Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weather Vain: One Man's Man-Boobs Are Another Man's Barometer

I'm normally not one to honk my own clown nose, but the fact remains that I've been riding bikes or awhile now and over the years I've learned a thing or two.  For example, consider getting dressed for a ride.  This is something with which "newbies" tend to have a difficult time.  Either they overdress and overheat, or they underdress and freeze, or they carry a bunch of rain gear for a storm that never comes, or they find themselves caught in a storm with nothing to protect them from the downpour but an empty Clif Bar packet.

On the other hand, the seasoned rider knows how to account for these meteorological vicissitudes, and he does so by Being In Touch With His Environment.  Nature offers us all the clues we need as to the conditions of the day ahead if only we learn how to look and listen.  Some experienced riders listen for clues in the morning birdsong.  Others dig their fingers deep into the soil and smell the earth itself.  As for me, I gauge the conditions by the guy who smokes on his fire escape:


With the punctuality of a Swiss timepiece, this silverback gorilla clambers out of his window every hour to suck down a cancer stick.  But he's not just a hirsute human cuckoo clock; he's also a thermometer, barometer, and living weather "app" all in one.  This is because his choice of attire (or lack thereof) allows me to divine the weather conditions.  For example, if he's merely wearing underpants (as in the picture above), I know it's a shorts-and-short-sleeves day.  However, if he's resplendent in his velour sweatsuit, I know I need to layer up with leg warmers and arm warmers and maybe even a vest and gloves.  Furthermore, the volume of his smoke plume reveals to me the relative humidity, and it also acts as a windsock by informing me of the wind direction.  If I really want to be accurate I'll occasionally cross-reference the guy who smokes on his fire escape with his wife who shakes out their bedding while wearing a bra, but for all but the most "epic" rides one or the other is generally sufficient.

You know who's also an experienced cyclist?  David Byrne.  This is because he doesn't own a car--or does he?


By now you may have seen Byrne's new and inscrutable music video, in which he emerges from and then does weird stuff near a gasoline-powered motor vehicle:



I was unable to watch the video straight through as I have not attained the Bard College degree it is necessary to have in order to do so, but I did skip around a bit, and what I did see was very thought-provoking:


In fact, the above sequence called to mind Pee-Wee Herman dancing on the bar for the Satan's Helpers, and it led me to wonder whether the two artists share some sort of "Dorian Gray" relationship in which Pee-Wee stays perennially prepubescent while Byrne grays and withers:


Then I looked closer at Pee-Wee Herman and realized he looks like he just got back from the embalmers, whereas Byrne looks more or less like a normal human (albeit one who has not experienced the joys and miseries of car ownership), and so I scrapped that theory.  Nevertheless, I'm hoping that my essay "The Bicycle, Spasmodically Dancing Man-Children, and The Future of Urban Transport" will land me a cushy research gig at a well-endowed university.  (And by "well-endowed" I do not mean the Mario Cipollini University for Natural Male Enhancement.)

Of course, if you prefer lighter reading, there's always Tyler Hamilton's new book, as reviewed by "USA Today:"


The review begins with what used to be called a "burn" back in the day:

You can say this about Tyler Hamilton's new book: Even the author knows people would rather read about Lance Armstrong.

Though the causticity of the "burn" is diluted somewhat by the fact that it's coming from "USA Today," which is basically just a paper diner placemat with a few more pages and a weather section.  Still, I doubt I'll be reading it since this whole doping thing has become impossibly tedious, and if a bunch of aging jocks are going to play out their personal dramas in a public forum I'd at least like them to take the time to put a few rubber bands in their beards:


If you're looking for escapism then I suppose following sports is a decent choice, but if you insist on having integrity with your escapism then your only real choice is art.  Athletes and artists both have talent, and they both like to enhance that talent with drugs.  The crucial difference though is that nobody calls Jimi Hendrix a doper because he was on drugs when he recorded "Are You Experienced."  This is why we're appalled by someone slapping a testosterone patch on his balls to win the Tour de France, yet we're delighted by someone tripping his balls off on LSD to make some freaky sounds--sooner or later an athlete is bound to betray your trust, whereas the only way an artist is likely to do that is if they sober up.  It's also why you should never, ever get a tattoo like this one, which was pointed out by a commenter yesterday:


Though it does manage to combine the foolhardiness of a girlfriend/boyfriend name tattoo, the indignity of a corporate logo tattoo, and the treacly sentimentality of a poetry tattoo in one unfortunate package.

Yes, art is always the wiser choice, because you can let your guard down when you enjoy art, whereas watching sports without a healthy dose of cynicism is like leaving your bike outside without a lock.  And speaking of stolen bikes, here's an article that has been making the rounds lately, and that, like most articles about stolen bikes, contains almost no information that isn't already completely obvious:

(Bike thief or hipster cyclocrosser?)

Sure, you already knew that bikes get stolen all the time and nothing happens, but did you also have a chart to prove it?


Also, the article contains some gross misinformation:

Anybody who knows anything about bikes knows there is indeed a Keyser Söze of bicycles, and here's his picture:


The way the caper works is this: Söze's crew make some swoopy designs on a computer between group rides, some other company in a faraway country builds the swoopy designs out of plastic, and then Söze sells you the plastic lump as a "module" for thousands of dollars.  Fortunately though, there is one man who can save us:


He's wearing lots of rubber bands, only they're not on his beard.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, baby!

Anonymous said...

POOO DIUM

babble on said...

:)

mikeweb said...

Captain Lou!!

theEel said...

weed.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

Mike in Dallas said...

No finger bang from Contador when he won today. Is finger bang dead?

Kenny Banya said...

"You can say this about Tyler Hamilton's new book: Even the author knows people would rather read about Lance Armstrong"

Gold Brent Schotenboer, GOLD!

Marcel Da Chump said...

Byrne's version of Safety Dance?

mikeweb said...

Excellent surprise cameo by Commie Canuck in the Byrne video: the flannel shirt guy at 2:25. Congratulations!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

ding dong

paul said...

Igor Kenk, the Keyser Soze of bicyle theft.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Kenk

babble on said...

You, sir, are a great big, bona fide tease.

There's a boob front and center in the title, but not a nipple to be seen.

Points for yesterday's 'spanking the monkey' monkey, though...

paul said...

Igor Kenk, the Keyser Soze of bicyle theft.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Kenk

Anonymous said...

Ok so now I've seen DB in two petrol powered vehicles. The first was a Chrysler K-Car in the classic movie "True Stories" where he tooled around a fictional Texas town "rocking" a 10 gallon cowboy hat. Now he emerges from an American Motors Matador estate wagon. Without a doubt two of the most unreliable and unattractive cars ever excreted from the bowels of Detroit. If those were my unfortunate auto choices I'd swear off cars as well.

frilly said...

Oh and how I would like to snap Cipo's bands.

Your view is unfortunate.

Horny Minimalist Poet said...

PP
SX

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Bern is Kenky!

Anonymous said...

not even in the peleton

cycle

McFly said...

So Lonestar. Now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.

john hanson said...

i dope with heroin.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Dang Byrne is getting old, thought that was Leslie Nielsen for a second.

"(Bike thief or hipster cyclocrosser?)"

-Gold snobby gold.

Anonymous said...

Clark Griswold has some advice for everyone in the DB vs. SV video:

"I think you're all fucked in the head! We're ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something, this is no longer a vacation, it's a quest. It's a quest for fun, I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun, we're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You'll be whistling Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah out of your assholes! I gotta be crazy; I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose! Praise Marty Moose!"

Anonymous said...

If I were a rich man, I'd have my own personal weatherman too. But you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
My other dream is to be legitimately raped by Cipo.

Anonymous said...

I don't worry about the weather so much, just go with baggy shorts, seersucker, wool cap, wool socks, tevas, a huge bag full of crap, tent, tarp, string, and my feather collection.

-G. Peterson

Anonymous said...

that sucked.

Anonymous said...

Tilford knows a thing or two about the wonderful world of cyclocross.

Bluewaffle said...

http://www.vancouversun.com/videos/recommended/video.html?embedCode=5xdjRzNToZIz4Pr37HKAe4bJYGyrSWwa

McFly said...

Tyler looks like he may be in an ideal position for a Rest Ring. You got to stay segmented baby.

REST RING

NEXT PUSH

DONE DEAL

singlespeedwaster said...

Such a long, Laborious trip it's been, and weed alone has no soothed the pain of the absent Wildcat. But I'm still not sure that David Byrne actually owns any motor vehicles, despite appearances.

babble on said...

Bluewaffle.

You're a tease, too...
that's nearly nippliscious though not exactly what I had in mind...

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

that lady has nasty narcolepsy problem

JB said...

Leslie Nielsen? more like Steve Martin.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Mr. Snob !!

vsk

Buffalo Bill said...

and the wind cried Mary, where is your rubber band?

Anonymous said...

The guy in the ski mask with the barber bike is clearly a Pussy Riot supporter on the run from the Russian judiciary ( wrong risk to compensation curve).

grog said...

Can't wait for the upcoming BikesnobNYC music video.
BYRN BOND
SNOB SONG
NEED BABE

Anonymous said...

Sprinters are duders.

Dooth said...

Annie Clark, a.k.a, St. Vincent (the narcolepsy problem lady) plays guitar like Hendrix, but has not moves like Jagger.

Anonymous said...

"Though it does manage to combine the foolhardiness of a girlfriend/boyfriend name tattoo, the indignity of a corporate logo tattoo, and the treacly sentimentality of a poetry tattoo in one unfortunate package."

Snob wins the Internet again today. Well done.

Now that I've read the smartest comment available today, I can turn off my computer.

*click*

GuppiesDon'tDrive said...

Anonymous @12:25

You forgot the Gremlin and Pacer. Perhaps Mr. Byrne was a fan of American Motors products?

Anonymous said...

"Not necessarily stoned but...beautiful"

Anonymous said...

@Mike in Dallas

Nice spoiler.

Anonymous said...

Apropos to nothing, the more I think about this past week the angrier I get.

Hit by a left hook from the going straight lane - I was bruised and scraped but the driver kept on going.

Got brushed back yesterday by a yogamom so I took the lane and got brushed back by her grandfather.

Today, got brushed back while doing the speed limit by a retired gentlemen who "wanted to show me" I was too far to the left and "he wasn't going to cross the yellow line for anything". Those six inches he gave weren't nearly enough and illegal regardless of his attitudes re the yellow line. I told him, I'm a car when I'm riding the speed limit, if you can't pass safely then don't pass at all. He told me he rides too. I told him Id be looking for him and would offer him the same consideration.

I guess Summer is over.

leroy said...

Is it just me or has anyone else considered changing their screen name to "Spasmodically Dancing Man-Child"?

"leroy SDMC" kind of has a nice ring to it.

And there is an anagram of MD in there. That might make my mother happy or at least help me avoid parking tickets.

Of course, my dog hasn't had much luck passing himself off as a doctor. He's still trying to market his all natural Viagra alternative. I told him no one was going to pay him for popsicle sticks and rubberbands even if wears a white lab coat and looks serious.

I mean, he's not even a Lab.

Of course, he claims that "leroy SDMC" reminds him of RUNS DMC -- the erstwhile hip hop group named after a digestive ailment.

But I think he's just trying to show off his medical knowledge.

Is it Wednesday? I so like totally hadn't noticed.

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Anonymous said...

I rode once in a Matador. Mid-eighties. It was with these three guys who I served around the end of my shift, and we seemed to be hitting it off.

I looked at that car and thought, "you can't be serious," but I got in anyway. We drove all of about 4 blocks to this jazz club. The three guys acted like it was the weirdest thing in the world.

Instead they wanted to go to another place, back on the block where we started. Another 4 blocks of driving in the Matador.

The show was a second-rate eighties hair band. I saw more wavy locks and lycra tights than I ever wanted to see on five men.

I drank a vodka and tang (pretending to be orange juice).

Yes, everything went wrong when I got in that car.

That is all.

I am a vindictive engine said...

"Today, got brushed back while doing the speed limit by a retired gentlemen who "wanted to show me" I was too far to the left and "he wasn't going to cross the yellow line for anything"."

Not that I am advocating violence, but here goes: Pull out a taser, and show that you "wanted to show him what a defibrillator feels like"

Anonymous said...

Taser?
The driver had rolled down his window so we could exchange our pleasantries. I didn't have the heart to tell him that that was a mistake. I'm a "no harm,no foul" kinda guy but some aren't.
That open window was an open invitation to a get a face full of pepper spray.
If I had it, would I have used it?
No. He was just as uncomfortable as I was.

He saw me flip him off so he was looking in the rear view - he knew what he was doing was provocative. He knew he might get called on it - those pesky red lights, you know.
Still...

Vegas said...

Fitty!
Snobalicious post today, Wildcat. Thank you. And your climate sage is way more interesting than the Yahoo! weather page.

JB said...

My clothing level is determined by squeezing ye ol' pant yabbies out the bedroom window. My manservant measures the rise or fall and speed thereof, then prepares my daily wardrobe accordingly. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

After reading today's post I must conclude that you are still on vacation.

Tim Joe said...

David Burns: Does this suit make my butt look big?

Chick From Hayzee Fantayzee; Look out!

Anonymous said...

The next step after the single-speed/fixie bike:
http://vimeo.com/47790185

JDH said...

Here in the Midwestern part of Midwest Illinoiz, people steal bikes to get across town, then drop them in the weeds. Somebody else needs to get across town, checks to see if the coast is clear, and the cycle begins again. It's like bike share, without the money.

McFly said...

How does your balcony barometer guy predict a shitstorm?

FLIN GPOO

Pirate Cipo said...

AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!

me spitt'in python needs to do some spitt'in ...

Cum here wenches!!!!


AAAARGGGGGGHHHHH!!!


wishiwasmerckx said...

We're all getting older, but the bags under David Byrne's eyes are now so large that when he flies, he has to check them as they will no longer fit in the overhead bin.

I'ma tell ya, though, that little monkey sure can dance his ass off.

ce said...

More fine photography.

ce said...

*stifled laughter*

ce said...

*laughter containment breached - meat pie exits via nostrils*

Anonymous said...

Shit, I'm fucked... I sorta liked the video...There, I said it and its like a weight off my mind.

ce said...

...meat pie chunks - not the entire thing in one go. But thanks for the concern anyway.

We the People said...

Babble On,
MORN IPLE

FRON TAL!

Poppa Wheelie said...

The people have spoken

Charlie Didrickson said...

i knew he drove a station wagon

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