Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Distractions: Head-On Collisions
Firstly, I'm pleased to report that the BSNYC/RTMS Fat Cyclist Knuckle Tattoo Tribute Contest is off to a rotund and jiggly start. Already the entries are pouring into my mailbox like PBR down a thirsty hipster's gullet. Submissions so far include this naked bike ride knuckle tattoo/body painting freakout:
This creative belt-buckular insertion of the letters "Y" and "C:"
This phonetic spelling of "clydesdale" which at first I thought was an homage to some Scandinavian pro cyclist:
And of course this eerily compelling lobster claw tattoo (claw tattoos are the knuckle tattoos of the crustacean world):
While these are just a few of the excellent images I received, I find it noteworthy that none included "weird style diktats," though I'm sure at least one or two riders in the first submission are sporting them. In any case, thanks to all who submitted so far, and I'll do my best to make a decision, announce the podiumway, and distribute the prizeways sometime next week.
Speaking of distribution, in an age of media saturation it can be extremely difficult to get your message across to the general public. Furthermore, purchasing advertising space can be costly. This is why many people in New York City and elsewhere advertise their enterprises on the rear windows of their SUVs. One example is of course the great Clem Lue Yat (you can see his SUV here) , otherwise known as the "Eddy Merckx of Hairweaving." Another example is "Pure Romance by Sochy," which I noticed recently while on my commute:
Naturally, whenever I see an advertisement on a tinted window, I make a mental note of it and follow up as soon as I find myself in front of a computer. (Or under a computer if I've been drinking.) As such, I headed to Sochy's site as soon as I possibly could, and I must say that I'm extremely glad that I did:
While I was getting the feeling that this website was part of some pyramid scheme akin to Matt DeCanio's "Stolen Underground," I also must admit that I was a bit curious about the "Girs Night IN," which apparently involves "sensual lotions, exciting adult toys, and much more!" So I pressed on:
So it would seem then that once you start your own "Pure Romance business," you basically gather all your girlfriends together, probably get them drunk, and then proceed to sell them sex toys. So it's like an x-rated Amway, or like a Tupperware party with more likelihood of masturbation. I was curious to know more about who was behind this company and what exactly they sold. It didn't take me long to find out. The CEO of Pure Romance is Patty Brisben, and among other things she sells products that are designed to tighten the vaginal walls:
At this point, I found myself troubled by two things. Firstly, Pure Romance is clearly supposed to be something for women and by women. So why was there a shifty-looking man behind the wheel of the Pure Romance by Sochy Mitsubishi? Does he think this may be his key to becoming the next Hugh Hefner? Secondly, one of the reasons people keep crashing into things with their cars is that they're too distracted by their phones. This is why New York State has banned texting, playing games, and browsing the "innenert" while driving. Now, within minutes of punching in the URL for Pure Romance by Sochy, I was deeply immersed in a strange and sensual world of "Like a Virgin" vaginal wall tighteners and c-rings with clitoral vibrators. Had I been driving and looking at all of this on my cellphone, I would almost certainly have run down scores of pedestrians by this point. This raises the question: are these tinted window ads almost as dangerous as the phones themselves? Can any driver be expected to resist the siren call of pink letters against a black background? And of course, most pressing of all: does size matter?
The truth is that as cyclists we're often sharing the road with drivers who are highly distracted, and it's important to keep in mind that every driver you see may be practically drowning in anal confusion. Even worse, the driver may actually be asleep. Here's someone I saw recently who was not only sound asleep behind the wheel but was also vigorously sucking his thumb:
At least he was pulled over. Had he fallen asleep while in motion, by the time I heard the slurping sounds it probably would have been too late.
In any event, after browsing the Pure Romance website I badly needed to clear my head. However, wasn't quite ready to leave the world of femininity and soft hues. As such, I picked up a copy of my favorite non-cycling publication, Martha Stewart's "Living," and the very first thing I turned to was a two-page Lexus ad. Here's the left page:
And here's the right:
As I've said before, I have nothing against cars. We need them. I like them. Still, I occasionally find car advertisements offensive, and this was one of them. When you look at an advertisement, you can be sure that every single detail in it has been carefully chosen for a reason. Unlike a typical snapshot, in which things can wander into the frame, when it comes to ads there are no accidents. And it's no accident that there are two bicycles in this ad; in the foreground is an old KHS mountain bike leaning against the wall of the garage, and in the background is a child's bike resting against the house. To me, the message is clear: bikes are kids' stuff. They're meant to be left in the suburbs with the children while the grown-ups get in their cars and drive into the city. At most, they're something to play with on the weekends. Yes, the roads and urban centers of the real world are no place for a bicycle; instead, ITTET you need a $40,000 SUV to navigate them safely. Sure, a bloated and swollen "crossover vehicle" with a V6 is a lot more car than you need to simply drive yourself to work, but don't worry--it's a hybrid, so you're helping.
While the ad had made me angry, it had also at least distracted me from all that eroticism, although that distraction was short-lived. Soon I found myself reading about Martha's hikes near her summer house in Maine:
All this seemed innocent enough, but then I read this:
What kind of magazine was this?!? I thought Martha taught you how to do stuff like make attractive decorative slip covers, yet here she was talking about ninety-minute oral sex "epics." Then I turned the page and looked at the "map." Maybe I was reading too deeply into things due to the time I had spent on the Pure Romance site, but I couldn't help thinking that the Great Head trail map looked a lot like a "diktat:"
It wasn't just me, either. Celebrity Tweeter Dennis Hopper also confirmed my suspicions:
Hey, don't get me wrong: Martha can explore Great Head all day long as far as I'm concerned--just as long as she doesn't do it while she's driving.