A crappy blog

I was reading an article yesterday about hippo ecology and their poop. We don’t know much about hippos, apparently. Closely related to whales — yes, whales — they spend most of their time underwater and are hard to study for two reasons.

  1. They hate people and kill them.
  2. They all look alike.

Yep, no one’s ever figured out a way to tell Hippo A from Hippo B. You can’t put a radio collar on them because they don’t have necks. You can’t tell them apart based on scars, nicked ears and such because they are underwater all the time, and if you get in their river they will kill you. The only time they come on land is at dusk and at night, to eat and poop. Hippos also display male dominance by madly swishing their tails as they poop, spraying it into the faces of the junior males.

The magazine, a respected scientific journal, actually called it “poop.”

I’m no hippo scientist, but I’ve been to plenty of zoos with hippo pools, and I can tell you one thing. It isn’t “poop.” Hippos shit, folks. Hugely massive endless streams of stinking shit. It’s not feces and it’s not crap and it’s not manure. If you doubt me, go to a hippo pool and take a whiff, then tell me if it smells anything like what’s in your baby’s diaper. If it does, you need to get another baby.

I have a lot of stress in my life. I used to think the biggest stress was the 27 years of marriage to Mrs. WM (28 in four more days, as she reminded me at a party last night). But it’s not. The biggest stress is wondering what I’m going to put in the blog each day. If I were smart I would write it the night before, when things have just happened and are fresh in my mind, except at night I’m too tired.

So I wait until four a.m. or so. I don’t need an alarm clock anymore thanks to the blog; it wakes me up very early and asks me, “Do you have it yet?” The answer is always “No.”

Great newspaper columnists like Mike Royko and terrible ones like Lynn Ashby, giants who had to write a new column once every single week (how did they survive?), used to keep a “spare” in their desk drawer in case, at deadline time, the well was dry. Me, I have no backup.

Worse, I don’t even have a formula because I hate formulas. BikeSnob can troll through the Internet or his mailbox, pick out a half dozen weird things and make fun of them. The beginning doesn’t have to have anything to do with the end, and it doesn’t. Sit, copy, paste, type, done. Boom. Get on with the day. How awesome is that? Very awesome.

Me, by five o’clock if there’s no theme or story, I have to start writing anyway.

“Why five o’clock?” you ask. “That’s awfully early. Why can’t you organize something, do a couple of drafts, and get started at, say, six or seven?”

“Because,” I say, “cyclists are already pooping by then.”

In addition to writing on a theme every day and my marriage, I have my third biggest stress: Helping my readers poop. I wish that every cyclist who has come up to me and said, “I love your blog, dude. I read it every morning on the shitter,” loved me enough to click the “subscribe” button in the upper right-hand corner of the blog’s home page. I would be a hundredaire by now.

Similar to the absence of research on hippo poop, most of the major cycling publications don’t write much about cycling and shitting. Joel Friel and Training Peaks don’t yet have a data input for TPD, turdage per day. I’m not sure why this is, since shitting is not only one of the most enjoyable parts about cycling (and life in general), but it’s something of particular concern to anyone who rides a bike. Nothing is worse than getting all your stuff on, airing up your tires, preparing for the “big ride,” and then getting that instantaneous feeling of “someone dropped Willy the killer whale in my colon and now he is yearning to be free.”

That’s “now” as in “if you wait another ten seconds we’re gonna have a city-wide brownout.” The pre-ride dump is why so many cyclists show up five minutes late, in fact. That’s how long it takes to rip off everything, uncoil the cookie dough, slaughter half a roll of toilet paper, and get dressed again.

Dump preparation is also the reason that most riders make sure to get up long before the ride. They don’t want to get caught with their pants down, so they form a routine.

  1. Make coffee, which enhances crappage.
  2. Eat high fiber cereal or other crap inducer.
  3. Wait around, usually 30 minutes.
  4. Lunge for the throne.
  5. Enjoy.

As I have found out, for many of my friends, #5 is accompanied by my blog. Yesterday G3 rolled up to me at the beginning of the Donut Ride. “Dude,” he said. “How come your blog was late this morning? It didn’t pop up on my phone ’til I was almost done shitting.”

I didn’t ask him why he had his phone on the toilet, but since he is a subscriber and therefore a customer, and since the customer is always right, I apologized and asked him to send me a text called “morning dump” so I would remember to blog about it. At the same time, I tried not to imagine him seated there, his hairy belly poking out, his legs spread open as his organ dangled down into the black recess of the potty, the glazed-over, blissful grin spreading over his face as each charge hit the water, and the proud review and detailed size/shape/composition analysis of his morning creation before he flushed. I say I tried not to imagine it, but you can see that didn’t work.

So the next time you think you’re having a shitty day, think about me and the pressure I have to not only write on a daily basis, but to also serve as the Internet’s most important cycling laxative. I suppose the whole shit thing could be worse. At least I’m not required to display — or worse, be subject to — male dominance the same way as a hippo.



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30 thoughts on “A crappy blog”

  1. With apologies to Wordsworth (and probably all humanity):
    I wandered lonely as a turd
    That floats on high o’er sewers and streams,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden cyclists;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Up the hill Flailing and sprunting in the breeze.

  2. Your blog posts are even more critical on race morning, when the body is looking to clear itself of the excessive food and booze from the dinner out the night before. Mission accomplished dude. See you at the races today.

  3. I thought your Blog was “the shit”, those who read it are “shit hot” and those who don’t are “shite”.

  4. Wanky (Brit) = Jerkoff (US)

    Don’t own a credit card, don’t own a debit card, what’s your address so I can ride by and leave the $2.99 on the front step. -or – How ’bout you get a latte at CoTKU and tell them Joey paid for it. You can pick it up after 12 noon on Tuesday.

  5. That is funny and oh so true! At first I was wondering WTF but you brought it right back to the basics. Classic Wanker style.

  6. Diarrhea isn’t that bad until you still have to go and there’s nothing left in the tank.

  7. Like a two-phase crap, I only got halfway into this one before something came up and my attention was elsewhere. Then I finally made it back again for the second half, and that was the best part! The part we, at least for sure I, can relate to the most.

    I am always late for the ride. At least now, I am almost getting to the point where if I simply touch cycling apparel, I can feel Willy the Whale.

    My personally funniest and at the time most embarrassing crap moment came on a winter solo ride to Hartshorne Park. I looped through and as I was climbing out of the hole, I knew I wasn’t going to make it home, and fortunately there was a giant wheelchair accessible blue shit home for me to use. I hadn’t realized when I sat down, that I sat too far back, so that my exit hole was not over the big hole, but was sitting right over the back of the seat. So the harder I pressed (it was tootsie roll clumps), the more something just didn’t feel right about the whole experience. What an idiot I say to myself now, but at the time I just kept pressing harder. After a push in which I could have delivered a 15 pound baby, I finally felt like I had to get up and see what was wrong and as my cheeks attempted to close around the massive amount of poop that was stuck there, I could see the mark on the seat. I just started laughing at myself, and started grabbing reams of TP to clean myself, and the seat up.

    I kept that to myself for a couple of months before I felt comfortable enough to start to share it, since I think of it every time I pass that crap house.

    My final stage of therapy is I can share the story with you.


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