by Norm De Plume
Look, you do NOT want to cross the Hell’s Barons. They’re the toughest motorcycle gang in these parts. I get a shiver just thinking about them.
Believe me, you’ll know it when they roll into town. First, you’ll feel a threatening stillness in the air, like you get just before a summer thunderstorm. Then you’ll see a flash of pink off in the distance- the Hell’s Barons ride in head-to-toe custom pink leather, and they don’t care what anybody says about it because the Barons are so damn tough. Finally, just when you think you can’t take the suspense anymore, you’ll see ’em, obeying all the local traffic ordinances because that’s their way. They’re so mean, they don’t get any satisfaction out of breaking little piddly rules, so they don’t.
When the Hell’s Barons come to town, most guys from the other gangs hide out at the nearest biker bar. It’s the only safe place. See, the Hell’s Barons are way beyond starting up barroom rumbles. That’s not a tough enough activity for them. Instead, they usually head to the art museum or the library or some such place, and that’s where things get real. Boy, do they ever give the folks there a working over, requesting obscure, hard to read volumes from deep in the library’s stacks, or asking some real tough questions at the museum about the artist’s TRUE intent. And these guys know their stuff. Museum directors crap their pants with terror at the thought of a run-in with the Hell’s Barons.
But all that hanging out at cultural institutions doesn’t mean the Hell’s Barons don’t know how to get down. No sir. These guys can party. Why, I’ll never forget the time old Left Hand Johnny tricked them into going into a gay bar over on Rt. 7. The Hell’s Barons are so damn tough, they just stayed there all night, drinking responsibly and carousing with the gay folk. Said they respected Johnny’s right to love in the way that made his life complete and they didn’t give a damn whether it was with a man or a woman, and added that they would do whatever they could to help Johnny and his friends preserve their dignity. When they said that I got so scared I turned tail and ran. Even pissed my pants a little, and I’m not ashamed to say it.
Now, I’m not telling you this for your health. Restaurant Week is coming up, and the new season at the opera is about to get underway, which means the Hell’s Barons are bound to roll up any day now. Consider yourself warned.