SAINT LUCIA ISLAND, The Caribbean, April 20: Feeling the pressure of a volcano-racked, tanking global tourism economy, friendly Saint Lucia Island is rolling out the red carpet. Why not let giggling tourists buzz about on lightweight scooters without helmets, the better to enjoy the sun and sea air, have perhaps a couple too many umbrella drinks and drop some cash in a duty-free shop or three? No problem. Naïve part-time Saint Lucian lawmakers wrote a simple law, then adjourned for lunch. Riders of machines with seat heights lower than 23.5 inches could now operate two-wheelers in urban areas without helmets. Problem solved and more fun insured for cash-laden tourists!
All was well until early this year, when Top Fuel Rentals hung out its shingle. Specializing in blown top-fuel drag bikes with 23-inch seat heights, business is booming. The rental checkout process is short: "Here's the throttle. Here's the brake. Don't touch this-it gets hot. Visa or MasterCard?"
Geared for the 30-mph island speed limit, initial acceleration is brisk, and renters are assured a memorable experience. As you can see, Adult Contemporary artist Kenny G is a regular customer, trading the soulful stylings of his saxophone for the rip-saw meat-rending power of a blown inline-four. Success with the ladies is assured; hot blondes are bred in squalid pens by the local government for the enjoyment of the tourists. Island paradise? Indeed!