Age Against the Machine: Cack Conkers Copper Canyon

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by vermin, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

    Aug 17, 2003
    Way Out There.
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  2. thomas.clark

    thomas.clark Uneasy Rider

    Apr 9, 2009
    Florida, land of flat, straight roads.
    Verm, thanks for the closing post. Ya know, I do think there is something miraculous in that there Cack, and she took me down some of the very same roads.

    Been trying to convince friends and family for years that our personal and societal problems with money, time, the lack of both or either, medicine, health care, materialism, et cetera are simply a consequence of fighting against suffering. They look at me as if I have lost my mind. Not that I'm not guilty. Was commenting to mrs.clark just last night that I carry waaay too much stress and worry because I'm still caught up in staving off suffering.

    Your attack on Maslow is genius.

    Carry on, wayward one.
  3. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Jan 20, 2007
    So there he was, humanoid 379-70-1225, driver 452417, piloting ol' 362958, a choked down, gutless wheezy 425 horsepower Peterbilt, in the rolling hills near 33.6660,- 93.5994. Home (42.43417,-83.98635) was 971 miles in their aerodynamic rear view mirrors. Their? As in Plural? Yep ol' 452417 had not paid real close attention to the yapping truck driver recruiter on the phone (she shounded cute) he never would have voluntarily signed up to spend 24/7 with 452009.

    Ironically both men had been seeking freedom in their own way and had ended up incarcerated together in a truck on the interstate. The horrible turn of events as they had unfolded put neither fellow in particularily good spirits.

    53 years prior 452009 had come screaming into this world into the city of Rafaela. Argentina. His madre named him Jorge (pronounced Whorehay &#8220;don't call me George or I keel you) Bonafede. Or as '417 anglicised it &#8220;George the real damn deal&#8221;. Any attempt to &#8220;Gringo&#8221; him up was met with violent resistance. As Jorge would say &#8220;I am true American but a gringo only on paper&#8221;. Even though he had been in the USA for 14 years he only knew half a dozen verbs (most of which involve miscellenous mucous membranes) and could correctly conjegate none of them. The American melting pot couldn't get hot enough to blend in this bad ass argentinian vaquero. In Argentina he had been the boss so he routinely tried to push around '417 both physically and mentally but '417 had 52 years of getting pushed around and had made a vow to fight back so the two men fought tooth and nail back and forth and up and down the United States and Canada.

    Jorges (&#8220;stop calling me George&#8221;) claim to dominance finally rested on the fact that his serial number was lower hence he had more seniority so as far as he was concerned he was still the &#8220;Big Man&#8221; in the cab. At 6'8&#8221; and 6'4&#8221; the two tried to survive in a space not much larger than a portajohn. A combined 13 feet of aging human flesh and 105 years of combined experience and they had both tumbled down the ladder of success and land together in a heap in the cab of this Semi. This put neither of them in a particularily good humor.

    It finally came to a head one day as ol' '417 was nearing the end of his shift.

    ('417's translation)
    &#8220;Argentina is a beautiful place&#8221; I have many cows and many people respect me&#8221;. Said Hoarhay, &#8220;on Friday night I would come back to town from a week on the pampas and we would have a band set up in a field. We would kill a good bull and pigs and chickens and whole town would party and dance in the field all weekend. By Sunday morning , no grass on ground.&#8221;

    &#8220;Sunday we wake up hurt head and go to church and then family, cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, unkles everyone would gather at my fathers house and we would have beautiful feast and laugh and talk, sitting in the shade in the afternoon.&#8221;.

    Do you do much dancing now, George? '417 replied provocatively. His proding is met with sullen silence.

    &#8220;Hey George why did you come to this country anyway? Said 417. Seems like you are always yappin about how you had it made in Argentina.

    &#8220;I came here for the opportunity&#8221;. Said George.
    What opportunity said '417 sensing a chance to really get under Jorges skin. The opportunity to be locked in a rolling canister with a wrinkly, rashy gringo 24/7 making way less than minimum wage.

    Jorge had seen images of America on MTV and he had to admit the reality of America fell considerably short of the hype. George just lost most of his life savings by purchasing a house in the Detroit statistical metropolitan area, causing him to go truck driving and leaving his beautiful wife alone to teach disgruntled youth in the critically aclaimed Detroit public schools.

    In the age old shop rat tradition of screwing with a coworker till their mind snaps just to amuse themselves '417 goes in for the kill.

    &#8220;Well you may have given up dancing and a vibrant community of loved ones but at least you are making a lot of money and living the big life here in the USA&#8221;.

    Born and raised into the big bamboozle '417 has more or less accepted that he is a slave to his algorithmic lords but he is astounded that someone would have made a bad deal for themselves by buying high into the big bamboozle and giving up all that he supposedly cherished for a shot at what?

    So why exactly did you move here, Jorge? Asked '417 again.

    Finally, out of good reasons, the last desperate answer is &#8220;So I can buy a Camaro&#8221;

    Where is this Camaro Jorge? Asked '417

    Sensing that Jorge is about to break, '417 putting his trivia pursuit knowledge to use, goes in for the kill.

    &#8220;How about the Falkland Islands, Jorge&#8221; Poked '417

    &#8220;Of course you must mean the Malvinas&#8221;!!!! Jorge replied as his Latino pride raised up again.

    No jorge you can't call them the Malvinas until you big bad Argentinian men can kick Margeret Thatchers ass. Face it you had control of the islands and an old shriveled up english woman
    sent some boys down there and ran you off like the damn egg suckin dogs that you are.


    Jorge snapped and began to pummel '417s right arm as the trucks satellite navigation system informs '417 his federally mandated hours of operation are up and he must be relieved of duty.

    The odd couple pull into a Wal-Mart parking lot off the freeway at Longitude -93.59012603759766, Latitude 33.66648723151936 on their way to Longitude -98.75661849975586 Latitude 30.18155881039127

    As he finished his driving stint the fatigue of an irregular schedule sets in and he excuses himself to the sleeper portion of the cab. As has become his habit he reflects on his blessings in a spirit of gratitude and promises to be nicer to Jorge tomorrow. He oddly also thanks the heart disease that has set in motion the bizarre turn of events that has led to the state of mind he has today. As Jorge grinds through the 9 forward gears and reenters the freeway the click clack of the expansion joints and the gentle rocking motion of the air ride cab lure him off to a deep sleep.

    His arms begin to feel hot, it is a familiar feeling. Is he on fire?

    Vermin shudders to life as the incinerating heat of the desert sun burns his pasty anglo flesh.. Cack, is set on a roiling boil, howling down a deserted jeep trail in the desert, sounding for all the world like a nitrous burning garden tractor ridden in anger. A long plume of dust billows out behind our High vis hero.

    He is now fully alert and inquisitive as to the nature of his unusual surroundings and his technicolor motorcycle as it bucks and slithers over the desert terrain. He crests a small hill and the previously obscured Bob the mangy bobble head dog comes suddenly into view. He is standing right in the middle of the trail. The Vermin pulls back on the reins with all his might as he tries to haul down a half ton of rolling rubbish. Tires wallow front and rear as Cacks wore out dancin shoes search feverishly for purchase.

    Vermin is alive and enveloped in a cloud of gathering dust that his faithful companion cack has kicked up, his shrewlike eyes blink revealing two moist slits in his facial dirt as he squints at the dog.

    My whiskers twitch with excitement as I flip up my face mask and ask him.

    &#8220;Howdy there feller, hows them fleas treating you&#8221;?

    The dog just looks at me funny and with his palsy beckons me to follow. I put down the kickstand and gracefully swing my leg off the saddle as Cack sinks into the soil and flops over on her side like a terrier in a fresh deer turd. This seems natural and an omen that I should join the dog. I telepathically know the dog has told me to follow him. The head bobbing that had seemed like a sad plea for affection in Creel had in reality been an enjoinder. He and I start to lope down a trail that runs perpindicular to the jeep road. My cowboy boots start to hurt my feet and I kick them off and start to run barefoot behind the dog. Memories of my lethargic cube dwelling past are laughable. Ten years prior I had been winded climbing a flight of stairs, now I find myself joyfully gliding through the desert brush following Bobble Head Bob, my breathing is easy and my heart pumps a steady rhythm.

    As Bob and I headed west the surroundings became more mountainous. We continued into the night, one by one small tightly knit Tarahumara would come out of the scrub and burble a few gentle sing song syllables and fall in behind Bob and Myself. I recognized my buddy in the tattered dirty modern cloths, and the guy in red that I had met in the road. The fellow that had moved to town joined us for a while but he became tired and dropped off. The lady that had sold me trinkets in town sprung out of the bushes and nearly scared me half to death. Her cowering subservience that expressed itself in town was gone and was replaced by a gracefull confidence as she danced and glid between boulders adjoining the path..The family that had been hunkered down in the back of an old truck in the rain tumbled out from behind a rock and joined us.

    Dark gave way to a glorious desert sunrise as our determined band ran along. All day and into the next night we ran until we came to a precipice overlooking an incredible canyon. I was rather bulloxed by the termination of the run until I looked about me, in the light of a full moon, and noticed we had arrived smack dap in the middle of a primitive ceremonial circle. I followed their cues as they took their places surrounding a flat rock at the edge of the canyon.

    I had been invited to join in an ancient ceremony, I looked toward Bob and his head motioned to an empty space.

    The Indians started burbling some pre columbian chant, it was subtle and unobrusive but it did lay spine tingling aural tapestry down in the clearing. I settled into my spot as Bobs head quit shaking. My friend in tatters quietly walked off into the mesquite and came back with a spear. The indians chanting became more intense but still not obtrusive, like a burbling creek as you come around the bend . The chanting grew and grew as Tatters walked to a flat stone at the center of the ring. The sun had long gone behind the mountain but the full moon still illuminated the surroundings. Tatters took the spear and balanced it on its point on a flat stone in the center of the circle as their chanting increased in intensity.

    He pulled his hand away as the spear began to quiver, only I was shocked as a bow and arrow sprang from the top of the spear, whats this? Then wheels, ox yokes, chariots and plows one springing from the one before. HOLY COW! Chain mail, cross bows and my personal favorite the trebuchet. These indians are ceremoniously witnessing the birth of my own personal scaffolding of doom! One I have recreated over and over in my head. They all stare at me looking for signs that I did understand what I was seeing. I just nodded.

    One by one every advance in technology sprang from the top of the previous one before my eyes. The humans that were tangled in this technological tower of babel became less vital and a dullness and lethargy was revealed.

    Legs became still as the wheel is introduced. Farmers became tethered to their plows as well their ox.

    The scrambling surging tower reached toward the sky. Finally in a flash &#8220;the enlightenment&#8221; happened and the steady linear growth of the tower began to reach horizontally toward all four corners of the earth steadily extinguishing the starlight an enormous cantilevered cancer metastisizing and engulfing the world. The machine/human hybrid began to destroy living things with absolute abandon. Flashing lights, blaring souless sounds and electric current animated the undulating mechanical miasma.

    I was gobsmacked to see the Indians calmly sitting there watching what was essentially armaggedon with out even a hint of curiosity or fear. They had witnessed this ceremony for centuries and always chosen to stay on the ground rather than start up the tower.

    Something was different this time though wasn't it? They had invited a Gringo, he was an integral part of the scaffolding, what was their purpose? Why let a part of the problem into their lives?

    Finally as the tower started to threaten to blot out the full moon I saw a flourescent yellow flash. A hiViz beacon. What the hell? Of course Cack was part of the tower why shouldn't it appear? I had pretended it was of fairy wings and pixie dust but it was in fact nothing more than just another machine.

    Just as this realization was about to crush my soul I noticed someone other than me was astride her. I squinted my shrewlike eyes into the heavens and was able to make out the the waiflike cockeyed 70's sitcom star Sandy Duncan. That bitch Cack was cheating on me with a chick.

    Then it occurred to me I can't even do dream sequences right as my subconcious had accidently replaced hot Sandy Bullock with the elfin non hot Sandy Duncan. Close but no cigar.

    I started to chuckle at the stupidity of the whole thing. How ludicrous. This was the sign that the Indians were looking for as they also began to laugh. Our laughter began to feed on itself like a bunch of kids at a pajama party that have been told to be quiet &#8220;for the last time&#8221;.

    The big joke had been revealed! The peals of laughter started to cause the scaffolding to vibrate ominously. Like the famous mechanical failure of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge The frequency of the laughter had set up a dissonance in the structure that caused it to begin to buck and shake.

    We gathered our composure and began to run away from the canyon as, one by one, the useless hunks of the tower began to crash into the desert around us. As we headed toward the horizon the indians, being superior runners, slowly began to pull away. I was heartsick, I had finally met people who understood, a tribe that I might belong to and they too were leaving.

    Like being chased by the devil in the nightmares of my youth I began to run as fast as I could and pump my arms ferociously but instead of catching up to my friends I began to lift off the ground. I ran and pumped my arms harder and faster as I lifted higher into the sky, trying to avoid the fate of not only of being hit by the falling objects but trying to avoid falling myself. Finally it all became hopeless and I accepted that my fate was to fall to the desert and be crushed by the remnants of the scaffolding. I gave up with a sigh, resigned to my destruction I quit my struggle and prepared for my screaming fall from grace. Shockingly instead of falling I had begun to swoop and soar.

    I looked down and instead of arms and legs I had a beautiful pearlescent set of moth wings. I had been released from the earths pull and began to gracefully fly toward the full moon.


    ''417, still sleeping, flys through the air of the sleeper and lands with a thud banging his head on the refridgerator. Still in a confused state he realizes that Jorge has jammed on the airbrakes in a rest area with the sole purpose of catapulting '417 to the ground. Apparently the steady diet of beans and corn has created an untenable spike in the methane levels in the trucks cab.

    '417 leaps to his feet fighting back the instinct to choke the life out of the Argentinian. All he can do is scream gutteral nonsense into his right ear. He is wildly angry and confused. Jorge immediately returns fire and starts shrieking in Argentina language. '417 notices the moon is full and beautiful coming up over the Texas Hill country. '417 has revealed nothing of his alter ego or its trips to his partner, he wouldn't or couldn't understand, few people do.

    He reaches under the passenger seat and grabs his running shoes. Jorge knows he will be gone for an hour or more and starts to complain that if '417 goes for a run they may be late on their delivery, but stops short realizing nothing can disuade him when the moon is full.

    '417 jumps down out of the cab, runs to the back of the rest area, clears the fence, and glides like a ghost in the moonlight as he vanishes behind a rise. He wants to be worthy, ready, should his friends choose to show up again.
  4. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Mar 16, 2007
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Mornin Vermin,

    I'm sure I never expected to wake up to that.

  5. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

    Nov 10, 2008
    Billings, MT
    Happy Monday.
  6. thomas.clark

    thomas.clark Uneasy Rider

    Apr 9, 2009
    Florida, land of flat, straight roads.
    Thank you, sir.

    Happy trails.
  7. Geezerider

    Geezerider Just coastin'

    May 2, 2005
    South Carolina
    Peace and a pleasant life to you Verm. Thanks for sharing your insights!
  8. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

    Apr 1, 2003
    Silicon Beach, CA
    <BR>Heh heh, hey there '417.

    As the scaffold comes apart all around, it sounds like you come to the place where you have the machines, instead of the machines having you.

    Too bad about Sandy Bullock.

  9. DWR302

    DWR302 Justan Nudderboomer

    Sep 15, 2009
    SW Flowdah
    Holy shit Verm. You have me impailed on an intermitent schedule of reinforcement. I must keep checking here for my food pellet....forever...
  10. judjonzz

    judjonzz Beastly

    Mar 14, 2002
    Not Fargo, not Butte, not Cheyenne
    Holy Carlos Castaneda!!!
  11. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man Supporter

    Jun 24, 2008
    Socal near the great 33
    f*ck me, but that was awesome! Between Vermin, Colebatch, RTWDoug (and probably a few others) Mark Twains words have never had more meaning to me. Vermin's writing is like one long, mind expanding acid trip. :bow

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
  12. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

    May 2, 2009
    Fort Mill, SC
    That. Was. Fucking. AWESOME!

    Just keeps getting better. I am starting to feel a bit gay now as I think I have a crush on Vermin.

    Dude, I swear, you are the Salvadore Dali of wordsmithing!

    Long live Vermin!
  13. dec181966

    dec181966 Dude on a motorcycle

    Oct 20, 2009
    Princeton Texas
    Long time no read Verm. It was a very pleasant surprise this morning to commune with a kindred spirit. Keep running my friend.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  14. johnjen

    johnjen Now, even more NOW!…

    Nov 28, 2001
    How prophetic.

    Well done and soon enough the sequel will happen.

  15. motoroberto

    motoroberto Been here awhile

    Mar 3, 2010
    Fooklyn NYC
    Thank you. Keep carryin the torch for people who give a shit.
  16. Mileater

    Mileater Been here awhile

    Nov 29, 2007
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Well worth the wait! :clap:clap:clap

    Thanks Vermin (or is it 417 from now on?) and best of luck with the rest of the journey :freaky

    Take care :deal
  17. El Desmo

    El Desmo Stay sharp, keep moving.

    Sep 3, 2009
    Back in the Nor Cal.
    Yeah, I like that.
  18. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

    Jan 18, 2005
    417 bringing us to the promise land!

    BTW..GJ post:puke1 ...remove please- for the sake of future readers!
  19. thomas.clark

    thomas.clark Uneasy Rider

    Apr 9, 2009
    Florida, land of flat, straight roads.
  20. nigelcorn

    nigelcorn Wannabe.

    Aug 17, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    Nathan the Postman on Cack!!! That is a match that is meant to be.

    Maybe we can get Vermin to tour around on Dot for a while. Ohhhh, the possibilities.