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How Much ‘Gubment’ Cheese Is Too Much?

Dear Ma, I hope you’re good up there in Heaven, we are in turmoil down here on planet Earth.

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The COVID-19 virus continues to paralyze our world. The numbers are reaching record highs and hospitals are busting at the seams. The state of Texas has closed all bars in the state, mine included. 

As you know Ma, I am also in the bar business and I mean in a big way! My original business plan was to open a custom motorcycle shop and a bar and grill on the same property. My thought process was this; people only come to a motorcycle shop if they’re looking for a bike or needing some parts or maybe they want to get some service work done on their bike. BUT, if you have a bar and grill, people will come back much more often, some once a month, some weekly and more will come in on a daily basis! The cool thing is, the traffic that is driven to the bar and grill spills over to the motorcycle shop. So, now that the governor has closed all bars in Texas, both companies are financially suffering. It sucks, Ma!


 It’s kind of eerie that our world has changed so much. The traffic on the roads is way down to much less than half of what it used to be. They say that over 40 million people are collecting unemployment, 40 million freaking people! That is unreal to me. Talking to other business owners, they are having the same problem as me; people are getting so much unemployment money — here in the South we call it “Gubment Cheese” — that a lot of employees have no desire to come back to work until the money runs out, at which time 40 million unemployed people will all be looking for employment at the same time. That’s not good odds on finding a job. It’s a scary time!


 The good news is, motorcycle sales are actually up! I guess because people have more free time, as well as the afore mentioned “Gubment Cheese,” what better way to social distance than riding a motorcycle! I think the time off has prompted some people to drag their motorcycle out of the garage and go for a ride. One guy told me that he hadn’t ridden his bike in three years, but since he had been furloughed from his job, he decided to go for a ride with his wife and now they are hooked all over again! His name is Jimmy Nelson. Jimmy told me that he had to beg his wife to go for a short ride and she enjoyed it very much. So much so that the next day, they rode the bike to the Texas Hill Country for an all-day ride. They recently brought the bike to me for a full service and two new tires. I guess that’s a good thing to come from being stuck at home, more freedom to ride! 


My youngest daughter, Lena (I call her Bigun) and I have been doing a LIVE show on Facebook every Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. CST. We call it The Bigun Rick Show. It truly is a show about nothing. Sometimes, we talk about motorcycles, sometimes we talk about classic cars, sometimes we talk about business, but mostly we talk about monkey business, ya know? All the things that a father and daughter talk about…nothing. But at the same time, everything! It’s cool because Bigun and I are a lot alike, or as she likes to say “I am you, Pop!” I’m trying to teach her as much as I can, so that when Lena and her sister Chelsey, take over the company, they know how the old man was running things. I figure that will give them a better chance
of survival!


 So anyway Ma, I better go for now, our Dallas County Commissioner has ordered everybody to wear a face mask and I have a couple of employees who are fighting me on it! So, I guess I’m gonna get everybody in a room and wave my arms around while talking loud and see if that helps. They are fining the businesses if an employee or a customer is caught not wearing a mask. It’s a new world, Ma and I don’t care much for it! t

Love ya, Ma!
     Your boy, Rickey

Rick Fairless owns Strokers Dallas, Strokers Ice House & Punch Wally Garage, as well as a few other businesses.

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