Hanging out with a new crowd is always interesting. It might be the new in-laws, who are trying to understand the airbags you install don't go into the steering wheel. Or some new club members, who you have no idea how they will act once they have a few drinks in them.

My recent adventures have been brewing for the last few years, as I have been making more friends in the industry. You know, the "turners and burners," the guys who decide what you get to read or which trucks you will see at the next show. Guys like Mike Alexander, "Low Life" Mike, John O'Neil, and Courtney Halowell. I could call any of these guys in a time of need and they would be there for me. But, that is not what I'm going to talk about this month. I'd rather regale you with the times when I didn't need them for help.

Chances are, if you have been to a party or any party-like atmosphere-a SoCal truck run, for instance-you have seen one or all of these guys doing things to people that make you glad they aren't in your camp. I think that if you talk to Johnny O more than twice, the next time he is drunk around you, he will punch you in your crotch; or if you're lucky, he will just pick you up by it.

And the closer you get to Mike Alexander, the greater your chances are of getting a good open-palm smack across the face.I think I'll keep our relationship at "basic friend," because I fear "good friend" is where he begins the abuse.

My friend Courtney is an equal-opportunity kind of guy. If you are there, and he is there, too, then chances are he is going to rub a part of himself against a part of yourself; and it's never the parts you would prefer. Most notably, of course, would be "Lowlife" Mike. Let me explain.

Because Mike has been living with me, he's not going out of his way to trash things around my place. But, Mike is kind of a problem child to start with. The other day, Takuji and Toyo, who are both from Japan, came down and brought Mike a real-deal ninja star from Fuku, a friend of his in Japan. Of course, the first thing Mike wanted to do was try to stick it into something or someone. For those of you who haven't thrown a ninja star, they don't stick into things near as well as one would think.

So, Mike began wandering around the yard, trying different things here and there. Meanwhile, I was working in the shop, so I wasn't paying much attention to him. Then my wife came into the shop, seeking the repair kit for the pool, and she asked where a good pair of scissors was. I didn't even think twice. It wasn't until I walked outside to see how my daughter's day had gone-who was in the pool, supposedly cleaning it-when it all came to light.

Now, the story I've been told is Mike didn't deliberately throw the star at my pool, but the star didn't stick into the tire sitting next to the pool either. So, it sent the star wayward, of course sticking into my "big-baller" vinyl pool. Luckily, it was a minor infraction, which was simple enough to fix; so it wasn't that big of a deal.

But, now we have a reminder of our time here with Mike ... however short it may be.