Stoopidsport.Nim Exclusive: Lance Goes Nuclear. Ojai, Ca.
April 26, 2005
Ojai, CA. A swarm of sharpie-wielding fans has formed an ever-tightening noose around Lance, who has just finished staying alive in a local hackfest. Lance has wedged himself between the opened passenger door and the running board of a shiny black SUV. A t-shirt clad female in faded jeans is in the front seat ministering to the needs of small children in the backseat. The fans keep pouring in. An older gentleman has deputized himself as Lance's guardian and implores the mob to "give Lance room, let him breathe." Lance dutifully signs shirts, hats and body parts while feigning interest in a tearful monologue from an overwrought lady wearing about 12 colored plastic bracelets. Her dog apparently is suffering from cancer and she wants Lance to make some calls.
MKA: "Lance! Lance! Max Kash Agro, Stoopidsport.nim, I've got a few questions. Is it true that you want the 2012 Olympics to be held in Ojai?"
Lance: "No. Ojai is an oasis for the sick and tired. It's a safe haven for the raggedy ass Smell-A burn-outs. The locals here got serious energy imbalances. They're loaded with toxic -- snot and crap. They need hot stones. Sage brush candles. Deep finger massage. I'm talking about F'd up children over here. They don't need downtown corporate slickos. The Olympics would piss all over this place."
MKA: "You look pretty tired yourself. What's with your face? Looks all dried out and pruny, like you slept under a KFC hot lamp."
Lance: "You mean the splotches. And the gutters. Look, I've been rode hard and put up wet. Criss-crossing the pond. Oprah and the talk show suck ups. Bono with the Gulfstream wanting to party. Press digging through my trash. Kids throwing tantrums. Landscapers shaking me down. Hotheads in trucks trying to kill me. Everyone wants a piece and I'm beat to hell."
MKA: "Break that down for our readers. You're what, 33, and you've got ruts on your brow I could drive a John Deere through."
Lance: "I used to think this was cool [petting his scruffy mug], that sallow, Belgium wind-swept, crescent moon necrotic look. Now I wonder. I'm on top of the world but I look at myself in the mirror in the morning and there's a shriveled old man staring back at me. It's like that painting -- Dorian Gray. I feel fine. But the crows feet and the wrinkles don't lie. This brutal f'ing sport I love so much is killing me. Pisses me off. "
Yenta interrupts: "Lance, Lance, with the skin problems -- what you do, you take an egg white and mix in some honey and the carrot juice, and slather it on, you slather it..
Lance: "Thank you. Carrot juice...slather.. got it."
Yenta [insistently]: "Now what about my dog, with the cancer. She's a french poodle. The doctor says radiation. I'm on a fixed income. I can't afford that. What about the cisplatin? Or the aromatherapy?"
Lance: "Look, I'm sorry about your dog. But you don't kick cancer with crystals, magnets or Jesus. Takes poison, a sharp knife and an angry eye. People coming up to me like all I got to do is lay hands upon...can't afford radiation? Christ, put him in a microwave and turn it up, for the love uh..."[Lance hawks a big loogie on the sidewalk. A cripple in wheelchair rolls up, lunges out of his chair, crawls to the wet spot and laps up the Lance discharge like a dog, pops up and sprints away, cured.]
Yenta: "I don't like our tone. Why you're not the messiah. You're a dog hater is what you are--
[Lance gives a nod to the deputy who brusquely extricates the yammering yenta from the crowd.]
MKA: "About those crannies, ever think of turning down the pure oxygen and pressure in your beddy-bye tent?"
Lance: "Look, there's only so much time in the day. If I got to do the Grammy's instead of one-legged hill repeats I need to turn up the juice somewhere. I'm playing catch up. Sheryl helps, what with the marathon lickety-split sessions and the elimination of food and sleep. Sheryl likes this haggard look. She likes older, withery men."
MKA: "Didn't they find her ex boyfriend dead from autoerotic asphyxiation? You might want to install in a security lock on those dials."
Lance: "Not to worry. I've been trained to go hard without oxygen. Weird, though. One morning I woke up with the business end of a leaf blower pinned against my nose. Sheryl said if too little oxygen was good too much must be better. Christ. Everyone's an expert."
MKA: Yellow Matter Custard magazine recently compared Crow to a fish out of water, always seeming to be sucking for air whenever you're around. How does it feel to outshine a rock star?"
Lance: "Ahh she's a good sport. She's had a good run and doesn't mind pumping tires and kneading the knots in my ass. Not so good at gluing tires. She does get a little twitchy when I put on the black leather pants and belt out LA Woman. Clapton by the way was a limpdink."
MKA: YMC also called her "cartilaginous" as opposed to "bony." Care to comment?
Lance: "How 'bout I break your skull? What the hell is a 'Max Kash Agro' anyway? from stupid dot what? Pissants wasting my time."
MKA: "No, No, Ambrose Bierce here, KLBR radio, All Labor, All Talk, All the time. 12.2 K on your FM dial. Just a few more questions. "
MKA: "Speaking of violence, baba booey, is it true that back in the day after a tuesday nighter in Plano you got punched out by Der Hipp Starr for being an obnoxious idiot?"
Lance: [Stops piling into the SUV] "Did you say Hippster? Hipster's a moron. A cackling moron. But I got to give him credit. He got me out of Plano. People ask me what inspires me to attack up Mt. Ventoux or Alpe d'Huez . I'll share a secret. It's not God or killing cancer -- it's this big burning skull, with flames shooting out from the eyes. It's mouth opens and out comes a cacophany of locusts, rattlesnakes and chiggers, a tornado of turkey gobble sniggering that drills into my brain. Who is this foul plague upon my peace that sets my blood to boil? It's the nasty, cackling face of Hippster. Demon rat-bastard with the dirty yellow teeth. He'd get my goat and it brought the devil out in me. Got to give him his due for that."
MKA: "Hipp does motivate. Listen, on the start line you were chatting with Cleveland, a local pro. What did y'all talk about?"
Lance: "Oh, that guy. He said he heard about my problem with the jackass landscaper and offered to be my Kato Kaelin. Only thing he wanted in teturn was for me to tuck him in at night."
MKA: "Sounds kind of Wacko-Jacko."
Lance: "Definitely. Later in the race I hear this red alert 'Hup! Hup!' He comes up and shouts so everyone could hear, 'C'mon Big Daddy, hop on, let's roll!' I'm like who is this cupcake and pretend not to hear. He scoots up the road about ten meters, everybody's laughing and then he blows. I have to do these local races more often for the comedy. "
MKA: " Couple more questions. You've said you want to retire to spend more time with your kids. Have you ever spent more than 30 minutes alone with them?"
Lance [face winces like he just caught a whiff of chinese take-out hidden in the back of the fridge for three weeks]: "No."
MKA: "I know you've won the hardest sports event in the world a few times, but are you sure you can handle full-on Daddyhood?
Lance: "No big deal, kids are fresh and innocent and just full of curiosity, says so in all the books."
MKA: "' Innocent?' Really? Riddle me this. You know the poem "Spring and Fall to a Young Child" by Gerard Manley Hopkins?*
Lance: "Sure, everybody knows that one."
MKA: "Right. It goes: "Margaret, are you grieving/Over Goldengrove unleaving ... Ah! as the heart grows older/It will come to such sights colder..." Was Margaret grieving because she would grow up in a world doomed ever since Eve bit the apple or because she just felt sad about the dead leaves falling from the autumn forest?"
Lance: "No problem. The little girl was sad because right now she adores coloring books but very soon she knows she won't be happy unless Daddy buys her a corvette so she can race down Santa Monica Boulevard drinking bud until the sun comes up."
MKA: "Fair enough. Couple more, real quick. Pamela Anderson. Do her?
Lance: "Nice kit, no doubt, but I need to get lost in those bazoombas like Ullrich needs another plateful of strudel. I like 'em teethy, waifish and starved. Limits distractions that way. Fewer toys."
MKA: "Tom Delay: Misunderstood Man of Peace or Bleeding A-hole? "
Lance: "George's boys called me the other day to go down there and mug for the cameras with the bug-eyed little fart. Why does everyone think because I'm a stubborn Texan I support obstinate right wing money-changers? I'd step on Delay like a Houston cockroach."
MKA: "What's it like riding around the Lake Travis Hill Country these days?"
Lance: "Like playing Russian roulette I guess. Yanks love the mythos of a Big Texan beating up on all the femmy frogs in France, but they can't stand sharing the public roads with me. They love the legend of an ornery bad ass from Plano whupping the Big C, but they think nothing about spewing benzene, carbon monoxide and other carcinogenic shit in my face from the backend of their Hummers. I got to git out of here, I swear."
MKA: "You sound bitter. "
Lance: "Sour bad, bitter good a wise ass once..." [Stops mid-sentence, jaw open, apalled.]
[Richard Meeker pushes through the crowd, makes a beeline for Sheryl Crow, who's squirming behind the wheel ready to make like that 86 year old demented driver who plowed through the farmers market in Santa Monica killing 10, injuring 35.]
Richard the Pretty: "Hey Sheryl, fo shizzle girlfriend, nice package -- [cranes his body towards Crow for the cheek smooch, who's suddenly blushing.]
Lance: "---Crap! Hey peckerhead back off. Last time you filled her with so much filthy smut she howled like a bitch in heat for weeks. Couldn't stop talking about felching. Bukkake. The Danza slap. The angry dragon. The rusty trombone. The money shot. She had to have it all, all the time. Liked to kilt me. You corrupt bastard I can't take any more of this. We are out of here."
With that, Lance slammed the door and ordered his rock starlette driver to step on it.
*Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
Spring and Fall to a Young Child
1 Margaret, are you grieving
2 Over Goldengrove unleaving?
3 Leaves, like the things of man, you
4 With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
5 Ah! as the heart grows older
6 It will come to such sights colder
7 By & by, nor spare a sigh
8 Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
9 And yet you wíll weep & know why.
10 Now no matter, child, the name:
11 Sorrow's springs are the same.
12 Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
13 What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
14 It is the blight man was born for,
15 It is Margaret you mourn for.