April 5, 2016 § 37 Comments
It’s really hard to get away from bicycling, but I was determined.
My youngest son is in the midst of college admissions season, or as I fondly call it, college rejection season, and I am so glad that he will be the last kid of mine to go through this perverse circus of manipulation, extortion, debasement, and fraud.
My oldest kid got rejected from her first choice school, the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, and ended up going to her “back-up” college, Tokyo University. That’s the university that successful Japanese applicants begin studying for in earnest when they enter kindergarten. It’s the university that receives half of the entire national budget for higher education, and from which most leading Japanese politicians and heads of major corporations have graduated from.
It turned out to be a shit school, though. Lots of prestige and a big empty bag of wind with regard to content, education, development, or learning. And since she ended up back in the US where no one had ever heard of it anyway, it was actually a negative. “University of Tokyo?” they’d say. “That’s … interesting.”
My next kid went to an Ivy League school. “Here in the good old USA,” we thought, “he’ll get a fantastic education at the elite academy that is the University of Pennsylvania.”
He may have got that, but what we got was crushing debt. And when push came to shove, he was wholly uninterested in the real benefit that Penn offered, which was first choice of cubicles at Goldman Sachs. Instead, he failed utterly to LEARN THE LESSON OF THE EAST COAST ELITE WHICH IS MONEY, FUCKER and wound up immersed in philosophy, literature, German, teaching, and other things that are good for the soul and make you happy and a better person and an informed citizen but never get a crowd of angry protesters outside your house cursing you and your corporation for buying their home at a foreclosure sale and evicting them onto the street.
I hate to say it, but he could have gotten all of those things right around the corner at CSU Long Beach and the missus and I would now occasionally be able to splurge at The Habit instead of taking all our meals from instant ramen packages.
But now that we as parents had accumulated our Merit Badges of Offspring Higher Education which allowed us to wear sweatshirts that said “Penn” and to use little leather key rings that said “University of Tokyo” as a substitute for a fat 401k, we were ready to ram our third child through the meaningless and humiliating process of college applications, which we unhesitatingly did.
“Just because it sucks and is awful and stupid doesn’t mean it’s bad,” I consoled him.
Only he didn’t want to be rammed and refused to apply to more than a handful of schools. And when he found out that he’d been wait-listed at UCLA and admitted at UCSB, he shrugged. “I don’t want to go to UCSB, so I’ll wait to see if I get into UCLA and if I don’t I’ll go to community college for two years and transfer. You’ll save money and I won’t have to go somewhere I hate.”
“Whoa,” I said. “Hate? How can you hate UCSB? You’ve never even been there.”
“I’ve heard it’s a massive party school.”
“But what’s the down side?”
“I’m going to UCLA.”
“Son,” I said, “UCSB is reportedly overflowing with beautiful women. You are a young man. Do I need to diagram this?”
He looked at me with pity. “Thanks, Dad. But I’m still not interested.”
“Why not? You’ve never even been there! All my friends who’ve graduated from UCSB swear by its, uh, academics. Destroyer went there for dog’s sake.” As soon as I said it I realized that this was not perhaps my strongest card. “Look,” I said. “UCSB is a fine school. Beautiful, uh, location. Beautiful, ah, weather. Really hot, uh, summer days. And gorgeous, er, beaches.”
“I want an education.”
“Damn it, son!” I was so frustrated thinking about all the trips I wouldn’t be getting to take to visit him at UCSB and sit on the benches that I temporarily lost my cool. “Before you make up your mind about whether you’re going to a school that hasn’t even accepted you, we’re going to take a trip to Santa Barbara, which has. You’ll see. It’s awesome.”
“Have you ever been there?”
He rolled his eyes. “Okay, Dad.”
We got up and drove to Santa Barbara. On the way up I told him to check his phone and find out if there were any good places to birdwatch. We had brought our binoculars. He started rattling off places. “Damn,” I said. “That lagoon place sounds good. Where is it?”
“It’s on campus,” he said.
We got to the school and the weather was spectacular. We did a self-guided tour and noticed that the campus was bustling and lively, but kind of quiet. “What is it?” I asked.
We stood and looked around. “No cars,” he said. “There are no cars allowed on campus.”
He was right. There were bike lanes, a bike roundabout, and skateboard lanes, but no cars. After lunch we wandered down to the lagoon, which was brimming with birds. As we thoroughly misidentified most of what we saw, trying to turn ordinary things into birds-that-haven’t-ever-been-recorded-in-the-Western-Hemisphere, a student strolled by.
He glanced at our binoculars. “Are you birders?”
“Yes,” we said.
“Me, too! What have you seen?”
“We can’t figure out that hummingbird,” I said, pointing to a tiny hummer atop a tree branch. I offered him my binoculars to take a look.
“It’s okay,” he said, declining to take them. Then he unzipped his backpack and took out his own. He gazed for a minute. “Looks like an Anna’s to me. Is your son going to go here? If he does, give him my contact info. We have lots of birders here on campus.”
As we got ready to drive back to LA, Mrs. WM wanted to get coffee. “Can you find a good coffee shop in town on your phone?” she asked my son.
He fiddled with his phone. “How about Handlebar Coffee Roasters? It’s got a bike theme of some kind.”
We drove into town and found the place. A tall, tan, very fit looking dude was shoveling beans into the roaster. “Hi,” he said. “Welcome!” He looked at my Giant-Liv gimme cap. “You ride?”
“Yes, when I can. You?”
“Not so much anymore. But I used to ride a lot.”
“Did you race?”
“Yes, professionally for a couple of years.”
“Wow. Who for?”
“Have you ever heard of Telekom or Saunier Duval?”
“No,” I said. “Are they local Santa Barbara clubs?”
He paused, realizing I was a complete idiot. “No.”
“They were actually European teams.”
“Oh, so you weren’t good enough to make the big time here in the U.S.?”
He paused again, kindly. “Well, I did my best. I finished a couple of tours in Italy in 2006 and 2007 but I was never really contending for the win. Rode with a guy named Simoni one year. He was really good and actually won a couple of them.”
“Tours? Yeah, they have those here a lot, kind of for people who aren’t ready for Cat 5 racing yet. Solvang Century and the Central Coast Century are the biggies, I guess. It’s okay for beginners. Did your pal Simoni ever get out of the touring stuff and do actual racing?”
Aaron smiled again. “I think he stuck mostly with the tours.”
“Cool,” I said.
The coffee shop had a mint Eddy Merckx Molteni bike hanging from the ceiling, but more important than the awesome vibe and the bike decor was, you know, the actual coffee. I had a cappuccino that was easily the best cup of coffee I’d ever had, which made sense because Aaron looked like he was checking each individual bean as it roasted, and unlike the bulk beans I buy that look like ragged ball bearings run through a wood chipper, his beans were highest quality, beautiful, and perfectly shaped.
As I got ready to go he forced a t-shirt into my hand. “Thanks for coming by,” he said.
“I really hope,” I said, looking at Woodrow, “that I’ll be back. Because college isn’t just for kids anymore.”
And just like pretty much every other day in my life, this one ended with bicycles, too.
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January 3, 2016 § 20 Comments
Man it felt good to get off that fucking plane and wait for the shuttle bus and fork over $75 for three days’ of parking and hit the freeway and dump my one backpack of shit on the bed and to finally be home.
The flight was uneventful except for the stewardess who was chatting in the galley with her friend when I came up to wait for the toilet. She looked at my hoodie and shaggy beard and limp. “Stay right where you’re at,” she commanded.
“Where else would I stay? Someone’s already in the shitter.”
“Don’t cross that line.”
“What line?” I looked at the floor. “There’s no line.”
“The imaginary plane of the galley,” she ordered.
“Like in football?”
She was moving over to the intercom, preparing to call the on-board marshal, I suppose, or maybe my Mom. “Hello, Mrs. Davidson? We have your son here in the rear galley of Southwest Flight 1006 to LAX and he’s being obstreperous.”
My Mom always loved that word. “Well you tell him I’ll be right up and he’s in TROUBLE.”
I guess the fearful look on my face occasioned by the thought that Mom would beam herself up to the galley communicated to the stewardess that she had buffaloed me, so with a stern glance that said, “Buy a razor!” she went back to her conversation about the size of another stewardess’s wedding ring.
Back at the apartment I was able to break imaginary planes right and left. I shattered the imaginary plane of the shitter, of the kitchen, of the balcony, and of my beloved bed with the indentation on the left side that, after almost twenty years, has formed one of those indelible body-forming outlines like those indentations in the sand of the high Chilean desert that are visible from the air and have been undisturbed for thousands of years.
Pretty soon it became clear that after sitting on my butt for three days in Austin I had regressed sufficiently to the mean to be able to lift my left leg over the top tube and I could therefore ride my bike. I dressed up and took it outside, with Mrs. WM running after me.
“I takin’ onna picture!” she hollered. “Don’t go fallin’ onna pavement pelvic place again!” she said as I wobbled off. “Your butt lookin’ narrow!” was the last thing I heard her say.
Which was funny because generally the only people who comment about my appearance are people who are shorter than I am. I know a guy named Ed who is 6-7 and he has never said anything about how anyone looks, ever. This is because when you are 6-7, you flat fuggin’ win. You could be wearing a clown suit and a tutu, but when you’re the tallest guy in the room and probably the county, you win. So all the shorter people peck at your ankles and criticize your beard or your old shoes or your mismatched socks, but bottom line is that they’re just sour about not having eaten enough red meat as kids, or having gotten the wrong genes, or having smoked too many cigarettes and drunk too much coffee before puberty.
Still, I started the ride kind of worried about my narrow butt. What did she mean, exactly? That it was too skinny? If so, wouldn’t she have said it was a skinny butt? Maybe she meant that it was narrow along the east-west axis but droopy on the north-south alignment. Eccch. That didn’t sound very appealing.
After a few minutes, though, I quit worrying. I was on my bike and on the road. Again.END
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June 11, 2015 § 20 Comments
I hate Cheerios and always have. When I was a kid I disliked the absence of purple, green, and yellow marshmallows such as were featured in Kaboom! and Lucky Charms and other healthful, sugar-infused breakfast choices for growing bodies and developing teeth. Cheerios were boring.
As an adolescent I despised the name. What the hell was cheery about getting up the morning and having to eat something soaked in a bowl of cold milk?
Now that I’m a really grouchy old man there is no food more detestable than Cheerios, or at least that was true in the month of May, in the year of Before Cheerios, or B.C. In May, B.C., we had Cheerios up on the shelf because my youngest son, who turns 18 shortly, eats them for breakfast.
Since all families engage in various forms of food poaching, especially when there’s only one bar of chocolate left, or only enough ice cream for one bowl, my youngest never had to worry about anyone poaching his Cheerios. But that was the B.C. era.
Several days ago Mrs. WM left with Junior for a months-long trip to the Far East. Now we are in the month of June, After Departure, or A.D, and one thing I can tell you is this: I’m really hungry.
In years 1-29 B.C., our fridge was always full to bursting. After less than a week into the year 1 A.D., it looks like this:
Now the first thing this picture should make you think is, “How does a family exist with a $325 refrigerator?” The second, of course, is that getting up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs, staggering to the fridge only to be faced with a pint of heavy cream, some vinegar, a few onions, a head of lettuce,some eggs, last night’s spaghetti, some condiments, and a jug of milk is cause for an immediate trip to the all-night supermarket. (The big plastic thing on the right is some kind of fermenting Japanese vegetable that I had to swear not to touch, i.e. toss, in Mrs. WM’s absence. I swore, but then again I’m a notorious liar.)
However, the need for food is balanced by an almost superhuman cheapness on my part and a commitment to eating everything before I buy anything. In addition to having a somewhat reduced grocery bill since 1 A.D. (daily grocery bill dropped from $25/day to $7 over 7 days), the other big difference between the B.C. era and the A.D. era is that I’ve lost five pounds and become giddy if I have to stand more than five minutes at a time.
People who claim that they cannot lose weight should come spend a few days here and try to fatten up on a raw onion dabbed with Stubbs Barbecue Sauce and nori sprinkles.
Most of all, they should try to fatten up on Cheerios. That’s what I’ve been reduced to eating in the morning, a single measured cup of Honey Nut Cheerios with a quarter-cup of almonds and a cup of milk. That was until three days ago, when we temporarily ran out of milk and I had to eat the Cheerios dry, the most loathsome food in the world, with salty almonds for breakfast.
My eldest son and I made a shopping list yesterday. It looked like this:
- Milk, 2%, gallon
Then we went to the store after dinner and made our grocery purchase for the week. It was a cool evening, and it’s a ten-minute walk to the store. I had to lie down three times before we got there. On the way back home he put his big arm around my shoulders.
“Love you, Dad,” he said.
“Love you too, son,” I answered.
Cheerios or not, the year 1 A.D. isn’t turning out so bad after all.
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May 31, 2015 § 31 Comments
Early morning, around 4:30 or so, is my favorite time of day because of coffee and breakfast. The rest of the day I morosely drink my java bitter and joylessly and pitch black, but the first cup is when I allow myself a dollop of heavy cream mixed with a dollop of whole milk. Fat plus the pungent smell of the fresh grounds plus caffeine equals yum.
Then there’s breakfast which is fruit and oatmeal or yogurt with nuts and more yum.
Since Mrs. WM is leaving for the wilds of Japan shortly, she has been reminding me that without her I will starve. “What you gonna eat?” she demands with a satisfied smile. “You gonna hungry all day.”
“I’m hungry all day anyway. And peanut butter.”
“You can’t onna peanut butter for breakfast lunchin dinner.”
“You can’t onna Domino’s every day,” she added.
“That’s true, too.”
“So whatchu gonna do?” she will triumphantly smile as she waltzes off to Zumba in her cute green shoes.
That question bothered me, so for the first time in a few years I opened one of the kitchen cabinets while she was off doing her obasan-dance class. The only place more off limits for me than the panty drawer is the cupboard.
I was surprised to find that in the first cabinet there weren’t any dishes, but rather fifteen boxes of spaghetti. Even I can cook spaghetti. My research revealed more surprises. Eight jars of chipotle salsa. Three jars of Bonne Maman raspberry jam and two of marmalade, one from Dean’s wine farm in San Diego.
Twenty-three packs of Japanese instant ramen, the good stuff, and fourteen packages of House curry. Twelve big cans of tomatoes. Four big bags of rice and three jars of Nutella. What is Nutella?
My search took me into the hall closet where I found … more pasta, a box of crackers, two boxes of cereal, canned corn, and a secret stash of peanut butter, which no one eats except me.
I took all this stuff and laid it out on the dining table, which it covered. There was enough food here for an Arctic expedition and I hadn’t even screwed up my courage to look in the fridge, a place I was allowed to extract milk from but from where I am otherwise banned, especially behind the walls.
What are the behind the walls? Mrs. WM stocks the fridge the same way she stocks the crockery cabinets with pasta: She crams it all in. There is a narrow front ledge with milk and yogurt and a plastic carton of olives but behind that each shelf is a solid wall that must be unpacked to learn what is behind, say, the giant bags of celery, a food no one here eats.
I unpacked the walls and found many things: Kimchee, my beloved kimchee! Baby carrots, more celery, apples, vintage raspberries that were covered in mold, more celery, a half-eaten tub of hummus, old bread, many jars of opened chipotle salsa, and a huge tub of meat sauce. The crisper drawers were even more amazing. Bacon, sausage, more celery, onions, shallots, tubs of miso, and thank dog, more celery.
By now it was lunchtime and Mrs. WM was due home from Zumba. I took out some celery, poured some canned corn into a small bowl, cracked out a jar of peanut butter and a slice of bread, and opened up the Nutella stuff. It looked nasty but there might be some synergy there with the peanut butter, I thought, smearing the peanut butter and Nutella on a banana.
There was! Holy crap! This Nutella stuff is the shit!
Mrs. WM came home to find me happily ensconced in my treasure trove, and she was none too pleased, not just about the sense of pantry violation and my expose’ of her somewhat haphazard grocery shopping habits, but worse, the obvious fact that whatever happened to me between now and September, it wouldn’t be starvation.
“You can’t gonna ride onna bicycle eatin’ Nutella spaghetti and butter and salsa,” she said.
“Watch me,” I said, munching happily. “Just watch me.”
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May 8, 2015 § 28 Comments
When I was young I was taller and didn’t have a weight problem. Now I’ve shrunk at least an inch and have for years been engaged in the mid-life Battle of the Bulge. Of course at 51, mid-life is over as 102 isn’t in my genes or my game plan.
With the exception of runway models, jockeys, and wrestlers, few people obsess about their weight as much cyclists. Even though the rest of the world generally looks at us and says, “Fit,” we invariably look at each other, and especially ourselves, and say, “Fat.”
Of course in the Old Person racing categories, weight is largely irrelevant in crit racing, the predominant race type. A certain champion who shall remain nameless regularly smashes everyone even though he barely fits into his skinsuit without a hoist and two giant, greased shovels. He is very jolly about it, too, and he should be, because half of the 84 people he just smashed are fanatical weight obsessives, which is to say completely fuggin’ miserable. He not only gets to win, he obviously gets to eat, and eat again.
In road races weight plays a role, but not really the way you might think. In the hardest climbing races of the season, the old farts in contention are indeed lean, and one or three, who shall also remain nameless, have the terrible stunted and corpse-like figure of someone who has wasted away for years in a prison camp. Gaunt, bony, stringy, and not-good-to-eat-even-when-cooked is how these guys look.
What’s instructive is that when it comes to getting on the hilly road race podiums, it’s always the same guys, give or take a manorexic, which means that the other forty riders who really are starving themselves in preparation for their DNF or 28th placing are not getting any meaningful benefit from their weight obsession and diet misery. Why not just have another helping of butter to go with your ice cream bacon burger and be satisfied with 30th, or with being the 10th-placed DNF, or even the 1st-placed DNS?
Answer: Because weight obsession is another of the simulacra that, along with full carbon wheels that are 100% carbon, fosters the illusion of “We’re pro, too.”
In the past my dieting has followed the pattern of all diets: Quit eating and quit big, wait until the body begins to digest itself, declare success on the scales along with a 50% drop in power, daily energy, and sex drive (make that 95% for the last one, okay, 99%), do a couple of races at the new Cooked Chicken Chris Froome weight, DNF, check into the ICU for intravenous fluids, and then as soon as possible hop back on the burger-and-fries express.
Of course like any problem that you’ve had for a long time, it can’t really function unless the people around you have adapted to it. They are called enablers; mine is Mrs. WM, and she enables me thus:
Me: “I’m going on another diet. Nothing but apples, water cress, and almond skins.”
Mrs. WM: “Okay.”
Me: [three hours later] “I’m tired.”
Mrs. WM: “You want me to fix you a snack?” The alleged snack, of course, has already been fixed, and it is a three-course, 6,500-kcal meal.
Me: [longingly] “Okay. But only a small half-plate.”
Mrs. WM: [shoves fully loaded half-plate in my face] “You gonna get onna wiener droopies if you don’t keep eatin’.”
Me: [after fifth half-plate, groaning] “Dammit! I didn’t want to eat all that!”
Mrs. WM: “Don’t holler onna me! If you don’t wanna be eatin’ don’t be chewin’.”
Throughout the diet, each day of which begins with the utter hell of awakening with the thought of “Diet,” Mrs. WM punctuates every Box Moment of the day with, “You wanna eat some —- ?” The “some” is freshly baked bread, or avocado dip with chips, or bacon-wrapped asparagus, or ice cream bacon burgers topped with carbon sprinkles.
The “Box Moment” is that moment of hunger pain during which, if you want the diet to succeed, you have to crawl inside the box and suffer the hunger. It is the Box Moments, strung together, that lose the weight, and they are about as much fun as eye surgery with an ice pick, only less.
So my enabler makes the diet doubly hard because I not only have to endure the Box Moments but I also have to refuse the mouth-watering fare. What diet can survive this dual assault? None.
In other words, I’m 12 pounds down and have begun digesting bone and hair. And I’m hungry. And we’re all out of water cress.
Where the hell is my enabler?
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March 1, 2015 § 52 Comments
One of my friends in the “industry” sent me this link to a review of Wal-Mart skateboards. Since the sound on my brand new HP computer is already broken, it took me a couple of days to get around to viewing it. When I finally saw the video, well, let’s just say you don’t need the volume. Two skateboard dudes take turns jumping off concrete stairs on cheap-ass, defectively designed products that are marketed to little kids.
The boards fail catastrophically. If you have kids, grandkids, know anyone who has kids, or were once yourself a kid, this video will scare the hell out of you.
I see this a lot in the bike “industry” as well. I love it when people call it “the industry” because it sounds like a huge conglomeration of space-age manufacturing facilities, globally designing, testing, marketing, and retailing sophisticated services and products, and it doesn’t sound like some smelly old unemployed guy in his underwear, hunched over his computer screen in his mom’s basement sipping his third cup of coffee after awaking at noon to put out his bicycle industry blog. In short, it doesn’t sound like Steve Tilford.
Fact is, part of the bike industry revolves around the same kind of deadly, low-quality, defective products that Wal-Mart loves to sell on its skateboard shelves. Full carbon wheels made of 100% carbon that disassemble on steep descents when ridden by over-the-weight-limit riders, a weight that is often “super plus” sizes like 190 or 200 pounds–weights that are completely normal for certain body types. New generation disc brakes (always the front) that mysteriously stop working. Front fork failures. And of course my personal favorite, a Specialized tire that was slightly non-round at the bead, which meant that it would seat and inflate, then blow off the rim once you started going downhill.
“Oh, you tore your face off and spent a month in the ICU like the guy who runs my sister publication at Red Kite Bore while exhibiting your descending skills down Las Flores? Here, have another tire. It’s on us.”
In addition to the physical danger of product failure, there’s the fraud that occurs in the advertising of such products. Mrs. WM likes to go to the Korean spa around the corner. It’s a place where chubby middle-aged women, Asian and non, go to sweat away a few pounds of water weight while chowing down on the pork noodles and ice cream. The key thing about the Korean spa is that you aren’t allowed to wear clothes.
The other day I went to pick her up after her day-long bathing session and she was hopping mad. “I’m so onna sick of these cheaters,” she said.
“Yes, they are cheaters.”
“The blonde bathing ladies, all coming onna spa dressed up all onna fancy with a pretty blonde hair.”
“I didn’t know you had it in for blondes.”
“I like onna blonde hair it’s pretty hair but then they are takin’ off onna bottoms and it’s all black like a parking lot in a Wal-Mart, that’s a fake advertising.”
“That’s what I’m saying. If I was a boy and getting all happy at a pretty blonde lady and she’s dropping off onna her bottoms and it’s all a black patch like a motor oil I’m gonna cry and ask for a moneyback.”
As usual, Mrs. WM had a great point. Nobody wants to pay for blonde and get black, or pay for black and get blonde, or pay for carbon and get rim failure at 50 mph going down Tuna Canyon.
Super products that have been tested and that work make a difference, and yep, they cost more. In a pinch, and when you’re racing your bike there’s always a pinch, good products can make the difference between a bad bicycle falling off incident and losing your eyesight. Just ask Ronnie Toth, who would have been blinded without his performance glasses, made of course by SPY Optic. Save a few bucks and get a cheaper brand? The worst that could happen is, well, you go blind.
Quality matters. Choose wisely.
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March 25, 2014 § 17 Comments
“Here!” Mrs. WM said accusatorially, flinging the black Pearl Izumi base layer tee across the bed. “Smell onna that!”
I picked it up and took a whiff. “Kinda gamey, huh?”
“It ain’t no game! Itsa ammonia smell from your stinky underparts!”
“You mean my underarms. Not ‘underparts.'”
“Itsa stinky onna underarms, too. How come you such a stinker? I washed onna your bikin’ undershirts three times and still onna nasty old stale ammonia stinky underparts. It’s infecting onna other clothes inna laundry. Itsa infecting onna my bras and underpants so I can’t onna wash ’em together. How come I gotta do extra separate washing loads because of your stinkyparts? How come?”
“Honey, I’m a man. And I exercise a lot. So, I guess I stink. But I read an article on Google News that says men who are super clean are less sexy than guys who have, you know, a kind of ‘manly’ smell about them.”
She turned up her nose. “Sexy stinky? Thatsa gross. I like a sexy clean.”
“But guys work out and they sweat and they smell. It’s just the way we are.”
“I do onna Zumba exercise an’ you wanna know what?”
“After I get onna body sweat after booty shakin’, you wanna know what I do?”
“I take onna bath! How come you can’t take onna bath after bikin’ and how come you can’t use a underparts deodorant stick before you going onna bikin’? I got you fifteen underparts smell sticks and you ain’t usin’ up even one of ’em.”
“I hate deodorant. Plus, all those chemicals right next to the lymph nodes in your armpits is not healthy. Probably causes cancer.”
“You hate onna deodorant but everybody else hatin’ on your stinkyparts. Every time you pointin’ or liftin’ up your skinny arm itsa big poison gas cloud comin’ out onna your shirt sleeves makin’ everybody can’t breathe without makin’ screwed up face. Itsa nasty.”
“I still think those chemicals might cause cancer, the way they get absorbed by your lymph nodes and distributed throughout the body. Ten years from now we’ll find out that stuff is worse than lead poisoning.”
“You’re standin’ inna elevator old Mr. Stinkyparts and I’m tellin’ you everybody wishin’ they had cancer and was dead by it so they don’t have to be there with tears runnin’ outta their eyes because of stinky.”
“Okay, I get it. I smell bad. Anything else?”
“Anything else is jus one thing. Wear onna deodorant and quit infectin’ onna my underwear inna laundry basket.”
“Okay. I promise.”
She smiled. “I’m gonna take a shower and get clean. You should get onna clean, too.”
Sounded kind of like an invitation.