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Monk says he missed a recent court appearance because he had to take care of his daughter. He knows that will likely result in the issue of a warrant for his arrest. Monk says he isn't worried, because he'll see to it that the man who stood up to him doesn't press charges.
Besides Madison, Monk's chopper is the most precious thing to him. The bike has 3-foot handlebars and a long, purple body painted with gold flames. Ornaments and insignia mark Monk a Forastero and a one-percenter for life.
Monk says he is ready to take the reins of leadership if he is called on when the older members step down. But, he says, he has to learn to hold his temper.
"I'll fucking fly off the motherfucking handle in a heartbeat," Monk says. "I've got to mellow out on that shit a little bit."
Monk has been hotheaded since he first started hanging around the clubhouse. The older guys didn't warm up to him right away.
"We were all tattooed up, wearing baggy pants, fucking big fucking earrings and just wild," he says. "They didn't understand. They keep to themselves. And it's like, what do I have in common with a 50-year-old motherfucker so that I could just go up and talk to him? Once a year or two passed, after we started breaking the ice and you start to get to know somebody, they realized, hey, these motherfuckers are just like we were when we were their age."
Monk remembers a gift he got from Tom Fugle, who co-founded El Forasteros in the Midwest (after Tiny brought the patch from the Satan's Slaves), at El Forasteros' recent annual meeting in Sioux City. He smiles as he digs into his cut-off pocket.
"Fucking Tom goes, 'Here, John, don't say I never gave you the finger.'"
From his pocket, Monk produces a rotting piece of human bone. "It's a fucking middle-finger bone."
Two minutes later, there's a jingle down the street. The tune grows louder, and Madison, who came home from swim practice an hour or so earlier, steps out to ask her father if he'll buy her a popsicle from the ice cream man.
Monk hands her a few bills, and Madison runs up to the truck. Monk calls out, telling Madison to get him a chocolate crunch.
Monk got his patch on December 31, 2000, making him the first El Forasteros prospect to be voted into the club since 1980. Five other Forasteros have been admitted into the club since Monk, most of them over the age of 40.
"The man makes the patch. The patch don't make the man," Monk says. "If you're a bitch and you put a fucking patch on, you're still a bitch. If you're a man, whether you've got the patch, you're still the man. There are people who would make a Forastero, and then there are people who wouldn't make an ingrown hair on a Forastero's ball sac. You know what I'm saying? That's just the quality of people."
Monk and Shifty are hopeful about Eric Burkitt, a 20-year-old Harrisonville kid and the youngest prospect in any of El Forasteros' chapters, which include clubhouses in St. Louis, Springfield, Wichita, Sioux City, Okoboji, Des Moines, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Billings.