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Monday, July 11, 2011

Singing in the shower is one thing, but...

First a little back-story and technical groundwork:

1. I have a helmet which has a built in Bluetooth phone system that allows me to take calls automatically without having to use my hands or look away from the road. The calls answer automatically after one ring and end automatically when the caller hangs up. There is also a jack for plugging in an MP3 player, but the speakers in the helmet are not very good... so instead on long rides I often substitute in-ear headphones in place of the ear plugs I usually wear to block the wind noise. I can still hear the road and traffic sounds, as well as the other person on phone conversations... but both the earphones or ear plugs are essential to protect my hearing from the damaging affects of the wind.

2. This past Friday I attended a huge biker/scooter rally where many of Israel's motorcycle and scooter clubs converged on a beer and meat festival (great combination, huh?). I participated with the Israel Vespa Club, and we were scheduled to meet up at a gas station about 20 minutes ride from the festival. I had called the organizer of the Vespa Club the night before to tell him I might have trouble finding the meet up point and asked if I could call him in case I got lost. He said 'no problem' and also programmed my number into his phone in case he needed to reach me.

Okay, so much for the back story and technical details.

So there I was, riding my Vespa along Route 443... reveling in the clear sunny weather... enjoying the light traffic... and jammin' away to a great 70's mix I'd programmed into my iPod Nano.

As I piloted my scooter through the curves of the manicured highway I did what many of you probably also do when you are alone on the road; I started singing along to the music of my youth. Not just singing... but really belting it out!

Heck, why not? Not only was there nobody near me on the road... but I was wearing a full face helmet. You sing when you're alone in your car. I sing when I'm alone in my helmet!

Only one problem. On Thursday afternoon I'd been in a series of meetings where I'd had to put my phone on 'silent', and apparently I'd forgotten to turn the ringer back on... so instead of the phone ringing once in my helmet before automatically answering... the calls were set to pick up right away.

After I'd been on the road for about 45 minutes, a song ended, but instead of silence, I heard muffled laughter inside my helmet.

My panicked mind instantly understood that someone had been treated to me screaming along with a bunch of 70s music... and I had no idea who or how long.

Hoping against hope that it was at least someone I knew well (so I could swear them to silence), I said, "Hello... who is that?".

My heart sank as the answer came from not one person, but several people jabbering away in a combination of Hebrew and accented English. Some were speaking and others were doing a reprise of several of the last few songs I'd been singing.

It was the head of the Vespa Club calling to make sure I hadn't gotten lost... someone I'd met only once before. And he hadn't just heard me... he'd put his phone on loudspeaker so that G-d knows how many other members of the Vespa club waiting with him at the gas station were also treated to a private concert.

My mind feverishly played back tape of the last few songs I'd finished singing; Earth wind & Fire's 'September', Aretha Franklin's 'You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman', Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Boston's 'More Than a Feeling', Elton John's 'Crocodile Rock'... my heart sank realizing nearly every one had lots of big, throaty sections to scream along with. And falsetto? Oh my yes!

When I pulled into the gas station 15 minutes later, I got a standing 'O' from the gathered scooterists. I hoped against hope that most of them hadn't arrived yet when I was being broadcast from a cell phone's tinny speaker... but it didn't really matter. Even those who hadn't heard it in person had gotten the story second hand.

I took the good natured ribbing like a man and smiled and nodded at everyone while I gassed up my scooter. And when I went down the line to put my scooter at the back of the waiting procession, several people reached out and gave me good natured pats on the shoulder and helmet.

A few minutes later, after the last stragglers of the club had arrived, we got our safety briefing and set out onto the highway.

Before long we were joined by a long line of Harley's and other big, loud cruising motorcycles, and we rode the rest of the way to the festival together... with me thanking G-d all the way that I hadn't bought a Harley and joined a Motorcycle club.

Somehow, I think the ribbing from that crowd would have been just a tad rougher.

Posted by David Bogner on July 11, 2011 | Permalink


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If you were really lucky he would have recorded you and turned it into an MP3 that could go viral, like a little girl singing about crocodiles. ;)

Posted by: Jack@TheJackB | Jul 11, 2011 10:05:01 AM


You make me feel like a natural woman.


I'm going to be smiling about this for a while!

Posted by: Sarah B. | Jul 11, 2011 10:53:00 AM

Wow... just wow.
You really are becoming a legend in your own time.

Posted by: Raizy | Jul 11, 2011 2:25:50 PM

Funniest story EVER!!

Posted by: Linda | Jul 11, 2011 3:36:29 PM

Vespa GTV 300: US$ 6,899.00

Full tank of gas (2.4 gallons): US$ 8.76

Unintentionally singing "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" to your Vespa Club:


By the way, Raizy, legendary isn't the right word... I thinks it's infamous :-D

Posted by: ProphetJoe | Jul 11, 2011 4:06:20 PM

I have got to stop trying to take a drink while reading your blog, my screen can't take much more spray.

Posted by: Max Power | Jul 11, 2011 4:43:00 PM

Hehehehehehe :) ....priceless!

Posted by: Chantal | Jul 11, 2011 5:14:07 PM

rofl!!!! I'm sorry, but... just... now having seen you in your helmet on your scooter, picturing you belting out the hits of the 70s is just... rofl :)

Posted by: Alissa | Jul 11, 2011 8:32:24 PM

*choking with laughter*

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Jul 11, 2011 10:35:53 PM

Yes. That put a very big smile on my face. Almost as good as the pratfall post.

Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Jul 11, 2011 11:27:51 PM

I'm proud to say that I saw Ariella at the zoo and got to tell her that there was a blog post she shouldn't miss... I think this is definitely one for the kids to know about!

Posted by: Robin | Jul 12, 2011 11:45:08 AM

As a relative newcomer to this blog, I had not read the "TMI" post that ATBOTH referenced. Thank you! The only thing that could have made this post better would have been an added dose of isomalt and a hot Harley chick next to the porta-potty!

Posted by: ProphetJoe | Jul 12, 2011 3:58:44 PM

That was the perfect mental image for the morning. Excellent. :D

Posted by: Tzipporah | Jul 12, 2011 8:18:24 PM


Posted by: nanaloshen | Jul 14, 2011 11:13:41 PM

Awesome! Totally hilarious!

Posted by: SaraK | Jul 17, 2011 6:06:47 PM

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