And you know what that means:
Yes, it's "poisson d'avril," the hilarious day in France on which people engage in the delightful gag of taping a paper fish to an unwitting victim's back. Of course, here in America we have a more pointed sense of humor, which is why the most common April Fool's prank is the phantom shoulder tap. Here's how it works:
--Silently approach subject from behind;
--Stand on subject's left side;
--Tap subject's right shoulder;
--Subject then turns head over right shoulder, only to find nobody there;
--Confused, subject then turns head over left shoulder;
--Just as the subject sees you and realizes he or she has been duped, you raise your pistol and shoot the subject in the face.
If done correctly, not only will your victim have been fooled, but he or she also won't live to rat you out to the left-wing bureaucrats. Best of all, you'll have exercised your Constitutional right to bear arms. USA, baby!
When guns are infringed upon then only outlaws will be in fringes:
(If it wasn't for the Second Amendment these dirty hippies wouldn't have gotten shot at the end of the movie.)
Don't forget to put food on the Hopper's table, or to put fringes on the Hopper's jacket.
Speaking of America, on Saturday I went to set my DVR to record the Touring of Flanders, a uniquely un-American event in which people ride bicycles for speed. However, when I switched to OLN/Versus/NBC/Whatever-It-Is-Now, all I found scheduled for Sunday was a bunch of Babe Winkelman crap:
This disappointed me greatly. Look, I know "real" cycling fans stream these races on the Internet, but I have no desire to crouch over my laptop or make the monumental effort of walking it all the way to the TV and plugging it in. In fact, as a blogger I don't want to get anywhere near a computer on the weekend--weekends are for bikes, old-fashioned TV, and paper reading materials. Plus, if you watch it on the Internet, then the commentary is either in Phlegmish or whatever they speak over there, or else it's someone like Sean Kelly droning on and on about who knows what, and the one time I watched race coverage with Sean Kelly commentating I fell asleep so deeply that I awoke in a Dumpster three days later. Yes, "real" cycling fans dismiss the commentary we get in the USA as inane and vacuous, but it's Sunday in America dammit, and inane and vacuous is what this country is all about. Plus, it was Easter Sunday and we had family over, and that includes kids. You can't have Belgian Tour of Flanders race coverage playing on the TV when children are around. All that low country hocking will just make them cry.
Anyway, apparently Fabian Cancellara won, unless I'm the victim of an elaborate April Fool's joke (but since I'm still alive I'll assume that's not the case):
"It was a strange race. It was fast at the beginning. There weren't many riders left at the end but I did the right tactic. Everyone expected me to go and I tried to make the first selection on the Kwaremont. I love the cobbles and so after that I did what I had to do."
Cycling writers love to wax poetic about cobblestones, which is why when Cancellara says he loves the cobbles they get all tight in the chamois--as does pretty much every Fred who bought a crabon bike for it's "vibration-damping characteristics." Another group of people who love cobblestones are preservationists, and they're very upset that the city wants to replace some century-old cobblestones in Brooklyn with newer, smoother, faux-aged ones--in part to make it more accessible to bicyclists:
In a compromise that has not eased all minds, the city’s Department of Transportation has offered to install new cobbles that are aged artificially, like a pair of stonewashed jeans, to appear more worn.
“It is far worse than I could have imagined,” said Andrew S. Dolkart, director of the historic preservation program at Columbia University, decrying the “phony urbanism” of the replacement stones. “It is appalling that the D.O.T. would destroy real historic material and replace it with a completely ersatz program.”
As a cyclist and appreciator of old things, I too am susceptible to the romance of the cobble. Nevertheless, as a person living in the year 2013 I also understand that these people need to shut up. Public streets need to be accessible first and charming second, hence the compromise of the artificially aged stones. However, what's happened is that rich people recently discovered this neighborhood, and the problem is that if the streets aren't "authentic" enough then they won't feel special anymore. This speaks to a wider trend in Brooklyn. Really, Brooklyn is "phony urbanism," and now that the borough has gone "full douche" everyone is suddenly a preservation Nazi hell-bent on turning the place into a hyper-expensive 19th century theme park full of jolly artisans. Basically it's becoming a "living museum," like when I was a kid and we went to a class trip to Old Bethpage where people in period clothing force-fed us birch bark---only this living museum is for adults who spend vast amounts of money to live there themselves and become part of the show. In ten years the entire place will be either condo-fied or landmarked, and everyone in Brooklyn is either going to look like this:
By the way, if you go to Vinegar Hill you'll already find numerous anachronisms to spoil your 19th century fantasy, such as these things called "cars" that are parked all over the place, as well as the giant buzzing power plant:
So I don't think switching out the road surface is really that big of a deal--though I suppose they could keep it the way it is and all the yuppies streaming into the neighborhood for brunch at Vinegar Hill House can just ride these, as forwarded to me by a reader:
Though it does clash with the 19th century aesthetic, which is why someone really needs to market a full-suspension pennyfarthing.
Meanwhile, another reader tells me that there are also aesthetic objections to a bike lane in Los Angeles:
Their concern: The bright color would be a distraction to viewers, doesn't belong in period movies and makes it harder for L.A. to do what it does best: play other cities.
"As we all know, unlike other major cities, our downtown footprint is very small and limited and we've used this stretch for [an] 'anywhere in the world' big city for years and it is vital to us for many projects, " Ed Duffy, business agent for Teamsters Local 399, which represents location managers, wrote in a recent email to members.
They've been complaining about this for some time, and my question is this:
What the fuck happened to good old-fashioned "movie magic?"
I mean, really. So over the years Hollywood has:
--Made a giant gorilla climb the Empire State Building;
--Made a spaceship blow up the white house;
--Made dinosaurs come to life and trample Newman from "Seinfeld;"
--Made Joseph Gordon-Levitt look like he can ride a bike;
--Hidden all of Angelina Jolie's cold sores.
But somehow some green paint on the street is making it impossible for them to film movies all of a sudden? No wonder movies suck so bad now. These people have gotten lazy. When I was a kid they had good movies, like this one:
Now the same guy who made that lovable alien just makes boring aliens like this one:
(Now that guy got April Fooled!)
Or maybe he wasn't supposed to be an alien, maybe he was supposed to be a zombie.
Who could even stay awake long enough to find out?