You’re not “over it” unless you’re dead

June 19, 2020 § 8 Comments

This past week I’ve been thinking about sashaying out to get a taste of the Donut. This past week I’ve been missing the intensity that you can’t get anywhere except by competition. This past week I’ve been getting a little excited about riding the old route with the old knuckleheads in the same pointless exercise of silliness.

This past week I’ve also not been reading the news.

Like, at all.

So after making a date with Donut Destiny for tomorrow at 8:05 AM, pointy-sharp, a friend sent me a quick note in response to me telling him I was going to Do the Doney. The friend said something like:

Uh, you are a fucking idiot. No group disease hug for me. Would you join a condom-free orgy where most of the people had been exposed to bacteria-resistant syphilis? I wouldn’t. It’s not safe to be with people closer than six feet outside of your own quaran-team. In case you’re interested in facts or science, the new Health Officer Order just got posted, effective June 18, 2020, which would be yesterday. Read it if you’re okay with medium-sized words.

Good Buddy, June 19, 2020

This zapped the lead right out of my Donut pencil, let me tell you, but I’m glad he said it.

People need to say the truth. And they need to be prepared to offend all of the lycra-clad people who think that a giant group Saturday Ride is their “right” because they’re “so over the covids.”

Listen. You know who’s “over” the covids? The people who’ve died from it. Everybody else is either being covidded or about to be covidded. There’s no science that shows you develop an immunity to it, and there’s no science that says you can’t get it twice, and there’s no science that says the covids have all moved to Brazil, and there’s no science that says the covids aren’t also mutating into new covids.

All there is, is science saying we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and you can either take reasonable steps to avoid groups or, and make note of this, “You are a bad person.”

Several folks have taken the opportunity to advise me that they don’t care anymore. They are gonna ride their bikes in a big ol’ group and they don’t care if they get sick or not. Good for them, I say. They have proven that narcissism is their strong suit.

But bad for them as it has to do with human decency. Not everyone out there is as sanguine about the covids as they are. Lots of people would like to keep on living, and would like their friends and family to as well. Lots of people have made extraordinary sacrifices in their jobs and businesses by first closing down completely, and second by gradually reopening in order to try and salvage a post-covid existence.

Cyclists who think that gaggling in a large group so they can get their riding fix in are plain ol’ bad people. Your grandmother would have pulled them by the ear, and you too for hanging out with them.

I know you’ve got that new cool kit you can’t wait to display.

I know your numbers are down because no competition intensity.

I know you think science is stupid and that you have a big ol’ bag of constitutional rights that some liberal right this minute scheming to steal out of your tightly clenched fist.

I don’t expect you to miss The Big Ride.

But I will. And I been doing it a hell of a lot longer than you have.


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Call of the wild

May 23, 2020 § 3 Comments

One thing I like about Chaucer is that I’ll be reading along, minding my own business, and something will leap out and grab me by the mind, fierce fingers with long jagged nails digging deeply in, and say “WtF iS tHAt?

For example the line, “Selde is the Friday al the wowke alyk,” also known as “Seldom is Friday like other days in the week.”

I mean, why Friday? I swear, that one has bothered me for a long time now. Why Friday?

I’ll be in my monthly shower and bam. “Why Friday?”

I’ll be eating some diet cornbread made with bacon, butter, and eggs, and bam. “Why Friday?”

I’ll be cleaning my chain and bam. “Why Friday?”

Each time I wonder “Why Friday?” it sets off a chain reaction. What was it people used to do on Friday? What about Tuesday? Tuesday’s pretty damned special. I once knew a lady whose kid was named Tuesday. But I never knew any kid named Friday. Monday is the name of an awesome song, so awesome they repeated it twice in the title.

All that wondering stopped this morning as I lay on floor, eyes gazing at the asbestos stucco on the ceiling when I realized that Friday was unlike any other day of the week because it ushered in Saturday. Friday was the day of excitement, of anticipation, or as my East Texas lawyer buddy used to say, “It ain’t the flop on the bed, it’s the walk up the stairs.” [*Note: An East Texas girlfriend, upon hearing this aphorism, said “Sounds like that boy needs to get him some new flop.”]

Saturday, the day of the Donut, the day you open your eyes and the gore rolls through your veins like a thousand railroad trains, the day of battle, the day of grown men prancing around in form-fitting garish underwear, the day that friendship dies and is replaced by spitting, traitorous alliances of grim necessity, Saturday, the day whose unfolding will stay with you all the rest of the wowke, the day of the wild, the day that calls you.

For a couple months now the covids have put a full stop to the real Donut. Don’t get me wrong, a certain concatenation of creatures has continued to do their own Saturday “Donut” ride, thumbing their nose at the potential infliction of needless suffering and covid death, so strong is the call of Saturday.

But for me the call has ebbed with each wowke. Every Saturday it calls me, but it calls me less. Now that we’re on the edge of being permitted to go about the business of spreading covids in earnest, “reopening” as it’s euphemistically called, the call has become roar.

It’s tried to, anyway.

This morning I lay there and listened as hard as I could. There was a faint murmuring off in the distance, the clink of chains, the buzz of e-derailleurs, the wheeen of brakes on carbon wheels, the desperate pant of the drop.

I listened as hard as I could but all I heard was the call of the tame.


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