I'm surrounded by four gregarious guys who ride Harleys, blow up bars and throw down with a rival biker gang named the "Del Fuegos." And strangely, I'm not afraid of getting my ass kicked. Perhaps that's because the aforementioned Harley pilots are John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, and they did all of that stuff in their new road-trip comedy Wild Hogs. The guys and I are in Boston, the second stop on their Wild Hogs promotional tour. Yesterday, they were in Atlanta, where long-haired, bearded, diehard bikers turned out in droves of thousands to follow the foursome as they cruised the streets on their hogs. A similar event -- a police-escorted bike ride from Beantown's Four Seasons Hotel to City Hall -- had been planned for later today, but alas the 18-degree temperatures and 40 mile-per-hour winds have crapped all over that plan like a pigeon on a motorcycle helmet. Instead, John, Tim, Martin and Bill will arrive for a ceremony with the Mayor Thomas Menino in big, warm, comfortable Suburbans. (More on that later).
For now, however, we're sitting in a warm hotel room at the Four Seasons listening to Allen work on one hell of a hilarious non sequitur in his patented Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor manly yawp: "I'm Spartacus. Who's Spartacus? I'm tired of dying. I'm tired of eating soup. Who's Spartacus? I'm Spartacus!" He's got me and his Hogs co-stars in stitches -- that is, until he blurts out, "Does it involve a spanking?!" Then the silence hits -- but only briefly, before another bout of prolonged laughter.
Two minutes in, and it's already clear that these four guys don't just play pals in a movie; they are pals. When Travolta claims, "I have to edit everything Tim says," Allen retorts with a comical threat in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. And when asked who the most skilled rider is, they bust each others chops mercilessly one moment, then dole out Coca-Cola-sweet compliments the next.