Edwin The Motorcycle Courier - Last Page

Edwin, Valiant Motorcycle Courier Of The Grasslands

In the early days, Edwin had made fistfuls of Sterno-huffing money as a motorcycle courier, shuttling grain-future IOUs from one wheat baron to the next across the featureless Kansas grasslands. The excitement of it fed his soul, and stories of his riding prowess and dashing good looks made him something of a local legend. The plaintive wail (actually more of a misfiring, sooty rumble) of his Indian was as familiar a sound as the clickety-clack of the threshing machines and the staccato chugga-chugga of the diesel milking pumps. (You'll have to cut us a little slack here on the farm sound effects, because we've never been east of Willow Springs.)

Then Edwin had a "recreational accident" in the '70s-turns out Sterno is not only a mood enhancer, but also flammable-and he was forced to close the business for a number of years. When he finally wheeled the Indian out into the Kansas sunshine once again, the customers had, for the most part, gone. But a much older Edwin soldiered on, scratching out a living the only way he knew how, servicing his few remaining clients.

Today's run-a rush delivery-is almost over. It has been an epic 7-mile loop to retrieve a critical prescription for Old Lady Hoffsteder and whisk it at top speed to her house. Nearing his destination, Edwin rolls the throttle full-open for the final glory-dash down into the shallow valley. Holding off his braking till the last second for the treacherous mailbox turn, he banks the noble Indian hard-over. At a sick lean angle, his right pedal almost skims the tarmac as the Hoffsteder house looms into view. Edwin feels exultant, the tremendous riding skill of his youth still fully intact. The only thing that could possibly make the moment sweeter would be if he'd actually remembered to pick up the medication back at the pharmacy. Just another day in the life of Edwin, valiant motorcycle courier of the grasslands.