Hi, Mom — just call me Chester (Part 3)

Hi, Mom

You know on Southwest’s in-flight magazine they have that guy Chester Karras? The one who looks like a snake and charges money to teach “negotiating” skills? Well this old Texas boy knows a thing or two about negotiating and Krankewitz knew he’d been in a fight when I got through with him.

Here is how it went down. He picked me up at Paul’s and said you aren’t gonna make it in SoCal if your only nutrition is beer. He was looking at all the silver bullets laying around the apartment and I said there’s a sandwich in every sixpack and he said it looks like you’re wearing about a hundred of them sandwiches around your gut and they are all made of ham. He thinks he’s funny but we went over to Hooter’s for lunch and to talk business.

They had happy hour prices on silver bullets so I had a few but Krankewitz is a beer snob. That’s not beer it’s colored p*** he said and I said there’s places in India where you drink your own p*** and he said maybe so but at least it doesn’t cost three dollars a glass. I took your advice and went straight to the point, mom. I told him look, if you want the big swingin’ who knows how to open the can it’s gonna cost you more than a handshake and a couple of silver bullets. He said what are you thinking and so I laid it out for him, $1500 a month until the road season starts, plus a place to live, a couple of bikes, kits, and the works.

I’m not seeing the results for all that he said and SoCal isn’t Potter County. Bahati and the Williams brothers and Charon Smith aren’t exactly going to burn their racing licenses when you line up and I said who are they. You would know if you’d ever been to a race outside the ArkLaTex, he said and I came back with well they would know Billy Blitzkrieg Tubbs if they ever set foot in Potter County. Yes they would know he said because they would have won all the prize money for the next ten years if they had.

Those guys don’t scare me at all I said and he said well people weren’t scared by nuclear bombs until August 1945 whatever that was supposed to mean. I told him again what I wanted and he said who have you beat and I said I came in fourth to Higgins at my last race. Higgins he said. Higgins couldn’t outsprint a fire hydrant if you gave him a hundred meter head start. That may be true I said but he beat everyone on Team Ding-a-Ling like they had been put in concrete and cured in the hot sun for a few years and he said well he beat you too and I said even a monkey falls out of the tree from time to time and the next time Higgins plans on whipping me in a bike race he will need an extra leg and a motor.

To make a long story short Higgins said he didn’t have that kind of money lying around what did I think he was the manager of the Lakers and I said I hope not because they couldn’t win a game if you lowered the hoop four feet and made them play a team of midgets. So we agreed to $400 a month. He said LA isn’t that expensive because I’ll be going everywhere by bike anyway and judging from my eating habits as long as there’s enough money for beer I won’t need any food either.

I think that is a good deal for now. When I open the can at my first cyclecross race I will ask for more money.

PS: Speaking of money I need a plane ticket could you book me on Southwest for tomorrow? Any time is okay but try to get me an A boarding pass. The last time I was in C and had to sit next to a guy who f***** the whole trip and it stank so bad I couldn’t sleep even though I f**** back at him the whole trip. They put all the people who f*** in the back I think. Thanks mom I love you!

Your son,


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