 250 doesn't tolerate whimsy.  No stickers.  No scratches.  One attitude: serious.  I always liked the Littlest Ninja on the East Bank of the Mississippi River.  I like the new Ninja 250, too, but it's not as friendly a companion.

Somewhere, along some bend in the Mississippi River, I am going to pause and smoke a pipe, like Saint Nick.  Man and machine will get to know each other, out in the middle of nowhere, over a smoke.

No matter how you spend your Christmas Eve, a very Merry Christmas to you and to yours.  Even a bicycle has a motor between its wheels.  Two wheels set one free.  Seven days without the wind in one's hair makes one weak.  A world without the lazy play of pipe tobacco would be an unhappy world, indeed.  

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