When I was young and fit and ambitious I raced my bike around in circles. One of the longest, biggest funnest circles was a spring race held in Southern Deleware. I made it a point to go to the race as I was a always an excellent off-season trainer and at 100 miles long and it presented a me rare opportunity to compete against the best with an even chance.
One year harsh winter left me undertrained, but buoyed by previus results I decided to stick with tradition and head down south for the spring classic.
I woke that morning knowing that I had 10 laps of a 10 mile course, so I emptied the hotel buffet of eggs and hash browns and drank of pot of coffee with nervous excitement. We got to the race and without any notable fanfare and with a pack of just over a hundred riders set off on our journey.
10 miles in, I knew I was facing a long day. The speed wasn't anything I couldn't handle, but the winds that sweep across the barren sandy plains of the area and the distance of the race were eventually going to catch up to me. Additionally I usually trained alone and the accelerations of the group were a bit of a shock to my system.
20 miles and things started to look worse. As the pace increased my body was starting to get angry with me. My legs and lungs were hurting, but that I was used to. The problem was that the coffee, and the eggs, and hash browns were in a heated arguement with the sports drink, the sweating and the riding. And that arguement seemed to be taking place mostly in my colon.
Another 10 miles and I could no longer ignore it. It wasn't any longer a matter of IF I was going to lose my bowels, it was a matter of WHEN, and rapidly IN FRONT OF WHOM.
I franticly scanned the horizon for something to poop behind, but had no luck. Southern Deleware is an ocean pennisula offering little to no vegetation. Occassionally we'd come upon a residence, but another characteristic of Southern Deleware are rednecks who like to shoot cyclists for shitting behind their garages.
I pressed on in pain.
Finally, as we approached the finish area I could saw a chuch in the distance. As we got closer, I separated from the herd being and made a beeline to the back of the building. Franticly, I ripped off my jersey, yanked down my shorts and released my innards with a force so evil and powerful that it lifted me, in a bent over position, a full two inches off the ground.
My overwhelmening relief was interrupted by the practical need to clean myself up. I chose the most obvious means and pulled my race number off my jersey and used it as toilet paper, tossing it to the side before standing up and putting my clothes back on.
As most men do, I glanced back to see my handiwork and the vision, still burned into my memory today, stopped me dead in my tracks. I had desecrated that church in a vile and inhuman way. Behind me stood upon the wall a brown arch...6 feet tall and at least 4 feet across...and that was just the main impact zone. Around that, the wall was peppered with chunks of shrapnel and debris. What remained upon the ground should never be described out of respect for common human decency.
I felt equal parts disgust, humiliation and pride.
I also felt panic. Due to the nature of the crime I felt that, upon discovery, the church and local authorities would stop at no ends to find the perputrator of the crime. I was pretty sure that no one saw me sneak off behind the building, but there remained one piece of irrefuatble evidence...... horrified and gagging I retrieved the soiled number....carefully folded it.....and stuck it into my pocket for the ride back.
Not to completely switch gears....but have you ever had a friend who gets a new girlfriend and RIGHT AWAY the girlfriend starts giving you the evil eye ? You know what I mean, she's usually a possessive chick and she see's anything you do or say and a threat to her relationship with your buddy ?
Well you usually have two choices when you meet someone like that. The first is to just withdraw, be polite, say as little as possible and just hope that your buddy eventually breaks up with her. The other more risky proposition is to go the other way...to try and endear yourself to her. If you can engage and entertain her, you might be able to put her mind at ease and make the entire situation a lot less tense for you, for her, and more importantly for your buddy.
Those thoughts, as well as three pints of high octane beer, were flowing through my head as a searched for a story to tell Patricks's new girlfriend as we sat around getting to know each other at the local pub.
What came into my head....and out of my mouth...complete with "Kramer-like" animated demonstration....was the story I posted above.
We're back to hoping he breaks up with her.