Sunday, March 8, 2015


One of the things I don't suffer from one bit, is being surrounded by boring people. Now that's not a nice thing to say, I know.  It's insensitive to boring people.

Who's to say that a person is a boring person? What makes a person boring? I suppose that being cast as a boring person, like everything else, is a relative thing. How far is far? Is red, red? Will the real red please raise its hand?

How bitter is bitter? Is dry Vermouth bitter? What about Campari? Is Campari bitter? Is there anything more bitter than Campari?

Is maple syrup bitter?  Anything but!

From that perspective, my dear friend Marc, is anything but boring.

Marc doesn't ride.

Well he does ride, he rides his bicycle.  And he does that a lot.  In fact, Marc logs more bicycle miles than anyone I know. Weather permitting, Marc rides here, there, pretty much everywhere in the greater neighborhood, prowling garage sales, going to the Beaconsfield shopping centre, over to friends' places, down old Lakeshore road and back.

Back in the day, Marc did ride, and he spent quite a bit of time ranging all over Montreal and surrounding cottage country on a classic Italian motor scooter.

A few days ago, Marc was tidying up and he came across a rare photo of himself and his scooter.  It turns out to be a 1950's Iso scooter.  Made in Milan from 1946 to 1964.  Similar to a Lambretta in design.  Iso is the same manufacturer that invented the Isetta bubble car that later continued life briefly as a BMW.  One of my relatives pulled up to our house in the burbs back in 1962 in an Isetta.  Easily the coolest car I had ever seen.  The single door was the whole front of the car, including the steering wheel.

When Marc e-mailed me the picture I knew instantly I needed a copy.  I needed to share it here, and I plan to take it to the office and scan it.  Most likely I'll print it and laminate it, stick it on the home office wall.  Amazingly, yesterday, you could still find an Iso scooter on e-bay for 600 pounds sterling, just waiting to be lovingly restored.  Today, that find is unfindable.
Marc has told me all sorts of crazy stories about his scooter summers.  From anyone else they'd be taken with a grain of salt or two, but with Marc, I know them to be true.  I can't really repeat any of them here, except in the vaguest most general way, because on the one hand I don't want to embarrass Marc (though, if you know Marc, that might be rather difficult to achieve, trust me).  The other reason is some of the scooter experiences might still not be sheltered by the statute of limitations or others' capacity to forget.  Suffice to say, some involved intimate contact with female pillions, and at least one involved taking the scooter off road, and into a restaurant, where clearly it didn't belong and wasn't welcome.

But that was a long time ago, back in 1961 when Marc was a young'un.  We've all been more interesting in our youth, less boring, shall we say.

So why do I say that Marc in particular is anything but boring?

Because Marc is different from most everyone I know.  If you have a challenge and you want it solved, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more creative problem solver than Marc.  He excels at pretty much anything he sets his mind to.  From riding a scooter, to skiing, to sailing, to building a log cabin with his then girlfriend (now his wife), to literally writing a book on sales and marketing, to delighting both his wife and me by buying my beloved and badly under-used Miata roadster as a gift for his wife.  And the list of his remarkable achievements goes on, and on, and on.

Marc is anything but boring.  And he never ceases to surprise and amaze me.

He is a living testament to the remarkable capacity of the human spirit.  Marc really knows how to live life on two wheels.


Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Hopefully we all know at least someone that trends towards a Marc. David it sounds like you're fortunate enough to be near the Real Deal. Thanks for giving us a chance to connect, if only via long distance.

David Masse said...

Doug we live far away from each other, to say the least.

One day I hope events conspire to allow us to meet.

RichardM said...

I think I've always called any scooter that looks like that a Vespa (kind of like all tissues are Kleenex). I remember seeing Isettas back in the early '60s as well. There are a couple up here parked in someones yard. He won't part with them...

The City Mouse in the Country said...

Funny you should bring him up. Lately I've thinking about a dear departed friend named Ricky Durham. Ricky was a genius (several patents have his name) and an actor/comic. He made and lost more money than I'll likely see in 20 years...but he also could not take care of himself and went off the rails several times (dying a few years ago due to diabetes). We shared a lot of adventures (most of which can not be discussed in mixed company), logged a lot of beers and wrote some great comedy. Funny how we all have the "one friend" in our lives that always seem to know what to say or do to start an adventure.

Conchscooter said...

Okay: here's my second attempt minus autocorrections...
I fear I have been Marc in other people's lives, though God knows I knew one or two of my own in California. Boredom does suck, and when I was just that momentarily a few days ago I threw this together.

redlegsrides said...

Marc sounds like quite the renaissance man!

Trobairitz said...

How cool to find the old photo. Thank you and to Marc for sharing.

SonjaM said...

Difficult to say, who's boring and who's not, David. But we immediately know it when we encounter a boring one ;-)

I believe there is a little bit of Marc in everyone of us.

David Masse said...

Richard, wouldn't it be a blast to drive one of those tiny beasts? I mean the slightest fender bender would mean death, but just for a lark!

Nobody could take anyone seriously after they emerged from that thing, nobody.

David Masse said...

Rob, like I said, I am lucky to have so few boring people in my extended entourage.

Let's agree that anyone who rides can't be boring, shall we?

And then anyone who rides and blogs... well that accounts for many, many friends.

And then there's my friend Tom, the heli skier. And the list goes on.

David Masse said...

Michael that was a great post on ADV.

I'm a member, but only rarely lurk, and have rarely if ever posted.

It's a combination of not enough time (I can barely keep up with blogging), and not quite enough adventure planning that would make ADV a necessary stop for me.

David Masse said...

You know Dom, the thing that keeps most people from accomplishing more is fear of the unknown, and shyness.

Marc is not afflicted with either of those limitations.

In that age-old bomb-defusing scene, Marc would not be likely to ask "red wire or green wire?".

David Masse said...

It is cool, isn`t it. It's got that whole 'mod' look to it for sure.

If ever there was a badass scooter look, that's it.

David Masse said...

Hint: nobody who posts comments here is boring :)

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