Two Irritants


An open letter to Sheriff John Lovick.

I’ve been meaning to write you about two sore subjects and today, as the winter winds blow, I decided it was time.

The first subject of my ire is the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  Well, maybe not so much the motorcycles themselves as the modifications made to them by the numb-skulls who replace the factory exhaust system with straight pipes.  Not long ago, when the weather was warmer, I was sitting at the light controlling Highway 9 and Lowell-Larimer Road when some poser on his shiny H/D pulled up on my left.  It was some doctor/dentist/lawyer/engineer/programmer/accountant/entrepreneur on his spic-and-span bike and natty leather duds out playing weekend badass.  To conform to the image he wanted to project, he had the afore mentioned straight pipes.  The din was awful.  Despite the beautiful day, I almost put up the window.

Then the light turned green and the s.o.b. opened the throttle.  The motorcycle blasted out an ear-splitting crackle that was truly painful, leaving my left ear to ring for almost an hour.  The biker let out the clutch, turned and went north on Highway 9.  I could still hear that damned motorcycle as I crossed Highway 9 and approached Springetti (sp) Road.

Sheriff Lovick, you and I both know that if I equipped my car with a boom-box subwoofer, or removed its exhaust muffler and replaced it with a straight pipe, I’d get a ticket so fast it would make my head swim — as would the trucker with an unmuffled Jacobs engine brake going down the Highway 9 decline.  So why the special treatment for Harley riders?  Why are they given a free pass on making engine noise when the drivers of cars and trucks get hammered for doing the same thing?  It’s long past the time when such childish and anti-social behavior be left unpunished.  If I have to keep a muffler on my old Toyota, the Harley dude should keep them on his bike.

The second subject if my ire is the jacked-up pickup with headlights so high in the air they truly blind oncoming drivers.  On a rainy night, when it’s hard to see anyway, the dazzling headlights on these mutts’ pickups make it impossible to see the fog line or anything else, including the incautious pedestrian who chooses to wear black and walk on the pavement.  Unless these pickup trucks are lowered back to factory height, someone is going to get killed.

In sum, Sheriff Lovick, your deputies should be writing fit-it tickets to loud motorcycles and jacked-up trucks.  I know, I know: The bikers will howl like banshees and bleat about their freedoms and whine about the money they’ve invested in their rides, but the rest of us will have far more enjoyable — and safer — experiences as we drive around Snohomish County.

-Merlin-

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