Greek sandwich

It was a sunny, perfect day for the legendary South Bay Donut Ride. The fast riders preened and flexed, the somewhat aged fellows clenched their bowels and prayed for a miracle, and the no-hopers stood on the periphery like dorky kids in junior high school, hoping to be noticed but then again hoping not to be, either.

The Wily Greek surveyed the pitiful gaggle of third-class citizens. He’d had to make a tough choice. Go to Bakersfield and race against his peers in the tough, dreaded Vlees Huis Road Race, or stay close to home, wake up late, beat off and beat up on the pudgy geriatrics with leaky prostates? It was an easy choice.

The pack rolled out and the Wily Greek paid no attention to the surges, the glory pulls, and the half-legged efforts up Malaga Cove. As the pace quickened in earnest after exiting Lunada Bay, he deigned to take a leisurely pull. No matter. With a condescending glance he noted that many of the baby seals were already spilling blood and gray matter from their bludgeoned braincases. The gasping, wheezing, emphysema-like gurgles uttered by the old farts were almost amusing.


The Wily Greek was still breathing through his nose, except for the occasional yawn.

By the time the peloton hit the punchy rollers of Portuguese Bend, many had already called it a day and were hurrying home to check Strava and lie to their wives about flatting. By the time they hit the bottom of the dreaded Switchbacks there remained but a small group of twenty survivors carved out of the 100-plus dreamers who had started out in Redondo Beach.

The Wily Greek loved this part of the ride. He started at the back and casually took in the grimaces of the sufferers. Some displayed heaving, dipping shoulders. Others, hunched over the bars like a dog mounting a cat, shivered and shook as oxygen debt demanded a repayment that they couldn’t afford. The leaky prostate riders who had hung on to that point began to drip, drizzle, and pop like the fasteners on their loaded diapers.

Of all the beautiful things about cycling, the Wily Greek appreciated this aspect the most: watching the lame, weak, sick, old, deluded, and infirm crate, crack, and give up. It was better than playing tackle football against kindergartners. It was better than winning a chess game in five moves. It was better than being the house in Vegas.

For the remainder of the ride, the Wily Greek toyed with his victims like a tomcat toys with a maimed mouse. Like a wife toys with a husband who has forgotten her birthday. Like a mortuary salesman toys with a bereaved family. It was a beautiful thing, voluptuous in its crass exercise of power by the strong over the weak.

As the Donut Ride regrouped for the final run-in to the Hawthorne sprunt and the Via Zumaya climb, the Wily Greek preened a bit more. It was so much fun watching the little guillotine addicts come pedaling up for another session under the blade.

The reconstituted group had about forty riders in it, including a large contingent of leaky prostates. Since the downhill section was so fast, the Greek couldn’t lose anyone. To the contrary, even some of the slowest and flabbiest were able to hang on to the speeding group.

This disgusted and offended him.

Sitting at the back he prepared the launch that would eat their lunch, an acceleration so rapid that he would rocket by and finish alone. At that very moment he heard a rumbling. With a quick look over his shoulder he saw the huge, lumbering truck, and just as quickly he violated the Rule of Rules: Thou shalt not draft a garbage truck.

The leaky prostates watched in amazement as the truck flew past with the Wily Greek tucked into its massive draft. As it shot past, however, the older, weaker, leakier, but still somewhat wiser old ones heard the terrible sloshing sound of hundreds of gallons of liquified, putrefied smegma that had been smushed by the compactor’s giant ram and then collected in the floor of the compactor.

The seeping, liquified filth that is squeezed from the compacted garbage load normally collects toward the front by virtue of a slanted floor, which prevents the goo from sloshing back out the hopper into which the trash is first collected for compacting. (I learned all this from Google).

Unhappily for the Wily Greek, when the truck went up the final, very steep little kicker in Portuguese Bend, the liquified ass-drippings drained back into the hopper and then, when the truck hit a bump, sloshed out in a giant wave onto his front wheel, legs, shorts, and chest.

As Al Jaffee would have said, “Yecccccchhh!”

The horror and shock that the Wily Greek felt, suddenly covered as he was in rotting slime, was nothing as compared to the hilarity and laughter that erupted from the wankoton. In a fury, the Wily Greek accelerated over the bump, intent on chasing down the garbage truck and giving them a tongue lashing for their errant smegma sloshing.

However, the truck was driven by garbagemen, union garbagemen at that, men who spent the day hoisting 200-lb., fully loaded trash cans up over their heads. They were men with tattoos, not cute dolphins surreptitiously marked on their calf where they couldn’t be seen by fellow lawyers and dentists, but big, nasty tattoos with pictures of female genitalia, dragons snorting fire, knives through skulls, and slogans like “Kill to Live” emblazoned on their arms, legs, chests, necks, and backs.

These were men with bad teeth.

And in short, they were not to be frightened by a slim, veiny waif riding a bicycle in his underwear.

At Abalone Cove, precisely at the point where the Wily Greek overtook the garbage truck, it slammed on the brakes and veered hard left. The fetid goop in the hopper sloshed again, but this time it poured out in a giant projectile vomit-arc directly into the Wily Greek’s face.

At that same precise moment the wankoton came by. Face dripping in shit, the Wily Greek did what any person would have done. He tossed his Barbie food. He tossed his electrolytes. He tossed his whey protein breakfast. He tossed his gluten-free, all natural, 250 kcal breakfast. He tossed everything down to the lining of his stomach.

Several riders thought briefly about stopping to render aid, but only briefly.

There are so many morals to this story. Take your pick.



27 thoughts on “Greek sandwich”

  1. I realize you could make this stuff up, probably do from time to time, but this sounds far too real. I can’t tell if it’s a fantasy or documentary. In either case, masterfully written, WM.

    1. It’s all true except for the parts I make up and the parts for which I’m sued for defamation.

  2. I thought from the title, you had changed tack and had started blogging about porn. Worked out well in the end.

  3. Ah…. Dumpster Juice! I’ll be laughing for quite awhile this morning. Thanks!

  4. christian tregillis

    Who is the Wily Greek?

    I would think Stathis, except he didn’t ride the Donut this past weekend (he rode Vlees). And the only person who was on the front taking any pulls or attacking in Lunada Bay (or really anywhere) was Gavin, who isn’t Greek. He’s wicked strong (as evidenced by his recent results in Europe), and he rode away from the group just before the switchbacks. Other than that, the front of the group up the switchbacks went quite slowly (for the front) as people like Derek and Spalding and I took pulls and led the group up. By the time we got to the top of Crest, Tink and many others had been dropped, but of the five or so who remained (other than Gavin, who was gone) there was no move of any authority by anyone. Craig L. and Ben H. were there, and Derek rolled it in as he wasn’t feeling well.

    Also, I never saw you. We’re you there?

    After the first climb I rode off the front w Peyton and Dan Martin to do the second climb loop as I needed to get home, though I stopped by Crownview just for fun on the way home after I rode Homes/Colinita with those guys.

    So who is the Wily Greek?

    1. At first I read this comment and thought “This is the funniest thing I have ever read.” Then that familiar old sinking feeling hit me in the pit of the stomach. Sigh.

      Please review the following link, then go over it again, slowly. Moving your lips when you read sometimes helps.

  5. I sat on a truck once (nine years ago) from Pine Valley to East Willows (Viejas Casino) on I-8. Flying. About a month later, my pal (who was there) was at a party and just happened to tell my wife. I still catch fire for that. Wanky, you outed the dude…all crap aside, do you know how dangerous that can be?

  6. “…and shook as oxygen debt demanded a repayment that they couldn’t afford”

    That is so beautifully and simply understandable!

  7. He was not so disliked that you would not use a hose were he on fire; but, you would not put down your umbrella drink to go pick one up a few yards away. Either Fitzgerald or Runyon. But it could have been Seth.

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