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I am at a loss as to why some people like digging holes for themselves.

They dig, and keeping digging until the mound of displaced earth is piled so high that it begins to spread, and said dirt then begins to trickle back into the hole, on top of the digger, who then frantically digs deeper and deeper until the hole is that deep that they cannot crawl their way back out before someone else comes along with a shovel and fills in the hole. If they were a mole, they would have left a small pile of fresh earth, dug a relatively straight line, and popped their head up further down the line, before resubmerging. Digging and diving, blind to the world, keeping a low profile. That’s how it should be. Which begs the question? If you have dug yourself a hole because you told an untruth, why complicate matters by perpetuating that untruth, twisting and turning the storyline like a knife in the gut until the bloodletting has stopped? Isn’t it simpler to hold your hands up, admit to your wrongdoing, and hope that the problem will go away?

Some things in this world we can do without. Spreading untruths is one of them because eventually it will catch you out. Okay, we can all admit to the odd porky; the odd white lie if it doesn’t hurt anyone. I do understand that sometimes it is more prurient to be circumspect about the truth, whether that be taken in the context of being cautious, guarded, wary, discreet or prudent, perhaps to save someone from ridicule.

But then life is not always that simple. Because, in the first instance, it depends on who you are lying to, whether that be an individual or a group. Let me give you an example. I was hoping to join a motorcycle club. I had been riding with and attending social evenings for months and seemed to be getting along well. Perhaps, I thought, my patching-in ceremony was just over the horizon. But there was a problem, not that I had realised it at the time. You see, on one of my leather cuts is stitched a Support 81 Nomads England patch. In case you didn’t know, the number 8 refers to the eighth letter of the alphabet. The number 1, the first. H.A. Get it? Yes, I am a supporter of the Hells Angels. That doesn’t mean I am one. I simply support them. Previously I have attended organised runs, and barbecues at the local-to-me clubhouse, attended by Support groups.

Thinking nothing of it, I wore my vest with the Support 81 patch to one of the weekly social events run by the group I was hoping to join. I entered the meeting room, said “Hi” and sat down with my drink. It wasn’t long before two members moved across in a pincer movement, allegedly under the instructions of the chairperson, to begin the grilling. ‘Why are you wearing that patch?’ ‘Why are you buying into that nonsense?’ ‘Don’t you know this group keeps a low profile, flying under the radar of the H.A.’ I didn’t, but it went on.

Later, as I was about to leave, the chairperson, in front of other group members, stated in no uncertain terms: “If you still want to continue to be considered for membership of this club, you can take that fucking thing off for a start.” I had no idea that the vest I had chosen to wear in my own sweet innocent way would manifest into a systematic roller-coaster of accusations, denials, and pursuant witch-hunts.

Gonzo

There is a certain irony in all of this because a few weeks later, when I had thought that life had moved on, I was invited to join several club members on a ride-out to meet up with another motorcycle club… who sported red and white Support 81 patches. Having been on the lash the night before, only two members of that club had managed to crawl out of bed to make it out on their bikes, which, in hindsight was probably a good thing.

The next weekend the shit well and truly hit the fan when it was reported that rumours about patches being cut off vests had made their way to the ears of the H.A., who then put in a call to the club. That’s when the digging of the hole began. Who had tipped off the H.A.? Who knew anyone in the H.A.? Several names were bandied about within the club, including yours truly. Phone calls and notes on Messenger ensured. The H.A. were told that someone was spreading ‘malicious rumours’; that no one had been told to remove their Support patch; and no patch had been cut off a vest. The latter was certainly true. Like many things in life, however, this was not going to go away quietly. Several members of the club were angered by the fact that the truth had not been told in the first instance. Apologies would have been made, and the air cleared. Instead, the lies perpetuated, one after the other. Those same members then decided to wash their hands of the club in disgust.

Then, the latest lie. Allegedly, I had worn the patch as a wind-up so I could put a story together in the style of Gonzo journalism. Take it from me, there was never any ‘prank’, although that would have made a good story in itself. There was never any intention to ‘wind people up’. And I reiterate, there was never any expectancy that the wearing of the Support 81 patch would cause such conflict. It was worn in all innocence on that club night. Yes, in hindsight it might not have been such a good idea, and I said the same at some stage later after the rebukes, although I am not about to apologise to anyone for my donning a Support patch. I still have it, and I will still wear it. If that doesn’t sit well with you, that’s not my concern. Live with it.

To be frank, it does make me ponder as to whether I was ever going to be ‘patched in’ anyway. I was informed that ‘certain protocols had to be fulfilled’. One of which was that I was expected to attend a rally so the club could assess whether I could hold my drink and was not the type of person who, once rat-arsed, would become aggressive. I don’t need a drink for that. I will stand up for what I believe in, and hold my corner, but I am not one for arguments. I can’t be bothered with them. I would rather walk away. And that is exactly what I am doing here. Away from people whom I thought were friends, and happy to call them so, not ones who would happily throw me in the hole they had dug to save their own backs.

Misinformation is false or inaccurate information. I can live with that. Here we have a case of disinformation, where false information has been deliberately intended to mislead by intentionally misstating the facts. That I cannot ignore. To some, my writing these words might be perceived as an anti-populist form of protest, but I assure you there is no malice or intent implied. Facts are, well, facts. Plain and simple. I get that there may be misplaced loyalties afoot, where it has not been acknowledged, or respected. I will not be burdened by anyone else’s falsehoods, and in this instance unreasoning obedience to a noble but narrow ideal will receive its logical reward. Now it is time to lay this nonsense to rest and get back to what we love doing most in our lives… riding bikes.

Gonzo

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