Throwback Thursday — Motorcycling

There’s a new prompt in town. It’s being run by Maggie, at From Cave Walls and by Lauren at LSS Attitude of Gratitude. The two will alternate hosting and the idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “learning to drive.”

I hate to break the rules on the first edition of this prompt, but I’m going to bend them just a bit. My post is not about learning to drive. Instead, it’s about my embarrassing experience when I attempted to get my motorcycle license.

I got my driver’s license when I was 16, but I was approaching 30 when I decided to buy my first motorcycle. I guess getting ready to turn 30 gave me pause, and indulging in a motorcycle was an attempt to stay in Neverland. I didn’t want to grow up.

So, I bought myself a Kawasaki KZ400, exactly like the one pictured below.

Anyway, in order to legally ride a motorcycle, you had to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, take a written test, and then pass a motorcycle riding test. I aced the written part, but I didn’t do so well on the road test.

One part of the road test is maneuvering the cycle around a bunch of traffic cones. The cones were lined up in a slalom-like manner on a small track that had a curb on one side and a stone wall on the other. I was about two-thirds of the way through that course, when I went wide around one of the cones. That’s when the cycle’s fairing (windscreen and covering around the handlebars) clipped the stone wall, causing me to lose control of the steering.

The bike and I hit the ground. A bunch of traffic safety instructors and cops ran over to where the motorcycle and I were sprawled out on the ground. “Are you okay? Are you injured?”

“I’m fine,” I responded, “except for my wounded pride.” Then I looked up at the test monitor who who was helping me to my feet. “Does this mean I failed the road test?” Based upon his expression, I knew that was a dumb question.

Long story short, I returned to the DMV a week later, retook the road test, and made it through without further incident.

All that said, this motorcycle road test debacle was one of the most mortifying experiences of my life.


They’d been best friends since elementary school. They were often called the “Four Musketeers” because they were always together. Some of the meaner, cliquish girls referred to them as the “Four Stooges” because, well, they were always together, but not part of the in-crowd. But that didn’t bother them in the least. They were BFFs.

Jayne, the sassy one, was the first to leave when her father took a new job in a different city at the beginning of their senior year. There was a big going away party and lots of tears right before Jayne moved away. But they all promised to stay in touch with one another.

After they graduated from high school, Elizabeth, the smart one, headed off to her Ivy League college. There was a big party and a lot of tears right before she left. But they all promised to stay in touch with one another.

Monica, the level-headed one, stayed close to home, having enrolled in the local community college, while Ellen, the funny and big-hearted one, got a job as a checker at the town’s largest grocery store. Monica and Ellen hung out together for a while, but then slowly drifted apart.

Three of the girls, Elizabeth, Monica, and Ellen would get together when Elizabeth came home from her Ivy League college for holidays and they would call Jayne on the phone to reminisce and share their new experiences. And they all promised to stay in touch with one another.

Five years after high school graduation, Jayne was married and pregnant with her second child. Elizabeth was attending a prestigious law school. Monica was an English teacher at the local high school. Ellen was an assistant manager at the grocery store. And they had all pretty much gone their separate ways, rarely in touch with one another.

Twenty years after high school graduation, Jayne was newly divorced and a single mother to two teenagers. Elizabeth, a high powered lawyer, was married, had a daughter, and was considering a run for Congress. Monica, married but childless, was head of the county’s teachers union. Ellen was still single and still an assistant manager at the same grocery store.

Two years later, Jayne was planning to move back to her home town with her kids so she could be closer to her aging parents. Elizabeth had lost her run for Congress and decided to give up the high pressure life as a big city lawyer. She was moving back to her home town with her husband and daughter and would be starting a new job as a public defender.

Elizabeth called Monica and said she was coming home. Monica let Ellen know. Ellen called Jayne’s mother and found out that Jayne, too, was heading to town. When Ellen found out that Jayne and Elizabeth were returning to the town of their youth, she and Monica organized a reunion of the Four Musketeers.

And that’s where this picture was taken.

The four girlhood friends — Jayne, Elizabeth, Monica, and Ellen — all grown up and so happy to be together once again. Truly they were Best Friends Forever.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Gemma Chua–Tran at Unsplash.

One Minute Fiction — The Sound of Silence

The nursing home administrator, Mrs. Kramer, was getting frustrated by the virtually unabated street noise outside of her facility. The staff said the continuous din was interfering with their work, residents were complaining about the loud music being played around the clock, and visitors were annoyed by the cacophony. Mrs. Kramer persuaded the city to put up signs indicating that the area had been designated as a quiet zone, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.

At her wit’s end, Mrs. Kramer was desperate to silence the noise. So she did something she never thought she would do. She hired a graffiti artist to paint a large mural on the side of a building across the street from the nursing home.

From that point forward, Mrs. Kramer, her nursing home staff, the resident, and the visitors basked in the sound of silence.

Written for Cyranny’s One Minute Fiction prompt. Photo credit: unattributed.

FOWC with Fandango — Throat

FOWCWelcome to August 26, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “throat.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.