Bite Me nearly wet herself the first time she heard one of her new Phoenix pals say – with a straight face, even – that the traffic around here bummed him out. When her nose had stopped running and the laugh-shakes had finally settled down to small convulsions, your ever-lovin' host tried to compose herself well enough to tell her Valley buddy that he didn't, pardon the expression, know what the fuck he was talking about.
But if some Arizonans don't know what it's like to inch over the Sepulveda Pass on a Friday afternoon with a million Angelenos all squeezing onto the same crumbling freeway designed for 1950s traffic flow, at least the locals do have a firm grip on car culture. Like L.A., this place was built as a friggin' monument to the automobile. Problem is, some drivers think the damn roads were laid out as a monument to them. Like the freakazoid Bite Me found herself behind last week on her way to a Sunday brunch. The Chevy-drivin' fool thought a green light meant he should take a nap. So Bite Me tooted her horn.
Big mistake. The freak turned around, peered through his loaded gun rack, fondled a rifle menacingly, and decided to hunt down your humble narrator, chasing her all the way down Scottsdale Road. Sweet Jesus! Even in L.A. she never got more than the obligatory raised finger.
Imagine her relief when Bite Me shook off Road Rage Man and pulled into Sugar Daddy's, her destination and another shrine to the internal combustion engine. In this case, she means the gleaming, chrome beauties manufactured by Harley-Davidson that get parked by the dozens in a sparkling array. To her joy, Bite Me found sanctuary among the leather-clad two-wheel crowd on Sugar Daddy's patio. And not just the dentists decked out in hundreds of dollars' worth of shiny black leather pretending to be bad-asses, but also the genuine article. Like the road-weathered guy sucking on an unfiltered Camel and downing whiskey neat – at 11 in the freakin' morning – who looked in the direction of the wanna-bes and uttered, "Fucking pussies." Sing it, biker boy!
Bite Me ordered a Tabasco-soaked Bloody Mary and a plate of biscuits smothered with Grandma's peppery sausage gravy and set about finding her first victims. No sooner had she sucked down her first cocktail than she spotted a vision in hot pink, a biker babe fresh from Minnesota who was clad in bubblegum leather pants and flanked by sexy men. Pay dirt! Bite Me obnoxiously invaded their space and grilled them on what makes bikers tick. And go figure, these folks were all too happy not only to pose on their bikes, but even to help Bite Me straddle a Hog. Sensing all that power between her legs, she finally understood the attraction.
Bite Me decided there may be no better way to deal with a Sunday morning hangover than the Biker Brunch at Sugar Daddy's. She ordered up another Bloody Mary and set out to make nice with the scruffy dude with the bulging muscles smokin' the unfiltered Camel. Grrrr.
Lucy Rawleigh, Colin McLure, Lance Rowskie and Steve Stewart
Caterer, telecom technician, pastry chef, rock company owner
Bite Me: Lucy, I haaaad to come up to you. Look at you with that pink ensemble and your biker gear. You rock! Where are you from? What do you do?
Lucy: I'm a caterer. I make wedding cakes. I just moved here from West Bloomington, Minnesota, so I could ride my bike.
Bite Me: Can't you ride your bike in Minnesota?
Lucy: Not all year round. Only for three months a year.
Bite Me: I lived there for a few years back in the early '80s. It's frickin' cold. They canceled school because it was too cold to leave the house, freezing cold.
Lucy: Well, yeah, the roads are closed so you can't go anywhere.
Bite Me: So tell me about wedding cakes? Who usually orders the wedding cake? The bride?
Lucy: The bride usually.
Bite Me: Are they hard to deal with? What kind of cake do they order? Do they order what they've been dying to eat after starving for months?
Lucy: I usually give them a choice of the cakes I make. They might show me a picture of what they like and I'll gear it down or make it bigger depending on what they decide.
Bite Me: Do you usually go to the weddings?
Lucy: I do because I'm usually making it for someone I know. (If y'all were wonderin' . . . Lucy has an accent featuring only the cool parts of Frances McDormand's in Fargo.) That's why I don't know enough people down here to do it yet.
Bite Me: So, do you cook at home?
Lucy: I do.
Bite Me: And are you a good cook? I mean, what's your specialty?
Colin: She's a great cook!
Lucy: I went to chef school, but I do mainly wedding cakes.
Bite Me: I'm partial to Midwestern food myself and have found the food to be really different here.
Lucy: It's cilantro everything. So, do you ride?
Bite Me: Not on a regular basis. I had a nasty spill on a bike back in high school. It would seem I ain't meant to be on two wheels. So, how long have you been riding?
Lucy: I started as a kid but only got back into it about 10 years ago. I have two bikes – one is a pink-and-white sportster with Marilyn Monroe on the tank and the other is a Roadglide with the Rolling Stones on the tank.
Bite Me: Wow! Stones and pink. You're like the best of all possible worlds.
Lucy: You should talk to Colin. He'll talk to you.
Lucy: He's my best friend in the whole world.
Bite Me: Well, listen, Colin, Lucy said you'd talk to me. So you're gonna have to sit down.
Colin: Whoa! Damn! (Colin doesn't seem to mind being told what to do in the least.)
Bite Me: What's it called when you whip someone and order them around?
Bite Me: Hey, I'm just being me.
Colin: So where are your handcuffs? (Bite Me glanced down at her belt loop for her cuffs, only to find that she'd forgotten them.)
Bite Me: Shit. (Bite Me makes a mental note to keep an array of bondage accessories with her on assignments.)
Lance: We used to advertise with New Times. We had an evaporative cooling business.
Bite Me: What the fuck is evaporative cooling?
Colin: So when we read this, will we read "what the bleep is evaporative cooling?"
Bite Me: No, we don't edit out the word "fuck." It's quite often the very best word for the occasion. I'm not out here to edit the public or myself, just to get the scoop on what real people say. I hate vanilla people with no spark.
Lucy: I need to get your phone number. I need to go out with girls like you.
Bite Me: We're Midwestern girls. Of course we need to hang out!
Lucy: I have no girlfriends to go out with. I'm not working at all so you can call me anytime.
Bite Me: You're not drunk, are you?
Colin: She never drinks when she's riding her bike. Never.
Bite Me: So tell me, Lance, what the hell is evaporative cooling?
Lance: It's cooling with water through pads.
Bite Me: They really need that shit out here, don't they?
Lance: Well, yeah, Arizona is one of the cooling capitals of the world. But I did that for quite a few years. (Bite Me later learns from her Phoenix friends that evaporative cooling is what you get when you can't afford the rent on a place with air conditioning. She's told that all of this local obsession with cooling will become abundantly logical to her in a few more months.)
Bite Me: Colin has beautiful blue eyes. (In the event it doesn't come across in his photo, let the record reflect that Colin's eyes are a gorgeous cerulean blue. Settle down, ladies. He's taken. But those eyes are a sight to behold.)
Lucy: He does.
Bite Me: Colin, you sort of look like Russell Crowe but not. Because I think Russell Crowe is a little too, well, he could almost be ugly. But you're like the pretty Russell Crowe. I'm not hitting on you. I'm just pointing out the obvious.
Colin: Thanks so much. You're right, though, I have a girlfriend.
Bite Me: Lucky duck.
Lance: Can we have your number?
Colin: Maybe you're gonna end up with a biker boyfriend.
Lance: We can ask Lucy for her number since they've already exchanged them.
Bite Me: Apparently you find me quite enticing. Or perhaps something of a circus freak. Maybe it's my trashy language or the fact that I'm hopped up on Bloody Marys before noon. No telling which of these glorious traits is drawing you in. . . . So, what do you do for a living biker boy?
Lance: I'm a pastry chef at a resort. Before that I owned an evaporative cooling company.
Lance: I don't need to use pastries.
Bite Me: Of course you don't. Perhaps, though, you should use it to keep the ladies in the lair. No hot chickie ever left a fella who fed her cream puffs. So, lead me to your bike. (Lance and Steve lead Bite Me out to their spectacular rides with a skip in their step. They have much to be proud of and are all too happy to allow her to share the love.)
Steve: You should sit on Lance's bike. You want to?
Bite Me: Are you kidding me? I'd love to.
Steve: Have a seat and straddle it. How's that feel? Let him put the kickstand up and you can feel what it's really like. Hold the handlebars so she can turn the wheel. (Lance complies.)
Bite Me: I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. I'm king of the fuckin' world. I am never getting off this bike. Bring me a drink!
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.