I am sure everyone has heard the quote, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Today, I have the perfect story to go along with it. We had some errands to run today, so we took Drew to his choice of lunch. He chose TGIF’s. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were four motorcycles parked near us. We asked to be seated in the bar area so that we could watch The Met’s Game, (DJ and a friend were at the game). We were seated at a table right next to the bar, where there were four large, intimidating looking men sitting. They were all wearing biker jackets with a scary looking design on the back that read, “Joker’s Wild”. It had a scary joker/clown looking character and five playing cards with aces on four of them and a joker on the last. We assumed that they were the “bikers” whose bikes we had seen in the parking lot. They were talking with each other and to the bartender in big, loud, booming voices and I heard them talking about what, Jokers Wild on the jackets meant.
I could only hear snippets of what they were saying, but I was intrigued…Dave of course would call it, “eavesdropping”. I told him that I was going to just come right out and ask the guy about it! This is so out of my comfort zone, but most of my blog has been bringing me out of my normal comfort level!! So, as one of these very large, very unnerving men got up from his seat, I said, “Excuse me, can I ask you a question”? He looked at me, through his very black, very dark sunglasses, (that he was wearing inside), and said, “um, yes”. I told him that I was writing a kindness blog, and I had overheard him telling someone about his jacket and would he tell me more about it. He smiled, and passionately began to tell us about it.
Here is his explanation… of the jacket I found so intimidating at first:
The Ace of Spades represents God, The almighty, who we should be giving thanks to for everything that occurs in our lives. The Ace of Hearts, is for family – those who should be most important to you and come before everyone else other than God. The Ace of Spades represented responsibility and knowing that we need to do what is right and just, while taking care of everything in our lives. The Ace of Diamonds is for career and knowing that your job needs to be a priority in your life. That leaves The Joker. Who is your release. The person you can be, ONLY after you have taken care of all of the responsibilities in your life. He said that is, “the biker in him”. Once he knows that his personal life has been prioritized and taken care of, he can jump on his bike and be “someone else”. His alter ego in a sense. He told me, “You can be a joker, just don’t be no clown”!
Under his biker jacket he was wearing a tee-shirt that he told us was for the charity that he and his friends were riding in today. Today, he and his buddies were out on a ride raising money for AIDS awareness. On his arms, he had rubber bracelets that he was wearing from his last two charity rides.
These four, “intimidating men”, or so I thought, seemed to have hearts of gold. I learned that one was a police officer and another was a federal agent. They were good guys, who were just out, doing something for others, while releasing the joker inside of them! A lesson that was great to teach to Drew, about not judging a book by its cover, but also a lesson for myself. That jacket is not so intimidating to me anymore! Still a bit scary looking, (I have some irrational fear of clowns), but I love knowing that there is a story behind it and that in most cases, I am sure there is always a story. I just need to ask.
Tagged: bikers, don't judge a book by its cover, Joker's Wild, NY Mets, TGIF, TGIFridays
I’m with you on the irrational fear of clowns, Claire!!
love the story Claire !! y
Thank you for inquiring, stereotypes are for the birds. I was one of the guys sitting in that group of bikers. I also noticed you and your family enjoying each other. People like you are heaven sent…
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. (Psalms 143:8).”
Thanks so much for getting in touch. I teach Kindergarten and tell my students all of the time, (in Kindergarten terms..) that we NEVER judge others for any reason. I am so glad that you visited my blog.
I read your blog ,a project for kindness, and was moved by it and even shared it with friends and family. I was also at the TGIF and saw your family ( my back was to you guys) and yes our voices were a little elevated LOL just trying to make the best out of a rainy day! I’m commenting now to share a Ride JW Newark chapter and JW Plainfield chapter held yesterday June 9, 2013 with about 700 bikers of all walks of life and motorcycle clubs from NY and NJ that started in Piscataway Twp on River Rd right off the 287 exit 9. It was called the “Ride for Daniel.” this was a well coordinated 53 miles that covered Manville, Hillsborough ,Somerset ,etc. JW raised funds for Daniel, son of Mike Nols, Piscataway Police Officer who has a rare form of cancer. Please see the attached article and flyer.
Thanks so much for sharing!! I did not see the attached article and flyer – if it won’t attach, perhaps you could put it on my facebook page, “A Project for Kindness”. I would love to read about it. Thank you so much for sharing my blog and thank you for spreading the kindness. Your organization is doing wonderful things!