Fired Up in Saginaw

Years ago in the early 80s I was living in Flint Michigan. My buddy Michael Donan and I decided to make a road trip north to Saginaw to watch the Motorcycle Ice Races. We had a couple of complementary tickets from work or somewhere and it was a spur of the moment idea.

We were both riders. I owned a new XL600 Honda dual sport bike and I think he was rolling a custom Sportster so bike races sounded like a good excuse to go road drinking. This was back when drinking and driving was still considered a sport rather than a crime. We piled into my old Buick Station Wagon complete with a big o'jug of Rum and Coke and other party favors.

We rocked up I-75 drinking Rum out of a 2 liter pop bottle with jams cranking. Once in Saginaw we found the arena. I mentioned that I like hitting a cool ass bar downtown from time to time. It was several bars connected together by knocking out walls in the old brick building. One was rock, one was Jazz etc. Mike is a Jazz fan like myself.

He had the genius idea that we toss the freebie race tickets and go tear up the club instead! At that point the fuse was lit.

We hatched a plan on the way. I was sporting a shiny new honda cap and shirt and had enough background from wrenching the moto-cross circuit in New England in the 70s to pull of the illusion of being a Honda Factory rider in town for the ice races. Mike being half Japanese would pose as my Honda Factory mechanic.

We found the bar, ordered drinks and mention this scenario in conversation just loud enough to be overheard to start the buzz and see what takes the bait.

It wasn't long before the buzzplan started to bear fruit and the girls started doing low level passes checking out the night's celebrities. We were living large spinning bullshit and swimming in babes. It was becoming clear we weren't making it out of Saginaw that night....

Suddenly Mike's eyes lit up. He noticed that an amazingly tall beautiful girl, no, woman was checking him out from across the room. I mean a knee buckling, tongue tying, intimidatingly beautiful babe. I'm a rough and tumble kind of guy and attract fun cute bar girls. Mike is a more distinguished looking guy and attracts classy more sophisticated chics but this girl was in a league all by herself. The law of physics applies to the bar scene also. For every motion there is an equal opposite motion. Her perfect goddess presence came with a big but...

And it was connected to her fat scary ugly girlfriend at her side...

Then the pleading started. Mike begging me to be a wingman and take the beast so he could hook up with the beauty. I flat out refused for a drink or two until he wore me down. His girl was so hot I agreed as a friend to take the bullet so he could live his dream. This came only because we were out of town where no one would see me and with the promise it would NEVER be spoken of again and included a favor of my choice to be named later. A big favor...

Then it happened, The princess seemed to float on air as she slid across the dance floor towards us followed by the wildebeest slithering close behind. Mike was beaming nervously like a small boy standing in front of the tree on Christmas morning while I tried to not look like a condemned man searching for a fire exit.

Every eye in the bar was on the angel as she moved. Mike held out his hand and greeted the goddess and stood dumbfounded as she didn't even break her stride past him walking right to me. He was quickly swallowed up beneath Bertha who swooped in like a vulture.

At this point I had already picked my favor to be named later, hehe. This girl was wanting to hook up with a race bike rider and was on a mission. After a couple of drinks the girls rallied up for a group bathroom run to huddle and plan their move leaving Mike and I to talk. Mike immediately was grabbing his jacket and wanted to leave before they came back.

I felt the evening was going great and he should honor the same agreement I had made when he thought he was winning. I stood fast having the advantage of having driven that night and the girls soon returned suggesting we go elsewhere more personal for a drink.

Soon Mike started to complain he wasn't feeling good and we needed to leave. I called his bluff for another round before he started to look really ill over there. He forced the situation and we soon said our good byes and headed out for the war wagon. Once outside I gave him a good ribbing for faking an emergency to get out of his "duties". He insisted he was really sick...

Rolling southbound on I-75 we were headed home. Mike was doubled over in the passenger seat looking pretty rough with his head between his knees seemingly passed out while I grumbled to myself about the brush of Ecstasy. About 20 minutes into the ride the strong smell of burning leaves filed the car. It was late fall so it was a common smell for the season but awful late at night for leaf burning.

Ten miles later with the window cranked (yes kids, cranked) down the smell kept getting stronger. Turned out the floor was rusted out under Mike's feet and the extra wieght of him being doubled over was pushing the carpet down onto the red hot muffler beneath through a baseball sized hole. It smoldered until.....

All of a sudden Mike lets out a terror filled scream and yelled he was on fire! He sat up and a ball of flame followed him. The left leg of his jeans was burning like Detroit on a hot Saturday night! So lets recap. Were drunk, doing 70 all over the freeway in a panic and Mike is on fire... And none to calm about it!

We had no water to put him out. All we had was the half o'jug of Rum and Coke. He was concerned about dousing the flames with alcohol even though I didn't think the Rum's cola diluted proof rating was high enough to ignite. The fire was spreading fast and the flames were higher than the dashboard. Mike consented to the Rum as the party was quickly becoming a weenie roast. His options were few. Actually I think his exact words were "PUT IT OUT - PUT IT OUT" over and over again while flailing his arms madly.

With one knee on the wheel I poured the Rum on the flames and soon the emergency was over. Within 20 seconds Mike was back to his original position and out like a light. ten miles later the smoke had blown out the window and we were rolling up on Flint completing another Excellent Adventure.