Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Come On With the Rain: Hot, Wet Smugness

As you may know, back in June, after a trip to Gothenburg, Sweden, I changed my name to Wildcat Rock Machine. While the name ostensibly comes from a bicycle brand and model name, I know that the Almighty Lobster on High actually emblazoned those words on those tubes so that I might see them, just as so-called "God" wrote those so-called "Ten Commandments" on two so-called "tablets." And indeed the Lob has spaketheth again, for commenter Leroy has recently spotted a Wildcat here in the Lob-forsaken wasteland that is Brooklyn:

"So, who is this Wildcat Rock Machine?" is a question I receive not at all ever, and the truth is that Wildcat Rock Machine is a person who has not only undergone something of a spiritual awakening, but who is also the sort of douchebag who refers to himself in the third person and answers rhetorical questions nobody ever asks or cares to have answered. As for the spiritual awakening, it consists of realizing that he (by "he" I mean "I," remember he's still writing in "douche"), must strive to liberate himself from the societal constructs to which we are all in thrall, and to live not by the clock and the calendar, but rather by the rhythms of nature and of Life Itself.

In other words, I'm very often late, and I rarely shower.

So what does all this crap about living according to the natural rhythms of the whatever entail? Well, mostly it involves surrender and understanding that we cannot impose our will upon the world; rather, it imposes its will upon us. Instead of fighting the will of nature, we should heed its guiding hand. (Or guiding claw, inasmuch as, according to my worldview, it is embodied by an omnipotent lobster.) Consider, for example, the rain.

There are those who say, "If it rains take the bus." I disagree. However, there are those who say, "If it rains then be a man/woman/whatever, ride through it, and be wet and miserable." I also disagree. I believe there is a Middle Way (or "Meh-ddle Way"), which is, "If it it rains then seek shelter and wait it out." I put this into practice yesterday when I set out on my Smugness Flotilla with one of my 17 children in tow, only to get caught in a sudden downpour, at which point I sought shelter beneath an overpass:

Others more hardy than I am braved the rain, but I was content to watch it fall upon the horse manure:

At first I was impatient, but then I found myself being lulled by the sound: countless drops falling upon trees and cars and building roofs and piles of horse doody, each individual impact with its own unique timbre, yet all of them blending together into a seamlessly transcendental "Shhh." It was like the universe itself were telling me to hush, and to relax, and to take this non-negotiable moment to listen and to reflect. This was not something to hurry through with hunched shoulders, cursing as the rainwater filled your shoes. It was actually a reprieve from timetables and routine and tedium and monotony.

Still, despite my profound sense of inner peace, I must have looked like a grinning idiot who should not be entrusted with a child, for at one point a woman pulled over in her car and proffered an umbrella to me. Naturally I declined, and assured her that I already had like three umbrellas, a complete set of patio furniture, and an entire rotisserie chicken inside my Xtracycle FreeLoaders.

Nevertheless, I thought to myself, "Could I have found the key to happiness?" Sure, you can't always wait out the rain since sometimes you need to keep an appointment. But what if the person with whom you have the appointment also waited? What if the rain were a cue to everyone beneath it that, for however long it lasted, we should take time to rest and ponder and stay dry and do other things? Wouldn't it then become like some bucolic church bell summoning us all to worship at the altar of our own contentment?

Of course not. Obviously it would be a complete fucking mess. Pull your head out of your ass, Wildcat Douche Machine.

Anyway, it wasn't long before the rain stopped, though much to the nonplussitude of the fenderless the flooding remained:

So deep was the water in places that it caused minivan rotors to steam:


It submerged not only the bike lane but the horse lane too:

Fourteen head of Brooklyn's finest Tennessee Walking Horses lost their lives that day. Ten drowned, the other four had to be shot by their riders, and a group of children from a nearby day camp looked on in horror. Had I not been spiritually "foffing off" beneath that overpass as they struggled then maybe I would have been able to help them.

Damn you, cursed rain. Damn you!

Speaking of chain gangs (inasmuch as day camp can be likened to a chain gang, I know that was my experience at Camp Hillel anyway) I was browsing the Kickstarter recently when I spotted this project:


The Chain Gang is a comic book about bikes that can talk, and the plot is clearly lifted wholesale from "Bike Kill:"

Instead of waiting years for me to draw all 1,000 pages, I'm going to be releasing The Chain Gang in 24-page monthly issues. Each month will welcome a new limited-edition (only 100 copies) issue of The Chain Gang's ongoing, sprawling epic as they battle in junkyards, wrestle dogs, avoid the police, jump over people's houses, and ride inside whale skeletons. They're breaking all the rules and will stop at nothing in their quest to spread their trouble!

I must admit I was intrigued by the part about riding in whale skeletons, since if there's an antithesis of the bamboo bike then it's almost certainly a bike made out of the bones of an endangered species. (Though strictly speaking I suppose the antithesis of a bamboo bike would be a panda bone bike.) Still, it's pretty audacious to ask people for money before drawing your comic, especially when Rick Smith (the Bill Watterson of cycling cartoonists) gives you a new Yehuda Moon every day for free:

Though I admit I do pay a premium to receive the special "NSFW" version of the strip:
It's positively teeming with "hot bhabis," and if you want to borrow my password it's "pantsyabbies69."

Lastly, speaking of suggestive imagery, a reader recently spotted the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork Bret at T.J. Maxx on a package containing a "Mammoth Precision Tool:"

I had no idea T.J. Maxx had an "adult" section.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh!

Kenny said...

Girl, I don’t care how suave he THINKS he is. If he doesn’t have a couple HDMI cables with him, he’s goin’ home without digital satisfaction.

Bod said...

Not first!

tada! said...

top 3?

shu-sin said...

hmmm.

Chris said...

where are the urban pickling photos?!

Nogocyclist said...

Top ten riding in the rain.

Anonymous said...

Gruppeto!

Anonymous said...

Moses was a real dude, dude!

Just as real as George Washington, I tell you!

Yehuda Moon rulez!

Anonymous said...

top ten for the hugster!

le Correcteur said...

Missed top ten; unread; ouch!
Clenbuterol, here I come!

ken e. said...

eleven!

ken e. said...

dammit jim!

Amy said...

If Rick Smith is the Bill Watterson of cycling Comic Strip artists, who does that make Jef Mallet of Frazz?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

shu-sin said...

when snooby is old enough, you can teach him to hold an umbrella while you ride... it will keep him dry and your behind wetter than a fred's pantsyabbies after a 10mile ride.

le Correcteur said...

Wildcat Douche Machine,

Wonderful lines:
"must strive to liberate himself from the societal constructs to which we are all in thrall, and to live not by the clock and the calendar, but rather by the rhythms of nature and of Life Itself.

In other words, I'm very often late, and I rarely shower."

But today's post somehow seems a little truncated, abbreviated, like a hipster running his tarck bike into a curb or a car's trunk. Am I imagining things? Or were you running late for something because of the rain?

You Fuck. said...

You don't like it?

Well Fuck You then.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Inner tube peace to all.

Anonymous said...

lobsters have pincers, not claws.

Anonymous said...

Pincered balls just doesn't have the same chain ring

ant1 said...

sister sprocket is so fucking hot.

Terre Haute Karl said...

@anon 1:14 don't tell this place

Anonymous said...

Made the time cut, barely.

Anonymous said...

Snobby - today's column lacked the proper number of references to hipsters. It is like reading maureen dowd(y) without any references to George Bush.

cycle

Andrei said...

You should put one of these on the smugness flotilla!

It'll like triple your load capacity:

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp4/media.libsyn.com/media/sciencefriday/flywheel-081211.mp4

mikeweb said...

There's nothing like experiencing manure infused rain water first hand.

grog said...

Missing the babe. Bret just doesn't do it for me.

hillbilly said...

wildcat did howl.

Anonymous said...

Chain Gain are the greatest, albeit most elusive, ROCK band NYC ever hatched-- from Marble Hill, no less. I'm sure some of these dudes rode bikes and guess what-- it wasn't a Big. Fucking. Deal.

There's been a murder!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrGm8nC4MEQ

crosspalms said...

If Rick Perry were a Wildcat Rock Machine that rain would have gone to Texas.

GhostOfTyrone said...

@ cycle -

It also lacked, sadly, references to our storm trooping shorts model.

Anonymous said...

Check it out Wildcat!

http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/view?q=view%3Apopular&a=hD_ZxTJUeYsWpM&source=news&type=embed

General Ripper said...

I only drink horse manure and rainwater to maintain the purity of my precious bodily fluids.

ringcycles said...

Wow, I now have the topic for my long neglected theology dissertation:

"Monsoon Season: the key to understanding Buddhism in Asia"

or maybe "Shit happens in the Rain"

Thanks! Wildcat Douche Machine!

You're more zen than you know.

Anonymous said...

T.J. Maxx? It's T.K. Maxx over here. I wonder where T.L. Maxx is?

hey nonny mouse

Wildcat Punk Machine said...

The informed reader but crappy typist above means CHAIN GANG, the greatest NYC band ever.

They also made a movie which, having taken 25 years to complete, they premiered and then never released.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbV26_9Fz2M

CHAIN GANG

solarpos said...

36th!!!! FOR THE WIN

Anonymous said...

RAIN WAIT

streepo said...

Mammoth precision tool? As it happens, Mario Cipollini has similar labeling on his "Little Mario.

* joke purloined from Wildcat Rock Machine

mikeweb said...

If Mammoths had precision tools they wouldn't be extinct.

CommieCanuck said...

That day would have been a perfect application of my recently patented Equine Flotation Device (EFD). Sorry to hear about your Florida-in-September experience, but maybe you can score one of those sweet FEMA trailers for your Big Dummy.

Hungry Panda said...

Don't even joke about Panda Skeleton bike, NAHBS will have a complete section devoted to such a thing, and that is sick.

Panda bones are not the new material of choice, and never will be. May a pox be on you and yours.

I will not take two.

skink said...

CommieCanuck is back!

henry gibson said...

a poem

i looked everywhere for some twit for to beat

but all i found was some shit in the street

thank you very much

CommieCanuck said...

I am?

bikesgonewild said...

...@hillbilly..."...all along the watchtower..."...

...bob d, jimi or salvation army ???...

...just askin'...

jb said...

better than calling yourself Giant Iguana

Anonymous said...

...and he morphed from Lyle Waggoner to Abe Vigoda?

CommieCanuck said...

Hey, aging is a bitch.

ervgopwr said...

I'm sure he was always here.

Just like BSNYC begot RTMS begot Lobster Gods begot WCRM begot....

Dogen said...

Ringcycles, re "You're more zen than you know". We all are. That's the point.

CommieCanuck said...

The best name ever derived from a bike was the from the 2007 T-Mobile team bikes. Each one had proudly printed in German: Giant Mannschaft.

My name ever since.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Cool Wildcat. I had a similar experience this past Sunday when the gigantic pinwheel of precipitation was over my neck of the woods. As if by some divine intervention I arrived at my LBS just as the heavens were torn asunder. I philosophised with the good man at the shop and then later when the deluge past I went on my merry way. My recumbent has no fenders but it does have a big fat tube that nicely blocks the wheel spray so no non-plussitude.

Thank Lob Commie is back. I feared the worst.

Giant Mannschaft said...

oh yeah.

kfg said...

"Panda bones are not the new material of choice"

Blue whale baleen is more laterally stiff yet vertically compliant. Make mine with chiru horns for slick aerodynamics yet with multiple hand positions.

leroy said...

57th comment! Yes, the Maillot Heinz!

I spotted the Rock Machine in Brooklyn on Sunday. Given the weather, I was surprised not to see two of them boarding an ark.

Anonymous said...

Panties!
T.J. Maxx Panties!

crosspalms said...

Mammoth Precision Tool and Giant Mannschaft. What a day. If we hear from Beecher Tool and Die it'll be a hat trick.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I was wondering how much longer til Commiecanuck was out on parole...now we have our answer!

John Holmes said...

Giant Mannschaft? Pffffttttt.....

Traci Lords said...

Mannschaft? Jawohl!

Anonymous said...

Steaming fenderless minivan panties!

Vegas said...

Ubiquitous Bret is watching you.

Anonymous said...

Ubiquitous Brett is watching you masturbate.

Anonymous said...

Beecher Tool and Die? I just about did. Well, the latter, anyway. Peyronie's is a bitch, must be very careful with my Giant Mannschaft ---

BENT DICK

Commie! So glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

Uh, Mr. Billy @ 1:45, "Hill" if you will.
Pardon me for bringing this to your attention.
But, er, um that wildcat would, uh, growl.
And it would be the "wind", as they say, that would, begin to "howl".
Thank you for time.

ringcycles said...

I am reminded of my favorite koan

"before enlightenment, pedal gears, palp fenders.

After enlightenment, pedal gears, palp fenders"

or some such. Back to research.

Fredericko McFly said...

If your sunglass ear flappers are arranged left OVER helmet strap and right UNDER helmet strap you are straight? Correct?

Anonymous said...

Fredericko McFlys comment #69. Ironic?

Chubby-n-Short said...

The photo of the bananaseat bike guy and the kid is one of your best.
And you don't have many best photos.

Even the hawk pigeon photo, while a nice documentation of killing is not that great a photo.

Sorry to ruin a positive reinforcecment with a smack upside the head, but that's the way I behave.
I blame my parents, feel free to do so yourself.

Chubby-n-Short said...

The photo of the bananaseat bike guy and the kid is one of your best.
And you don't have many best photos.

Even the hawk pigeon photo, while a nice documentation of killing is not that great a photo.

Sorry to ruin a positive reinforcecment with a smack upside the head, but that's the way I behave.
I blame my parents, feel free to do so yourself.

leroy said...

Why Mr. Chubby and Short, ain't y'all jest a little ol F. Stop Fitzgerald.

I don't know much about what I like, but I know Art.

I don't mean to brag, but my painting has appeared in the gallery of the University that granted the MFA to the guy riding his bike around the country and drawing stuff.

Of course, my painting consisted of white-washing the gallery walls for my wife's MFA photography show, but still my work was in a gallery.

So that should put me in the running for the Lantern Rouge.

Benny Kanya said...

@Hungry Panda
"I will not take two."
Made me srsly LOL

Also suck it WIWM

oats and hay said...

HRSE DUDY

Hat Trick said...

@CP

Beecher Tool and Die !!!

guffaws slaps and concerned glances from my pets. thanks!

wp

Mammoth Bret Tool said...

You get the Maxx for the minimum

samiam said...

I too saw the tri-dork at TJ MAXX. I was not
non-plussed. In fact I was elated.

Anonymous said...

LATE POST
ASSS HOLE
ADDI CTED
NEED BLOG

Anonymous said...

This is also free

Anonymous said...

"The Chain Gang is a comic book about bikes that can talk, and the plot is clearly lifted wholesale from "Bike Kill:" "

... and the concept from "Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch"

Somerset cyclist said...

Great blog-try reading this on stretching
http://turneroftaunton.com/top-10-stretches-cycling-running/

Fixie Bikes said...

NYC smells so bad when it's hot and rains.