Setting boundaries

Dear Lance,

I understand this may be a one-tweet stand, but now that you’ve tweeted a request to me, and I’ve tweeted a tweet to let you into my secure Tweeter inner sanctum, I think we need to come to an understanding.

Will you call me tomorrow?

First, I understand that you have 3.7 million followers, and I have 188. I also understand that the people who follow you are some of the most powerful and influential people in the world, whereas most of my followers are tweetbots, spammer personal injury law firms, and insane people with names like FrauFickenDammt and Scabby the Rat. Well, actually, Frau Ficken hasn’t followed me yet. I’m hoping she will soon, though, because she says the coolest shit, like today when she went into a restaurant and called the waiter a knuckle fucker.

Before granting your request, I checked out the people who you follow, and was frankly concerned. Bill Maher. Mahatma Gandhi. Lots of chicks with killer racks. People whose opinions matter on the world stage and who have the ear of those in power, not to mention totally boss pimps like Cancellara.

Which really made me think, like, why are you adding me to that select list of barely 400 people out of 3.7 million? Is it because of what I write here?

There’s no “here” here

So I thought about it and figured out why you wanted to enter the inner Wankmeister sanctum. First, you wanted to see who my associates are. Well, now you know. Funny, huh? And only a handful of them are currently incarcerated.

Second, you wanted to begin the process of seeing if there was some way to influence “the message.” The good news? You already have! The bad news? So can anyone else with a keyboard and a little flattery. Like all whores, I go to the highest bidder. Right now the going price is really cool prescription eyewear and free kits designed by Joe Yule. So make a note of that, and by the way, you should hire him as your kit designer. The Shack/Livestrong stuff needs…help.

Now that I’ve given you everything you want, it’s time for us to talk about me. My needs. My wants. My hopes. My childhood dreams and hopes for the future, except for those which have been shattered by Jonathan Vaughters.

Accept me for who I am

All the socks and undies I own. True story.

A loving tweetership between equals is only possible with mutual respect. You mustn’t try to change me, but rather you must accept me as I am, RuggedMaxxx2 and all. If you don’t know about and use RuggedMaxxx2, I’m not sure we can ever have a meaningful relationship, although I’m willing to try. Of course even as I write this, I fear that we may not work out. I have one small drawer that contains all my socks and underwear. You have entire dressers devoted to undergarments. I rent. You own. I’m Specialized. You’re Trek. Most perilous to our relationship, and the one thing we may never get over, is this terrible reality: You’re Oakley. I’m SPY. I feel so helpless.

My gym set. Note 15-lb kettlebell. Alternate with books to strengthen your dorsas bulemias.

Are we doomed from the outset? And then I consider other material things, like your gym and your bike shop and countless bikes and all the other possessions that make me feel small and rather poor. But there can be more to a relationship than just money and power, right? You can learn to appreciate what it’s like to be batshit poor, and I can learn to appreciate being showered with free bike swag and invites to swanky parties and free trips on your personal jet and free bike swag and invites to the Tour (well, maybe not that), right? Right?

Love me, love my friends

I know a lot of people who get involved in the heat of the moment like this and then have trouble with the other’s friends once Tweeter passions cool. Let’s take care of that now. My friends are non-negotiable (except for the ones who are, like that dude who wore the undersized all-white kit on the Holiday Ride last year and blinded several people with his hairy buttcrack).

I think the best way for you to get to know me is to spend time with me and my friends on the bike. We have a little ride here called the NPR. You would have a hard time hanging on, and I’m not saying that to be rude, but rather as a warning.

We have Prez, who just got force upgraded from Cat 3 and has the hardest abs in the wankoton, plus the weirdest kit color combos. He is a sprunter and is not afraid of you. You’ll have to get on his good side but be wary at the same time, because all those steel plates in his head are from crashing.

We have dudes like Bull, a wanker of legendary proportions, and Hair (a/k/a Shrimpy Dick), who is a badass. If you’re too scared to mix it up on the NPR, you’re welcome to join us on the Wheatgrass Ride, where Backpack George in the floppy jogging pants, saggy socks, and askew helmet can outclimb anyone for the first mile up from the reservoir.

Bring your A Game, Lance, and I’m just saying that because I want you to fit in. And even if you can hang with Backpack George, we’ve still got Tink who WILL school you, and Jules, the 13 y/o child who will put you in the pain cage and throw away the key if you dare to challenge him on the Donut Ride. Check my YouTube videos under fsethd to see what you’re signing up for. I think after a couple of tries you will be able to hang, but don’t feel bad if you get dropped in the beginning.

It’s a one-way street

Although you have to love my friends, I don’t have to love yours, although I will try to. Maybe. For a small fee. But not that Ferrari dude. I understand that you have some current legal issues arising out of the use of drugs. Now, I smoked a bunch of dope back in the day and am a reformed drunk, so I “get” the drug thing. No matter how much Nancy Reagan used to preach “just say no,” it always seemed easier to just say “Yes, the sensimilla, please.”

It was sure more fun than saying “No,” except for that time in junior high when I had failed 8th Grade life science and was taking summer school at Sharpstown High. We were taking the HouTran bus to school, stoned out of our gourds at the back of the bus, when I started hallucinating that the fucking bus had caught fire. I imagined that everyone ran off and a fire truck came.

Finally a huge firefighter rushed in and dragged me off the bus, which had actually caught fire. Being stoned for me was always like that. I just hallucinated shit that was already there, so I figured why pay all this money for weed and get kicked out of school to see what I’m already seeing?

I bring this up because drugs are that way. You kind of fall into it, and then it’s like, “Fuck, I don’t need this shit.” But hey, you probably hear about this enough in your day job, so I’ll let it slide for now.


Oh, here’s some other info. I’m a Capricorn. I love Japanese food. My favorite color is blue. I love puppies. Once upon a time I co-authored a book on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. So…TTYL!


11 thoughts on “Setting boundaries”

  1. Dear WM – thank you – I really enjoyed that. And, as usual, I look forward to these late-night whacky, crazy posts you put up right before bed! I never plan to read the whole thing (i am supposed to be working) – but shit, your writing is pretty addicting – btw – who makes up all these crazy names? is this all you? – damn creative shit names! love it – been a very long day and now i can say i am ending the day by reading something to bring it all home and remember to smile and enjoy the moment – awesome, WM – see ya on a ride some time -i am working on the road bike thing!

  2. I haven’t even fucking read this post yet. I have to go change my Twitter profile first because the lead phrase is the same as Lance’s as that just won’t fucking stand.

    1. My wine is gone. Lance is fucked, that’s why he’s trying to follow you now…misery loves company and all that jazz (I love that “all that jazz bit”!). And I like grapes, lots of yummy fucking grapes!

  3. Twitter, youtube, blog, thanks for RESTORING the childhood dreams of the ‘Wank and file’.

    nice job keeping the camera up there at Donut Ride, I wonder how it looks up there..

  4. Absolutely brilliant…If the Uniballer responds, you better make sure he knows what he’s in for by entering your Twitter sanctum. I’m not entirely sure he’s smart enough to check out the cars parked out in front of this blog….

    1. Thanks for the props!

      He’s not just smart enough to check out the cars, but he runs their license plates, too. He’s a tremendously bright guy. Lots of people misjudge the depth of his intellect because he doesn’t have a college degree, but in my estimation he’s extremely bright. His understanding of oncology and his ability to discuss it in great depth is just one signpost to his intellect. More revealing is his ability to manage and influence “messaging.” He makes mistakes, as does everyone trying to control a complex, fast moving story with lots of moving parts, but in general his sophistication is impressive, more so when you consider that it’s all self-taught.

      I’d surmise from his tweets that he’s an avid reader, another sign of a highly functioning brain. Never any misspellings. Immaculate grammar and punctuation. These are the signs of someone who’s firing on all cylinders.

      Think of all the other big name athletes who are now bankrupt. He’s very much in control of the show, to the extent that it can be controlled, which is looking more tenuous by the day.

      He’s wholly uninterested in participating in my forum, as it’s really just a collection of wisecracks. He wants to keep tabs on what is being said and who is saying it. Think about it. Out of 3.7 million twattlers, he reached out to me–sans email, phone call, explanation, or anything. The only possible interest he could have is trying to understand the composition of my constituency, dig a little bit to see if there are some levers that can be pushed, and gather data.

      Another feature of his highly intelligent brain is his constant search for information and data. What will be most revealing will be the length of time he stays there; he may have left by now for all I know.

      Put yourself in his shoes. There are a finite number of positions on “Lance.” You love him. You hate him. His bad outweighs his good. His good outweighs his bad. You could care less about him. You think that it’s time to move on. You think that the issue of drugs in cycling admits of too many shades of puke to label people “good” or “bad.”

      More importantly, for the public audience, it really is a love/hate thing. So his job is to identify the lovers and make sure they know he appreciates them. Scroll through his Twitter feed sometime…it’s extraordinary how positive and encouraging and friendly he is to the lovers. Talk about someone who knows how to value and build his base. He makes his followers feel important, like they’re a part of the family.

      That’s incredible savvy. Who else does it as well on that large a scale?

      Contrast that with his scorched earth policy towards his detractors, as his other job is to identify the haters and identify the extent of their influence, if any, and then figure out if they can first and foremost be turned into positive voices. If not, figure out if they can be neutralized, and if not, minimized. In my case he’s now well aware that my voice is completely insignificant except for the fact that it’s regarded by some as occasionally humorous. There’s nothing behind that voice except a guy with a word processor.

      The other thing he won’t have missed is that I’m not exactly embracing people like Tyler Hamilton who’re really dialing up the heat. There is some utility for him in having a voice out there taking swings at some of the people taking swings at him, even though he gets a few shards tossed his way. Believe me, he’s not going to crumble because of some stupid blog. Or because of a smart one.

      I would never underestimate him, but I’d not overestimate him, either. He’s a dude with resources who’s fighting for survival. As with almost everything he’s ever done, if you step into the ring with him, expect his A game.

      1. Perfectly stated. Intelligent and savvy, to be sure…as the first requires the ability to acquire and apply facts and the second refers to shrewdness. In this regard, he is a master tactician in all respects, which certainly makes him that much more dangerous if you are choosing him as an adversary. But I would contend that both intellect and savvy can be trumped by ego every day of the week and twice on a Sunday. Sure – he IS smart enough to check the cars outside the bar, and savvy enough to run the plates (awesome analogy) but also just egotistical enough to say “fuck it” and get sucked into a fight he could have easily avoided (e.g., the SCA hearing). Then he falls back on pure aggression and what I refer to as the “Normal MacLean” strategy as outlined in the book A River Runs Through It….Hit first and hit hard (e.g. the men’s room of Cache Cache).

        The strategy has worked surprisingly well so far.

        1. I’d never choose him as an adversary, unless it was in a contest to see who could look up a word quicker in the old Nelson’s Kanji-English dictionary. I’d whip his fucking ass at that.

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