Whore me s’more

November 4, 2011 § 4 Comments

I’m a whore. I will say virtually anything for money or swag. This is especially true for bicycling-related items. Give me a discount, offer me a freebie, promise me a one-month subscription, and I’m yours. It doesn’t matter how shoddy the product, how inappropriate for cycling, how poorly conceived, badly executed, overpriced, under-warrantied, or embarrassing to the user–if there’s something in it for me, I will whore it out like a freshman congressman at a Super PAC fundraiser.

Unlike lots of whores, though, I enjoy it. Of course there are various limitations that my johns find out after the fact (don’t put it there, wipe off the —, don’t ask me if I love you, wear three condoms and a raincoat, VISA and MC only, etc.), but in general once you’ve reserved your slot I’ll do my very best to polish your two-bit, crappy-ass, piece of shit product into the next best thing since clipless pedals.

Which brings me to SPY Optic. Now before you go jumping to all the wrong conclusions, please read this next part carefully. Although I’m a say-anything, do-anything, invent-anything product whore of the very worst kind, I do actually have my own personal preferences. This is just like any other prostitute. She’ll wear the little nurse uniform and Godzilla panties for an extra $50, but on her own time, with her husband’s best friend, she actually prefers the police outfit.

In addition to the fact that as a happy product hooker I do have personal preferences, there is a tiny niche of products whose function is so important that, although I’ll lie and make up shit to a fare-thee-well, the price is so steep that no john (to date) has been willing to pay it. Into that narrow category fall tires and eyewear.

A Brief History of Sunglasses

When all the sheep ran out and bought those clunky Oakley Eyeshades in 1984 that were made to resemble a replacement windshield for your pickup, I was unable to run with them. My prescription was so thick that when I asked Oakley about the possibility of corrective lenses their lab tech said, “Sure. We’ll have the technology to slim down a 6-inch slab of plastic into something that will fit a sunglass frame in about thirty years. Maybe a little sooner.”

And the bastard wasn’t far off. For almost thirty years I rode and raced with little wire Fignon frames because they were the only rims strong enough to hold my Palomar lenses. My eyes suffered horribly as a result. I have giant yellow welts of scar tissue on my corneas from the thousands of hours exposed to the harshness of the sun, wind, and blogosphere. I have been to the emergency room half a dozen times to get tiny pieces of rock and metal removed from my eyes.

The Cutting Edge

So two years ago I ventured into an optical shop and halfheartedly asked if they could make me prescription lenses for an Oakley frame. The guy checked my prescription, did the familiar brow-wrinkle, and said, “Well, it might be possible. It will be thick at the edges, but the new Oakley Dipshits will probably work.”

“That doesn’t sound like a very cool name.”

“It’s not. It’s for dipshits.”

“Two pairs, please.”

To their credit, my Oakley Dipshits changed my riding experience. No more 40 mph gales filled with sand blowing into my eyes. No more blinding, multi-hour excursions staring directly at the sun. The Dipshits were, however, extremely narrow, kind of like that black band across Racer X’s helmet, and they steamed up whenever I sweated. Thankfully, as a cyclist, I never sweat. The narrowness of the frame meant that my field of vision was actually worse than with my Fignon frames. And the thickness of the lenses meant an added two pounds to lug up all the climbs.

So when my buddy MMX became president of SPY Optic (CEO as of today, actually), he offered to make me two pairs of prescription lenses, one shaded and one clear, using different SPY frames. My first thought was “Swag!” followed by “More swag!” followed by “He can’t be serious–that’s a thousand dollars worth of product.”

True to his word, I received my SPYglasses about three weeks ago. Let me now tell you why you should go directly to MMX and see if he will give you several free pairs as well: you should do this because free is good. If he refuses, though, keep reading, because after my current SPYglasses fall out of my jersey and get run over and crushed by my buddies, I’m going to gladly pay for the replacements.

Technical Aspect Review #1

Unlike Oakley, whose parent company makes sissy chick bags and perfume, SPY Optic’s parent company is SPY Optic. Who, then, is SPY? It’s a collection of multi-sport athletes who surf. This last point is the single most important technical aspect of SPY. Why? Because surfing is the only sport in the world that has been named after something that its practitioners practically never do.

Pedal along the strand some day when there’s a good swell and five hundred people in the water at El Porto. Out of that five hundred surfers, you’ll see half a dozen nice, unridden waves, two guys purling on takeoff, and one guy actually riding a wave, i.e. surfing. Everyone else is sitting. However, if you watch closely, you’ll notice that the sitters aren’t just sitting–they’re watching. Watching for the next set that they can pass on while waiting for the next set, watching the guys who purled so they can be relieved that it’s not them looking like a kook, and, most importantly, watching the shoreline to see if any chicks are watching them.

Get it? Surfers, aside from being expert sitters, are the world’s foremost watchers. And what do they watch with? Yep, their eyes. Then, after sitting for four hours in a freezing cold bathtub filled with toxic runoff and fecal coliform, they paddle in, towel off, and put on their sunglasses so they can watch the other sitters still in the water, make insulting comments about the one guy who actually rode a wave, and of course, watch the chicks who are now watching the sitters still in the water.

Since the SPY guys and gals also engage in sports like cycling, cyclocross, BMX, snowboarding, motocross, and a bunch of other cool shit, in addition to needing eyewear that helps them as sitter-surfers, they also need functional glasses that work. And since they’re surfers from North County, you know it’s going to look cool as hell as well.

Bottom line: Any line of sunglasses designed by surfers is going to be badass beyond belief when it comes to actually seeing shit, and bitching for style to boot.

Technical Review Aspect #2

Every rule has a corollary. The corollary to surfers designing good glasses is this: sissy chick bag and perfume makers who dabble in sunglasses will make you look like a sissy chick bag owner and perfume user. Think about it: who designs sissy chick bags? Some metrosexual in Milan named Francesco whose idea of a good time is dancing. Who designs perfume? Some chemist with warts on his ass named Pierre who lives in Paris and dabbles in shit like ambroxan, ambergris, and ethyl salicylate. What a fucking wuss.

More importantly, when Francesco and Pierre get together to design eyewear, you know they’re not thinking chicks and waves and seeing shit. They’re thinking rhinestones and blue reflective lenses and how to get noticed on the floor of the disco and how to get into each others’ pants.

Bottom line: do you want your eyewear designed by people who actually have to see shit, protect their eyes, and look good in challenging environments, or by people named Francesco and Pierre? I thought so.

Technical Review Aspect #3

I’ve uploaded a few photos so you can see how fucking awesome these shades are. However, you will probably say something smartass like, “Man, you look like a fucking dork. I’d never buy those.”

You have a point. However, please note that although they are talented and dedicated to their craft, the folks at SPY aren’t magicians, and even they can’t make chicken salad out of chickenshit. I’ve looked like a dork since I was 12, and have been assured that I’ll keep looking like one until I die, no matter what kind of eyeglasses I have. Also, if you want to see how SPYglasses look on legitimately attractive people, go to their web site, where they pay models and pro athletes to wear their shit so slobs like you can think that with a pair of glasses you, too, will be marginally more attractive/athletic/successful in the community service portion of your probated sentence.

What’s more important than my bad looks is that the clear glasses in the Quanta frame were ground with Carl Zeiss lenses. If “Zeiss” doesn’t mean anything to you, you’re a fool, so just pretend you’ve heard of it or, better yet, use the Internet search function on your computer. The Zeiss lenses are incredibly light despite the thickness of the prescription. I can confidently say that no other sunglass maker is able to put this extreme a correction in such a large frame. Maybe they can fit them into some leather chick handbag, but not a stud frame like this.

The Quanta frames completely block out the wind and provide total eye protection. They are light beyond belief. They are large enough to provide me with extraordinary field of vision. They would be cool if I weren’t such a dork. Please text MMX to see if you can get some for free, and if he blows you off go buy a pair. You, especially, Hockeystick, because those dumbass inserts you’re wearing hurt me just to look at. With a pair of Quanta frames you’ll shave two hours and a case of beer off your time for MT5.

Time’s Up

Like any good whore, I’m done before you are. There’s lots more to tell you about the Diablo frame (“Diablo” means “Michelle Bachmann” in Spanish if you turn it upside down) and how happy I am with it, but that almost counts as an extra trick, i.e., I need more swag. Maybe another cool SPY racing kit and a pair of matching armwarmers? Just a thought.

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§ 4 Responses to Whore me s’more

  • Urs says:

    Did someone else take over writing this blog? Some of the posts this week appeared to be culled from your reject pile, but these last two are tedious ass-suck dreck that suck ass. I’m embarrassed for you. Oh, thanks for the UM tip.

    • Donut says:

      More hate mail! From someone who’s first name sounds like a pre-loogie throat noise, no less. Nope, Urs, it’s all churned out by the same sucky writer that’s been sucking from Day One. The fact that it’s taken you this long to get bored suggests you are truly blessed with nothing to do. I wish I had a reject pile–unfortunately nothing has yet been deemed to worthless to publish, even your stupid note. Sets the bar low, y’know? Glad the UM info was helpful, but hope you never need it. It’s made the difference for lots of victims.

  • Greg Leibert says:

    Wanker,
    If you are a dork…i’m a dork lover. You’re my boy…
    …so what makes winning a bike race better?…you guessed it…looking cool. So, guess who will be suppling the rocket ships on the Big Orange squad some good ‘ol fashioned custom ORANGE shades?? Yep!…SPY!
    They are SUPER cool…oh, crap, that might have been top secret…dang it…oh, well…i could never keep a good secret.
    thanks,
    schwag-hag2$

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