Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Tempest 2008: A Dramatic Re-Imagining by David Clinger of Rock Racing

“Clinger said he hadn’t ever visited Polynesian communities, but had ‘seen documentaries, read a couple of books, and read a book on what the Maori symbols mean. I’m so competitive, racing bikes year after year, I felt it falls in line with being a warrior...

‘It’s somewhat of a publicity stunt as well,’ he added. ‘Nobody in the cycling community has a facial tattoo.’”

David Clinger to Velonews in 2005

The Tempest 2008
A play by David Clinger
(adapted from the original by William Shakespeare)


A tropical beach. Three figures are lying face-down in the sand. In the background, the shattered fuselage of a jet is half-submerged in the turquoise water. The “Rock & Republic” logo is visible on it. A bunch of wooden crates are also strewn about the beach, also bearing the R&R logo. Suddenly, one of the figures begins to stir.

Tyler Hamilton: Where...where am I? Am I dead? Tugboat! Tugboat, we’re finally together again!

A second figure awakens.

Michael Ball: Dude, that sucked.

The third figure remains still.

Tyler Hamilton: Are we dead, Mr. Ball?

Michael Ball: I don’t know, T-Ham. But if we are this must be heaven. Check it!

Ball points to a group of topless native women who have just emerged from a thicket.

Tyler Hamilton [blushing]: Gosh, Mr. Ball, those ladies don’t have any clothes on.

Michael Ball [leaping to his feet]: They sure don’t. Step aside, there, shorty. The Ball Boy’s gonna show you how to get your game on.

Just then, an army of native men emerge. They are heavily tattooed and are carrying machetes.

Michael Ball [sitting back down again]: Uh-oh.

Tribal Chieftain: [Speaks ominously in his native tongue.]

Michael Ball: Whuh?

Tribal Chieftain: [Repeats himself, slowly and more menacingly.]

The army advances closer, machetes drawn.

Michael Ball: All right, enough of this crap. What do you guys want? Money? Oh, shit, my wallet’s gone. Cheap-ass wallet chain! OK, I know. Pants!

Ball runs to a broken crate, prying it open and pulling out pair after pair of jeans. He runs to the Chieftain and holds a pair up to his face.

Michael Ball: Rock and Republic, baby! These go for like $200 a pair!

The Chieftain stares back blankly.

Michael Ball: Don’t you understand English?!? Pants! P-A-N-T-S. Blue jeans. Dungarees. Metrosexual legwarmers? Douche corsets?!? C’mon, T-Ham, help me here!

Tyler comes to his feet, acting everything he says out in pantomime as he speaks.

Tyler Hamilton: Uh, me Tyler Hamilton. Me ride bike. You big chief of island. Him Michael Ball. Him big chief of bike team. We fly in big iron bird to bike race. Uh, captain of big iron bird get very sick from bad salisbury steak. Him no more can fly big bird. So big chief of bike team make Freddy Rodriguez fly bird. But Freddy no fly good. Him crash big bird just like him crash bike at Redlands. We come in--

One of the native men steps forward wordlessly and decapitates Tyler with his machete.

Michael Ball [dropping to his knees]: Jesus Fuck!

Finally, the third figure in the sand stirs. He struggles to his hands and knees and picks up his head, revealing his magnificently tattooed visage. It’s David Clinger.

David Clinger: Is Botero finished with the bathroom yet?

The natives collectively gasp and drop to their knees, bowing.

Michael Ball: Holy shit, dude. It’s that crap on your face. You must be like a god to them.

David Clinger: Cool. What happened to Tyler? It looks like someone chopped his head off.


It is night. David Clinger and Michael Ball are in a hut together, dimly lit by firelight and a soft electronic glow.

Michael Ball: So, like, I still don’t get what’s happening. Didn’t you do any research on these people before you got that permanent mud mask? I know chicks who put more thought into a bikini waxing than you put into your ink.

David Clinger: Hey, no fair. I read an article on Body Modification Ezine, and I’ve seen “Papillon” like four times. Plus, I’m able to get Wikipedia on my iPhone. My best guess is they think I’m a brave warrior or something because of my mask.

Michael Ball: Crazy. Hey, I saw the head guy scoping the sweet-ass tribal band I’ve got around my ankle. I wonder what they think I am.

A native enters carrying a West Papuan penis gourd as well as a grass skirt and a floral bikini top. He hands the penis gourd to Clinger and bows. Then, he hands the grass skirt and the bikini top to Ball. He winks to Ball and exits.

David Clinger: I guess they must think you’re a chick.

Michael Ball: What?!? No way! The Ball is all man. My masculinity transcends all cultural divides.

David Clinger: I’m telling you, they saw that bitch ink of yours and that tan. Plus, you’re wearing girl’s jeans.

Michael Ball: Screw you, Cling Film, R&Rs are unisex.

David Clinger: Whatever. I’m putting on this [quickly glances at the Wikipedia entry on his iPhone] uh, dick stick and heading out there. Clearly they’re going to honor us with some kind of feast. I’ll see you outside.


A bonfire is raging and the entire tribe is gathered around it. A pig is roasting on a spit. As Clinger appears everybody starts singing and celebrating. They lead him to a giant bamboo seat of honor. Shortly after this, Michael Ball emerges, looking bashful in his hula skirt and bikini top. He’s being accompanied by a group of the native women who are covering him with floral garlands.

Michael Ball: Uh, hey.

David Clinger [toasting him with a cocktail he’s been sipping out of a coconut]: Looking good, Mikey.

Michael Ball: Shut up.

Suddenly chanting and drumming begins as the Tribal Chieftain arrives. He looks Ball up and down approvingly, grabs his arm, and takes him away. The entire tribe cheers.

Michael Ball: Hey, let me go. Hey! Hey!!!

David Clinger: Wow, crazy. Well, I’m going to take a leak.

Clinger leaves his seat of honor and steps into the foliage, parting some leaves.

David Clinger: Hmmm, that’s odd.


The next morning. David Clinger is reclining poolside at a big resort. He’s got a big straw hat on as well as sunglasses and a thick coating of zinc on his tattooed nose. He’s reading a copy of Men’s Health. Suddenly a bedraggled Michael Ball enters, his grass skirt and bikini top disheveled and askew.

David Clinger: Hey, Mikey! Crazy night. So it turns out we were right next to a resort the whole time. Like literally, right next door. How funny is that?

Michael Ball: Thanks, yeah, I realize that now.

David Clinger: So how was the chief?

Michael Ball: Surprisingly tender.

David Clinger: Cool. Well, pull up some vinyl. Next flight out’s not until 6:00 tonight.

Michael Ball: Yeah, might as well. Hey, you’re not gonna tell anybody about this, are you?

David Clinger: Not to worry. Warrior’s honor.



Anonymous said...


bikesgonewild said...

...fuck podiums...

Anonymous said...

Not exactly Shakespeare...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


29ner said...

your all nuts

Pedal Strike Force Agent Down said...

Oh, sweet!

Two posts in one day.

Twice the hilarity for half the cost. The huddled masses are clamoring for more hilarity!

Anonymous said...

prologue in the morning, 160km stage in the afternoon? top tenned in both.


Anonymous said...

top ten?

Anonymous said...

top eleven?

Anonymous said...

top 10, good story, and two posts, good day

Anonymous said...

People with tattoos are such individuals, especially the ones with the Celtic symbols.

Clinger is nuttier than his namesake on M*A*S*H.

Anonymous said...

madness, just madness!

Anonymous said...

Now we need some Nigerian Scammers to act this out.


Andrew said...

top 20!

LK said...

Tyler Hamilton never s gets to finish he Jekyll & Hyde routine.....

Anonymous said...

fucking lame.

Eh...sosos on the tempest post...

but dammit if that velonews article made me hit the off switch to watching professional cycling.

making him remove it?


people have a right to look stupid if they want... and screw them if they want to ban him.

bikesgonewild said...

..."rock racing press release"...

...micheal ball proudly introduces the new "mb denim fiber wheelset" featuring blue, black or 'distressed look' rim sidewalls...said ball: "i used to get good HED but now i do it myself"...

..."making overpriced trendy metrosexual legwarmers left me w/ a lotta denim scraps, so wtf...a bucket of resin, a box a' outsourced hubs n' spokes, a coupla pizza pans for molds...the guys come up to the mansion on their nights off, i get the chicks to dance around a bit & we get busy...
...autoclave ???...we don't need no steekin' autoclave...just bake 'em in the oven like deep-dish"...

..."so all you pissant naysayers really are a buncha wheel suckers...& i've the 'ball's inte-grated ultimate new system wheelset' ta prove it...read the acronym bitches,'big uns wheelset'...tell me i ain't got this bike shit down, huh ???"...

...micheal ball's new 'big uns' wheelsets will be sold in featured bike shops for a lotta money...are you man enough for 'big uns'???...

Anonymous said...

Dave Clinger's a douche. I raced with him as an espoir, and he was a penis then; I have no doubts he's still a penis. I remember when Webcor kicked him off the team to--hilarious! ...ass hat...

OpenYourEyes said...

Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave right now. I'm sure it wasn't intended to be, but it wasn't even near Ethan Hawke's Hamlet .

Seriously though, two posts in one day is always a bonus. Thanks RTMS.

And OG's that will get tattoos, you've got my respect. Not just anyone can get a tat. Well, actually they can. But, for real, not just anyone will permanently etch ink into their face, except for ladies and their permanent make-up. But I'm sure you thought all this out before you got your mug done. You seem like a pretty thoughtful guy from your Velonews interview.

And RTMS, what would your mug look like all tatt'd up? Really f'ing hardcore, bro - bridge the gap between snarky blogger and ass-kicking wild man.

iamameatpopsicle said...



BikeSnobNYC said...


I've been shopping for a facial tattoo but I haven't yet decided on a culture about which I can watch a show on the National Geographic channel and then thumb through a book about before I have their symbols permanently applied to my face and head.


Anonymous said...

Funny funny shit, Snob-man.

And that cat is going to be riding in the Tour de France in July? ASO is going to love him.

Your fertile imagination was no doubt sparked by yesterday's skirmishing.

Carry on young man. We will drink you to the dregs.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snob, only you could pull off a IV act structure.

Anonymous said...

The funniest part about any permanent body modification is what it will look like on the person when they're old. Like, liver spots, wheelchair old.

This one is definitely lulworthy.

Oh, and SPLASH! Nice landing.

Anonymous said...

tattoos were banned or severly discouraged in much of polynesia by christian missionaries and their fellow colonists, essentially destroying what was once by many reports a much, much more common sight. while some markings belong to certain rights/families/etc... many, including some maori styles, also provide geometric patterns that are fair game to the artisan as decorative elements. nor was/is it unheard of for people to travel abroad to get such a tattoo, ex. a tongan trekking to samoa or, in this case, an american to argentina. tattoo is a vibrant, global art with cross-pollination between many cultures.

think what you want about clinger's motivations (i'm certainly not defending them). but be wary-- some of the comments over the last few years regarding the tattoo itself seem no more than echos of calvinist mores coming from people who are far more ignorant of the etiologies of their own small minded aesthetic than clinger seems to understand of his face decorations. the missionaries would most likely be highly pleased to see their censorship of what was very close to a type of writing alive and well and so deeply ingrained.

the line between homage and co-opting is always precarious. picasso didn't appear to do much more homework than clinger while he busily co-opted oceana motifs... and, well, nobody ever called him an asshole, despite his general lack of acknowledgement for many of the sources of his work. go to any biker bar, indie rock show... spend a night in deep ellum with some drunk frat boys. the level of understanding and the impetuousness behind those tattoos are really no worse than clingers. let's not forget that the common american tattoo, even the most "tasteful" and "discreet", owes part of its existence to sailors visiting these same polynesian nations as well as working along side polynesians (famously in whaling and companies such as hudson bay) and receiving, emulating and morphing the designs and/or techniques. these dudes weren't sporting art history and cultural anthropology phds either.

Scottie said...

I love the joke about "Frast" Freddie Rodriguez. I swear that guy crashes his bike 4 out of 5 times he rides it.

mhandsco said...

Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole.

Anonymous said...

BSNYC -- You're back to signing your name BSNYC? Oh well, Prince did the same thing and, anyway, I think I lost that cool RTMS Approve spoke card I found.

Great post, though!

There are, as you must know, certain tribes in Brooklyn that ink hair tatoos on to their scalps to cover male pattern baldness.

Oh sure, they call them hair plugs, but that's not fooling anyone.

Anonymous said...

mhandsco said...

Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole.

Not in New York
Not like you.

lemmiwinks said...

Hi-fucking-larious! Top stuff BSNYC.

OpenYourEyes said...

Wow, you hit it right on the head Anonymous 6:31:

I have never read a more penetrating analysis of tattooing. I am much more smarter now that I know all that stuff. I really see it much more gooder than I use too.

Big ups to Clinger for showing those Christian missionaries and other colonialists that the tribal face tattoo of Polynesia will not become extinct!

But in all seriousness, your comments about Picasso... Picasso? Are you joking? You must be joking. Picasso's work in a blog about a guy who tattooed his fucking face for attention?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret your anthropology prof didn't tell you yet: don't believe everything someone tells you- go to an original source and find it out for yourself. And do it with the same "open mind" you so vehemently demand from everyone else.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Clinger and the doping scene. One and a half year old story.


Anonymous said...

this would probably be funny even if i wasn't half drunk.
gotta go - american idols about to start.

KanyonKris said...

Has pro cycling really descended to this tawdry freak show level? I see a lot of hands, I guess so.

I'm waiting for the "jump the shark" moment when there is a pro wrestler with a cycling theme. Names anyone?

Let's just merge all these entertainments called "sports" into a nasty amalgam of theatrics, stunts and cheesy personal drama and put it on TV 24/7. This just in ... it's here.

I want a cycling running of the bulls, or maybe lions - with explosions.

Unknown said...

So who is Caliban?

And Snob, like Shakespeare's own Tempest, is this post meant to be your last piece of writing?

Anonymous said...

Bet ya it washes off.

And out of a recently washed up crate cometh the Great White God CIPO > The heathens including Balls fall to the sand in homage but all too late as he proceeds to smote them all with a single stroke with his track pump. That will teach you all for dissing me and my comeback he bellows. He settles by the fire , pats his mane back into place and beckons said native girls to come forward and pleasure him with wine, song and carnal delights. Tough gig being a Cycling God

Anonymous said...

Tattoos didnt get Clinger kicked off prime alliance, it was when he got lost at 3 in the morning the night before the tour de georgia and had to call the fucking DS to pick him up.

Anonymous said...

Woogie Woogie

mhandsco said...

He could walk down your street and girls could not resist his stare...

Jim said...

Yeah, racing a bike makes you *just* like a soldier. And racing in a rainstorm, on really steep hills, makes you just like a Marine. Ride it through a puddle, you're like a sailor, and if you actually stop and put your foot down *in* the puddle (that's hard core, man...) makes you just like a SEAL. And pay wayyyyy too much for for a bike made out of carbon fiber and other exotic materials, get a huge (and possibly sketchy) rebate on the purchase from the dealer as an incentive for buying it, not know how to do the wrenching yourself but have to contract out, lard it up with a computer you don't quite know how to use yet, wear nice clothes and make sure you always have air conditioning at the races, even if you're in a tent at an MTB endurance race, yep, that's just like being in the Air Force. Oh yeah, and just so nobody is forgotten, carry a really big multi-tool on rides so you can bail out buddies or any other stranded riders you come across, makes you just like a Coast Guardsman.

Clinger's right. Racing bikes is just like going war. Only different.

Next up: Clinger explains how being a straphanger in a hip hopper's posse is *just* like being a US Army Ranger.

JimmyNick said...

Didn't Ricardo Montalbon get caught with a Tattoo on his face? It's been a lot of years - that's kind of fuzzy now.
But perhaps it hints at the inspiration for our drama's the island setting.
"Boss -- de plane!"

urchin said...

you thought that was supposed to be a spoke card?

That 'approve' graphic is actually the sketch for my new full facial tatoo...

Marrock said...


Why not just put the BSNYC seal of disapproval on the bald spot on the back of your head?

Anonymous said...


I'm going to let you in on a secret: you sound like somebody who shits all over somebody's attempt to do some thinking without offering a critique of any real substance.

In short, you sound like an asshole.

Danimal said...

Hey Jim,

how's that complex about your penis size going?

Oh, I see you're a little defensive. Bwahahahahaha.

Choose your weapon.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! For a second there I thought I was looking at the Bike Snob's new face tattoo, and then I realized, "Oh yeah, that's Rip Torn."

russ j said...

RE: Ian's response to openyoureyes

Just because Anon 6:31 recontextualized Clinger's face tattoo in an overly academic tone does not make all his conclusions valid. For one thing, as one so over-educated as 6:31 should know full well, many far more eloquent academics certainly have called Picasso (along with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Miller and so on) an asshole, despite Jonathan Richman's amusing claim to the contrary.

OYE is guilty of vitriol, sure, but he makes a good point about 6:31's pomposity. If Anon 6:31 really cared more about communication than condescension he would not go rattling off terms like "Calvinist mores," "etiology," and "ellum" as if everybody knew what they meant.

Further, likening Clinger to frat boys does nothing to repudiate his critics. Stop by, say, hotchickswithdouchebags.com and you'll see that such folks also are the recipients of much-warranted derision.

Anon 6:31 does make some very good points but he is also a bit misguided. You can't equate criticizing Clinger's, um, absurdly conspicuous aesthetic choices with attacking the entire tradition of tribal facial tattoos, unless you're already guilty of the whole "Noble Savage" sort of romanticizing that your graduate studies should have already excised from you politically correct thinking.

So in conclusion, while I really want to promote civil and honest discourse, I must also say Thank you, openyoureyes, for calling Mad Bullshit on that guy.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, need to stay anonymous (unless you can guarantee site escurity) as my wife sees my cycling interest as "solitary", "pointless" and "faintly ridiculous" amongst other things. It wouldn't do to have her realise I've gone so far as to post comments on a blog on the other side of the Atlantic about a cyclist with a facial tattoo.

Have read all posts and been entertained hugely. I've also spurned the 'podium' stuff even though time difference can easily had it to me on a plate. I thought I'd comment on this one as the whole thing just seems so American (and that's not necessarily a bad thing). Well done for having people willing to tattoo (spelling?) their faces.

Just one thing, though. Are you sure he is going to want all this discussion about him? 49 people have commented, god only knows how many have read, and all of them could have talked about this to their friends. Poor old David is going to have lots of attention now and, frankly, it's going to be difficult for him to avoid it now that he's so noticeable. Did you check to see if he minded?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:31 is just a bore. Lighten up bud--it is just a joke about a guy who degrades any legitimacy of his polynesian-style tattoo by calling it a 'publicity stunt.' If he actually had some reason for getting the face tattoo, other than a vaunted sef-entitlement, I bet everyone would be quiet. If Clinger decided to wear a turban and make eveyone call him Jagdip Singh Clinger, because he loved 'Ghandi', he would attract the same heat. You are an unfunny bore who needs to lighten up and get over your issues with Sunday School.

Anonymous said...

I can't beleive somebody else writes Micheal Ball fan fiction to! I thought I was the only one!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon April 8, 2008 6:31 PM

A culture vulture, regardless of the pedanticalness.


Anonymous said...

Now here is some cool ink.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Urchin -- You mean you can put that Graphic on your face?


Let's convince Donald Trump that he should use the RTMS APPROVE graphic in place of branding his name on some of his buildings, jets, personal hygiene products, and paramours.

I mean, he's gotta switch it up a little. It's getting dull.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if Klinger actually got Ta Moko, and not Kirituhi? As I understand it, getting real moko is the equivilent of stealing someones grandparents gravestone, and is really offensive, whereas getting Kirituhi is just dumb. I also read somewhere that the suicide rate for people with facial tattoos is like 80% or something, so we may not have long to kick him around.

Anonymous said...

And an RTMS APPROVE graphic on The Donald's pate in place of the comb over would be a big improvement.

Anonymous said...

I thought John Cale wrote that Pablo Picasso song.

Anonymous said...


This tattoo happened three bloody years ago. THREE YEARS AGO! The horse has died. It has been turned into glue. The glue has been applied to craft articles which have since been recycled into the toilet paper that decomposed in my septic tank last winter. Do we really want to dig it up just so we can beat it again?

Kudos to BSNYC for the usual creativity and depth of grasp on the cycling community. A pox on everyone who thinks it's still cool and meaningful to argue about Clinger. . .

Anonymous said...

John Cale figures into it, but Richman wrote it.


And here's a split link, in case the other doesn't fully appear.


Anonymous said...

Uhhh, Smartypants, Mugshot is the one who "dug that up" by writing the post about it three years after it happened, duh. And the comments are meant for commenting. On the post. Hence the discussion of Clinger.


BikeSnobNYC said...

Annoyed Smartypants,

I maintain that it is important to make fun of David Clinger's face tattoo at regular three-year intervals. Why should he live it down?


Strayhorn said...

Back in 2006 I did a contract job for Uncle Sugar in a hot and sandy land. I worked with a number of Fijians and Maoris, all of whom had traditional tattoos. One night over drinks the subject of getting a tattoo came up for lengthy discussion.

Let's just say that they thought that white guys who got tribal tattoos where just as foolish and almost as offensive as the "pink boys" who slap hands with black dudes and call them "my n*gger."

So, as we used to say in the '70s, leave the brothers alone.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:22 (and indirectly the man himself 12:39):

I am proud that this was dug up. I agree with all of my body and soul (even my pee pee) that BSNYC is correct in stating that this particular tattoo should be laughed at on three year intervals. He should indeed never live it down, even when he's dead. I am going to be more than happy to tell stories of "the facial tattoo" to my great-grandchildren when I'm old and wrinkly like yoda.

However, what I take issue with is dozens of comments on a blog by people who seem to think it's relevant to discuss this as if it was breaking news. I wonder if they just didn't catch the date on the article, or if they're just so hungry for controversy that they're willing to ignore the chronological inappropriateness of the argument?

I mean, cummon. This is teh intarwebs. The future. The next big thing. Technology so great that we're supposed to be arguing about what happened next week, not three years ago.

Mamsterla said...

mhandsco - Nice Repo Man reference

Anonymous said...

Didn't he get them lasered off? He mustn't have realized the lasering would leave lots of black lines all over his face. Poor guy

Anonymous said...

What a fucking jackass.

Brian said...


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