Right? Right?!? Of course I'm right. Also, let's all raise a glass to the illustrator of my columns, Leo Espinosa, whose fine work you can find here.
He's actually working on the design for my full back tattoo, which will be based on this:
Sadly I don't think it's going to be finished by this year's SSCXWC, which starts tomorrow:
(I think I'll die, thank you.)
SSCXWC stands for "Single Speed Cuckold Xavier Water Closet," and I am actually a veteran of one (1) edition, which took place in Portland in something like 2009 or thereabouts. However, after careful deliberation I have decided I won't be visiting this one. Part of the reason is that I'm burnt out and frazzled and increasingly afraid to leave my home, and the other reason is that I'm a superstitious person who is always on the lookout for signs (though I suppose that's just another symptom of being burnt out and frazzled), and a few days ago I received a sign that I should not go to Philadelphia.
Here's what happened:
So I was in Brooklyn, and I needed some lunch. Believe it or not, there was a time when if you were hungry in Brooklyn you just ducked into a pizza parlor and ordered a couple of slices. Sadly, those days are over. See, storefronts are now reserved for people selling artisanal baby shoes and stratospherically expensive vintage furniture they bought at yard sales down south for pocket change, so now all they have are these "food trucks" that sell designer versions of the food you used to be able to buy indoors. Normally there are vast snaking lines of white people at these trucks, and I'd rather eat garbage than join a vast snaking line of white people, but this time the weather was crappy and there wasn't much of a line, so I went to a food truck that sold cheese steaks.
Philly cheese steaks.
I won't tell you the name of the food truck, but the website for it indicates it is well-reviewed:
"Better here than in Philadelphia"
- NY Post - June 2008
"Best in Manhattan"
- Philadelphia Magazine - May 2008
- Zagats Survey 2007
"The Real Deal"
- Zagats Survey 2008
"New York has never been much of a cheesesteak town until now"
- NY Magazine - October 2003
"Carl's stays true to the classic Philly formula"
- Time Out NY - November 2003
Best Places To Eat 2004
- NY Magazine - January 2004
Best of New York 2004
- NY Magazine - March 2004
Though it's worth noting that the only review from a Philadelphia publication is, at best, a back-handed compliment--sort of like calling a knish the "Best in Albuquerque"
Also, the food truck wasn't even in Manhattan, much less Philadelphia, which makes the accolade doubly irrelevant.
Nevertheless, I ordered myself a cheese steak, and was presented with a greyish meat-like substance slathered in Cheez Whiz and sandwiched between two soggy pieces of bread. As I ate, I considered its public school cafeteria consistency and flavor, and within an hour I was in the bathroom and marveling at its efficacy as a purgative.
Maybe the very sandwich I had eaten was actually left over from 2004, when they were last voted "Best of New York."
In any case, I chose to interpret my unpleasant experience with the cheese steak as a sign that I should not go to Philadelphia this weekend, as well as an indicator that I should probably open a food truck that sells sloppy joes, because clearly abjectly shitty institutional-tasting food served from a four-wheeled vehicle is "in" right now and I'd obviously make a fortune.
(Also, I was already in Philly less than a month ago, and I don't know if I could manage visiting twice in a 30-day period without wanting to kill myself--especially because that damn kid will probably start harassing me again.)
Speaking of Portland (or at least having mentioned it earlier), BikePortland's "Lifestyle Columnist" has written possibly the smuggest article published on that website to date:
Basically, it starts out confirming everything you ever suspected about Portlanders, which is that they're really annoying:
I ride my bike past rows of motionless overheating cars with my nose in the air, flaunting my obviously better commuting choice. I crow to my officemates about how little I spend on gas and how I never pay for parking. My ego precedes me as I fill the elevator at the office with my bulky two-wheeler. I take advantage of the ambiguity bicycles are afforded in respect to sidewalks, driveways, streets and bike lanes. If I can ride on it safely, I will.
This in itself is in no way remarkable, but then she starts in on everybody else who rides a bike who isn't her, such as the handless for some reason:
But, alas, there are some ignominious people who have forgotten this. Their self-absorbed, self-righteous behavior makes me look like a junior member of the Arrogance League. They weave through downtown traffic, handless and shirtless.
Sure, it's easy for you to judge, but try slowing down when you don't have any hands.
Then she moves on to the people who use fancy stuff:
Arrogance even permeates cycling fashion. Expensive bike gear and "members only" attire boasts, "I am an athlete doing some serious training here! Don't get in my way!" People blow thousands on equipment as if to say, "Who cares about starving children in Africa? I need to shave 12 seconds off my time."
Uh, you do know that the companies that make all that stuff are probably either wholly based or at least have some kind of US headquarters in Portland, right? And that's saying nothing of the bike shops. Where do you think all these cyclists you're seeing work? The Chris King factory alone is probably generating half the city's tax revenue. Without that "expensive bike gear and 'members only' attire" your city is just a waystation for hobos with a shitty weather and a quirky donut shop. Do you think anybody's visiting Portland and making TV shows about it because Gus Van Sant lives there? Because I don't.
By the way, if it makes you feel better, I don't ignore the plight of Africa's starving children just because I'm riding fast. In fact, I don't think of them when I'm commuting at a leisurely pace, or even when I'm waiting obediently at a red light. I mean, I wish they weren't starving and all, but I'm on a fucking bike for chrissakes. What the hell do you want me to do?
I must say, though, that the king of arrogance is the biker without a helmet. He is announcing to the world that he is too skilled to allow himself to be hit by a car. Obviously, when a semi-truck overturns in the adjacent lane, or a chain reaction fender-bender causes the car behind him to suddenly lunge forward, he will sprout wings and fly. Helmetless people are among those seen "flying" through red lights too...
Yeah, that cuts both ways, Lifestyle Columnist. Frankly, I think the King (or Queen, I thought you Portlanders believed in gender equality) of Arrogance is the smug person in the plastic hat who thinks they're somehow less deserving of getting run over, and that their meaningless "safety kippah" guarantees them a free pass from grievous bodily harm. You may think the helmentless rider is announcing that he is "too skilled to allow himself to be hit by a car," but I think the helmented rider is warning us that he knows he is going to fall down because he is too stupid and unskilled to remain upright.
You've got to hand it to her, though, since she's managed to strike a uniquely Portlandian balance between being almost sickeningly pro-bike while at the same time being a classic American-style victim-blamer.
Lastly, here's an inspiring documentary about a Fred:
Lastly, here's an inspiring documentary about a Fred:
I think I need to go ride a bike now.