You awaken to the last rays of sunset as they dissipate through the prismatic windows of a sumptuous penthouse suite perched high above the city. On the Mississippi, tiny lights twinkle as boats ferry passengers on their errands of pleasure. The city is buzzing with a subsonic energy tonight.
You are seated at the head of a long table. Your unknown companions seated on either side pause their animated conversation to turn their faces in your direction. At the far end of the table, a spoon taps a glass in a civil plea for attention.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the Memphis Kings, our guest has awakened,” announces a dignified man’s voice from the direction of the sunset. Cigar smoke lazily envelops a high wing-back leather chair which slowly swivels around.
From inside the chair, the ruggedly handsome features of Dr. Jay, indomitable leader of Memphis’ premier scooter club, can be discerned behind mirrored aviator shades.
“You have done well… Chris,” Jay drawls, tenting his fingers. “We have watched you, and your bravery in the face of evil has inspired us all to greater acts of service for our beautiful city. Together with your friend,” he continues, gesturing to Junior, seated along the side of the table, “you have released the true Secret of rock ‘n roll to the entire world. That is as it should be. The King would approve.”
Dumbfounded, you turn to Junior, who merely shrugs. “I ought to have an attack of the sugar-diabetes more often. I got two shots of bourbon; a very fine BBQ sandwich; a Moon Pie; a copy of the King James Bible and a Rolling Stones bumper sticker,” he recounts. “The EMTs arrived before the pretty young pre-med student could start in on the mouth-to-mouth, though…”
In the corner of the room a familiar figure gleams: Kathy! She’s safe! But something has changed. Every piece of exposed metal, from her alloy wheels to her brake levers, has been replaced with a similar part made of SOLID GOLD. Also, with a pang of regret, you notice that your prized helmet has been replaced by a solid gold copy. It’s probably not D.O.T.-approved, but it looks really sharp.
“That’s how we reward good deeds round these parts,” Jay says coolly.
Junior pats his shirt pocket, and your eyes are drawn to the dull gleam of golden drumsticks protruding from it.
“And that’s not all,” adds another member of the club, sliding a flat shirt box over to you and smiling expectantly. Still reeling from all the sight of all that gold, you gingerly lift the lid, and pull out the special edition Amerivespa 2016 Memphis mechanic’s shirt, woven, naturally, from fabric of the purest gold.
This is the most touching gift, because you had neglected to order yours prior to the cutoff date of May 15th.
The shirt fits like a glove.
“Come on, everybody!” Jay calls, rising up out of his chair before you can begin to express your gratitude. “Time to blow this joint. It’s Scooter Night down on Beale Street. Let’s rock ‘n roll!”
This is the actual end. That’s all, folks. Thanks for playing. Now get out of here.