Just don’t call it “little”

November 7, 2014 § 18 Comments

We were sitting around the fire after a wonderful dinner with friends and so naturally the talk turned to Mrs. Wankmeister’s underwear. “I’m using onna underpants that are sometimes the old and sometimes the new,” she said. “The old ones is onna classic type.”

My buddy’s wife asked what exactly was a “classic type.”

“That’s a underpants onna ain’t got any holes,” said Mrs. WM. “But I hate onna throwin’ away old underpants unless they have a big holes,” she added. “For ten years wearin’ onna old underpants is okay because they are softer.”

“Speaking of underpants,” I said, “that reminds me of that ride I once did with Tom Malone.”

“Oh,” said Mrs. WM, “thatsa funny story onna his o-chin-chin.”

“What happened?” asked my buddy’s wife.

“Well,” I said, “it was like this. I was living in Utsunomiya and Tom was living in Ujiie-machi. I called him up the night before and said, ‘Dude, let’s ride tomorrow,’ and he was like, ‘Cool, meet you at seven out by Inokashira Park.’ The next morning I put my bike in the car and drove out to the park; it was cold as hell. I had brought my warmest clothing — it was 40 degrees and getting colder by the hour. Wool Santini hat, glove liner, heavy over gloves, wool socks, neoprene booties, thick winter tights, heavy under-layer, jersey, wool arm warmers, wool sweater, and outer Santini jacket. I knew it was going to be a brutal ride.

“When I got to the park Tom hopped out of his car wearing a pair of shorts, a light pair of spring gloves, a helmet, Lycra arm warmers, and a short-sleeve jersey. ‘Dude,’ I said, ‘you’re gonna freeze your ass off.’

“‘No problem,’ he said, ‘I’ll be fine.’

“So we started out and after half an hour he was frozen to the core. ‘You okay?’ I asked. ‘You look pretty bad.’

“‘Nah,’ he said, ‘I’ll be fine.’

“We pedaled on for another half an hour and even I was getting cold, even though I was bundled up like a polar bear. Pretty soon Tom’s head started to droop. Then he started to moan. ‘You okay?’ I asked.

“‘No,’ he said. Then he moaned some more, and I mean it was an agonizing moan, like someone whose hand is slowly being fed into a meatgrinder. After a couple of minutes he stopped pedaling and fell off his bike into a ditch. ‘Dude!’ I said, being pretty afraid. ‘What’s wrong?’

“‘Mr. Business,’ he moaned. ‘Mr. Business is frozen!’

“I looked around for Mr. Business but there was nobody on the road but us, then I realized he had his hands jammed down his shorts and was rubbing like a madman. ‘Shit, dude,’ I said, ‘is it frozen?’

“‘Aaaaaagh!’ he screamed. ‘Mr. Bizzzzznesssssss!’ I had seen people freeze the ends of their noses, their fingers, and their toes before, but I’d never seen anyone freeze that, and as he tried to rub in some heat I wondered what to do. ‘I’m your pal, Tom,’ I said, considering the various ways I might assist him, ‘but there are limits to our friendship.’ Then it occurred to me to offer him my wool Santini cap. He desperately grabbed and wrapped it around Mr. Business. ‘Dude,’ I said, ‘no need to worry about giving it back.’

“We pedaled back to the car and the Business came back to life and I drove home and told Mrs. Wankmeister about it. She thought it was pretty funny.”

“Yes,” Mrs. Wankmeister said, “but then I got worried onna Seth’s chin-chin because he’s always out riding onna cold days and what if he’s onna frozen too and no one’s gonna stick his hands and hats and warmin’ onna his chin-chin? So I made you onna that cover.”

“What?” said my buddy’s wife.

Mrs. WM looked at her. “He had onna old wool socks and I cut one up for makin’ a little foldy-over-cover for him puttin’ onna his chin-chin for warmin’.”

“A little wool cover, huh?” my buddy said, grinning. “How little was it?”

Mrs. WM paused and looked at my face, but she apparently couldn’t see me mouth the word “enormous” in the darkness. “Oh, it wasn’t onna too little, just a medium little.”

There was a brief silence as we waited for the paramedics to come and assist with my pal and his wife, who appeared to be choking to death from laughter. Eventually Mrs. WM steered the conversation over to the subject of pajama bottoms and how my one pair had giant holes in them and no elastic and were held up by twisting a big rubber band around the bunched up waistline. “I got something for you,” said my buddy. He went inside and came back out with a big pair of thermal pajama bottoms that had a working drawstring. I’d had a few beers, so I put them around my neck and eventually we went home.

That evening I tried on the PJ’s and they were a perfect fit, especially where it matters most. “Those onna be good PJ’s for you,” said Mrs. WM. “They gotta good fit on your hanging space.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “but could I make a request?”

“Oh sure,” she said.

“The next time you’re explaining to a crowd of people something — anything — related to that … ”


“Could you try not to use the words ‘little’?”

“Itsa bad words,” she agreed. “Cutesy is onna better, right?”

I sighed. “Right.”


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Big C, Part One: Don’t eat the fried pork

July 25, 2013 § 12 Comments

Every bad ending has its roots in a bad beginning. In this case it was a steaming hot platter of spicey fried pork, which I inhaled. Then I looked greedily at Woodrow’s plate.

“Are you done?”


“I think I have space for those ribs.”

“What ribs?”

“The ones on your plate.”

“There’s nothing left except the bones.”

“Are you kidding? A rib’s not properly eaten until you’ve gnawed the gristle and stripped the membrane.”

“Yuck. It’s all yours, Dad.”

The next day was Friday. “You sure up onna early,” said Mrs. Wankmeister.

“Huge day today. Gotta get in early and ambush the day.”

“You not ridin’ onna bike? Itsa time wastin’ day all your bikin’ friends ain’t got onna job and wastin’ all day Friday like it’s onna weekend day.”

“Nah. Got too much on my plate. If I’m at the desk by seven it will set me up for the rest of the week. If I fiddlefuck around with those wankers we’ll wind up drinking coffee and swapping lies at Terranea until eleven.”

“What do you want onna breakfast?”

“I’m not hungry after all that greasy pork and all that gristle last night.”

“You gonna work onna cup of coffee and you gonna fail crash onna desk because no energy.”

“I know my body.”

“I know it onna lot better because you actin’ onna guilty because you eatin’ all a dinner like a trash disposer an now you gonna try to get the day onna one cup of coffee but you gonna be hungry like cats and dogs and come home hungry and eat ten times as more. Why you don’t eat onna oatmeal now?”

“Nah. I’m good.”

Then I checked my phone and saw a text from Junkyard. “Coffee cruise. You in?”

“Nah,” I texted back. “Gotta work. Big day ahead.”

“Good man.”

I pulled on my kit and got halfway to work. “Dang, it’s early. I suppose I could do part of the coffee cruise and peel off for the office after twenty or thirty minutes. That would still put me in early.”

I turned off and met the gang. “Hey,” said Junkyard with a nod, the silent acknowledgment of a fellow lazyshit bike bum deadbeat. “What happened to the big day?”

“I’m gonna pedal with you guys for a few minutes and then head on to work.”

“Yeah. Sure. Let’s roll.”

At 10:30 I checked my watch. “Fuck! How’d that happen?”

“How’d what happen?” asked Junkyard, now on his fourth cup of coffee and well into a story about some girls, a stolen bike, three cases of beer, a garage, and a job interview.

“I gotta go, guys.” I jumped on my bike and dashed to the office. By eleven I was hard at work.

At 11:30 the phone rang. It was Jack from Illinois (not his real name). “Hey,” he said.

“Hey. What’s up?”

“I just got into town. Go for a pedal?”

“Can’t. Big day today at the office.”

“Of course.”

“What were you thinking of?”

“Quick spin around the Hill with Crabs. You’d be back by two.”

“Well, I’ve still got my riding shorts on.”

“Meet me in twenty?”


Bad things come to those who wait

I met the crew. “Man, I’m hungry.”

“Didn’t you eat lunch?” asked Jack from Illinois (not his real name).

“Just some coffee this morning. But I’ll be fine.”

“Sure, you will. Let’s roll.”

Three and a half hours later we got back to Redondo Beach, and I was dehydrated and famished. “Let’s grab a beer,” suggested Crabs. “That’ll perk you up.”

“Beer,” added Jack with a smirk. “It’s what’s for dinner.”

We sat down and ordered the first round. “You guys gotta come by our new place sometime,” I said.

“Nice place, huh?” said Crabs.

“More of a dump, actually. But our neighbor is smoking hot and hangs out on the adjacent balcony all day with a thong and a bathing bra. She’s very talented.”

“She talks to an old worn out shoe like you?”

“Never had the nerve to even say ‘hello.’ I’m waiting for the perfect moment to make the right impression.”

“Hey, easy on that beer,” Jack said as I drained the first tumbler. “It’s gonna hit you like a sledgehammer.”

“Afraid it already has.”

“Why don’t you get something to eat?” he said as we ordered another round.

“Fuggit, I’ll be fine.”

By the third round it was clear that “fine” was not a condition that I would be in for the remainder of the day, which was now an early evening. Crabs had left us, and as Jack simultaneously phoned Mrs. WM and ordered me a double cheeseburger with bleu cheese and sautéed onions and jalapeños and avocado, I put in for a fourth pint, this final, giant nail in my coffin being something called a Triple IPA and arriving dark and bitter and cold and ornery and evil and, with the abandon of the first three, being tossed carelessly down my throat with this difference, that instead of roiling my already distressed and churning stomach with nothing but its companions, it mixed and matched and heaved and rolled with the monstrous burger which, Jack later said, “You appeared to devour in whole swallows, without chewing.”

“I gotta go,” I slurred. “Bfor’ I get too drunk.” There was three of everything and the deck of the ship pitched and rolled atop the heavy seas.

“We’re too late for that. You gotta wait. Your wife’s coming to get you.”

“She is? She don’t have a bike.”

“Right. She has a car.”

On cue Mrs. Wankmeister appeared. She wasn’t happy. “What you wanna be drinky pants alla day when you supposed to be onna workin’?”

“I was gonna…”

“You was gonna be drinky pants and now I’m onna taxi service because you’re onna too drunk for ridin’ home or standin’.”

“I don’t need no taxi,” I muttered as I slumped over in the passenger seat.

“You’re lookin’ onna drinky pants green face and you better not be throwin’ out all onna inside my car!”

“I won’t!” I tried to shout back, but couldn’t because of the cheesebeer that kept fighting to crawl out of, or rather pour out of, my throat, and the ensuing struggle to keep down the admixture meant that all I could say was, “Urghhh.”

“You get out now!” she commanded.

I struggled to my feet, crossed the parking lot, and somehow ascended the stairs and reached my door. Turning to the wall I leaned over and opened my mouth as the cheeseburger mixed with four pints of beer and bile splattered against the wall and formed a pool in which I stupidly stood, waiting for the eruption to stop.

“Are you okay?” It was the smoking hot neighbor, of course, and I paused for a moment to reflect on my impeccable timing.

“Uh-uh,” I said, and completed the ejection, wondering why my feet were now soggy and warm and squishy between the toes, and wondering why everything smelled like beer vomit, and wondering what would happen if I sat down, and after sitting down, wondering why my bottom felt warm and soggy like my feet, and what that squishy wet feeling was seeping up through the pad of my riding shorts and into the crack of my butt.

Tomorrow, we ride

At 5:00 AM my phone rang. Was it really my phone? Or was it my head? Or was it both? It was.

Then the hangover inventory began. “Where am I?” I asked myself.

“You are in bed.”

“How did I get here?”

“Someone put you here.”

“But the last I remember I was sitting in my own vomit.”

“You’re now wearing clean PJ’s and your favorite Smurf underwear.”

“Why do I smell good?”

“Someone must have bathed you.”

“But I was fully dressed and covered in very nasty pieces of hamburger and bleu cheese and beer.”

“Someone has taken care of you, it appears.”

I looked over at the other side of the bed. That slight turn of the head set off whanging hammers and grenades and lightning bolts of pain in my skull. She wasn’t awake yet. So it would at least be an our or so before The Reckoning.

The phone kept ringing. “Hello?” I said.

“You alive?” It was Jack.

“Of course.”

“How do you feel?”

“Great. As long as I don’t move and there’s no noise above a whisper.”

“Well, the Donut Ride is at eight, so start eating aspirin, eggs, and drinking water. You’ve got three hours.”

“Not happening. And quit screaming.”

“I’m not screaming and it is happening. Glass Hip’s in town and you promised me you’d ride with us. It’s his first Donut since he moved to California in 1996. Sack up.”

The crazy man with the hammer and the lightning bolts paused for a minute. Here was a hard choice. Stay in bed and be there when Mrs. Saint Wankmeister awoke, or get up and escape under cover of darkness for the Donut Ride, knowing that each movement for the next four hours would be a living, agonizing hell.

The wrath of Mrs. WM? Or the wrath of Glass Hip and assorted Donut idiots who would pummel me in my weakness?

“I’l meet you in thirty,” I said.

News from around the Empire

January 18, 2013 § 11 Comments

As of today I’m free at last, free at last, thank Dog almighty I’m free at last. “Why?” you ask. Because henceforth when I get asked The Question(s) about The Cyclist I get to say, after thoughtfully furrowing my brow, this: “Well, it’s a good question. I suggest you go out and ride your bicycle in order to answer it.”

Elbow testing: Junkyard thwacked his rebuilt elbow yesterday at the start of the NPR, right where the electronic circuitry connected to the shoulder bone, which was connected to the brain bone, which was connected to the new PV Kit bone, which got shredded and tore a hole bigger than Dallas. The ‘bow, however, is rock solid minus a touch of cosmetic road wear. They DID build him better than he was before.

Bellyflop: Neumann/aka Hockeystick/now known as “Belly” did a track stand at the turnaround on the NPR, had his wheel chopped, and tumbled off his bicycle. No harm done, and he was quickly helped by Rahsaan. He did, however, bounce when he hit. I’ve never seen that before. Belly, time to try the South Bay Wanker Diet. It’s painful, but it works and it’s free. PS: Track stands in the middle of swirling roadie packs = Numbskullish.

First blood: Charon Smith scored his first win of the year at Ontario last week, finishing so far ahead of the field that he had time to completely recover from his sprint effort and shave his head by the time he crossed the line. The finish photo shows everyone with teeth gritted, faces twisted, bodies hunched over the bars looking like they’re running from a zombie army, and Charon with arms raised, mouth closed, and no visible signs of exertion as he cruises to the win. I’m pretty sure there were some intense post-race team huddles at MRI/Monster Media, and they went like this:

“Don’t ever let it finish in a bunch sprint again, dogdammit!”

“I told you we’re going to have to break away to win! Only way to outsprint Charon is by making him do the 1/2 races, where he belongs.”

“We can’t have him in a break, ever!”

“At CBR we’ll attack the entire race until we get away!”

“If we work together with the other 99 riders in the race, we might have a chance!”


By the way, good luck with that plan!

Get ready for CBR: The first South Bay crit of the year happens on Sunday when Chris Lotts puts on the Dominguez Hills Anger Crit Thingy. Please show up to support local road racing in SoCal. Yes, you’ll be pack meat, just like last year. So what?

Winter’s over: The South Bay endured seven (some say eight) days of brutal winter this month, where early temperatures got down to 39, and the highs never crested 65. Thankfully, the bitter temperatures are over, and we’re slowly returning to lows in the high 40’s, highs in the high 70’s. Don’t put away your heavy winter clothing yet, but for sure rotate it to the back of the closet.

Bad wind news: G$ is in Scottsdale testing his bike position in a wind tunnel. Great. A faster G$. Just what those of us in the Elderly Fellows category need.

Gitcher waffle on: The Belgian Waffle Ride is set for April 7, 2013. It will be the hardest one-day ride of the year, where chicken tactics, wheelsucking, and letting others do all the work will earn you nothing more than infamy and a purple card. This will be first and foremost a contest between you and the road. Finish it and you’ll know satisfaction!

Mad props to Dorothy: The 2012 cyclocross season has ended in SoCal, and it couldn’t have gone better or been done without the extraordinary efforts and work and innovation and enthusiasm of Dorothy Wong. I bailed after about ten races. That shit is hard. Next year, which I suppose would be this year, I’ll be in for the whole season now that I know what I’m in for. Thanks to Dorothy for making ‘cross such a success.

Equipment flail: After dissing on my Night Rider lighting system and replacing it with the tube-shaped Serfas light, I can happily report that the Serfas is far superior except that it shuts off every time I hit a bump, and after about four or five bumps it won’t restart without a 1-minute pause or longer. That’s a long-ass time when you’re bombing down VdM on Bull’s wheel at dark-thirty. For $150.00 you’d almost expect something that would work, but then you remember, “It’s an elite cycling product, so of course it’s a pile of shit unless you spend at least $500.00.”

Smooth looking skin: Since incorporating kimchi into my diet, Mrs. Wankmeister has advised me that my skin is softer, more lustrous, and gradually shedding the leathery, scaly, rough, scabbed-over look that comes with road cycling. Though I don’t give a rat’s ass about the  beauty aspect, I do believe that healthier skin will stave off the skin cancer in my future for at least a year or two, and Professor Google confirms that kimchi is the wonderfood for healthy skin. The downside of course are the kimchi farts. Those things are vicious, however, they too have a beneficial effect on skin, as anyone on your wheel gets an instant facial dermal peel when one of those suckers rips into their face. You have to be careful, though, because they can also melt the polarizing slits on your expensive cycling glasses.

My hikkuri-goshi

October 19, 2012 § 21 Comments

“Yowwwww!” I screeched.

“Why you gonna wake me up with a yammering onna leg cramp?” It was 1:30 AM, and Mrs. Wankmeister was not amused.

“Yowwww-owwww, owwwwww!” I caterwauled, doing the double pretzel with a reverse back-arch.

“I told you you gonna leg cramp if you don’t drink more water instead of coffee,” she groused, covering her head with the pillow. “Is alla other biker wifes have a yammer husband onna night leg cramp instead of good whoopie? When I gonna get a good whoopie?”

This, however, was no ordinary leg cramp. In fact, it was no leg cramp at all. It was my first ever gikkuri-goshi.

Injuring your way to fitness

A key part of any gym and cyclocross winter routine for older fellows is to get good and injured. Fukdude had made that clear from the start. “Dude,” he said. “You’re gonna fuckin kill yourself racing cyclocross.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yeah, you sure fucking are. And what you don’t ruin falling headfirst into some fucking mudpit or splitting on some fuckin barrier, you will for sure wreck forever in the gym.”

“So far I’ve done okay.”

“Okay? Fuck dude, you’ve crashed in both your ‘cross races, smashed your new bike, scraped up your left leg, hurt your right knee, and pulled your fuckin hamstring so bad you couldn’t bend over for a whole week.”

“I’m better now.”

“You think you are. But in order to really get fucked up you gotta fuck yourself up in the gym. Heavy shit twisting all the fuck over on spindly old dude arms, backs, and knees. Try squats or box jumps. That way you’ll just fuckin cripple yourself and be done with it.”

Finally got my big gym injury…outside the gym, of course

Last night I was waiting for dinner and figured I’d do a few sit-ups and maybe a couple of curls and play with my medicine ball to dull the hunger. I was more vigorous than usual, but it was the same set of Jane Fonda routines I always do.

I felt fine.

I ate dinner.

I felt fine.

I went to bed.

I felt fine.

I woke up screaming with indescribable pain in my lower back. Mrs. WM finally realized that this was more than the usual late-night cramp dance in bed. “You okay, sweetie honey?” she asked. When she breaks out the “sweetie honey,” it’s flat fucking bad.

“My back,” I grunt-moaned. “My fucking back just went out.” The slightest motion other than completely flat and still sent pangs of all-consuming pain radiating throughout my body. It was worse than my first day of calisthenics at Jane Long Junior High in 7th Grade, with Coach Castoria berating us as we lay on the slab, melting in the fiery August heat. A thousand times worse.

“Whatta happened?”

I panted, not moving. “Dunno. But my back is killing me if I move.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well, I’m gonna tell you an advice then.”

“What?” I panted.

“Don’ move.” Then she rolled over and picked up her iPhone. “You was doin’ onna exercises before dinner, huh?”


Tap, tap, tap. “Okay. It say right here onna doctor Google you gotta gikkuri-goshi. It’s a gonna go away.”

“What the fuck is ‘gikkuri-goshi’? And I’m sure it will go away. Everything goes away after you die.”

“Itsa Japnese back problem. You just gonna have a big pain and then be better if you don move no more.”

Why her strategy was doomed to fail

“Honey, I have to move. I have to pee something fierce.” I tried to roll onto my side to get off the bed, but the pain was unbearable.

Now Mrs. WM was in full alarm mode. “Don you pee onna bed!” she yelled. “Hol it for a minutes I’m gonna get you a pee bottle.” She dashed into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and I heard the milk being poured down the drain. She rushed back in. “You still got the pee inside?” she was frantic.

“Dog, yes, it’s killing me. And my back, oh, dog, my fucking back!”

“Here!” she commanded. With a firm grip she jerked me over onto my side.

The world was plunged into pitch black punctuated by roman candles of pain. “Ahhh fuck! Ahhhh fuck!” Next thing I knew she had yanked down my shorts.

“Now stick it inna nozzle hole!” she commanded.

This was usually a procedure I excelled at, but tonight I fumbled under the dim lamp on the nightstand trying to wedge Prong A into Opening B. However, and I swear I’m not bragging here, my Prong A was not the right size for the plastic milk jug. “It won’t fit!” I wailed.

Mrs. WM reached down and with a sharp yank and a push poked it into the empty bottle. “Owwww!” I roared, as the corrugated inside threads on the plastic neck scraped and nicked.

Mrs. WM relaxed. “Okay, sweetie honey. Now you can pee onna bottle.”

Unfortunately, all the shoving and thrusting and poking and rubbing, combined with the excess fluid build-up in my bladder, had caused a certain phenomenon to begin. “Ahhhhhhh!” I cried in pain, as I’d already been tightly wedged into the nozzle..

“Itsa okay! I can get it out!” She reached over to yank the jug but I slapped her hand away, sending massive waves of pain up and down my spine and concentrating in my dick.

“Don’t you touch that fucking jug!” I yelled.

“Itsa okay!” she said, still afraid that the hose would come loose and pee on the sheets. “Imma call the 9-1-1!”

There was nothing on earth that could have made me sit bolt upright except that phrase, and the mental image of an EMS team showing up in my bedroom.

I could see the EMS dude talking into the mike. “Roger, home base, we got a white male, late 40’s, penis wedged in a milk carton with a back injury and sopping with sweat. Proceeding with Code 7. Bill, hand me the penis-bottle removing tool. And stabilize his neck and spine.”

“Honey, don’t fucking call 9-1-1. I can get it off.” With care I extracted Prong from Opening. Now I was really getting ready to lose it.

I heard her clattering around on the balcony. “Hold onna pee! Hold onna pee!” She rushed back in with the giant mop bucket that I use to clean my bike. I had fallen back onto my side, gasping in pain. “Pee inna bucket!”

Holding the giant plastic bucket in position, I slowly drained the tank, and it’s a good thing the milk carton hadn’t worked: I would have overflowed that sucker and then been banned from the house forever, gikkuri-goshi and all.

Mrs. WM looked on, proud of her quick thinking. “Thatsa good ol’ pee bucket,” she said with satisfaction. Then she wrinkled her nose as the pungent reek of ammonia filled the bedroom. “But thatsa stinky ol’ pee you doin.”

She carried away the sloshing bucket and dumped it in the toilet.

“Now be still, honey sweetie!” she commanded. “An no more peein!”

Somehow I drifted off to sleep.

The alarm went off at 5:00 AM, and I could move. Somewhat. Without total debilitating pain.


Gikkuri-goshi? I can check that shit off my list. And once I can walk again, I’m gonna race ‘cross. Hopefully tomorrow.

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