Just when you thought the Pagans were going to cream the Outlaws, the new kids in town celebrating their first anniversary as an outlaw motorcycle club, the oldheads lined up.
For Mister Softee.
Sources close to Mister Softee said the beer-drinking Pagans, who met at the Handle Bar, a biker bar on Frankford Avenue and Wildey Street, fortified themselves with soft ice cream about 1:30 p.m. Saturday before a potential showdown.
About 60 Pagans then roared off on Harleys and in SUVs and vans to confront the Outlaws at their day-long party, billed on a flier to last "until the Swamp Donkeys come home."
To prevent violence, police SWAT teams, highway patrol troopers, a police helicopter, uniformed cops and undercover agents from the FBI Gang Task Force were monitoring the rival bikers' every move.
But even they had to laugh.
With the streets around the Outlaws club, at Somerset and Amber streets, blocked by cops and feds six ways to Sunday, these tough bikers also came under the spell of the ring-a-ding-ding of Mister Softee.
"Aren't you going to let Mister Softee through?" asked one Outlaw.
Sure enough, Outlaw beer-guzzlers opened the barbed-wired gates for Mister Softee, like "a bunch of school kids, and stood in line single-file," said a law enforcement source. "It was hilarious."
Not half as funny as it was to a veteran biker who remarked straight-faced: "What's this world coming to, when you got bikers eating sprinkles?"
One biker bought a Popsicle with Mickey Mouse ears.
About 75 to 125 Outlaws members, prospects and "Black Pistons," their minor-league club, from Maine to Florida had arrived, according to law enforcement sources.
"Two or three" prospects, or recruits, became members and received insignia patches or "colors" for their vests, a law enforcement source said. They were "congenial," giving cops the finger and yelling, "Quit taking our pictures!"
The Pagans, who came from chapters in Philadelphia, South Jersey and their minor-league club, the Tribe, couldn't even get close. Staff inspector Thomas Nestel Jr. ordered every street to the Outlaws club blocked, according to law enforcement sources.
Asked why the streets were blocked, a law enforcement officer advised "Jake," the Outlaws spokesman, that the Pagans were coming.
"We're not afraid of them," Jake told the officer.
"They're not afraid of you. You're not afraid of them. But if something happens, the heat is on you, them and us," the officer told him, according to a source.
A police spokesman, Sgt. D.F. Pace, said the day was "relatively uneventful."
Watching the show were about 100 to 150 Kensington neighbors, some in lawn chairs, whose view of the Outlaws' party was obscured by a green tarp affixed to the cyclone and barbed-wire fence.
The Pagans then took off toward South Street, past the rival 10th and Oregon gang to one of their favorite haunts, Cheerleaders.
Outside the South Philadelphia topless bar, several women flashed bare breasts at the police helicopter, said a law enforcement source, who lamented: "We didn't have anybody flash at us."
Meantime, up to 30 Outlaws, advised by police not to head to South Street and Cheerleaders, hit the road for Manayunk, drinking among other places at Pitcher's Pub.
Not all made it through a red light on Main Street, where about 20 bikers were pulled over and issued tickets, a source said.
"These bad-ass bikers, standing there eating their ice cream, somewhat ruined their image," said another law enforcement source. "Both clubs did it, so it must be something new."
Last month, there was a forewarning of this change in the bikers' tough-guy image.
On April 14, the Warlocks Motorcycle Club celebrated its 40th anniversary at a party in Sicklerville, N.J., where they drew 400 bikers, prospects and several other clubs, even Pagans.