In the wake of the Waco Massacre (see what I did there?), I found myself researching a bit about motorcycle gangs and what they are like these days. I mean, we all hear about the Hell's Angels raising money for this and that good cause and helping little old ladies across the street, but I wanted to know just how much of an anomaly this O K Corral stunt was.
I looked at this picture, and that grinning red devil's face rang a rather clangy bell. I can't make out the name on the top rocker or the word (usually a place) on the bottom rocker, but that face reminded me of something.
A Google Image search brought up this:
Not quite the same, but the image and the name of the club raised hackles on the back of my neck.
~~~~~Sometime in February of 1968, I was talked into going to a party with a casual acquaintance who hung out with the Satan's Choice in Toronto. As far as I knew, this acquaintance was not a member of the gang and he didn't sport the "colours," as the above badge is called. The party turned out to be at the group's clubhouse, a much-abused older home out in the burbs somewhere. It was dark and I was riding in a car (nobody bikes in Toronto in winter), so I really had no idea where I was.
Anyway, I soon had reason to regret my recklessness. I got slapped around and asked if I wanted to get "fucked or beat." The evening went downhill from there.
About the only thing I managed to do was keep track of the numbers. There were 18, all told, but I have never been sure if it was 18 different bikers, or only a dozen and half of them got a second turn. The last one passed out after claiming me by throwing his leather jacket over me, and I slept.
The only one whose name I remember was Tiny, a large individual who wasn't there that night, but in whose bed I was dumped in the morning. I think he was the one who gave me the STD.
They took me home, after courteously calling me a "good sport," and inviting me back anytime. One of them asked me if I'd go on a run with him to Quebec when the weather got warmer.
I was terrified, because they knew where I lived. A few days later, I saw the person who had taken me to the party. He was wearing colours. Putting two and two together was not difficult.
So, while researching the Waco Massacree, I found this little gem:
Fascinated, I watched the whole thing. This was made a couple of years before my little run-in with them, but it's the same clubhouse. Of course, I didn't recognize any of them, but when they showed Tiny and named him, I knew. Oh, yes, I knew.
I had nightmares for years, and would cross a street to avoid anyone who looked like these guys.
Then, about 20 years after that night, I was telling a friend about it. The friend and I were both three sheets to the wind, or the subject would never have come up, and halfway into the story, I was giggling. By the time I got to Tiny, I was rolling on the floor, overcome with hysterical laughter. Don't ask me how. Time and distance, I guess. And the right listener.
Suffice it to say, the experience lost its power over me that day, and I have not dreamed about it since, even in the wake of Waco.