Cheap Sparkles

Cheap Sparkles

At our local Harley Run where bikers rumble from thousands of miles away, men carry chains of pretty beads-cheap but sparkly. Some politely, but a number with raunchy leers ask passing women some version of “show me your tits.”

Surprisingly, about half the women comply and, in return, the men hand over glittering chains in payment. Crude, yes…but there is an odd sweetness about the whole thing. The men ask every woman–no matter how old, or fat, or out of shape. Perhaps they are rabid breast aficionados but their manner almost seems to suggest that all the women are attractive—some more than others but, nonetheless, all the women are desirable. Decorated with shimmering strands, plain or pretty, the recipients strut off feeling sexy.

The men range from doctors and lawyers pretending to be badass for a weekend to Hell’s Angels with coarse prison tattoos decorating their bodies. The women vary from muscled biker chicks to sweet grandmotherly types. The participation from both genders draws from across class and age groups. The jewelry has no monetary value but I imagine most are not tossed away quickly but, instead, hung across a bedpost or beside a mirror for several months to remind the woman that she is delightful to look upon–and thus the beads are priceless.



  • Is this a picture of YOUR beads, Kym? 😉

  • They are my beads BUT I didn’t earn them. When I wouldn’t flash my breasts, some of the guys gave me beads anyway–one guy gave me this incredible arm sized bunch. He said I was the most beautiful woman there….Of course, he fell down drunk soon after…but, Hey, I believe him.

  • Ha! Reminds me of my brief weekend in New Orleans – and no, I didn’t earn any beads. Hubby was worried after all the “Hand Grenades” we drank that I might be up for some new jewelry, but even a drunken state I knew that somehow, somewhere, a pic would get back to my parents. Yes, at 32, I still worry about that :-).

  • That was the reason I gave everyone. “It’s a small town. My parents/husband would see.” But the truth is, I’m for a little more mystery and a lot less display. I don’t think the other women did anything wrong actually. I just don’t feel that baring even my younger selves’ breasts would make me feel proud.

  • Ok, everybody who believes one word of what Kym just said, say “I”.

    Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.


  • About ten years ago, I was standing up on the top of the hill overlooking the huge crowd of Harley riders down in front of the stage, when this grizzled old Harley rider came up and stood beside me. He proudly gazed over the crowd, and he said to me; “This is quite a crowd, doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists, and so on, but the other ninety-five percent of us are the scum of the earth.”.

    I normally would repeat something like that, but he seemed to get a great deal of humor out of it. It was like he had inside information or something.

  • Well those are Mardis Gras beads and that is Mardis Gras tradition. I wonder how it ended up at the Harley run?

  • Janie,
    I’m her cousin – grew up around her. And while she is open and unashamed, (and has helped mold my views about my own body), I doubt she would bare her breasts intentionally to strangers – unless, of course, she were compensated with much more than Mardi Gras beads. Is that accurate, Kym? 😉

  • Old hippies, of which I am one, are fairly blase about nekked people of both sexes. We’ve seen so much skin that its just not very exciting anymore. Just another swimming hole. However, I must say that the thought of naked women riding around on Harleys piques my interest. I imagine them as motorized Valkyries with vast manes of hair and statuesque bodies. I suspect the reality is different but nevertheless…
    Max, maybe you could pitch the Ring Cycle to Julie Taymor… with Harleys yet. I must say, it’s brilliant.

  • Hey, they even offered to buy my raffle tickets for the quilt. The bidding got up to about 100 dollars worth of tickets with various guys putting in but I, [wo]manfully, refused. You know me well, Heather.

    Max, I don’t know how it ended at the Run but it fits.

    Ernie, that story fits with what a few other guys have told me.

    Ben, If you haven’t been to the Harley Run, I’ll let you work my booth next year for a ticket. You’ve got to see the other world that exists in there. Some of the Valkyries you describe are actually riding. Some, of course, are a little less stunning but all are greeted with hoots and whistles.

  • You are much more… modest? circumspect? shy? than I am, Kym.

    For a hundred bucks worth of quilt raffle tickets, they’d have seen a lot more than boobs…

    Just sayin’.


  • I’m sure they would have been …er…”interested” in the results 8)

  • Possibly shocked.

    But when you start throwing beads indiscriminately, you just have to be prepared for whatever happens.


  • “For a hundred bucks worth of quilt raffle tickets, they’d have seen a lot more than boobs…”
    JanieBelle – June 17, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Sign that girl up for some fund-raising! We could really spice up the next bake sale…..

  • Umm, I think I remember hearing that at a Redwood Run one of our volunteers let men lick her breasts if they bought tickets….

    Somehow that didn’t seem quite the right image. Although she meant well, maybe she wasn’t a good fit for the school booth.

    And Janie’s breasts. while surely delightful, are probably more to your and my tastes than the bikers.

  • “Janie’s breasts. while surely delightful, are probably more to your and my tastes than the bikers.”

    NOW I’m curious.

  • Heh. 30 seconds of research would cure that right up.

    A couple minutes will even get you photographs, Kato.

    🙂 hehehe

    I so tickle me.

  • I’m not telling her “secret” –you have to follow her links to see her photos.

  • I’d paddle her bottom and send her home, but that’s not likely to have the intended effect.

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