I’m all for drunks getting sober. Many of my friends are drunks who have gotten sober. Hell, at one point in my life so many of my musician friends had sobered up, I ended up playing in a blues cover band that with the exception of myself was made up entirely of recovering alcoholics and which only played Al Anon events. (It’s true what you hear, by the way: they may not drink anymore but those folks can pound the coffee and cigarettes.)
Having played music for a year or two in the Al Anonosphere I wasn’t entirely surprised this weekend when I passed a motorcycle gang sporting colors that read “Sober Souls, Let Go Let God”. After all, staying sober requires support and it is not uncommon for recovering alcoholics to construct non-alcoholic versions of hobbies and activities. Nonetheless, a sober blues band is one thing. But a recovering alcoholic motorcycle club?
Not quite an oxymoron. But it did generate a certain amount of cognitive dissonance.
Although I don’t ride myself, I really enjoy the spectacle of chopper riders rolling along in two by two columns, V-Twin engines rumbling. It appeals to my inner Johnny Strabler. (What am I rebelling against? Whaddya Got?) I’ve seen a few different clubs up close over the years. Back in the midwest where I grew up the Grim Reapers were a feared bunch. In New York City the Hell’s Angels chapter “HQ was near my work space. The Philadelphia area where I spent a largely unhappy decade has the Warlocks.
These clubs are among the so called 1 percenter clubs; the 1 percent that are predisposed to criminal activity. As a matter of fact, 99% of the clubs out there are composed of ordinary hard working citizens, including professionals like dentists and lawyers: custom Harleys aren’t cheap after all.
So I am wondering. Are the Sober Souls a 1 percenter club? Or are they in that 99%of law abiding clubs? After all, it’s hard to imagine a sober gang of cylists riding into town and terrorizing the locals. But maybe it happens.
Can the local constabulary arrest and charge you with Sober and Disorderly?
Could you make a movie about a renegade motorcycle club called “The Sober Ones”?
Finally, could a judge order a convicted 1 percenter to serve the drug and alcohol rehab portion of his sentence with the Sober Souls? Hmmm.
Instead of stopping at a road house for a few pitchers of Bud, I wonder if instead these guys pull off to a 7/11 and pound Slurpees. I’m sorry. It’s all kind of like putting a “Hello Kitty” decal on your chopper instead of, I don’t know, a skull bleeding out of every orifice. It’s just not right.
Again, I’m all for sobriety. And I’m all for whatever that takes. But I think Vespas would be a more appropriate choice of ride for The Sober Souls. Or maybe Kawasakis.
But just in case the Sober Souls are also recovering one percenters and one happens to read this, just funnin’ guys. Just funnin’.