Sunday, January 10, 2016

I'm sewing again

When you ride, there's always something to do.

Today we have a lot preying on our minds. Nothing bad mind you, but stuff that can make you a little crazy if you let it drift into your field of view.

Susan's cure was watching some TV, doing some reading, and catching up with family members in L.A. and Toronto.

My recipe was tackling that patch I want sewn on my Corazzo jacket, followed, naturally, by a little online musing about my relationship with riding and patches.

I was wearing this Corazzo jacket in the fall when I dropped in at the bank to pay a bill. I thought it would be a very short transaction so I just flipped up my helmet (I love the convenience of a modular helmet) and marched right in. I guess my get-up looked pretty official what with the helmet, the armored pants, the boots and all, because a silver-haired patron in line mistook me briefly for a policeman, of all things. Clearly she wasn't actually paying that close attention because nowhere was I sporting a badge even remotely suggesting that I was a constable. Yet, in fairness to the lady, the jacket is a little official-looking, I'm no spring chicken, I do have that boom microphone protruding from the helmet, and who knows, maybe in some parallel universe, ModernVespa has a police force with similar badges to mine.

I have been pulled over, on occasion by the police, and twice I have been ticketed, once for speeding, and once for the unnecessary use of a motor vehicle horn. For that reason I decided not to sew on the patches that Conchscooter gave me, because they are official shoulder patches of the Key West police force. I briefly considered sewing one on. But in no time I imagined being mistaken for a police officer by a) real cops, b) real bad guys who hate real cops, and c) citizens caught between a rock and a hard place who actually need a real cop, and none of those scenarios appeals to me. I don't sport those badges, I keep them safely tucked away and imagine how cool and badass it would be to someday wear them.

There is no denying that badges and patches, no matter what they stand for, add circumstance, if not pomp, to any outfit.

There was a time when I imagined I would either join the military, or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The final fork in the road came when I was graduating from college. RCMP, or law school... Law school or RCMP... Law school or... Law school. The closest I came to anything resembling acting in the interest of public security, was in grade 6 when I was a school bus monitor (white belt and shoulder strap, gold badge, and supreme authority on my school bus), later in the Boy Scouts (an actual uniform, black beret, a pocket knife, and a good number of official insignia), and much, much later, and until very recently, when I held an actual, real, top secret security clearance (I may be in trouble now, because you're not supposed to say you have one).

The truth is that patches are kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. I can't wear them all, because then my jacket would just look ridiculous. So I pick and choose. Besides, sewing on patches is a pain in the... fingers (Ouch! dagnabbit!). My Corazzo has the most patches. There's the Corazzo shield (every Corazzo jacket has one, it's their logo), the ModernVespa.com 'Not-so-modern' patch (that's a bit of self-deprecating humor, 'cause I'm not so modern, though the patch actually relates to the vintage Vespa section of the ModernVespa forum), a 10,000 mile patch (by now I have, let's see... about double that in the saddle), a ModernVespa 'Italia' patch (to commemorate the Tuscan Loop - see the Touring page), and now, the Vespa Club of Canada patch.

I'd better not stumble on some other patch-worthy event, because I'm running out of prime usable real estate on that poor jacket.

As I write this, I am about a third of my way through sewing around the perimeter of that VCOC patch. The gear-and-flowing-banner design is fetching, but the perimeter of that patch has got to be like fifteen freaking feet long.

So I'll sign off now, the distraction of penning this little ditty has kept the devil at bay, and now I have dinner preparation to keep me busy.

Sayonara buckaroos!


16 comments:

  1. David, I've never been mistaken for a police officer but I have been mistaken for a someone who works on the Wolfe Island Ferry. It was the high viz jacket (basic safety colour) had nothing to do with patches or helmet just being dressed in bright green when everybody else was in shorts and Ts.

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    1. Karen, I like to think that people who ride are just more self-assured and spunky than your everyday run-of-the-mill person, so we stand out.

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  2. That you can see is splendid, that you didn't apply the police patch is even splendid-er, but as club member 25 you are now obliged to go mad with mirrors and lights a la mod. That would be perfect. Masse a la mod.

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    1. Ha! Michael I wouldn't know where to start. Some of those mods are nutso-crazy-bananas with all the mirrors and lights.

      I could practice Masse-à-la-mode in other ways... maybe a side of vanilla ice-cream?

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  3. Back in the my Army cadet days, I used to be a badge-hunter....went to parachute, air-assault, jungle warfare school just so I could wear the respective patch on my uniform....so I understand. These days, it's just a BMW logo on the right shoulder and a URAL patch on my jacket along with the US flag on the left shoulder. Nothing more.

    Back when I had a white helmet, I was often mistaken for a police officer as well, especially since my riding gear is all black with reflective striping. Amusing at first, then a bit concerning as you mentioned. It doesn't happen that much anymore now that my helmet is no longer a white one. Not to mention, what kind of cop would show up in a red/white sidecar rig? :)

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    1. Go back to a white helmet and paint the side car two tone white and black, and the fun will begin again. Plus, I understand that Colorado is an 'open carry' state, so you could even sport a tasteful 9mm, maybe silver bullets to round out the mis-impression.

      Nah, that would be too Lone Ranger-ish.

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  4. I am always hesitant to sew on patches. Aside from not wanting to poke my fingers with the needles, I worry about when the jacket is worn and no longer useable. Does one painstakingly remove the patch or sigh with resignation and let it go?

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    1. Brandy the hard part is sewing them on. Taking them off is easy-peasy with a seam ripper. Except that the jacket will show a non-faded area where the patch was. The key is to be like Karen and her gloves. Wear'em until they're really and truly done for, then cut the patch off, and good riddance to the jacket.

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  5. I don't put patches on my riding gear since most of it is Gore-Tex or one of its clones. I figure that I shouldn't poke holes in the material. I know that I could hear seal on the back side but that's just one more thing to do.

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    1. I have a Gore-Tex windbreaker that, along with an incredible lightweight down liner, are my go-to travel jackets. I would have a patch or two on that jacket, but for the Gore-Tex. Heat sealing the seam on the back might be an option on the Gore-Tex jacket, but not on a riding jacket.

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  6. You are quite the handy man to have around in the house. I have a variety of patches on my club cut, among others a Canada flag and your Vespa target sticker. Both are often discussed, I wonder why...

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    1. And now, as you'll soon know, you and Roland will face the same challenge with the Vespa Club of Canada crests. I wonder what your member numbers will be?

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    2. 27 (Sonja) and 28 (Roland). Thanks for this, David ;-)

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  7. David the Mountie...in a bank....with an ultramodern Mountie uniform....:) I've not been a patch-wearer but I'm gathering quite a pin collection since most of our rallies award attendance pins. I tried a bunch of them on a goofy hat but that didn't work very well, nor was very practical. I've thought about poking them in my tank bags or soft saddle bags and lately, my Viking Tail bag. Maybe this year.

    Good on you and your sewing David. I've done nothing as fine. My only experience has been sewing some tent and luggage straps together and they are ug-ah-lee.

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    1. Doug, think shadow box! A three-D extravaganza of moto pins, hang it in the den or family room. You'll have fond memories every day of the year.

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