18 February 2011

Secret Societies

Did you know that nearly all motorcycle riders say hello to eachother when passing on the road?

I didn't know this until I got a motorcycle, but it's quite true, and nearly universal. Look for it when you are driving. People salute in different ways. Riders of Harleys and other larger bikes (tough guys) always seem to hold their hand down low, almost as if they were dragging their fingers in imaginary water while cruising in an imaginary boat. Some people wave higher. Some (like me), just lift their fingers off the handlebar and sort of give a mini-hello.

A friend of mine, after I told her that I'd been said hello to a number of times, was surprised that I did't know about it already. (She's a new rider too, though much more immersed and well-versed in the culture of motorcycles). She explained that this is really common, and also told me that mini-scooters were not part of the wave collective. I embarassingly told her that I had just that day waved at a mini-scooter rider. She told me it was okay, but that she hoped that now that I knew the rules, I would obey them. I must confess that I occasionally wave to a scooter, but only if they seem not to be a douchebag that appreciates the mosquito-like sound of their motor and flaunting traffic rules. Anyone with a helmet perched above their head is immediately disqualified from the consideration of rule-bending on my part.

Interestingly, this isn't my first secret society into which I've been inducted. I'm also (at times) a fully fledged member of the "Bald Guy Silent Nod Club," a little known group, yet one which is quite active. When I let my hair grow out, I am neither perceived as a member of the club, nor do I really feel myself to be a member. When I shave close, however, and fully reveal my shining pate, I'm again part of the group.

Basically, our activities are limited to silently nodding to eachother when passing in hallways, on the street, or really anywhere. The nod seems to say, "I too am bald. It's no big deal, I'm totally okay with it. Sometimes I even like it. Obviously it'd be pretty cool to have hair, but I'm over worrying about it and it hasn't really seemed to negatively affect my life, so whatever. Also, we understand eachother and recognize that starting to lose your hair at 20 can be a bit annoying, but we got over that shit." Those who are still reeling from the realization that a nice mohawk or a ponytail are dreams of the past are DEFINITELY NOT members of the club.

It's nice to be a member of these little groups, and it makes me wonder just how many secret societies like this there are out there. When I told my friend (the one mentioned above) about the baldie club, she laughed her ass off, and was totally surprised. I too was surprised about the motorcycle group. To me, this logically says that I'm not noticing all sorts of little groups that are out there. I like the idea of so much camraderie hiding in plain view. It makes the world a bit more mysterious, and just a bit more like a mystery.

1 comment:

  1. The same exists with Jeep Wranglers, but it appears to have stopped with people owning the new (lame) wranglers don't wave. I think it's because the new ones are just large Hummer wanna-be's.