State Championship 35 Plus Criterium, Porterville, Moderately Toasty (pleasantly cool if you are kin to one of those crab like critters that thrive in Yellowstone Hot Springs), amber fields of dead weeds, boarded up bingo parlors, Worlds Longest Walmart, Port-O-Potties smelling of Stone Fruit Induced Skitters, .65 mile/ 4 corners, 121 Dairy Creamers/Wet Dreamers, $250 cherry pits on the line plus $750 Glen Garry Prime if Labor wins.
The Nominees: You knew it was going to be stupid when the Head Blue Coat (aka HebCat) called the Flower Maids (FeMbots), Soylent Greens, Pimple Fits, and Labor to the line ostensibly to flatter but instead to issue warning that aggressive and or spirited team tactics would not be tolerated. The HebCat did however acknowledge the potential for brain melt and allowed that a homeless person had been recruited to hold a hose and spray us down as we rounded turn No. 4. Problem was the water evaporated before it hit the ground but here I am complaining already.
The Envelope Please... With about 12 laps to go Chris "Moon" Walker blasts off the front solo and Genghis orders MKA to chase and I do so for about 3 peddle strokes before brain matter starts to run down my nose and I let the youngsters take over. The FeMBots seize the opportunity to showcase their refined team chase tactics as Herr Kruegger and Bugs Bunny slowly reel in the mutant alien with No. 2 pencil sized arms and negative body fat. Labor is flailing about waiting for somebody else to do something epic but either unable or unwilling to fully invest.
With about 3 to go the pack snatches the Moon Walker who hasn't taken a sip of water in 3 weeks and pandemonium erupts. MKA thinks he's sitting pritty but suddenly am passed by tall, stork-like creature and sure enough it's Tricky Stricky and lord have mercy my ego will not permit a dunking by a semi-pro barefoot waterskiier pretendo . MKA overtakes Stricky only to find himself about 20 nims short of the point with two to go.
Hoverhawk swoops into the mix and MKA is dreaming of lead outs but the pack clogs and bogs in turn no. 3 and it looks like every Labor for himself. Too bad too because the FeMbotics with a little help from Scott McPheerless had kept the pace high enough to cultivate a powerful Labor lead out, if the hearts and mind were willing.
As the Chow Bell clanged MKA began moving toward his natural habitat in the gutter. I find Der Hipp Star who flew in from Houston carrying an extra 12 pounds on a bloated bodies got more scar tissue than Frankenstein's monster. MKA barks like a cat: "go hippster I'm here save me please do something christ make the pain go away you're a big stud sprinter can't you just fling me to the line?" but he's too busy banging beef with Evander Testicles who looks very grumpy. While MKA is waiting for Der Hiptler and ET to practice good citizenship about 5 Tomcats dive in front of me and it's looking bad for yours truly but heavens-to-betsy that's Scottie Woodchuck up there with Genghis near the cowcatcher, maybe they can pull it off.
And the Winner Is... The Fembotticos wanted this one and they got it. Kruegger and company ferried God's Gift to the final corner and like a thunderbolt from Zeus himself GeeGee blasted to the line, elbows and knees flanging from curb to curb, keeping Evander "Former Labor" at bay. Woodchuck tried to join the fun but body parts started sailing off like a runaway Woodie with no brakes hurtling down the grapevine at 95 per. If it wasn't for his ear rings, I'd almost say it was "gritty" but in retrospect have to go with "pritty." Der Hiptler, whose training consists of sprinting from his air conditioned car to his air conditioned office while dodging coiled copperheads and pool sized puddles of fecal coliform in Houston, bustled in for 4th.
MKA guarded the latter's bumper for 5th, kicking himself for failing to give a "F or Walk" speech to his labor brethren. But it wasn't until the final mile of the death march that MKA's legs came alive. By then, the labor chain gang was languid and droopy like a rabid dog and rhetoric no matter how shrill or motivating would've been wasted. As my kind and generous foes later commented: "Labor looked lost, indifferent, disorganized." Which is amazing considering how peppy we normally feel after converting every water molecule into vapor.
Of course after the race Cap'm Kruegger boasted that the FemBot brain trust set Gods Gift up by design but I think it was only two weeks ago that GG was on the chopping block for refusing to throw himself into the spokes of the pack so Bunghole could finally win something.
Sgt. Pooterville's Purple Heart Club
- God's Gift, FemBots (congrats to a weed who might could sprout even juicier fruit should he one day see the light and don the proper colors)
- Evander Testicles, Team Pogo (would've won if he hadn't caught a flailing Hipp Star in his grill).
- Scottie Woodchuck, Labor (So big you can't get over him, so wide you can't get around him, so heavy you can't get under him -- he's Super Marsupial)
- Der Hipp Star, Labor Texas ("The less I train, the more I'll enjoy beating you." Screwed up; shouldve started riding two weeks ago instead of three weeks ago)
- Max Kash Agro, Apocalypse Labor ("Father? Yes son -- I want to kill you...")
Sourpuss Alert!: About ten minutes into the blastfest Hovercraft and Bunghole are carping about whose got the lowest body fat and highest testosterone count when Bunghole, all adrenalin and sinew, draws the line: "Yeah, well, c'mon, you and me, on the track, two up sprint." I think they were arguing about who's the better roadie. And finally this little doozie from Stan The Man Bunghole, who apparently has surgically installed a stent that drains brain matter directly into his large intestine: "As long as I'm in it, Labor will never ever win another race."
Happy Thought: Congrats to Labor's L. Ron "Mother" Hubbard for sucking all the salt out of his body in an epic two man , 25 lap breakaway that nearly succeeded in the 30 plus crit. L.Ron and Trek's Kiwi went long and large but alas McMann and his henchmen rallied with a few laps to go and caught the glowing embers off the front. McMann kept his win streak alive while Labor's Texa Furr Ball, energized by the presence of the Texas Lizard King (der Hipp Star), managed to keep his locks out of his gear box and nabbed a respectable fourth.
35-44 Road Race, 62 miles, Boring, Biblical parchment-colored, wind swept and oven-roasted lowlands latticed by irrigation ditches, One slightly difficult climb for wheelchair racers, Historic Model T junkyard boasting tallest pile of circa 1950's rusted tins of Prince Albert tobacco, Indisputably the Best Road Course in California, 125 spitdrinkers, Crypto-Cripps and Bloodworms getting along like gunpowder-swallowing cock fighters.
This is a must win for Labor. How does one motivate? How does one inspire one's team to step up and not just fight the fight but win? These are desperate times which call for desperate measures. In times of crisis, MKA reaches for his dog eared copy of GlenGarry. What would Mitch & Murray do -- from Downtown? Answer: Cash rewards. Gonna add a little something to this week's sales contest. First place -- $750. Second place is your fired. The lot of you.
Brother Hover get's the point and posts the Sales Contest flyer on the window of his Cadillac coup de Ville. "I am not here to F around. Send me out. I can get hot. Like I was taught. I will not accept an interim position. Full commitment. I don't close my wife don't eat. Plus her bird, always chirping. And pooping. I ...[clears his throat]..got this cough. I hear bird shit carries -- what? -- pathogens. Like mold. Airborne. Respirable. But's that negative. Get shut of it. I am the Hawk. I'm above this nonsense, this crap -- Tweedies? I grind em up and sprinkle 'em on my toast, for breakfast. This morning? At Carrow's? Condor Eggs. Endangered? Don't care. I'm hungry for the big chicken -- I mean Bear, the Golden Bear. The jersey. For the Team. For the both of us." And so forth.
Hover doesn't wait for the dam to bust, he drives a motor boat loaded down with dynamite to the front and detonates. What's left is a dream scenario: Hover finds himself with McFeerless, Moon Walker, fellow Zombie Mighty Joe Davis and Simply Fred's Jumpin' Jay Waggoff. They motor off the front while Der Hiptler, Genghis and MKA clog the front, happily. Well, I don't know if Genghis was happy -- he just had to bridge back on for five miles after flatting.
Der Hiptler is in full heckle mode. After Waggoff drops on the final climb, the Simpletons rush to the front. Hipp Star pinches them off one at a time, single handily thwarting any cohesive chase. "Go! Go ahead, chase them down, I'll let you." 30 seconds later after the dreamer's legs blow and he returns hangdog, gut shot and forlorn -- "What's the matter? Why didn't you chase them down?" To which the crestfallen hero mutters, sarcastically, not realizing he is jousting with the Master: "Wow, Cat 5 tactics, cool." Der Hiptler, cackling, with the puffy cheeks, clubbed chin, enormous forehead and cracked lips: "Yes! Exactly! That's what I'm saying. 'Cat 5 tactics' and you fell for it! That makes you a Nimrod!!!"
The Gods are smiling as we see McFeerless on the side of the ride frantically blowing air in his tube stem like a trumpet. Precious time -- lost. Precious tire pressure -- gone. The wheel vehicle -- in a ditch somewhere with a hissing radiator. The blistering heat and quest for glory will drive otherwise rational men to madness. But this is good news. Now Soylent has to chase, too, but we know they won't, since winning a race is not in their program, as long as they beat Labor in the field sprint. So this leaves it to the Fembotticos and a smattering of Norcal dementors like the Riddler (aka MaGuire, Col. Klink).
The three man break is out of sight as Hover is on fire. Genghis asks for a strategy call and I suggest a two man all out assault on the final climb and he sort of nods in agreement but low and behold a few seconds later I learn there is no final climb as the pack swells up for the big sprint finish for fourth. God's Gift and Bad Jones string it on the road shoulder for The Talented Mr. Bunghole. MKA tries to cut in for a little dosie doe but the FemBots won't budge. The fluffers flame out and now it's MKA shoulder to shoulder with the Bunghole and I'm wishing I ate my wheaties because you just know a fierce beast like the B-hole has been munching on rattlesnake heads and blasting caps besides which didn't he just put a curse on Labor yesterday?
But much ado about nothing as B-hole implodes and it looks like a clean Labor gutcheck on the inside until I look to my left at the line and just about drop from fright as the gnashing teeth of Pterodactyl flash by. I would've been permanently traumatized but seconds later Big Bird flexes his big powerful biceps for me and I feel better knowing I got beat by a goofball. I mean, he just drafted off me for the past kilometer and passed me at the line like a tanker truck coming around a Yugo that's run out of gas so if that makes him all-powerful then I guess I don't have to quit the sport just yet.
Meanwhile, Hovercraft has been celebrating his victory for the last 5 minutes with a warm O'douls, rice cakes and a tin of tuna. Get the chalk! I want flyers and I want races long and hard, close together and every weekend. I'm hot - Send me out!
The Jeremiah Johnson Golden Grizz Board
- Hoodee "Mahatma" Hover Hawk, Labor Power (Hotter'n a goat's ass in a pepper patch)
- Mighty Joe Davis, Zombies (Sprint legs weakened by Hover's power pulls)
- Moon Walker, Zombies (Labor has nothing but respect for this 40 year old intergalactic spider like creature)
- Jimbo Pterodacto, Soylent Green (Wisely avoided pre-finish predictions, easy on the Andro-6)
- Max kash Agro, Labor Power ("Raindrops keep falling on my head...crying all the time..")
- Tricky Stricky, Simply Fred (Proof that attitude trumps training and talent any day).
From the Romper Room: Soze MKA is returning four days later from a family outing in the Sequoia National Park when Hover advises over the cell phone that I'd been deeked for a "center line violation in the finish sprint" -- which sounds like a very egregious and reckless act except I launched from and stayed put on the edge of the road and last I looked it's real hard for Muggles like me to be two places at the same time.
MKA: "Honey, I got deeked again. They say I crossed the center line in the sprint."
Darling Wife: "Well, it doesn't matter. You weren't even sprinting for the win and the protest period has long expired."
MKA: But it's so unfair. I nearly clanged my head against the camera I was so close to the announcer's stand when I finished. And I actually hung around for the results-- I asked the Head Blue Bra for the sheets and she sent me up the road and I went there and waited ten minutes like a dope, worried sick that you and the Bucky were sitting on a corner outside the hotel suffering and I had to get back. They probably waited for my tail lights to disappear before posting and by the way Elvis is still alive and JFK was killed by OJ.
DW: Good. I hope this means either you will find humility or end this nonsense.
MKA: Hey, I'm sitting like Buddha in a ten foot cell, an innocent man in a living Hell, I could use some support over here. 'Humility?' That's like asking Superman to embrace cryptonite, or Larry Flynt to give up pornography, or Dogs to love fleas, or George Bush to read books. I don't even know how to be humble.
DW: Poppycock. You're wired like the rest of us but instead of humility you've chosen to be a rude, arrogant, petulant and meddlesome troublemaker.
MKA: You go Frauline! Now you're talking my language. RRRRFFF! Hey, next weekend let's go to Pamona. I hear the Motel 6 has a pool, HBO, and complimentary Snappy Tom's fruit cocktail in a can!
DW: You know the Bucky Bear doesn't eat fruit.
MKA: Hey, that's your department. Your job is to grow the child. My job is to get the $1.2k.
DW: That's right, and I forgot that you stopped growing in the third grade.
Praise Be to L. Ron: More kudos to Labor's L. Ron Hubbard for a magnificent silver medal in the 30 plus road race. No teammates, he bridged to the break, helped power it and nearly won the sprint, despite being loaded down with two pounds of salt caked to his pits. If Agro is an arrogant prick, L.Ron is a Zen master of humility.