A couple of weeks ago I bought some distressed black-leather motorcycle saddlebags for the new hefty-sized black Yamaha scooter. The fact that the bags were old and quite worn-down and looked like John Wayne might have used them during the shooting of Red River are what made them cool. It’s very hard to find Tom Dunson saddlebags today because 99.5% of today’s motorcycle owners prefer foo-foo metrosexual leather bags with a shiny showroom lustre and metal studs and complex stitchings that might have been designed by Vera Wang or Ozwald Boateng.

The original John Wayne saddlebags as offered by Rusty Chicken of Austin.

Typical metrosexual motorcycle saddlebags for effete Harley owners who’ve either forgotten or never knew or will certainly never know what rugged-ass John Wayne stuff looks like.

But guess what? The people in Austin who sold me the beat-up bags (they’re known as Rusty Chicken.com) cancelled the order and tossed the bags, they said, because they’re too dusty or grubby-looking or something like that.

Rusty Chicken to me two hours ago: “We have sent you several notices saying we have refunded your form of payment. The item was defective.”

Me to Rusty Chicken: “What does that mean, ‘defective’? Why didn’t you just send it and let me decide if I liked it or not? Your listing said it was worn and stressed and so on. That’s what I wanted. I was going to loosen it up with mink oil and then have it repaired by a shoe-repair guy.”

Me to Rusty Chicken (follow-up): “Listen to me, please — I WANT defective. I WANT saddlebags that look old and beat-up and, you know, sort of ‘John Wayne on the Chisholm Trail’. Will you please sell them to me? Please, I’m asking. I really, REALLY want the beat-up saddlebags. Even if they’re starting to fall apart…fine. Will you please sell them to me?”

Rusty Chicken back to me: “The items have been disposed of.”

Me to Rusty Chicken: “WHAT? You take the trouble to offer the saddlebags, you post photos of them on your website, you put them on your website for sale, you accept my order, you tell me that they’re about to be sent out….and then you cancel the order and toss them into the garbage?

“I’m sorry, man, but that’s alcoholic behavior. I’ve been sober for two years and three months but it takes one to know one. I’m not saying it’s ‘bad’ to be an alcoholic as long as you’re aware of your addiction and you’re doing something about it, but c’mon…you offered the bags for sale, you accepted my money and then you decided against the sale, refunded me the $110.00 and threw the effing bags away?”

These are a little too foo-foo also but they’re not too bad. Tolerable, I think, but they obviously don’t have that Wayne quality.