Wanker of the Year

October 18, 2017 § 13 Comments

The best moment of the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards never happened. Greg Seyranian, winner(?) of the un-coveted Wanker of the Year award, prepared a lengthy acceptance speech prior to the ceremony in the event he won.

This alone qualified him for the honor.

But the speech was never given. He emailed me a copy and so I give it to you now. I hope he’s not too pissed.

g33

Seth,

Per your request. Speech A. I was prepared to deliver it, but when I got to the Wankys I realized the audience only had a 10-15 second attention span, so I decided to go with an impromptu short and spicy version.

Greg

THE KING’S SPEECH

So when I was nominated for this award I went to Seth and I said, “Wow, I’m so honored to be nominated for this! King of Wankers! I’m not sure I’m worthy of the title.”

And Seth looked at me sideways and he said, “No, dude, this is supposed to be an insult more or less. Probably more.”

And I said, “Well how could that be? Aren’t we are all wankers?”

And he said, “Yes, but look around you. Some people out there still don’t think they’re wankers.”

“Come on!” I said. “Really? How could that be? Who out there prancing around in their clown suit underpants thinks they’re not a wanker?”

“Well, take a look at most of those Cat 3s and Cat 4s and masters profamateurs, not to mention the guys and gals who drink more coffee than race their bikes.”

“Well shit, shouldn’t we tell them?” I asked.

“No, no, most of them have pretty fragile egos that would crumble like a house of cards, it’d just be cruel. Let them have this award instead. Dog knows they’ll never win anything else.”

And I saw the wisdom and the humanity of this, so I agreed. But I was left to ponder what then did the award really mean? And I wondered whether or not I should be insulted.

I had a pretty good guess, since Seth was involved. It must mean that, as Wanker of the Year, you’re not as cool as the rest of us, which was a relief, because I already knew that. Because I’m a super dork. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s cool. I mean, you can’t get a Ph.D. in the sciences without drinking heavily from the fountain of nerd. So it made sense, me being nominated for Wanker of Year, because I’m a nerd surrounded by a bunch of jocks. I must stick out like a sore thumb!

But then I thought, “Wait a minute, I was introduced to cycling by my fellow grad school nerds. And aren’t half the South Bay cyclists socially-challenged engineers and scientists employed by the AeroSpace Corporation or the DoD? These guys are ALL a bunch of nerds playing jock! So what’s up with a bunch of fellow nerds calling out another nerd?”

So I thought back to the previous winners: Brad House. Denis Faye. Seth Davidson.

And it dawned on me. All these guys are *loud mouthed* nerds! Aha! You see, being a loudmouthed nerd is a major violation of the agreement nerds strike when they participate in sport: thou shalt not call attention to thine nerdom, and therein lies the wankdom, because there’s nothing a nerd hates more than experiencing a modicum of coolness only have some idiot ruin it and drag them by the hair, kicking and screaming, back to nerd-town.

What’s more, all those guys I just mentioned aren’t simply loud, they are men of action. They are nerds who place themselves front and center. They are guys who stick their necks out to get things done. Guys who walk the walk when it comes to helping keep the sport of cycling alive, not through glorious podium shots sprinkled throughout Facebook and Instagram, but by risking shame and scrutiny in the menial task of promoting and supporting and fighting for cycling.

Look at Brad House. Twenty-five years of service to cyclists in the South Bay, host of dozens and dozens of racing events, and rabid advocate of cyclists’ rights, especially when you don’t want him to be. A guy who, despite his frayed shorts, open nut-sack air braking technique, and 2nd Amendment fanaticism, nevertheless races his bike week after week. And he’s a member of Big Orange.

Or Denis Faye, another Big Orange member. The man who launched the heart-wrenching, sentimental, and simultaneously idiotic Burrito Challenge to honor the memory of a dear, departed friend. The man who secured Big O’s largest cash sponsor. The man who formed the Big Orange Dirt Squad, which has brought nothing but fame, glory, and honor to Big Orange. Denis is the first guy to get in your face when he senses injustice, who won’t leave it alone until the wrong is righted. And he’s a guy who races his bike all year long, on the road, in the dirt, and through the beer-goggled haze of the cross course. He will probably be shouting and jumping onto the stage uninvited during this ceremony to make some sort of point or other.

Finally, there’s Seth Davidson, the Mack Daddy of Wankers and perhaps the loudest mouth concerning all things cycling in the South Bay. The guy who refuses to kowtow to the status quo. The guy least afraid to speak his mind, especially in the service of justice and safety for his fellow cyclists. And Seth is the first guy to put his money where his mouth is in the service of this great sport. Yet he is the guy who has literally defined cycling wankerdom by being a giant, in your face, loud-mouthed nerd who constantly kills the cool buzz. But he is nevertheless the champion of all things cycling and racing, and he goes out and races his bike week after week, despite breaking his nutsack every off-season and diametrically reconfiguring his training and racing philosophy every other year. Finally, like Brad and Denis, he’s a proud member of Big Orange Cycling and was one of its founding members back in 2009.

So the question is: am I a loudmouthed, nerdy, man of action, still willing to race his bike, who supports the sport of cycling and is a member of Big Orange? You’re damned right I am!

So I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of all my fellow friends who wanted this award secretly but didn’t get it, on behalf of Big Orange Cycling, clearly the king when it comes to wankers, and on behalf of all you poor souls out there who still don’t understand that you too are nothing but wankers. One day you shall know the truth and it shall set you free, but not today. Thank you!

END

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Option C

October 4, 2017 § 30 Comments

I have been doing this a long time, and I can predict that every October there will be a new kit kerfuffle. The NKK has to do with the design of your outlandish bicycling underwear, and the opinions and debate it engenders are always amazing.

This year, Team Lizard Collectors is doing what clubs around the world are doing, tossing out design options for their members to vote on and trying to get everyone to agree on the the least horrible pattern that clubmates will be prancing around in for the next twelve months or so. In our case there is Option A, which I’ll call “Striped Lizardskin w/Highlights,” and Option B, which I’ll call “Lizardskin Barcode Black.”

Club members are already voting, but before it’s all done, I’d like to propose Option C, and frankly, your club should avail itself of Option C, too. And Option C is: Ride yer fuggin’ bike.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you wear because you will always look stupid in a bicycle suit. A bicycle suit, if you are a man, is designed to bring your junk outline into painful visibility for all and sundry. Trust me, this will not be flattering unless you are Mr. R. Dollar, whose outline can reliably be viewed via Google Earth.

For everyone else, the prettiest and fanciest color design from Milan itself won’t make up for the twig-n-baby-bagels you are showcasing in your Xtra Pro-Lux SupaComfee Chamois.

However, even if you do have something more impressive than the average cyclist’s embarrassingly average toolkit, you still look like a fool. Why? Because you are an adult riding a bicycle in your underwear. What is it about this sentence that is so hard to understand? Would you wrap yourself in purple cellophane and go to a nightclub? Would you walk around in public in a latex outfit unless it were Halloween? And if you did, would you be surprised when people told you that you looked foolish? Heck no, you wouldn’t.

Yet every year, thousands of baby seals angst about whether the stripes should be horizontal, whether the mauve should be more saturated, or whether the logo for team sponsor Sam’s Speedy Venereal Treatments should be above the butt or above the pelvis. Stop angsting. To the broader public, you look silly and, um, underpowered.

To the cycling public, though, there are admittedly fashion and appearance issues that might cause concern for a particularly hideous color combo/design. Here too, however, you can rest easy.

The way to look good to other cyclists is to ride away from them. That’s all they care about. Take G$, for example. It doesn’t matter what he wears. When he stomps on the pedals and glides away, it is beautiful.

You, on the other hand, who like me are most excellent as a cyclist when typing or cruising Facebag, do not look beautiful because you are the person being ridden away from. Dropper = pretty. Droppee = lame. And it’s not because the stripe on your bicycle suit is horizontal.

Now’s the time to make your voice heard. Let the powers that be know that while others are fulminating about fashion, you’ll be exercising Option C: Riding yer fuggin’ bike.

END

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PS: Don’t forget the Wanky’s. As if you could. And I may have forgotten to mention that there is free food and beer for the first 300 guests, so get there early.

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2017 South Bay Cycling Award finalists

August 24, 2017 § 6 Comments

Our four-person steering committee, shattered rudder and all, sat down with the cat yesterday to make the agonizing decisions about who would be a finalist for the galactically renowned 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

Some choices were simple. How could we not pick Kayle LeoDoyle for Wanker of the Year finalist? How could Debbie Hoang Efthimos not be in the mix for best spouse? My dog, what she has endured!

Other choices were fiendishly complex and resulted in yelling, shouting, cursing, insinuations about one’s parentage, and repeated trips into Hoofixr Man’s garage for two of the committee members to work out their differences over giant glasses of home-brewed beer. When we were unable to agree, which was pretty much all the time, we left it up to the cat, Anaximander.

Since cats don’t talk much, and certainly don’t do so on command, Anaximander would break the tie by purring. Long purr meant yes, short purr meant no. And so it went.

Here are the finalists, culled from a garbage heap of worthy nominees, names legendary in the niche within an invisible crevice inside the  microscopic crack of the non-sport of profamateur bicycle pretend racing. The criteria were of course rigorous. Unlike past years, not a single name was selected simply because all the other names sucked so badly. Okay, maybe one or two.

Each nominee was evaluated as follows:

  1. Suzy-Johnny come lately, or person who’s been around the block a few times?
  2. Past recipient of the same award? If so, your chance of getting it again is basically zero. Ish.
  3. Desperation. Was the nominee dying to get the award? Had the nominee politicked? Was the nominee the beneficiary of a 10-page, detailed nominee list submitted by a “friend” to “guide” the selection process?
  4. IDGAF factor. Does the nominee GAF? No award for you if you don’t show up, even though last year Elijah left early (no, we haven’t forgotten), and Joe Yule did too, with no excuse other than he “had somewhere else to go,” i.e. bed.
  5. Distance. Is the nominee coming into town from far away?
  6. Laughability. Will there be a good story to tell about the nominee? Or is the nominee a quiet, hard worker who blends into the background, never to be seen walking down the streets of Manhattan Beach late at night with a giant inflatable sex organ?
  7. Bro-ishness. Is the nominee part of the “in” crowd? Or does the nominee shun public association with such an obvious bunch of losers?
  8. Dues paying. Has the nominee slogged in the trenches for years, never to be recognized for her/his contributions, or is the nominee a glad-handing, publicity seeking wanker who has been twisting arms, bribing committee members, and hustling like a cheap whore on Christmas Eve?
  9. Disappointment factor. Would the nominee be emotionally crushed by being omitted? Or would the nominee be more crushed by being a finalist and not winning? No award ceremony is a success unless a majority of nominees feel like the whole thing was a cheap ripoff of a badly-done sham.
  10. Were we tired of arguing and ready to chuck the whole thing so we could go home and have dinner?

As you can see from the above, none of the above criteria was favorable or unfavorable. You could be a trench-laborer and ignored, or a trench-laborer and a finalist. You could be a contemptible showboater and not selected, or a contemptible showboater and a shoo-in. Although the criteria were very rigorous, they were randomly applied, especially as Hoofixr Man’s rye brew began to affect half of the committee and especially after Anaximander stopped purring and shifted into cat-flatulence mode.

Anyway, here’s the list. If you are on it, go ahead and celebrate or despair, as appropriate. If despite your legendary contributions you were mercilessly snubbed, remember that the race goes not to the swift or the wise, but to she who perseveres. Or as Charlie Brown would say, “Just wait ’til next year!”

2017 South Bay Cycling Award Finalists

Greatest Advocate: David Pulliam, Lynn Ingram, Peter Flax
Best Bike Shop: ShiftMobile, Bike Palace, Raleigh SaMo
Best Young Rider: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Bader Aqil
Best Old Rider: Jan Palchikoff, Michael Hines, Keith Ketterer
Most Improved: David Ellis, Thomas David Rennier, Elijah Shabazz
Best Club: Velo Club LaGrange, Big Orange Cycling, Bahati Foundation Cycling Club
Best Event: Belgian Waffle Ride, Telo, CBR Series
Wanker of the Year: Kayle LeoGrande, James Doyle, Greg Seyranian
Belgian Award: Evens Stievenart, James Cowan, Dan Cobley
Group Ride Champion: Josh Alverson, Eric Anderson, Jack Daugherty
Best Sponsor: RAAM/Joseph Duerr, BonkBreaker, Helen’s Cycles
Best Male Racer: Justin Williams, David Holland, Matt Wikstrom
Best Female Racer: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Coryn Rivera
GC Award: Dan Cobley, Greg Leibert, Rahsaan Bahati
Greatest Recovery: Debra Banks, John Walsh, John Abate
Strava KOM: Phil Gaimon, Fred Mackey, Meagan Jones
Most Happy to Help Others: Joann Zwagerman, Pablo Maida, Patrick Barrett
Most Fun: Michelle Landes, David Wells, Raja Black
Best Spouse/SO: Debbie Hoang Efthimos, Julie Black, Sarah Butler
Steve Tilford South Bay Rider of the Year: James Cowan, Charon Smith, Greg Leibert

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Racers, start your calendars!

August 4, 2017 § 10 Comments

A bad idea born of febrile minds, the annual South Bay Cycling Awards, a/k/a The Wankies, staggers along towards a milestone few thought possible and even fewer wanted: The Fifth Showing Up of the Emaciated, an award ceremony so fraught with ridiculousness, bad taste, and beer that it was refused a venue by 37 different proprietors.

Whether it was half-naked crossfit dancers, a terrible comedian, or simply too many people crammed into a stuffy bar next to a wharf, the Wankies set a mark every year for lowness and embarrassment. Who can ever forget the revelers who stumbled through the streets of Manhattan Beach in 2014 with an inflated six-foot penis?

In any event, the event is here again, and through bribery, cajoling, lies, and promises to help teach Joel how to change a flat, the South Bay Cycling Awards again holds its awesome ceremony at Strand Brewing in Torrance, thanks to the patience, forbearance, kindness, understanding, and slightly addled judgment of Rich Marcello and Joel Elliott.

This year the event is dedicated to Steve Tilford, who will also be posthumously inducted into the South Bay Cycling Hall of Fame. Food and drink will be served free of charge as long as supplies last. There’s no fee for admission, but when the venue fills up people will be turned away. Arrive past 5:00 PM at your peril. You can expect another amazing crop of jealous cyclists all vying for awards in the following useless and misbegotten categories:

Greatest Advocate
Best Bike Shop
Best Young Rider
Best Old Rider
Most Improved
Best Club
Best Event
Wanker of the Year
Belgian Award
Group Ride Champion
Best Sponsor
Best Male Racer
Best Female Racer
GC Award
Greatest Recovery
Strava KOM
Most Happy to Help others
Most Fun
Best Spouse/SO
Ian Davidson South Bay Rider of the Year

Unlike past years, when victims were forced to listen to me prattle non-stop for hours on end, this year I’ll be sharing announcing duties with Rahsaan Bahati, who promises to bring a (small) measure of class, professionalism, humor, and good taste to this otherwise profane event.

As in past years, sponsors will be given direct access to a market containing dozens of people who on a per capita basis spend up to $75 a year on bicycling related equipment, less when you include the haggling. Sponsors for 2017 include:

Velo Club LaGrange: Purveyors of fine bicycling.
South Bay Wheelmen: Purveyors of fine Manhattan Beach Grand Prixs
Meta Design Works: Purveyors of fine graphics
Performance Bicycle: Purveyors of fine parts.
JoJe Bars: Purveyors of fine bike food.
Echelon ColorEchelon Color: Making colors from light.
Wend Wax: Makes your nasty chain sparkly clean, butter smooth.
BonkBreaker: Purveyors of fine bike food who compete with other purveyors of fine bike food.
Base Cartel: Purveyors of socks and bike attire. Not tires.
BeachBody: Purveyors of amazing supplement stuff.
MTW: Purveyors of fitness, training, and Charon’s legs.
Little Giant: Purveyors of socks and bike attire who will make you look bikish.
FFWD: Purveyors of fine carbon wheels that are 100% carbon.
BWR: Purveyors of fine pain, aged in oaken barrels.

Here, then, are the details:

 

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Pass me another serving of grenades, please

July 5, 2015 § 13 Comments

We overtook the Team Helen’s/Santa Monica BMW guys on Ocean and I noticed that in the midst of their stylish blue-white-red kits there was an orange helmet. The rider was rail thin and wearing an Optum kit. I checked his top tube and it said “Phil Gaimon.”

So I knew that the 2015 July 4th Holiday Ride was going to be hard.

Me about to show this wanker how to ride a bike.

Me about to show this wanker how to ride a bike. Photo courtesy of South Bay Baby Seal.

It turns out that Gaimon, who’s one of the nicest people around, showed up to help the Helen’s guys retake their Mandeville KOM, formerly owned by local legend Tony Manzella and recently usurped by Nick Brandt-Sorenson, the infamous masters racer who received a two-year suspension after testing positive for naughty substances at masters nationals in Bend, Oregon in 2011, where he won both road and the crit titles and then de-won them after the pee-pee test.

To my way of thinking, Strava KOM’s are the one place that doping and dopers should be encouraged, since the whole compete-on-Strava thing is a totally bogus shit show to begin with, but whatever … my immediate problem was figuring out how a 51-year-old freddie would stay in the same county as the top pro road racer in the country.

The short answer, of course, is “ain’t gonna happen,” and it didn’t. But when we turned onto Mandeville Canyon Road for the 6-mile, 16-minute climb, it sure seemed like it might. Then Phil went to the front and five seconds later the dream died stillborn.

I was behind Frenchy the Younger, seven bikes back. In the rear I could hear the pounding and mashing of the massive fredoton which included well over 200 idiots like me who thought that we were really going to get a chance to ride against Phil Gaimon.

The Mandeville Canyon climb is very gradual, and never starts to hurt until the halfway point. We hadn’t finished the first quarter mile and over a hundred riders had evaporated into a mist of seized muscles and irreparably ruined (until tomorrow) egos. My legs hurt in that first quarter mile the way they usually hurt in the last.

After the white picket fence that marks the halfway point, U23 Hagens-Berman pro and Eagle Scout Diego Binatena leaped away from what was now a group of less than ten people.  Phil took a breath, never bothering to get off the hoods, and gradually increased his effort by ten watts every thirty seconds. Diego returned to the fold and a couple of other riders popped like the gas-inflated stomach of a decomposing corpse that’s stuck with a shovel.

Now Phil had Diego, Matt Cuttler, me, Matt Wikstrom, Tony Manzella, and Stathis Sakellariadis on his wheel. All but Tony and Matt were young enough to be my kids, and all, including Tony, were just getting warmed up. The massive noise and carnage earlier in the ride had been replaced by the eerily quiet sound of spinning chains and labored breathing, which turned out to be mine.

With about half a mile to go Matt started to come off Diego’s wheel. “I’m done,” he muttered.

“Close the fucking gap!” I croaked, and miraculously, he lunged and did.

Shortly thereafter we both cracked. Tony, Matt, and Stathis came streaking past to close the yawning gap I generously handed them. Matt and I pedaled together briefly until I had to leave him in order to get caught up on some important reading material. When I hit the final wall, Phil had sat and was lazily pedaling. He had towed the group, I later learned, for the entire fifteen minutes at something around 430 watts.

Of course I sprunted by him and shouted, “Quitter!” as I beat the remnants of the softly charging fredoton, led by Derek B. and G$. Diego, Stathis, Matt, and Tony were finishing the business section of the Times when I arrived.

“Beat” of course is meaningless when all you do is finish ahead of someone, because the true tale of the tape is on the KOM leaderboard, where the computer gets to decide who’s the fastest of them all. Poor Phil Gaimon never had a chance against ol’ Strava.

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Return of the zombies

July 2, 2015 § 18 Comments

The stupidest ride in America happens on July 4, the infamous South Bay Holiday Ride. The lemmings begin massing at CotKU an hour early, swilling bad coffee and getting into the zone, which is never erogenous.

Then at 7:59:13, give or take a thousandth of a second, the premature ejaculation begins when some over-caffeinated Frenzied Freddie can’t hold back and shoots down Highland towards the glorious doom that awaits all but a select few. Like cockroaches fleeing a flashlight, bicyclists scurry forth from every side street and crevice along the route to Santa Monica.

By the time you hit Vista del Mar the contingent is easily two hundred weak. By the time you hit the bottom of Mandeville, it is three hundred or more. Unlike other terrible rides and mob assaults on appliance stores, no order can be imposed on the Holiday Ride unless it is with a water cannon and pepper spray, although some have tried. This is because the Frenzied Freddies are hell-bent on going to the front and “racing.”

Laugh all you want, they’ve prepped all year for their moment of glory, and each one can hold 35 mph for two hundred yards before their nutsacks explode. This creates a massive churn-and-chum effect, with the mob hurtling along at breakneck speed, led by idiots whose eyeballs are stuck to their Garmins. The catastrophic crashing from riders 75-300 in the rear is epic, as Frenzied Freddies mix with Lazy Larrys who in turn bump and grind with First Time Tommys, the whole swirling mass shedding carbon, components, helmet shards, skin, spokes, pieces of skull, and spandex with each passing mile.

One year the Governor of Palos Verdes rode to the front and tried to “set pace,” resulting in him being swarmed by hairy-legged, hairy-knuckled, hairy-toothed riders who refused to take “No” for an answer.

By the time the group has run every stop sign and red light between Manhattan Beach and Brentwood, hundreds of riders have been shed and replaced with equally maniacal and unskilled Tour de France imaginaires. Then they hit San Vicente like a giant, soft, 60,000-pound blob of shit being lobbed into the sun, as the long, very gradual uphill always invites a handful of riders to hit the front and maintain an excruciating pace on the grade.

Riders fry, frazzle, quit, cry, pee, pop, and poop all the way up San Vicente until the group is whittled down to a svelte and manageable 200 riders or so, all of whom lunge at full speed from Sunset onto the narrow residential two-lane avenue of Mandeville Canyon Drive. From there it is an 18-minute race up a 6-mile climb, with riders pushed into oncoming traffic or shoved up against the right-hand edge into the curb, into pot holes, into road cracks, onto sprinkler heads, into oblivion.

The first five hundred yards are an elbow-throwing, bar-banging, shoulder-crunching jostle because if you let one of the Frenzied Freddies get in front of you here, you’ll be done quicker than a ribeye in an incinerator. Without killing or maiming more than a handful of challengers, you have to position in the top ten wheels, as Suicide Sammys will, one after another, take killingly bitter pulls to keep the pace bleedingly fast and shear the wool from the eyes of the deluded.

At the white picket fence, if he’s there and on form, Roadchamp will take his first smash into the wind, whittling the group down to ten finalists or fewer. From there it is a root canal of attrition, finishing at the top of Mandeville Canyon in dribs and drabs of gasping human meat and shuddering bowels.

I hate this ride with all my might, really, I do. It is a 70-mile foray in horrible traffic for the briefest of beatdowns administered by people I only know by their rear wheel.

But THIS YEAR the Helen’s-Santa Monica BMW team will celebrate the post-ride carnage at the dealership on 12th and Santa Monica Blvd. with free coffee, free smoothies, free bagels, and free CPR.

So this year I’m in. See you there!

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Wankology

December 8, 2014 § 43 Comments

It is kind of complicated every time I meet an English person. They sound funny right away and I always try to guess where they’re from and I’m always wrong. I figure it’s got to be one of the former English colonies like South Africa, New Zealand, Austria, or even England itself, but I always pick wrong and the person is always mildly annoyed.

Then when they say they’re English I try to show that I’m a knowledgeable fellow and so I say, “Oh, really? What part?”

Then they get this look like “This bloke [that’s an English word meaning ‘fellow’] isn’t going to have a clue where my little corner of England is,” but they go ahead and tell me in order to be polite, somewhere like Leeds, or Glasgow, or Cardiff, or Dublin or one of the other major cities in England.

Of course I’m never sure where any of those places are so then they’re still trying to be polite and they’re like, “So have you ever been to the U.K.?” and I’m always like, “No,” and I explain how I’m not good with foreign languages and I’m always too embarrassed to ask them what’s the difference between the United Kingdom and Man United.

It’s also pretty awkward when I ask them what’s their favorite football team (that’s to show I know it’s not called “soccer” in England) because they kind of already know I don’t know anything about it and it’s probably the 400th time this conversation has happened this week, usually at the checkout stand or while buying some coffee, but most of the time I don’t tell them that I’m related to the queen.

However, one guy I sometimes ride with, Nancy, really can’t stand English people. “Fucking I hate ’em,” Nancy will sometimes say if an English dude shows up on a ride. Of course he tends to say that to anyone new, but he specializes in English people because the ones that hang out over here tend to be complete badasses on the bike and they drop him immediately, which he doesn’t much care for.

“Really? How come?” I asked him one day.

“Fucking arrogant bastards, that’s why.”

“Arrogant about what?”

“Fucking act like they invented the fucking language.”

“Well, didn’t they?” I asked.

That didn’t sit very well with Nancy. “They act like they fucking know everything,” he said.

“Yeah,” I said, “I kind of see where you’re coming from. But you know, they have a pretty badass tradition of being, you know, pretty smart.”

“Smart about what?” he snarled.

“Not that it’s a lot, but you know, Shakespeare, Dickens, the first novel, pretty much all the books worth reading in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries that weren’t written by Mark Twain, and I’m pretty sure they discovered DNA, oh, and the Rolling Stones.”

Nancy got livid. “The Rolling Stones? Those fuckers stole our music!”

“Our music?”

“Fuck yeah! They just ripped off our American blues masters and commercialized it!” Nancy is super white.

“You mean the music of the black Americans who Elvis ripped off and commercialized?”

“Yeah!” he yelled.

“Seems to me that the English did what everyone else was doing on that score, they just did it better.”

“What the hell are you? Some English lover? I bet you drink tea.” About this time a group of riders pedaled by in the other direction.

“Man, that’s a pretty big group of wankers,” I said, trying to change the topic.

Nancy went ballistic. “Don’t you ever use that stupid fucking word around me again!” he screeched. “Do you even know what it means? It’s English talk for a jerk-off! It’s the worst thing a British person can say about someone! I hate that fucking word and now it’s everywhere because somebody on a stupid fucking moronic blog started using it like a cutesy word and now it’s wanker this and wanker that and wank the other and it makes me so sick I could kill someone! It’s like calling everyone ‘cum-face.’ You think that’s cute? Plus it’s English and it makes me fucking sick so for fuck’s sake don’t ever use that word again!”

Nancy’s veins from his excessive drinking had popped out all over his face and teeth and he was shivering from anti-imperialistic fervor. About this time Rodley pedaled up, as we had stopped at a red light so that Nancy could take his seizure pills. Rodley is the nicest guy you will ever meet. He put his foot down and smiled the friendliest smile. “Hey, wankers!” he said. “What’s up?”

I’m not sure what happened to Nancy because he got off his bike and began moaning, and a couple of English guys I know rolled by and they started explaining that the U.K. wasn’t a football (soccer) team. I hope Nancy is okay.

END

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