Book review: “My Penis” by Tyler Hamilton
August 13, 2012 § 35 Comments
Slated for release on September 18, Wankmeister received an advance copy of Tyler Hamilton’s tell-all illiterography, “The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs” As Told To Daniel Coyle In Very Simple Words And, Where Necessary, With Little Stick Figure Pictographs.
Coyle is known to seven or eight other people as the author of “Lance Armstrong’s War,” The Tale Of A Writer Who Couldn’t Come Up With A Decent Title So He Stole One From Someone Else.
I was flattered to receive the advance copy, and immediately put down the important task of tweeting salacious recipes to @mmmaiko and devoted fifteen solid minutes to reading the book, which is subtitled “My Penis” to reach the cycling demographic that also reads books like “50 Shades of Grey.” CU Tomorrow? Legit Girl? Bump’n’Grind? Yeah, YOU.
Does America really need another disgraced doper’s kiss-and-jail cyclography?
After reading “My Penis,” I phoned author Daniel Coyle to get some background material on the impetus for the book. “When Tyler and I started talking, I realized this was an historic opportunity for me to pay rent,” said Coyle. “Note the way I use ‘an’ with ‘historic.’ Isn’t that cool?”
“Uh, yeah. Go on.”
“No one’s ever had a ticket behind the wall of silence, behind locked doors, onto the team bus. I mean sure, there are books with that name, books by Kimmage, Voet, Landis, Joe Parkin, every legit book on the history of cycling ever written, TV documentaries, reams of public testimony, arbitration proceedings, detailed scientific evidence, and every kind of proof and testimonial known to man. But this is different!”
“Like, how, dude?”
“Over the past two years, in more than 200 hours of interviews and trips to key locations in Spain and France, Tyler has given me complete access to his story. Emails. Home videos of his dog. Sexts to his wife. Phone messages from his dentist. We even had a seance with his vanishing twin.”
“You don’t believe that shit, do you?”
“You bet I do. To verify and corroborate his account, I’ve also talked to numerous independent sources, including former teammates, several of whom are going on the record for the first time, immediately prior to sentencing. This is a classic tale of human ambition and the consequences of trying to win at any cost.”
“Uh, what were the consequences?”
“Well, for Tyler it resulted in an Olympic gold medal, wins in the Tour, and buttloads of cash. But in the end he was banned for life from bike racing.”
“But wasn’t his career over by then?”
“That’s not the point! It’s a classic tale of human ambition! And the consequences of trying to win at any cost!”
“Sounds like a winner’s game plan to me, dude.”
Straight from the horse’s mouth
Next I called up Tyler. “Yo, dude, this is Wankmeister. Remember me?”
“Hello? Who’s this?”
“It’s me. Wanky. From PV. You came out here three years ago and did the Donut Ride. I fucking crushed it. Remember?”
“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.”
“No! Don’t hang up! I want to talk about ‘My Penis’!”
Having lost my source, I went to Cyclingnews.com, where I steal most of my shit from anyway. They never disappoint! Here’s the blurb they had. And I’m not making this up:
“Hamilton explained that his time in front of a grand jury during the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation into Lance Armstrong’s alleged doping practices he realised that there was a story that needed to be told.
“‘I kept it all inside for way too long and I realized it was a story that needed to be told. I think when people learn how it really was – how it worked, how we did it, what it felt like – they’ll see that this story is bigger than any one individual in the sport. It’s really about making choices when you’re pushed to the edge and deciding what you’re willing to do to compete. I want to take people inside our world so they can understand the lives we lived.'”
In other words, the dude’s flat fucking broke, and rather than get a job gluing on tires or flipping burgers he’s decided to hire someone to write a book for him while they job around Europe getting drunk, riding bikes, and licking the pussy.
So these are the consequences of blind ambition? Fuck, where can I get some?
Back to My Penis
“My Penis” begins with Hamilton’s discovery that no one will take him to the prom except Jonathan Vaughters. They dress each other up (Jonathan dresses up as a boy, but it’s totally unconvincing), and afterwards they make passionate love and symbolically bury Jonathan’s bike in a field and water it with their urine. A lovely rose bush grows on the spot, and they can often be found frolicking naked around its blossoms in spring. But that’s a different story.
After getting recruited by the evil and dastardly Team Dope, Tyler loses his childhood dreams to a dirty, nasty, hairy, fat, toothless, balding, sweaty, unwashed French masseuse with long and unkempt toenails. Francois intends to inject Tyler’s stomach fat with EPO, but misses and hits his penis instead. Tyler’s twelve-day erection earns him a number of nicknames on Team Dope, none of which are printable, even in a nasty, uncouth, sophomoric blog like this one that revels in saying words like “pussy” and “cock” and “cunt.”
First the breakout, then the rash
After his breakout season with Team Dope, Tyler catches the eye of the evil and cruel dictator of the peloton, Lance Strongstrong. Strongstrong, who has just won the Turdy France after a miraculous comeback from a lobotomy, entices Tyler onto the team bus with an offer of candy and a trip to EuroDisney.
The next thing he knows, he’s sitting in Strongstrong’s lap, Johan Squatneel has forced him to sign a multi-million dollar contract, forced him to take drugs, and forced him to ride with the most famous American team in the history of completely unknown and forgettable and forgotten niche/kook/dork sporting teams.
Tyler and Strongstrong part ways upon the death of Tyler’s favorite pet newt, Newton, when Strongstrong makes disparaging remarks about salamanders, particularly the juvenile forms. “That newt was more than a son to me!” Hamilton cried.
“Only person ever liked a Newt was Callista, and she’s a two bit whore anyway,” Strongstrong shot back.
“Fine! You bad man! I’ll go ride for team Phoneycrack!”
Team Phoney Baloney
Unceremoniously kicked off the bus along with his little plastic newt cargo case, Tyler was picked up by Tubby Rihs and Doctor Evil Ochowicz, or “Doc Ock” as he was called by his clients. With his medication properly adjusted, Tyler was forced to win more big races, world championships, and gold medals. He was desperately unhappy at living the lie, and eventually couldn’t take it any more.
“The guilt became so great that after I was busted I confessed,” he says in the most moving passage of the book. “Of course it took a few years to confess, as I had to first deny everything. But that’s how badly I was hurting inside. It felt so great to finally admit the truth.”
Hamilton points out that just because you admit the truth due to running out of legal defense funds and the threat of federal prison doesn’t mean you didn’t really want to tell the truth all along.
“It was freeing,” he adds. “So much so that when I finally came back to cycling I could dope again, get busted, and get banned for life. It’s a beautiful story. The passion. The pathos. They mysteries of the human soul…it’s all right here.”
The book retails for $29.95, but will be available at Half-Priced Rubbish and Discount Records and 8-Track Tapes and Books in October for $1.99, or free on Amazon’s Kindle.