From 2006 to 2016, Sarah Walker offered excellent and specific instructions for essential activities of everyday life, like bullfighting and performing tracheotomies. Thanks to her, our standards of living were improved by 100 percent. Today, to help celebrate our twenty-five (and a half) years of online existence, she returns with more valuable advice.

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First, don’t panic.

You’ve been in this exact same situation before, which begs the question: Why? Why did you come back to the lonely roadside diner on a stretch of desert highway that the motorcycle gang frequents? And how, having lived through this nightmare once, did you manage to knock over an entire row of their motorcycles again?

Well, earlier in the afternoon, your mom woke you up and said, “You need to lose your fear of motorcycles, motorcycle gangs, and sometimes Vespas.”

“If I’m so scared of motorcycles,” you replied, “then why do I call you my ‘old lady’?”

“I have no idea why you call me that,” she said. “‘old lady’ usually refers to a wife or girlfriend. But it’s probably because you’re trying to hide your fear of motorcycles by pretending to love motorcycle culture.”

You scoffed at her insane theory as you pulled on your leather motorcycle vest, embroidered with what you think your biker name would be: TOOT SWEET. Mom told you to face your fear. To go back to the diner where, thirteen years ago, you stopped to ask for directions and ended up knocking over an entire row of a motorcycle gang’s motorcycles, and also their girlfriends’ Vespas. And then maybe, just maybe, you’ll get a job and move out of her fucking house.

As you drive into the desert in your mom’s Sportage, you reflect on how, in your research into motorcycle gangs (which you’ve done by posting on motorcycle gang forums as Toot Sweet), you’ve learned that it is highly unusual, actually unheard of, for a motorcycle gang to have a fleet of Vespas for their girlfriends. Maybe it was something they were just trying out, who knows, who cares. You’re trembling because you’re at the diner.

The parking lot is empty. Ha! Facing your fear is easy! Your Raz-Cran La Croix starts to rattle in the cup holder. An earthquake? A government test explosion? You look in the rearview mirror. A ball of dust rises from the horizon, and through it rides a fleet of majestic hogs—the motorcycle gang.

You slump down in your seat and wait until they enter the diner. Glancing in the side mirror, you make eye contact with a Pomeranian sitting in a motorcycle’s saddlebag. He wears a tiny helmet and a leather vest embroidered with the name TRASHMAN.

You feel a kinship with Trashman. You both have leather vests and awesome motorcycle names. You both don’t know how to operate a motorcycle. So you get out of the car, kneel next to Trashman, and squeeze his tiny paw. He flutters his tail ever so slightly, then launches himself at your neck, jaws open.

You catch him by the torso as his fangs snap millimeters from your jugular. You have saved your life, but only for a moment, because in the commotion you bump into a motorcycle. The first in a row.

The bike tips into its neighbor. Slowly, then faster, the motorcycles fall. This time, you know better than to try and stop the tipping process. You and Trashman watch until the last one crashes onto the dusty asphalt.

There’s no use beating yourself up, because forty angry men and women have just spilled out of the diner and look like they’ll do it for you. They swing chains and crack their necks. They’re going to enjoy this.

As they walk menacingly toward you, you yell, “Stop!” holding Trashman up threateningly. They halt, growling and saying they’ll kill you if you touch one hair on Trashman’s head.

“First,” you say, “I’m already touching several hairs. Second, I would have given him a better name, like Hog Dog.”

“That’s stupid!” someone yells.

“You know what’s stupid?” you say. "Having cumbersome bikes that tip over at the slightest touch. That’s what’s stupid!”

You toss Trashman into the scrum and dash to your car. The tiny dog arcs toward the sun, a majestic lion in miniature and leather, then descends, sailing into the human parachute the motorcycle gang has formed. He is fine, which relieves you, because you obviously love dogs.

As you drive away, you fill with pride, having faced your fear so stunningly. Then, you start to wonder: Are you the villain of this story? You’ve knocked over their bikes (twice, if it’s the same gang). You appeared to kidnap their dog, ridiculed its name, and then threw it at them. The motorcycle gang was just enjoying a desert ride and a bite to eat before you came along and ruined their day.

You do a really cool K-turn in the middle of the highway and go seventy-five all the way back to the diner. The bikers are righting their bikes and kissing Trashman’s head. When they see you approach, they reach for the knives in their boots. In a badass but also humble voice, you say, “I apologize for knocking over your bikes. I also think that Trashman is a better name than Hog Dog.”

An awkward silence follows. Trashman stares blankly at you. Then, the leader of the gang steps forward. You can see from his vest that his name is SHIT KICKER.

“Thank you,” he says. “It takes a big person to apologize and admit when they are wrong.”

The other gang members look at each other and nod. Shit Kicker continues, “You passed the secret motorcycle gang test, and you are now an official member. Join us on our ride, Toot Sweet.”

You think about your mom. She’d be so proud.

You abandon her Sportage in the parking lot, jump on the back of Trashman’s bike, and ride off into your destiny.