“Welcome to the P.O.W. house. If you don’t like it, get the fuck out.”
THE POW HOUSE
· Thursday, 4/7/94
I showed up around 7:00 pm for the usual after work riding session and found Dave Clymer down on the ground in the shed looking for a matching set of rims. Dave was wearing some ripped up old Vision shorts with no underwear, no shirt and some unlaced Airwalks with no laces or socks. What was left of his shorts was being held up with a rope or something and he’s got a forty ounce bottle of OE in his hand. His weird mohawk hair set-up is looking pretty strange these days. To top it all off he’s starting to compile homemade tattoos. On one shoulder he let some rider kid do a P.O.W. deal above an ahnk that’s supposed to symbolize everlasting life. On the other arm he’s got this huge unfinished bondage chick that’s going to be part of an S & M Bikes logo.
S & M is Dave’s primary sponsor and the bike company I helped co-found back in ‘87. We’ve been lucky to have Dave as our main rider for the last five years. In that time Dave’s name has become almost synonymous with S & M and what industry executives have labelled “the grunge element”.
As a testament to Dave’s marketing value we recently used a mail order ad to sell all of Dave’s old dreadlocks for $2.00 each. Then we sold some other kids’. Even after cutting each dread into three or four pieces we ran out and had to cancel the ad because kids were still sending money.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Dave moved out to California in ‘88 to ride and race more often. He quickly became one of the world’s fastest and most well-known professional racers. His aggressive come-from-behind riding style and hardcore tactics never made him any friends on the track but did make Dave the ultimate underdog hero for little BMX punks everywhere. He was once described by a major publication as “the dirtiest rider in the BMX”. The pun was of course intended. Lately, Dave’s attention has been focused on the world of freestyle which he has since turned upside down. Dave’s outrageous antics include huge ramp-to-ramp backflips and plenty of Evil Knievel-style stunts. Unlike anyone in BMX before him, Dave has successfully made the transition from weightlifting BMX stud to chain smoking freestyle daredevil. Now twenty-five years old Dave is making a living as a part-time mover and a full-time freestyle showman.
Right now Dave’s down in his shed digging through a bunch of shit. It resembles that scene in Star Wars where Luke and Hans Solo are in that garbage compactor thing fighting for their lives and that big snake thing pulls Luke down, you know. Anyway, the shed is like that, only smaller, about 10? by 5?. It was originally built just to house the water heater. Dave has since turned it into his own little room. To make it more liveable he’s added a bunk bed and a new electrical outlet. The pile of filthy clothes, bike parts, and porno mags that was once four inches deep in the room I shared with him is now two feet deep in the tiny shed.
He’s been working on his bikes for the last two weeks nonstop and still hasn’t gotten anywhere. At the moment he’s building up another complete bike he was given to do shows on so he can sell it to some kid for $250.00. He needs to make it look good because the kid’s dad is coming to look at it. Since this bike building project began two weeks ago Dave has only been out of the house a few times and all of his trips have been to the liquor store for beer and cigarettes. With freestyle shows starting at the local amusement park on Monday, he needs to finish at least one bike soon.
After riding I venture back into the house. I skip the living room and head straight for the back room where “Cruisin” Chris is hard at work on issue #2 of his BMX Racing magazine. Cruisin has his door locked and he’s not answering me. I ask his roommate Jay to let me into the room so I can check out the computer setup but he won’t. He acts really mysterious about it all and says Cruisin will spot my footprints in the carpet.
Across the hall, a bunch of guys are smoking some pot they just got brought down from L.A. They are using the infamous “four footer”. Kids have passed out after just one hit from this ridiculous bong. Griffin, another S & M team rider and two year P.O.W. clears the 48-inch chamber, grabs a cigarette and says he’s ready for a session on the ramp. He proceeds to rip the ramp apart on both his bike and his skateboard.
At twenty-one, Griffin is the youngest guy in the house. He moved out to California from Pennsylvania two years ago to escape the bad weather and to ride more. Living mainly off checks from his mom, I think Griffin is on a permanent vacation. Other than a little moving work here and there he spends the majority of his time sitting around the house smoking, or out riding the ramp or some local jumps.
Cruisin finally lets me into his room to see the operation. A set of bunk beds, tons of audio tapes, a nice stereo, a TV, VCR, computer setup, you name it, this is the secret blue door magazine room. Right now, Cruisin is doing photo selection and the monitor has some page layout graphic on it. Cruisin says he’s printing 5,000 issues of BMX Racing magazine, his current brainchild. Unfortunately for his advertisers they think he’s printing 10,000. With his first company, RAD Accessories, Cruisin marketed number plates and safety pad sets. According to Cruisin the whole deal ended with some weird buyout, but I think he just traded the name to some guy he owed money. Nevertheless, it was enough to establish Cruisin as a bonafied member of the BMX industry. That was back in Virginia before his big move to Southern California. BMX was born over twenty years ago right here in L.A. county and [?], the birthplace of BMX. Seventies and continues to be the epicenter of the sport today. He just got out here and he’s having a hard time getting advertisers to pay his bills so Cruisin’s looking for a job until the magazine picks up. He says after three issues he’ll be established.
We skate and ride until 8:30 when Sal, the house watchdog shuts the lights off while I’m in the middle of a run. Cruisin goes to go pick Big Island up from the hospital where he was having a cast put on his broken arm. Someone threw their bike off the ramp a few days ago and broke Mike’s arm. Mike is visiting from Hawaii but is slowly becoming a resident of the house. His T-shirt company, Lip clothing, has just released ten new shirts. Not ten new designs, ten new shirts…period. They feature his new I heart beer logo which doesn’t seem to be selling. When he finally gets rid of all ten he’s gonna come out with his next product, the I heart Ibuprofen shirt. For now he’s surviving off the two dollars kids send him in the mail for product info and stickers. He paid for the ad in the magazine back when he was in Hawaii working. Luckily, because he is so broke he got some state insurance deal to pay for his hand.
From the house we went to Club 5902, a local bar that has “Disco” night every Thursday. The passes the guys collect get us in free before 10 pm. I made it on time but nobody else from the house did. When the chick at the door asked everyone for five dollars because it was after 10, they all went home.
11:30 pm. Lawann is riding his bike to a local hotel where some shady friends of his are spending the night. Griffin makes a few jokes about Lawann fucking some fat girl and Lawann just laughs and says he’s gonna do some drinkin’ and smokin’…that’s it. We spend the next few hours watching American Me. After the movie, Big Island suggests we hit the titty bar. Mike is the only guy from the house that has enough energy to drag himself off the couch for the trip. Since it was already 1:30 by the time we got there, we convinced the doorman to let us in for free. 2:30 am. Dave is still digging around in his shed trying to build that bike. It doesn’t seem like he’s made any progress at all.
· Friday, 4/8/94
I ask the guys at the local jumps why the big double jumps are called the P.O.W.s and nobody seems to know. I think somebody from the house built it for the first time a few years ago. There are a bunch of kids that come back here behind the river bed and build jumps everyday. One local we call Rat Boy just put a really steep lip on the P.O.W.s and I crash really bad. I stop off at 7-11 to get some beer for the pain, then head to the house.
It’s about 7:00 pm now. The house is just about empty except for Big Island and Jay. Everybody is working for the moving company today. Moving is a sketchy deal. Crazy ex-cons on speed moving FBI offices an stuff. The work is sparse, but when it’s on it’s on. Twenty-four hour shifts aren’t out of the ordinary. With rent at only 80 something bucks a head, one day of work could pay someone’s bills for an entire month. Oh yeah, they worked a ten hour shift moving some offices. I can’t remember any fucked up stories from this particular night. There are so many moving stories. A couple weeks ago, Lawann told me about this guy that just fell out of the van on the road. I’ve been hearing the stories for so long, nothing really phases me anymore. I’ve been trying to get on a job just for this story but the guy that runs the company hates my guts because of some shit John Paul wrote about his kid in Ride magazine. The moving guy’s name is Bingo Reyes and his kid Anthony is a totally rad rider from the neighborhood. That’s the connection that got everyone moving. But for some reason Bingo thinks I own the magazine and no matter what people tell him he hates me. When the story first came out with his kid he got on the microphone at a race in Las Vegas and caused a really big scene. His teary-eyed speech ended with him screaming “This magazine is not worth the paper it’s printed on. You have not heard the last of Bingo Reyes.” It kills me that this guy hires a bunch of speeded-out gangsters to do his business for him but he can’t handle his kid getting quoted saying that he likes big tits. His employees sneak off into corners and get high. People hiding, stealing shit, getting high, doing lines, it’s fucked up. One time Keith Treanor got caught hiding, or playing volleyball or something. This one kid, Gonz, was seen sneaking off into a field and hiding. Even crackhead Ned moved before. They said he couldn’t get out of bed for a week after that. John Paul moved before. The White Bear used to move for a couple different companies. I’ll have to get some good stories later.
Big Island calls up What a Lot Pizza and orders a few larges for only $3.99 a piece. The WALA guys know everybody at the house now, and the orders come in simply from “the bikers”. Today’s driver was new though and he was wandering all over the street. He went to Mrs. Iroquois’ house across the street and then to the Sand People’s house next door before Big Island started yelling at him, which was funny because the guy turned out to be deaf, for real. Eventually he saw Mike waving his arms around and came over.
Iroquois is a strange street. The houses themselves aren’t unusual, just older single-story tract houses. It’s the motley crew of local characters that makes it weird. At first the etc., etc., etc. [?-is like this in manuscript]
By the time everybody gets home, I’ve finished a six pack and start accusing everybody of being on crystal. I make all the usual remarks about the doorknob and hinge collections, making CB radios out of old shavers, whatever. Griffin freaks out and starts telling me that I don’t have any respect for his house and that I should get out. They drag themselves into the back room for a smoke session and I can hear them in there going crazy about me. Making a really big deal out of stupid little things like respecting the house can go on for hours, even days. When there are twenty-something people to tell the same exact story to, things seem to drag on forever. The funny thing is that when you are in the house it seems like everything that is going on is really important. So much information is being dished out, stories and stuff, you feel like something is happening. Fuck, you don’t even think you need to leave the house. Dave takes my truck to the store for beer and we turn our attention back to Single White Female.
Anyway, by the time Dave got back with a shitload of weird imported beers that only cost 50 cents each, we were heavy into the next movie, some assassin movie with the girl from Single White Female in it. It was Bridget Fonda. I was pretty drunk by this point. I’m pretty infamous for showing up at the house drunk and causing some huge scene. I can remember coming over with my fucked up friend Crazy Red right after he got out of jail for selling drugs and starting a food fight that turned into a full-blown furniture fight. Now the lamps are nailed to the walls. That little incident got me “banned” for a while.
Plenty of people have been “banned” from the house. Shit, I’ve been banned so many times even I can’t remember. I just don’t show up for a while and then everything is OK. The P.O.W.s are either very forgiving or very forgetful, because everybody comes back. Keith got banned after he crashed some party at a girl’s house, beat up some kids there with a pool stick and then came back to the house and tried to beat everyone up there too. The cops showed up and took Keith and Lawann both to jail. Imagine a full lineup of P.O.W.s in the front yard being IDed by the girl and the beat up kid. Before the cops showed up, Sal shaved off his dreads so the kid wouldn’t recognize him. Lawann is the only black kid in the house so they spotted him right away, and nobody could forget Keith’s face. When he gets drunk, Keith looks and acts even more psychotic than normal. Oh yeah, one of the cops that showed up and arrested Lawann and Keith was Craig Turner, son of Gary Turner of GT Bicycles. That was a funny coincidence.
Shade Nade got banned after a bunch of stuff kept turning up missing including Darrin’s handgun. People catch Ned wearing clothes that were buried way back in their closets. Ned is bad news. When nobody was home during the summer and I was watching the house, Ned had all kinds of crazy drug deals going down in the back room. I saw people doing lines on the living room table. A few of the Mansons were hanging around. Ned doesn’t even live at the house. As soon as Sal heard all that when he got home, Shade Nade was banned. Now he hangs out all the time. I think they need Ned around for pot.
The funniest ban ever has to be the ban on the White Bear, this friend of mine that used to live in the water heater room where Dave lives now. Steve got banned for “talking shit around the house”. Unlike the guys that need to come over to ride the ramps or get high or whatever, I don’t think Steve ever wants to come back anyway so it’s no big deal. But they like to talk about it. The big rumor lately is that Sal is going to kick Dave out of the house, which is really funny because Dave is the only original P.O.W. left in the house. The joke is that if they kick Dave out of the house, he’ll take the house with him. I don’t doubt it.
· Saturday, 4/9/94
Lawann left a message on my answering machine that was about three minutes of him going “Ah, hey, um, ahhhhhh, huh, aaaaah”. I called him back and he said he wanted to come in Monday and print some T-shirts. His last United States of Hate P.O.W. sneeches on the beaches shirts never got printed because he never gave me any money. Before that I printed P.O.W. St. Ides logo bite shirts for him and we ended up fighting over 20 bucks. I ended up with a huge gash on my head from his class ring. It was a really bad ordeal. Definitely the most bloodshed the house had ever seen. The wall had my blood squirted all over it. After it was all over the room was empty except for me and Lawann and he reached into his pocked and pulled out 20 bucks and handed it to me.
Everybody from the house spent the day at some indoor dual slalam mountain bike race in Long Beach where a bunch of BMXers dominated like usual. Nobody from the house has bothered trying to cash in on the easy money all the other Factory BMXers are getting so used to. According to Lawann, a whole race only lasted about eight seconds and the entire race was the biggest joke ever. Dave ended up going to downtown HB on the cheesy bar tour. Back at my house at 2:30 am, some crazy guy dressed in a pirate outfit called his chick a bitch, then slapped her a bunch of times before he collapsed on our corner crying really loud. The cops showed up and questioned the woman that had a huge sword on her belt. What the fuck?
THE POW HOUSE
· Sunday, 4/10/94
Dave woke up from the cheesy bar night with his own puke all over him. By 7:00 am he was working on his bike trying frantically to get ready for the first Magic Mountain show at 2:00 pm. The drive to the park is about two hours and Dave has a lot of work to do. Besides his inoperable bike, Dave’s car has two flats, a dead battery, and a funky screwdriver setup for an ignition. Dave lost the keys so Big Mike fixed it up Inglewood style. I don’t think Dave’s driven his car since he did shows at the L.A. County Fair about six months ago. By 2:00 pm Dave has given up on making it to the show. Even after jumping it, the car won’t start.
I show up around 2:00 pm and Dave is back in his shed with a porno mag getting ready to jerk off. His Toyota is in the driveway with the hood up, tools everywhere. It’s sitting on two flats and is packed full of spare bike parts. I think Dave realizes he has lost his privacy and comes out of the shed in that same pair of ratty Vision shorts drinking an Old English 40. We try jumping the car again…no luck. One quick look at his bike and we all figure out it’s not even rideable. So Dave sets out wrenching on it again. The car still doesn’t run and the bike still doesn’t work and there are only 20 hours left to get ready for tomorrow’s show. Dave can’t afford to lose the $100 a day twice. Besides, the promoter bought his story today, but another no show could end the deal. Luckily, Dave’s never even been late for a show in the past.
Lawan eventually creeps out of his room undisturbed about his lazy day. I ask him why he didn’t go to the big Richard Bartlett jumping contest with the rest of the house and he tells me Rich the promoter is a bigot. After a few hours of MTV, Lawan and Alex take my truck to the mall so Lawan can buy some shorts. Before leaving for the mall, Lawan changes into his funky fresh Filas and some new shorts. He says there are some ladies there.
It’s about 5:00 pm when Cruisin, Griffin, Sal, and Neal from England show up in the Radalac, Cruisin’s beat up ‘62 Cadillac. The race/contest was a flop. They were the only ones that showed up for the contest and Rich called it off. So they drove two hours each way to do a demo on some really lame track. There were only about 20 kids watching, and Neal ended up hurting himself. For all their efforts, Rich ended up giving them 40 bucks to split up. There was supposed to be a $200 purse-but that’s Rich. With the money they bought two cases of Budweiser for the house. Cruisin had to eat all the gas costs himself. I guess he figures it into the cost of doing the magazine. Rich promised him a full page ad in the next issue which costs $400, yeah.
Later, Jay, Scotty, and Mark get back from Venice Beach with a bunch of pot. Everyone’s running around calling it “candy”. The front room is suddenly busy. Jay’s got the four-footer in the kitchen working on it, Griffin is looking for his lighter. I don’t know exactly what everybody is doing but the whole scene reminds me of an Indy 500 pit stop. As soon as that bag pulled into the house people started running around getting loud and doing stuff. After the session, the smoking crew packed up and headed for the adult bookstore down the road. They call it “the spot”-16 channels, full doors with locks, paper towel dispensers in every booth-class. About $1.50 is enough to get any guy off. With any luck they’ll get a Todd Steen video. Todd is a fellow BMX guy that doubles as a porn star. Too much.
Eventually, Brian gets home from some shitty race in Minnesota. He had a good weekend but the track was built out of frozen dirt that thawed out during the race and turned into slop. Brian got a second and a third and came home with $1040.00 in prize money.
Magoo, John Paul and Greg Esser show up. Magoo goes crazy for a while pounding on the back doors and demanding some “candy”. Dave is still tinkering with his bike. I settle into the couch with a WALA pizza, a Bud, and Spinal Tap on TV. Cruisin is trying to get an ad out of Greg.
· Monday, 4/11/94
I didn’t get over to the house today. Work was way too hectic. We had a few big orders to take care of and I had to stick around pretty late. Big Island came by the shop on his way home from the hospital. He went there to get a new cast on his arm but after four hours in the waiting room he said fuck it and came over to the warehouse. Neal and Griffin came over with him. Neal was in his chick’s car and found a bunch of pictures of her and her high school friends in bikinis. Neal’s girl looks unreal. Really tan, big tits, fuckin’ crazy. She’s still in high school and she’s gonna pay Neal’s rent when he runs out of money in a few months so he won’t have to go back to England. Neal wants to stay out here and ride as much as possible. After we all look at the photos and Neal splits, Alex starts going on about how she must run back to school and tell everyone about her English boyfriend with the tattoos and a pierced dick. After laughing hysterically Alex starts into some story about some girls at an English rave. They were in the bathroom being taped by a hidden camera when one girl tells the others she’s got some Kettamin which is just a horse tranquilizer and the other girl says “Special K, you’re a hardcore bitch.” Alex starts laughing hysterically. Alex is always laughing hysterically.
Dave makes the show today. Lawan spent the day working on some rap tracks with a friend of his from school. Lawan is taking some record producing class. When he was younger and living in Michigan Lawan played drums in a hardcore band that put out a 12 song demo and played some local shows.
· Tuesday, 4/12/94
Alex and I didn’t show up at the house until about 7:30 pm so we rushed straight through the front room and back towards the ramp so we could get some runs in before closing time. Povah and Griffin were already riding. Povah just got back from some shows in Texas where he rode with Tony Hawk. Griffin is learning a ton of new tricks on the six-foot ramp. Sal and Scotty were drinking some big bottle of wine. It was just a normal night..until Dave got back from his show.
Before I even got my pads on Dave was running around the ramp asking me if I wanted to help him build a spine ramp for tomorrow’s show. What the fuck? By the time we were done riding, it would be close to 9 and Dave wanted to build a fuckin’ ramp. I didn’t think he was serious but he was. He was rambling about everything. He said he’d buy beer, pizza, whatever, he just needed a ramp by tomorrow. For some reason I said yes.
On the way out, Dave was screaming at everyone, running around babbling, talking to himself, humming songs, you name it. We should havebacked out right then. Sal was sitting in front of the stove cooking some food and bitching at Dave about the gas getting turned off. Dave might be a slacker when it comes to paying the bills but that’s partly because nobody ever gives him the money on time. I don’t think anybody realized it at the time but the stove burns gas so obviously the gas wasn’t turned off. The water heater had just been run down. It must have been one of those rare P.O.W. days when more than one person took a shower. By the time I made it back into the front room Dave was arguing with Griffin about the lawn. Dave was acting pretty fuckin’ weird. If any of the rumors I’d been hearing about Dave being a big speed freak were true, they would explain all this. Eventually we left.
A quick trip to the hardware store for coping and then to Jeffro’s house for power tools and we were off. Jeffro’s real name is just Jeff but he has a pretty big afro so everybody calls him Jeffro. He looks like Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter and I think he’s the street’s speed dealer.
From 10 pm to 5:30 am me and Alex built ramps. Dave cut a couple of boards and pulled some nails, but for the most part he just ran around in circles, smoked broken cigarettes and drank beer. Occasionally he’d start an argument about something stupid and then he’d get busy doing nothing again. The broken cigarettes were laying everywhere burning. They would fall out of Dave’s mouth and he’d just light a new one without even knowing what was going on. At 6:00 am we pulled up to the Gas-Mart with a five foot wide, four foot high spine ramp in the back of the truck. Budweiser still in hand, Dave goes in to get some burritos. As we pulled up to the house the sun was just coming up and Jeffro was riding up on his Diamond Back. After leaving Dave at his house with the truck and ramps, we took his car and came home to sleep.
· Wednesday, 4/13/94
Dave called me from the park. The truck made it up there but some hose blew off the engine causing it to overheat. I’ve driven the truck for three years and I’ve never blown any hoses off it…give it to Dave and shit just starts falling off. I think whatever Dave has is contagious. He also broke the handle that opens the gas-cap compartment from inside. Luckily, Dave brought one of the Mansons with him to help out and he knew what was wrong with the radiator hose. The Mansons are a bunch of speed freaks that live down the street. Dave’s been hanging out with them lately. Iroquois’ got a few houses of weirdos on it but the Mansons definitely take the cake.
Dave said the promoter shit when she saw the size of the ramp. It didn’t help any either that Dave hung up so bad on his first backflip attempt that he ripped the coping right off the top of the ramp. He said the audience was covering their faces in fear when he went for his second attempt. Just another day at the Say No to Drugs/Safety in Sports demo starring Dave Clymer.
· One week ending Wednesday, 4/20/94
I didn’t go to the house all week. The ramp building thing and the whole deal with Dave put me into a mild state of shock. Plus there was a race in Las Vegas and I had to go to San Francisco for a couple of days. In Vegas I crashed my brains out in my first moto and sprained both my wrists pretty bad. Lawan and Neil were both ripping in Superclass which is kind of like semi-pro. It’s not as hard as pro but you can still make plenty of money. I think they both made a few hundred bucks for the weekend. Brian was out front in pro all weekend and ended up with some ridiculous amount of money like normal, something like eight hundred or so. For Big Island, Rat Boy, and the rest of the kids in my truck, the weekend was a fucking nightmare. We drove all Friday night just making Saturday morning sign-ups by five minutes. It was about 400 fucking degrees and I spent most of Saturday lying in a field dosed up on pain killers in some kind of concussion daze. We eneded up sleeping in this kid’s garage Saturday night because all the cheap motels were booked solid. The kid wouldn’t even let us come into his house to use the bathroom so Alex went out back and shit on a lawn chair next to the kid’s ramp. He was going to shit in the coping of the ramp but he couldn’t get his ass up to the right angle. After Sunday’s race, we went to meet the rest of the P.O.W.s at the live jerk off spot downtown. Driving around in Vegas traffic is a pain in the ass and we usually spend most of our time there lost, but everybody knows where the jerk off spot is, so it’s a good meeting spot. My wrists were so fucked up I couldn’t even jerk off. I didn’t give a shit though because I really don’t like the place as much as everyone else does. I like clean little video booths with full-length locked doors and plastic seats. This place has video booths but the doors are saloon style. Plus they have these really big padded chairs that are hard to wipe off and that lean way back and cause you to nut all over yourself. Nobody comes here for the videos, they come here for the live booths.
In the live booth you stand up and put quarters in to keep the light on that allows you to see the girl that is dancing in the big ring. There are a bunch of booths in a big circle and the girl is in the middle. The quarters just keep the light on in your booth but you can’t really see the girl unless you slip dollar bills in through the tip slot so she’ll come near you. A few weeks ago when we were in Vegas for a freestyle contest I was standing there rubber-necking it so I could jerk off and see her dancing for someone else and the chick freaked out because I wasn’t tipping her. She was pounding on my window telling me I couldn’t jerk off without tipping her. I told her to fuck off. It’s a cheesy scene with all these girls walking around hitting all the windows yelling at everybody to tip. Sometimes they just sit down in their chair naked and smoke until someone tips. Fuck ‘em I’ll jerk off to that scene.
I was waiting out front for everyone to come out when Rat Boy came running out laughing. He put his dollar in the tip slot so the girl would come dance for him but right when he was nutting he grabbed it back out and ran. I think he thought the girl was gonna come after him. I’m surprised she didn’t.
· Thursday, 4/21/94
It’s been a week since I let Dave borrow my car and it still stinks. I have no idea what it smells like but it stinks. I roll the windows down all the time but it just won’t air out. I think he impregnated my seats with some strange shed fungus…who fuckin’ knows. Everybody at the house gives Dave a hard time about smelling like fish but this is different. Anyway, Dave left this morning for a freestyle contest in Pennsylvania and once again is the talk of the house. I guess he has a couple ounces of pot and a $100 bag of speed rocks on him and everybody thinks he’s in jail. Neal dropped him off at LAX but Keith called from PA and said Dave wasn’t on the plane and he didn’t make it to the airport. This story was the talk of the town for about 36 hours. People were calling around for Dave updates. I called his parents’ house to see if he had mad it but his parents had moved and the forwarding number they left with the new residents was the Allentown county elementary school lunch menu…turkey and potatoes. Eventually Dave turned up at the contest. He just missed his flight and caught a later one. It’s funny how out of hand the story got. Sometimes I think Dave does this shit on purpose. It’s an ingenious plan to become the most underground BMX cult hero of all time. Unfortunately for Dave I don’t think that’s the case, he’s just completely weird, and getting weirder by the minute. Last week he was telling someone that he was in the best shape of his life and since he was skinny he could pull off all these tricks that he would have crashed on when he was buff and 30 pounds heavier. “I can over-rotate and just pull out of it because I’m so little.” He’s probably right…as long as he really believes it it. And he does. The White Bear says Dave is the ultimate psycho-semantic superman. Yeah whatever Steve.
· Sunday, 4/24/94
Today was Lawan’s 22nd birthday so everybody pitched in three dollars and bought hamburgers and beer for a barbeque. A bunch of kids came over and rode while Scotty worked the new hibatchi under the deck of the ramp. They got the hibatchi at the swap meet and it cost everybody an extra $7 on their rent. The “house” spends rent money kind of like the government spends tax money. Today Brian was talking about raising the rent up to buy some light bulbs. I sat on the couch all day and watched TV. Crazy tattooed Jim came over with some guy and tried to get some pot. Ned sat and cleaned his speed pipe for most of the day. A few kids learned some new tricks on the ramp and I ended up losing the controller. There was a little skate session going on out front and Sal hooked up a basketball hoop and tried unsuccessfully to get a game going. At some point he started yelling at people about not washing their dirty dishes. I’ve always liked Sundays at the house. I guess just about everyday is Sunday at the house.
Unfortunately for the guys that live here, they don’t have much of a choice for now. None of the P.O.W.s have family west of the Mississippi, and $1075 a month split nine ways is a far cry from the $350 a month it costs most people to rent a room in the same area. Most of the guys already spent their money coming out to Southern California for the weather and the happening BMX scene. That’s always been the P.O.W. story. Luckily, being broke doesn’t seem that bad to a bunch of bikers with a backyard full of ramps and jumps. It’s not a lifestyle most people could handle but like the sign on the living room wall reads, “Welcome to the P.O.W. house. If you don’t like it, get the fuck out.”