? This Yankee had never heard of it, but Speed Channel's first stab at a comedy series is threatening to become a cult hit with the choppers-and-customs set as it offers a "mostly true" look at Strokers Dallas, renowned bike-builder Rick Fairless
' 35,000-square-foot motorcyclists' mecca. Drop by any Hardtails
message board, however, and you'll find fans talking not so much about hydraulic clutches and slammed rear fenders but Grand Prairie native Debbie Beal
, who plays a close facsimile of herself on the show. As Hardtails
' first season gets a second look (Tuesdays at 8:30 pm/ET), TVGuide.com got schooled on baggers, beer-tubbing and more by the self-described biker babe.
TVGuide.com: First off — and you had to know I'd ask this — what is a hardtail?
Debbie Beal: Somebody asked me that like two years ago, so I had to go find out. A hardtail is a bike with no rear suspension.
TVGuide.com: Ahhh. Ergo, it's "hard" on your "tail."
Beal: Yep. [Laughs] Very much so!
TVGuide.com: In your own words, what is Texas Hardtails about?
Beal: It's a comedy about Strokers, a real bar and dealership, and all of us that you see on the show really do work there. We work off a scripted outline based on some crazy things that have happened and, of course, they add to it. But it's mostly true.
TVGuide.com: And what is the real Debbie's position at Strokers?
Beal: I beer-tub, I model lingerie, I model swimsuits, I model bikes.... What you see on the show is really what I do.
TVGuide.com: You "beer-tub"?
Beal: It means that if you come up there on a Sunday, I'm working the beer tub outside on the patio.
TVGuide.com: Now I feel silly for asking. So I poked around some Hardtails boards and found a lot of guys — and even a few girls — saying that you're a major reason they watch the show. How does that make you feel?
Beal: It's great and very flattering. I love it.
TVGuide.com: One episode that my TiVo coughed up had "Debbie" practicing her shrieking for a horror-film audition. What other story lines have you sunk your acting chops into?
Beal: Let's see, I've learned to dance on the bar, just to try to liven the place up a bit for Rick. And there was one where I had to seduce Rick's banker to get a loan. It turned out the guy was my uncle, so it wasn't that hard after all.
TVGuide.com: It wasn't hard getting the loan or — eww — seducing your uncle?
Beal: Getting the loan wasn't that hard — seducing him was impossible!
TVGuide.com: How did you come to be on Hardtails?
Beal: I was already working there, so I auditioned for the part and got it.
TVGuide.com: Did you have any reservations about dipping your toe into the world of acting?
Beal: I was terrified. But I saw it as a challenge, one that has turned out to be fun and exciting. Besides, Rick is like my dad, so to help him out, I would do pretty much whatever he asked.
TVGuide.com: Is he the same in real life as he appears on show?
Beal: Rick? No... [Laughs] He's not that mean at all.
TVGuide.com: Has Hardtails made you hungry for other acting gigs?
Beal: It really has. I love it and I'm anxious to challenge myself to do more.
TVGuide.com: Is there anyone whose career inspires you?
Beal: Pamela Anderson has kind of done it all. Sex symbol, acting — you name it, she can do it. But I'm also a big fan of Jaime Pressly, who's on that new show [NBC's My Name Is Earl]. I really like how she has taken her Southern roots and built on that to create a very colorful and funny character.
TVGuide.com: OK, this is weird — I have a Jaime Pressly interview running the same day as yours.
Beal: Are you serious? Then she might read this. Hi, Jaime! Love you!
TVGuide.com: What kind of TV shows do you like?
Beal: I'm usually too busy, but I love watching Storm Stories on The Weather Channel; I'm kind of a nerd that way. Oh, and I also watch America's Most Wanted.
TVGuide.com: A show where, I imagine, you spy the occasional ex-boyfriend.
Beal: No, but I'll see a few customers here and there. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What are you up to when Hardtails isn't filming? Do you hit motorcycle rallies?
Beal: I do! I love the industry that I'm in, I love the people with whom I work and I love to ride. So I go a lot.
TVGuide.com: As a bartender, what are the worst pickup lines you have heard?
Beal: "You smell so young" — that's the grossest one I've heard. "Would you like to go for a ride on my bike?" of course follows every pickup line. Oh, and "My wife would be really mad.... but she'd understand."
TVGuide.com: Were you motorcycle-savvy before you worked at Strokers?
Beal: Oh, no, I didn't know anything about bikes. After four years I don't know a lot, but I know enough.
TVGuide.com: OK, show off some lingo.
Beal: Well, younger girls like choppers; baggers are more comfortable for a long haul, though. Also, a 'do rag and sunglasses are a must.
TVGuide.com: Time for some helpful pointers: Suppose I have to go into a biker bar to, I don't know, use the pay phone. What is one thing I should not say?
Beal: "Who's got the cute bike out front?"
TVGuide.com: What would be a good move to "get in good" with the guys? Buy everyone a round of Cosmopolitans?
Beal: You probably shouldn't — no Cosmos, no Shirley Temples. How about just saying, "The beer's on me!"
TVGuide.com: Let's say I accidentally back my Nissan Altima into a row of bikes outside, sending them all toppling in classic domino fashion. Should I leave a note?
Beal: You should leave nothing but rubber! I hope you have a V8.
TVGuide.com: Have you ever broken a beer bottle over a guy's head during a bar fight to get a friend released from a headlock?
Beal: Not yet.
TVGuide.com: What's the best remedy for "bugs in teeth"?
Beal: Just a toothpick will do!
TVGuide.com: What is your message to all of the heretofore info-deprived Debbie lovers out there?
Beal: Come on down and stop by the Strokers Ice House! I really do work there.
TVGuide.com: If they mention TVGuide.com, will they get a free beer?
Beal: Um, I'll see what I can work out with Rick.
TVGuide.com: I am going to title this Q&A either "Hardtails' Debbie Revs Fans' Engines" or "Hardtails' Debbie: The Biker Girl Next Door." Do you have a preference?
Beal: Hmm, I don't know.... Surprise me!