From the Old High German Krammüs, the word "Christmas" shares common linguistic root with the word "cram," and it was originally a Pagan winter festival in which the nobility opened the village grain stores for one day and allowed peasants to take as much as they could carry. Naturally, in an effort to maximize their haul, the peasants availed themselves of any available bodily orifice, and "Krammüs," or the "Day of Cramming," was born. Then when Europe became Christianized they worked Jesus in there (double entendre fully intended) by changing the name to "Christmas," and people started wrapping the gifts in festive paper instead of inserting them in their body cavities, and next came Santa, and the Grinch (originally a folktale about an avaricious Christmas-hating rabbi, though Dr. Seuss eventually stripped the antisemitic veneer from it), and "frenching" under the mistletoe, and rampant consumerism and all the rest of it, and ultimately the whole thing came full circle a couple weeks ago when a Kansas City man was arrested outside of a Walmart on Black Friday with four 24-inch flat-screen televisions and a 10-pack of bath towels secreted inside his posterior.
This is all true.
I went to a college.
Anyway, no doubt you're in the throes of holiday gift shopping, and what better gift to give your favorite cyclist than a gift that benefits me? To that end, I'm extremely pleased to announce that hatting concern Walz is now offering a BSNYC hat-and-book combo!
What's that you say? You don't want to advertise me on the bill of your bike yarmulke? Yeah, Walz thought of that, which is why you can "combo" the book with pretty much any hat you want:
By the way, I'm here to tell you Walz hats are excellent whichever you choose, and I should know, since I often don't wear a helment and also I'm balding.
And...AND...the book will be signed*, because I'm signing a bunch of bookplates and sending them off to Walz pretty much right after I finish typing this.
*[Unfortunately the book will be signed by me and not somebody interesting, but you can't have everything.]
So click "Add to Cart" and consider your holiday shopping finished.
Or, if you're looking for a gift that doesn't involve hats or my book, you can always buy your friends and family a wolverine:
Wolverines feast on carrion, have been known to attack bears, and make awful pets who pose a mortal threat to all members of your household, especially children.
So go with whichever, but if I were you I'd stick with the hat-'n-a-book from Walz.
(Though a wolverine in a BSNYC hat would be pretty adorable, until it scratched out your eyes.)
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that "Testicycles," as forwarded by a reader, make a great stocking-stuffer:
Just wear protection before you stuff them in your stocking.
Speaking of me, the results of yesterday's poll are in, and 66% of you said I should keep my Specialized:
I was kind of hoping it would go the other way since that would have given me an excuse to get a metal frame that can accommodate actual fenders, but there it is.
At the very least, maybe I would have pulled the trigger on this baby, forwarded by a reader:
It may not be a Fuji Roubaix, but it is a Fuji Monterey, and don't go thinking of using the word "Monterey" in your next business venture, or else Specialized will sue.
Meanwhile, Specialized potentate Mike Sinyard has called the Café Roubaix guy to make the nice:
Much of the backlash against Specialized focused on the litigious reputation of the company, so I asked Richter directly if he thought their change of face was genuine, or if he felt the company was forced into it by the social media backlash.
“I tend to be a very leery dude, but (Sinyard) was very contrite. Very genuine,” Richter said. ”I’m not sure (Sinyard) even knew this was going on until the rest of the world did.
“We had a good talk.”
Wow, that's amazing! I also pretend I didn't know what was happening and blame the underlings when I get caught being a giant asshole. I must be the CEO of Specialized too!
And that's how Mike Sinyard learned the true meaning of Christmas: