Any awards ceremony that begins with a big mahogany penis wearing a hula skirt, and finishes at midnight with various lovely drunken people licking white cake icing off the end of the wooden dick is an awards ceremony that you won’t soon forget. Nor will you likely want footage of it shown to prospective employers or potential spouses you’ve met through “It’s Just Lunch.”
I was nervous as we drove to Naja’s for the Inaugural South Bay Cycling Awards, or the South Bay Oscars, or, more simply, the “Wanky Awards” as they were proclaimed by a giant spray-painted bedsheet draped over a 50-keg stockpile of beer. The nerves came from uncertainty. I had set the time and place, sent out several hundred Facebook invites, and done little else.
The week before, Derek urged me to call the bar to see if they could even accommodate us. “They might not be expecting 150 people to show up on a Thursday night, take over the bar, set up a PA, start playing music, and then conduct an all-night awards ceremony.”
He had a point, so I did what all great leaders do. I delegated. “Why don’t you call ’em for me?”
In addition to not knowing whether a thirsty and award-hungry pack of cyclists would descend on Naja’s and be turned away, causing the whole party to flame out, I was terribly anxious about my bow tie, which I’d lashed to my neck after several hours of intense YouTube “how-to” video study. As part of the ceremony, I’d committed to donning a tux in order to match the sexy little black dresses of Chris & Sherri, my award hander-outers.
Would the bow tied stay tied?
Would it stay straight?
If it untied, how many hours would it take to re-tie?
These were the important questions that swirled in my head.
And of course, how would Brad take being awarded Wanker of the Year?
The day after
The following morning I awoke with no headache. Awards had been given. Wankers had been recognized. Stuffed seals had been clubbed with a toy hammer. A birthday cake large enough to feed a hundred people had been devoured. Amazing quantities of Strand Brewing Co. beer had been swilled.
Heartfelt words had been spoken in that cyclist way: Brief, oftentimes shy, always appreciative and happy, except for the Wanker of the Year, who bragged about his whack-off skills and left the audience with a horrific mental image that most could only erase with beer.
In celebratory style, I went for a morning bike ride with several of the crew. Trey raised his front tire and rode a wheelie all the way up the first hill. “That’s cool!” I thought.
When they stopped for coffee I continued on. Going up Forrestal, I practiced a few wheelies. Then, as I approached a walker and a yard crew, I raised the front wheel. They looked on in surprise, not used to seeing a wheelie on a ten-speed.
Their surprise increased as the wheel raised way up and tossed me onto my back. My skull hit the pavement with a crack and my back absorbed the full impact of the backflip. I made that horrible death-rattle that you make when you’ve had the wind knocked out of you, and the bystanders rushed over, sure I was dead.
My wife drove me home, sore and bruised and bleeding at the elbow and suffering from a monstrous headache. Mrs. WM had been recognized the night before as the most-suffering spouse in the South Bay.
Wanker of the Year, indeed.