Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Indignity of April Fools' Day: Giant Packages

(The new Scattante, complete with disembodied hand.)

Today, of course, is "April Fools' Day," and it's a day on which it is customary to play "practical jokes." (Practical jokes are like regular jokes, only with panniers.) This custom is observed in other countries as well, though with slight variations. For example, the French have "Le Poisson d'Avril," and instead of playing tricks on humans they play tricks on fish. Also, in Ecuador, everybody wears fur and speaks Finnish for the day in order to confuse people visiting from abroad. As a result, there's a global sense of levity today, despite the fact that our collective existence is as bleak and miserable as it is during the rest of the year.

Cycling websites are no different, and you will find japes aplenty there as well; VeloNews had one about bicycle touring (believe it or not, the Contador one was real); Cyclingnews had it's customary smattering; and even Felt Bicycles got into the spirit by pretending to market this comically trendy "fixie." I, however, will not be participating in any April 1st thomasfoolery (apart from sharing the spurious Scattante at the top of this post, with which I had nothing to do but by which I was amused). Frankly, all these pranks make the world seem frightening to me, and I don't know who to trust. It's too much like being under the influence of a strong hallucinogen--at least according to what I've seen in movies. I've actually never tried hallucinogens myself, except for many, many times when I was younger. (And technically, I was younger when I typed up this post than I am right now, so you can conclude from that what you will.)

Given my fear of April Fools Day, I awoke in a state of paranoia this morning, only to find out it was completely justified when, gripped by the spirit of the day, my helper monkey Vito replaced my customary bowl of Froot Loops with a kick to the "pants yabbies." (His sense of humor has a distinctly simian lack of artfulness.) Then, my door knocker sounded, and I opened the door only to be greeted by a nonplussed-looking UPS man bearing an enormous package:

At first I thought this too was a practical joke (judging from the size of the box, I suspected it might actually contain a large human idiot), but I soon realized that, while a Surly Big Dummy may indeed be practical, I had actually agreed to try one in some hallucinogen-induced haze. Just to give you a sense of how large this box is, here's my Japanese monster creature holding my Cochise Rodriguez button and piece of Vladimir Karpets's tire (both gifted to me by the proprietor of Cycling Inquisition) and standing at one end of it:


And here's how tiny he looks from way down at the other end of the box:

I should point out, by the way, that my Japanese monster creature is actually 14 feet tall.

Anyway, it should be interesting to see if the Surly Big Dummy will allow me to join the ranks of those smug cyclists who regularly carry unwieldy items by bicycle, and I'm also taking a special interest in their behavior in the same way the shiny NĂ¼-Fred studies the grizzled messenger. As it happens, yesterday evening I found myself on the Brooklyn Bridge for matters of business with which I will not trouble you. (Let's just say I was selling drugs to tourists.) As I've mentioned before, there are some cyclists who will yell wildly at the sightseers who inevitably wander into the bike lane (dazzled as they are by the glistening skyscrapers above and the pungently unctuous Big Skanky below). As frustrating as this can be when you're riding, I've never really approved of such behavior--it's kind of like screaming at a dinner guest because they sat in the wrong chair--and it was even more shocking to me as I stood among these friendly people with their strange blue jeans and comical accents.

Eventually, though, my business was done (I was all out of drugs) and so I took up behind a gentleman towing a trailer and ringing a bell wildly as he cut through the herd:

His wide payload created a perfect wake for me, and I was able to ride unmolested by tourists. As a soon-to-be Big Dummy borrower, I scrutinized his package (infer from that what you will) but could not figure out what it was:

My best guess was that it was either a Geiger counter, or else one of those Havahart rodent traps. I then backed off a bit lest the trap open and I get attacked by a raccoon. Fortunately, this did not happen, and I thought no more of it until I came across this story:

Apparently, Central Park is now bunny-free (though any local racer will attest that it is rife with squirrels). While the article blames the raccoons, I suspect that the person I was following may indeed be trapping the bunnies and smuggling them into Brooklyn in some sort of rabbit-running operation. Then again, it could simply be that the rabbits are getting picked off by the hawks:


Or, they're just totally over being rabbits, and are now "down" with the whole freestyle ducking thing:

("All You Fakenducks Suck My Epidydymis")

This is not to say that my ride behind the rabbit smuggler was without incident. There was a frightening moment where both he and an oncoming guy with a basket rang their bells furiously at some straggling tourists, who then recoiled in horror against the guardrail:

Again, I maintain this is not the way we should behave towards visitors to our city. Instead, we should at least make them feel welcome and then gain their trust before completely screwing them over. Also, if we mistreat our tourists who choose to see the city on foot, they may return enraged and in cyborg form:

"Touren mit segway" indeed. It's one thing to push some docile tourists in soccer sneakers around; it's quite another when those tourists are standing on 100lb rolling dork podiums. Imagine an army of tourists all on Segways, taking over the Brooklyn Bridge in some sort of horrific and nerdy hybrid of Critical Mass and "Robocop."

By the way, we may be closer to this fate than we realize, for European nations are undoubtedly angry at us already for exporting our ridiculous "fixie" culture. A reader in the Netherlands, for example, forwarded me a link to the television show "TV Draait Door," in which a news clip on fixed-gears goes horribly awry. From what I can tell, the show features "fails" (or what were called "bloopers" further back on the Dachshund) from other shows, and here's the Euro-disheveled host setting it up:


Here's the "fixter" demonstrating his "skidzzz" right in a crosswalk and presumably explaining his Zen-like connection to his "tarck" bike:

And here he is crashing in front of a minivan and almost dying:

Much to this woman's delight:

Yes, it won't be long before a coalition sends an army of Segways to lay waste to us--even if many of us are abandoning fixed-gears and moving on to "p-fars," as in this photograph forwarded to me by a reader in Denver:

I hope that bridge has adequate clearance.

Speaking of clearance, you'll also need plenty of it if you plan to "run" an automotive rearview mirror mounted on what may or may not be a golf club, as spotted by a reader in Vancouver, WA:

Objects in mirror may be dorkier than they appear.

115 comments:

Jefe said...

Bike Snob, Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling By BikeSnobNYC aka Eben Weiss (Chronicle Books 2010), Hardcover, This book has not yet been released. It will be available after Wednesday April 21, 2010.

Hey! Somebody has to promote it, and you are just ... oh yeah ... a former literary agent married to an editor at a major book publisher.

rezado said...

hi-rez

Adam said...

First?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Nogocyclist said...

Its still March 32

Philip Williamson said...

top ten?

Jerkhard Sirdribbeldik said...

I have a duck and I'm not afraid to use it.

Anonymous said...

ten, like bo derek

ant1 said...

snobby - "and I don't know who the trust."

Anonymous said...

Top merganser!

OBA said...

Top ten

Anonymous said...

I wondered what had happened to David Lee Roth.

Thanks Snob

Nogocyclist said...

Here is the evidence Eudora my helper Eagle has been posting comments as me. She took a netbook way up in the top of a tall pine tree. From here she has been having fun making comments under my name.
This video shows her up there hunt and pecking away on that netbook. You can see, when she spots me, she tries to move stuff around so I can not see her.

Eudora, give it up! I figured out what you have been doing.

hillbilly said...

farrar1st!

oh, that vito, he is a kidder.

kale said...

Sad that the collabo doesn't come with a pair of 'distressed' work pants.

Anonymous said...

fingerbang

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

cyclotourist said...

BIGD UMMY

Anonymous said...

So did Tyler Farrar actually win a stage? Or is that also an April Fool?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snob. So, like, all those "indignity of bike commuting" posts -- lies? I'm hurt. I mean, you're a full-time, write-in-the-buff blogger. Where you commuting to?

I feel used.

rezado said...

That guy on the p-far commutes to work on that thing. He has no regard for red lights. How do you safely lock up a p-far...not that anyone would want to steal it?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:44pm,

Not lies, I still commute.

--BSNYC

Anonymous Coward said...

Top 30

NO RABBTS

wishiwasmerckx said...

Leave it to FatCyclist to best sum up Snob's "reveal:"

"...and thousands of people will be excited to know that someone they've never heard of is in fact someone they've never heard of."

ant1 said...

good one fatty

grog said...

No, I am Bikesnob.
Check your package please.

Eudora said...

Boo! No Squirrels and Rabbits. This blog belongs to the birds.

More ducks and hawks!

Birds Rule.

Nogo wouldn't let me use his computer, so I have to use my own.

dignan said...

Top ramen!

urchin said...

I am bikesnob!

Now please send me random bicycles by UPS.

Anonymous said...

So, Garmin must be the favorites for Sunday....

No, wait, I can say that with a straight face. Let me try again..

Anonymous Coward said...

What, No mention of the "Euro-disheveled" host's chin to shirt drop?

kale said...

Feel like a failure because I never got free stuff from my blog: yachtsnob.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Some people eat rabbits.

In my city, every once in a while, I see homeless people cook ducks on city-provided, river-side-park grills, using fallen broken branches for fuel.

Astroluc said...

ladies and gentlemen...

SHRK JUMP

...goodnight, everybody.

SD friend said...

Darn, I was half expecting you to reveal that Eben Weiss was never actually the BikeSnob, that you are still anonymous and the whole identity thing was just an April Fool's Joke. That would have been an Epic Joke.

At least the posts are still coming and still good. That hipster crashing was totally worth the 3 minutes of incomprehensible footage about elderly people and chickens before it.

mikeweb said...

Snobby, I can't believe that you didn't realize that the owner of that Mitsubishi in yesterday's post was a fellow Lobster worshipper.

Naturally, HE BLD4U means "He boiled for you".

OK, I just figured that out this morning...

Anonymous said...

May all your packages be large this Easter.

frilly said...

Ohhhh, now you guys are making me feel guilty. Two people from the comments board gave me birthday presents and somebody brought me back a souvenir from their cycling trip to France last summer.

No bikes, however. That's okay, I love my Specialized. That's right--I said it.

Anonymous said...

How will the fully assemblied big dummy fit in your apartment. that thing is massive. that's what she said.

Daddo said...

Academy Award winning actor Liam Neeson has hit hard times, eh?
(for an academy award winning actor anyway)

Eric said...

On further introspection since you first discussed the Brooklyn Bridge Cyclist/Tourist detante, I have to say you are incorrect about cyclists needing to be polite on the bridge. I have to say that in my conversations with my friends from outside the U.S they always remark about that wonderful day when a New Yorker was rude to them or nearly took their life. This is usually punctuated in the same paragraph with. "I had so much fun". Were giving them the "New York Experience" (not to be confused with the worst New York Promo film of all time 1973's McGraw-Hill Prod. "The New York Experience" from the early 1970's. Frankly, I expect a cabbie in Nice, France to try to rob me blind for putting a bike in his cab's trunk. or an Italian man walking up to my girlfriend, asking if she like's it in the ass. I expect a Parisian lady to curse at me for buying the last piece of Goat Cheese at Boucheron. These memories, I will cherish forever. Snobby, don't lobby for more disney-fication of our great city. Give em' what they want. Some attitude to take home with them and share with others duty free!

Anonymous said...

so in addition to very fond of vowels the Dutch also like to make fun of old people. veery niice.

The word police said...

Please refrain from using the following words over the next 5 daze and use the suggested synonym in place;


Classic - use "magnum opus"
Hipster - use "gypsies" or "iconoclasts" or "Catholic refugees"
Pumpkin Tossing - use "Punkin Chunkin"

thank you for your cooperation.

mikeweb said...

That Dutch video isn't working for me.

Fail.

Billy Reid said...

Wait a minute, BSNYC revealed his identity? I was foffing off and totally missed it.

Billy Reid said...

did Patrick Swayze take a job hosting a German tv show?

Jefe said...

Eric 2:32, I like it. Now if we can just get some Paisans to dump a body into the East River, the tourists will get the full experience.

sufferist said...

Free your duty and your mind will follow....

waxmouth said...

mikeweb,

The Dutch vid failed for me, too. Twice. Third time was a charm though; it's worth checking out -- go to about 3:35.

Daddo said...

I've said it before:

I've been a tourist on that bridge - I don;t rmembe exactly why, but the config of that bike lane is not really intuitive - for some reason, it almost comes a surprise that you are standing in one.

Anonymous said...

Kale, you have inspired me. Is Labiasnob.blogspot.com already taken? (New and improved...now with extra lip curl.)

Shiny Flu said...

FIETS!

Dutch is such a funny language.

Anonymous said...

Daddo, I don;t rmembe when I forgot how to type.

g said...

I saw that Eben Weiss was cited as the author of a Snob quote and had to ask myself, who the hell is that. Apparently, your secret is STILL safe with me. I think there should be a requirement that both names must be used or at least a Prince-like "formerly known as" for those of us who were reading "back in the day".

ervgopwr said...

CRNC BOOK

DOPE DUMY

ringcycles said...

A BSNYC branded Scattante? You must be desperate to fill the kippers college fund before he is even born. Not that I would do any thing different, but what's next, EW wheel brows? Chicken Suit skinsuits? Perhaps lobster god bibs? I'll just wait for the book to "drop".

Anonymous said...

now THIS is comedy:

http://www.vimeo.com/10614064

Dave said...

I thought the Euro-disheveled host looked a lot like Bill Maher, if you took the "product" out of Maher's hair. Is that how he supplements his meagre HBO salary?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Ringcycles,

The Scattante "collabo" is not real, I would never have approved that. It doesn't even have a top tube pad!

--BSNYC

Nogocyclist said...

My Google translator failed to work on that video from the Netherlands. The words that guy was speaking sure were not English.

Maybe someone who is fluent in both Deutsch and English (preferably southern U.S.dialect) could do a word for word translation of this video and post it in a comment here. If you do, please do a strictly word for word, it is often much funnier that way. Did you take note, there were a bunch of chickens in that video. More Birds, need more birds.

TJ Eckleburg said...

Its pretty funny that you still block out your real name.

sufferist said...

David Byrne makes it on CNN, with the following challenging statement, "Song lyrics are not important".

Also tangentially references his cycling exploits

Words are not important

Times must be tough for the poor fella though, he mentions that he does not even own a car. Same as it ever was...

Dave said...

The classic April Fool's story on Velonews was really "Millar Takes Overall at De Panne" They almost sold me on the joke that a over the hill, reformed PED user was going to win a major Belgian road race.

CommieCanuck said...

So far the best April Fool's gag I've seen is James Huang's wheelset review in which he states, "they really don't matter anyway" and gives 2/5 stars.

LOL, like that'll ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Millar a PED-ophile?

Dennis said...

Sheesh, why'd you have to drag my Curbside into this? It's less cliche for a guy my age than a new sportscar or mistress.

Anonymous said...

Dutch is not Deutsch. There are a lot of similar words in German and Dutch, or at least they sound similar, but they look much sillier in Dutch (ich becomes ik). Then you have the English sounding words that again look odd in Dutch (up = op).

Jefe said...

Frilly and I were briefly taken in by the Velo News gag about Contador's "hand injury" putting his season in doubt. Then I realized it was not the lead story, and it also emphasized that his right index finger and thumb were extensively damaged. I take some solace in that I attempted the same humor in a comment yesterday. I am apparently not very prescient.

Joo da Ploomer said...

Jongen, ich bin Joo.

The Aprillists said...

April1st!

Better to remain esoteric. Otherwise you could wind up on some silly awards show with sketchy bits like this: "Eben, Elden. Elden, Eben."

Bret said...

Hey, your Japanese Monster toy has a name, and that name is Garamon. He comes from the 60's japanese answer to Twilight Zone/Outer Limits called UltraQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDItO6PVOzU) Thanks ---ToySnob

more hot Garamon action
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/kanegon/2956917720/in/set-72157608193495527/)

Anonymous said...

From the future....

"And Garamon Weiss has just dropped the hammer on the Kemmelberg!....My goodness me!"

Second place isn't bad said...

Niet idioot. Ik ben Joop.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like, I was watching that video and all I could think of was, you know, those people are a bunch of Dutchbags.

yogisurf said...

Snobby, I hope you make LOTS of money any way you can (except don’t use the Big Dummy to ‘move’ large quantities of spice over the Big Skanky and beyond). Sell out…..but be funny and give back. I’m buying.

Rolling Dork Podiums....yeah, that's right. They loudly hear “ON YOUR LEFT” as I leave the bike lane to pass them.

ryan said...

was it a fixed gear cargo bike? because i think the hipsters have been hoarding all the rabbits...

http://foodcurated.com/2010/03/farming-and-breeding-fresh-local-rabbits-for-new-york-city-restaurants/

http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/archives/2010/03/hipster_trend_w.html

Anonymous said...

the scattante collabo is a tight whip, an understated utilitarian commuter. do you ride it on the fixed or freewheel side? if fixed, why?

I'm in the process of curating my crosslake generic P.O.S. in a similar fashion.

I want to be like bsnyc

Anonymous said...

A few years ago dirt rag ran a AFD story about some new renegade mountain bikers who had taken to off-roading underwater w/ full scuba gear. They had some pretty funny shots of a guy "shredding on some coral reef" and actually had me fooled for about 20 seconds (and plenty of other folks fooled long enough to write angry letters.) Good times.

Anonymous said...

The japanese monster toy is the scariest troll bong I've ever seen. After one toke I'd be Hunter S. Thompson level freaked out paranoid. And its not even Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Damn, it's hard enduring almost 4 mins. of Dutch jaber jaber speaking before the fixed gear video segment comes on. Couldn't someone have cut the video short before posting it?

Anonymous said...

Is it pronounced "EEben" as in "Eeben Stevens" or is it "Eben" as in ebb and tide?

Anonymous said...

Oh wait a minute, is it short for "Ebenezer?" Sorry.

Paul Bowen said...

Anon@5:27

I totally agree that Someone should have done that for us - I suppose the lazy gets expected us to use the little slidey doodah to advance the film to the bit we wanted to watch.

washington irving said...

That Euro show sucks. Ill bet that kid cant name a single Atlanta Brave.

washington irving said...

HOP OP DE MAAN!!

FredRidesFast said...

Beware the Segway. In DC they're now inhabiting the bike lanes... during rush hour. Colorway me nonplussed. Good thing I can still salmon to maintain my fixie-rebel status.

Adam said...

Where in that video are the crashes? All I could find were people drinking water/crossing their legs at the same time (hilarious stuff BTW) and other stuff that was some ridiculous language (speak Esperanto or GTFO foreigners). A

What it the time for the mayhem?

Anonymous said...

Washington Irving, I will bet you that Ant1 cannot name a single Atlanta Brave, either, that smug French bastard.

Allez les Blues!

Anonymous said...

@ Paul Bowen
Well, I tried it m8 but the "little slidey doodah" didn't work for me, probably because the vid is too big and takes too loong to load.

E's are good E's are good
He's Ebeneezer Goode

Salty Seattle said...

So glad to see the re-emergence of the Dork Podium!

While I can't wait for 'Le Book' (that's Classics Season-speak for 'the new Snob tome'), I'm already hoping that his next paid gig is a collection of platitudes, that can be recited beatifically, by those commuting on said Dork Podiums. I can't wait to be stuck riding behind that. So sweet...

BTW, I am making great gains in my Adverbs Anonymous meetings, but continue to fail my sponsor regularly.

frilly said...

I couldn't get the video to work either, got the water drinking, leg crossing.

leroy said...

It's true, nothing says Happy April Fools Day like an unprovoked simian assault.

Tell Vito he can keep the $20 I loaned him. Apparently, he can get mean when he's been drinking and I don't want to cross him.

cyclenutnz said...

you'll be thrilled to discover that you can now purchase a "fixed gear specific" stem from Cinelli.

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-track-bike/Cinelli-Ant-318-Stem/CINEHBSS280

Visegripmikey said...

It's always been tough pulling my kids in a trailer 'cause I can never look back properly to see who's hitting who first without veering around the road. But with this, I'll be able watch every bit of the action! Thanks!

g-roc said...

I'm amazed. The top comment, and many others following had nothing to do with 1st and podiums, etc. So lame and who cares?

Oh, and top 100.

Anonymous said...

You is the funniest writer on the internet. I just cried with laughter at the "UPS Man"...hilarious. It's about time you got a book deal, hope SNL is next! You rock!!

Paulina

Jaska said...

Nice shout out for Finland. Woot!

hillbilly said...

looks left

hillbilly said...

looks right

hillbilly said...

head down

hillbilly said...

100

Anonymous said...

bla bla bla

sharpbearlee said...

This is my first comment

sharpbearlee said...

This is my first comment

A Call to Activism said...

Let's all work to reduce the Smugness levels on our planet. The first step is to adjust your lifestyle and daily routines to be Smugness-neutral.

Together we can make our world a more liveable place!

The Tourism Board said...

ITTET we must embrace tourists to our fine cities. SMUGgers, please keep your mouths SHUT if you know what's good for ya.

Sally said...

Ummmm, besides the fact that April fools day is the only holiday worth celebrating, bike fags have a great chance to hi-jinx some other big huge bike fags.

1.) When locking up your bike, be cool, and slip your u lock around your neighbors frame, making it impossible for them to leave.

2.) BIKE NOTES. Are great. It's like an I Saw U or Missed Connection, except from someone you know also rides a bike, or I guess it at least means that you have friends.
So, make some fake sexy BIKE NOTES. Sick burn.

3.) Then, go around clipping every single cable lock you see (don't steal the bike), to show those retards why they shouldn't use cable locks.

7sp said...

Careful with that Dummy, snob. It may look like the perfect shark-jumping vehicle, but if you're expecting high-octane smugness you may not be prepared for the first leisurely looong-wheelbase turn, effortlessly laden with random crap. Sarcasm and bile will just melt off you; smiling beatifically from ear to ear, you'll be HAPPY.

oldseattleguy said...

Dear BSNYC,
Have you ever thought about doing a "Dear Abby"-like advice section? Think of the opportunities it would provide to explore the zeitgeist, to puncture fashionable wisdom, and for irony. Or whatever.
Anyway, I have a question prompted by the following sad situation: At the end of otherwise enjoyable rides, I am faced by a daunting 8% grade to get back up the hill to my house. Maybe 8% is not much for young anti-hipsters, but it's getting tougher and tougher for me. As usual in our wonderful modern world, technology has come to the rescue. No, not the iPad, I am talking about pedal assist electic bike systems. (Emphasis on "assist"; the motor only adds some torque to your own.) I keep thinking about the wonderful freedom which would come from knowing I could ride whenever I want and always get home. Of course, I would promise myself never to use the assist in normal riding...
My kids think I am nuts even to consider getting one. Admittedly, it would be much cheaper to keep doing what I do now, which is either 1) get off and push my bike the 2+ miles up the hill, or 2) call my wife and beg her to come down and get me in the car.
Can you rescue me from this consumer bug which is slowly eating its way into my brain?

Sincerely,
Oldseattleguy

Shyam said...

the guy riding the penny farthing bike is paul from Denver i see him all the time, he makes a 22 mile commute on that thing every day. he rides the Platte river trail and he barely makes it under bridges. but he climbs hills like a champ or chief

Anonymous said...

i never realized the test sial was that large. i always pictured more of a door mat.

Anonymous said...

robo-dork! lol

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Lundienbnod said...

User-Friendliness: 4/5 Stars Someone from the US can order a UK table top dishwasher, and vice versa, if they have a means of transport setup to get it but this can make things difficult if something goes wrong and sending the appliance back for warranty repair is required. Our spring and summer eating style tends to change to more fresh produce and barbecue items and there may also be some adjustments when the kids get out of school.