Ooooh-oooooh, that smell

I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re a drunk. Some of my best friends are drunks. Countless members of my family are drunks. My brother was a drunk for most of his adult life, and was barely sober for a year before committing suicide. My uncle, a lifelong alcoholic, died from an illness most likely caused by his drinking. I had to quit drinking because I was a drunk.

Actually, I didn’t have to. I got lucky and decided to.

Not one single day goes by when I don’t miss the taste of beer. Not a single meal passes when I don’t think, “This would sure taste better with a glass of wine or a cold draught of sake.” Every single day when I get home from work I long, yes long, to blot out the day. When I dine with friends I envy their drinking and wish more than anything that I could knock one back and be one of the boys again. It’s like spending the night in bed with the naked woman you love and ragingly desire, but cannot touch.

Some of the world’s greatest people were stupendous drunks. The greatest novelists were practically required to be. Terrible, wondrous, bilesome, awfully awesome moments of blurry thought and staggered motion have often been accompanied by greatness.

But let’s do the world’s drunks a favor, reformed or red-hot: Let’s call them what they are. Drunks.

Bradley Wiggins is a drunk

Please take a moment and read his autobiteography, “In Pursuit of Glory.” On second thought, don’t. It’s atrocious. Instead, you can browse my handy-dandy review where I noted, long before his Olympiccorp success in London, that he is an alcoholic, which is a sympathetic way of saying “a drunk.”

Wiggly’s father was a drunk, and died from it. Wiggly spent much of his career with Cofidis as a lone drunk, by his own admission wrapping up each day with a six-pack. To those of you who sniff that you can’t get drunk on six beers, you don’t know the physiology of a twiggly pro road cyclist.

Wiggly chronicles his binge drinking after the Olympiccorp production in Athens, and confesses that he had a drinking problem. Well, so what?

Here’s what: once a drunk, always a drunk. Whether you’re a binge drunk, or a steady drunk, or a wake-up and get drunk drunk, or an it don’t take much drunk, or, like my friend’s daughter’s husband who drinks a case of Budweiser in his car every morning on the way to work in Houston–TRUE FUCKING STORY–you’re a drunk.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining

In fact, while you’re at it, don’t piss down my back at all. Pretending that Wiggly is anything but a drunk is like pissing down my throat, or into my braincase. It’s a total violation. In the same way that we (me not being one of us) can admire Brad’s mastery of doping, we (me not being one of us) can also admire the fact that he’s an alcoholic/drunk/boozer/ginny/wino who functions well enough to win gold medals and yellow jerseys.

The giddy Brits, so unaccustomed to the colors of yellow and gold, and so blind-eyed to the drug-addled trajectory of the guy who will soon be “Sir Wiggly,” would rather that Brad’s alcoholism be something other than it is. I know how they feel, but as with all self-deceptions, this one is most grotesque when thrown in the face of people who are drunks and who are trying to do something about it.

”He is absolutely thoroughly entitled to have a fantastic party and celebrate,” BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said Thursday. ”Nobody deserves it more.”

Translation: If you work hard and succeed, drinking 8-16 ounces of hard liquor is not only appropriate but is something you “deserve.” Kind of like how, after working hard and succeeding, you deserve a few syringes of heroin. Same thing.

”It’s extraordinary what he has done,” said Andy Hunt, head of Britain’s Olympic delegation. ”There isn’t a person in the country who wouldn’t want to buy him a drink.”

Translation: Regardless of whether his behavior is appropriate (probably) or admirable (doubtful) or the kind of thing that should serve as a role model for anyone, anywhere (no fucking way), it’s okay because Britain, with one of the worst binge drinking problems in the world, would be happy to foot the bill.

”I lead a pretty normal life,” he said between sips of a vodka and tonic on Wednesday night. ”I’m not a celebrity. I will never be a celebrity.”

Translation: Every bone idling wanker has seven Olympic medals, a TdF win, and 400,000 Twitter followers. Don’t you?

“I despise that whole celebrity culture.”

Translation: I’ve been a celebrity so long that I have no idea what the word even means.

“I know how the Beatles felt now.”

Translation: A guy who rode his bike in circles a few times thinks he’s as popular as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. He’s drunk off his ass, for sure.

And then this gem from IOC spokesman Mark Adams: ”Drink wisely.”

Translation: What Wiggins is doing is against everything we stand for, and it’s incredibly dangerous, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before we spit in Olympiccorp’s punchbowl.

“She [the Queen] sent me a lovely letter which was nice to receive but whatever comes next is fantastic, I’ll take it. Sir Wiggo sounds nice.”

Translation: I’m a boor and a stupid prick. Knight me, already, cunt.

“I’m just going to get really drunk tonight and have a good think about things.”

Translation: My alcoholism is so advanced that I can’t distinguish clarity of thought from drunkenness, and in fact, it seems as if alcohol actually sharpens my intellect, which I suppose is proof of complete alcoholism.

MP Emily Thornberry got in on the act with this gem: “He is a national hero, a fantastic role model. If anybody should be knighted, he should be.”

Translation: I have no idea what a role model should do, but I would hope it involves Mr. Wiggins shoving his cock up between my legs as soon as possible.

What’s really at stake

Of course the reason no one wants to call Wiggly a drunk, least of all Wiggly himself, is because then someone would have to do something about it. Instead of calling him a regular bloke, or a role model, or an incredible champion, all things that may well be true, they’d have to also call him a sorry fucking drunk who needs help.

And goodness knows, we can’t have that. It’s not part of the Olympiccorp script.

15 thoughts on “Ooooh-oooooh, that smell”

  1. Thanks, WM – very well said – My family is riddled with drunks too. A drunk is a drunk, period! The world is full of enablers and denial. I had to quit drinking because it was killing me faster than cancer! WTF? lol – Yep, nice when the oncologist says: “You need to get sober and get your affairs in order, you’re dying of terminal cancer” ! Being a drunk, of course, I did not listen to him and drank more – “poor girl, she has terminal cancer, let her drink” – no, do not fucking let her drink – Good thing I stopped feeling sorry myself and found a bicycle – I miss drinking often, but I prefer being alive and riding my mtb – You made my Friday night again and crack me up – I smile. I am grateful I checked my email tonight to read this. Your writing has a way — as I have said before — of making me laugh, cry and look at myself, my attitude. Look forward to meeting you in person some day. In the meantime, I am happy I have something great to read! I would give anything to be able write like you. Maybe I am just blessed to be able to relate a little bit and read between the lines and learn something from you? 😉

    1. I have a funny feeling we’re going to meet over an employment law case I’m a couple of weeks!

      Thanks for sharing. Cancer, drinking, you’ve climbed some long hills.

      And especially thanks for the props, praise whore that I am, reading comments at 4:34 AM!

  2. Amsterdam Hammer

    On the other hand, he likes a few bands that I do too, give him credit for that… But your analysis is spot on, as always 😉

  3. From a reader and local SoCal rider:

    Read your blog. I haven’t watched much Summer Olympics this year or too many other times. They don’t always end well, for those who make the team and for those who don’t. When you add a little (actually a lot) of drinks into the equation, it can really leave an impression (like a crash at a sprint finish). My first wife was a very talented athlete and aspiring concert pianist. She was also Irish and part of a family of drinkers. And before we were married she lived next to a guy who didn’t see 40 (liver pretty gone by then) but liked to share his drinking with the neighbors. And I admit that our circle of friends (and us) did enjoy over indulging every so often (“more often” than “every so”). My wife missed the ’72 Olympics by inches while her good friend made the team. Because she was having knee problems in international competitions that might have caused her to be passed over for the Olympic team she had a knee operation in ’75 that resulted in her again missing the ’76 Olympics. But she recovered well and was on the rise when, in ’77, an 80 year-old woman ran into her car and thoroughly screwed my wife’s back , which was already weakened by scoliosis. She couldn’t train, couldn’t sit at the piano, but she could still drink. She self-medicated with Dr. Stoli. Things kept getting worse. I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with it. I told her she needed to get help and she said “I’m not crazy.” After three or four years of this I finally split. After some horrible drama I put her on a plane to her brothers in Georgia. A few years ago I learned she didn’t make 50. Fortunately for me, I met a great person and athlete and we are doing fine focused on biking and skiing. We do like our spirits in moderation but I am now so paranoid that I freak (actually my body freaks – not much fat to hide the alcohol) if we drink more than two glasses of wine or beer. Sometimes there are things you don’t forget. You have probably found, like me, that there are many in our cycling community who are recovering but have chosen our sport as a more positive addiction to drugs or booze. I can greatly empathize with and respect all who have confronted this physical and mental issue and have worked hard to conquer it just like they do with any race, hill climb or other challenge. A true mark of a champion – as great (or greater) as any Olympic medalist.

  4. Does anyone have a list of the worlds most successful drunk cyclists?
    Is this while some fall off a lot?
    Do the B vitamins in beer help?
    Like the term olympiccorp can anyone use it or would the five ring polza arrive?
    Are the GB 100 metre relay team drunks and should they use a can of special brew instead of a baton?
    Could twiggo just be acting & in fact a tee totalor?

    1. My research crew is on it. Oh, wait, they’re already finished! Here are the results:

      1. Yes. His name is Joe. Lives in Waukeegan.
      2. Yes.
      3. With drinking, yes. With cycling, no.
      4. Olympiccorp is a registered trademark of The Olympic Greed, Chicanery, and Cheating Corporation. What is a polza? Is it like a polka? Can you dance it?
      5. Yes. No.
      6. No.

  5. HRH Prince Kevin

    G’day from Pommieland. Judging by your description were all drunks in this merry land. Wiggo is no different. Bet he didn’t touch a drop during the tour. Anyway he was papped yesterday in France enjoying a “cigarette” sure thats far worse for a pro cyclist than too much booze. Jacques Antqueil drank like a fish and smoked like a chimney.

    1. Yeah, pretty much:

      But I’d rather be around drunks than Mormons or Baptists, who are generally the world’s worst closet drunks anyway.

      You don’t win the Tour rolling clean, whether its EPO, test, or the occasional cig, and anyone who thinks you do, as Jacques famously said, “Is either a hypocrite or an imbecile.” I like to think that any cyclist worth his salt is generally both.

      As Eddy said, “It’s not the desserts that are bad for cyclists. It’s the mountain passes.” I guess he knew.

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