By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
By Frank Owen
"Craziest thing that's ever happened?" he repeated to give himself time to think, his heavy-lidded eyes glazed with indifference. "Old men fighting over a fat chick."
Meanwhile, Steve was babe-shopping from the dance-floor showcase. But he wasn't buying.
"The one with the black hair has a good body, but she dresses tacky," he said, assessing the woman whose narrow hips were wrapped with a gypsy scarf, slender legs ended in suede ankle boots, and ridiculously enlarged melons were hammocked in a halter-top.
With conversation like that, it almost made Tony's return welcome.
"I'm a financial negotiator and a world-class juggler. I'm the guy you don't want to sit across the poker table from," he said as he pulled at the front of his conservative plaid shirt. "Oh, and I was an announcer at a strip club."
"Is there anything you haven't done?" I asked as a Santa-looking biker with a big belly and white beard pushed up to the bar.
"Haven't jumped out of an airplane," he confessed at top volume and launched into another story. "But I've bungee-jumped. I've even reverse bungee-jumped."
Unless I was talking to Tireless Tony, conversation was nearly impossible, so I sized up the crowd as I resisted the urge to elbow St. Nick, who kept bumping into me. Pretty much a 30-and-up crowd with a lot of bikers, the place was somewhat diverse if you count the fact that many were also car or truck people. You could tell by the hair: too tidy to have been in a helmet or exposed to high winds.
I amused myself with the array of bad dancing, including a woman in fruit-striped pants who spasmed in time to the Bon Jovi song the band was playing. I gently elbowed Steve instead, nodding toward a dancing threesome, where two aging bikers both with vests I was prohibited from asking about had a woman sandwiched between them.
Steve shook his plaid-capped head.
Tony was back once again. This time, it would be a parting exchange: "OK, you'll love this. Knock, knock."
"Who's there?" I grudgingly offered on our way out.
"Fuck who?" I said, pretty sure I was walking into a come-on.
"No, fuck whom!" Tony sang, delighted.
It was far from the night of bourbon-slinging badasses I had expected. Sure, there were tattoos and leather and lots of graying ponytails and beards, but I'd expected some danger even if I kept my poking fingers and nosy questions to myself. On our way out, I wondered aloud if there was such a thing as a young biker. And Steve just laughed.