The difference, however, is that people went bigger back then--and I'm not just talking about the helments:
I'm also talking about the routes:
Sure, it was a little easier back then since the continents were slightly closer together in 1980 due to continental drift. Still, that's a whopping 45,000 miles:
Which took them six and a half years to complete:
That is one long-ass vacation. Indeed, to put it in contemporary terms, imagine how lost you'd be if you set out on an around-the-world journey in the spring of 2007 and returned to America today. First of all, when you left phones looked like this:
And now they look like this:
("It has no buttons! Do I need an implant in my brain?!? Burn it!!!")
Also, the top-grossing movie when you left would have been "Spider-Man 3"
But you'd return to find the pop-cultural landscape completely transformed, thanks to innovative blockbusters such as "The Amazing Spider-Man 2:"
("Dear God! They're back to 2 now? Did the Universe collapse on itself?!?")
You also would have missed the whole economic meltdown, including that unfortunate period towards the end of 2008 when we had to eat our fellow humans to survive:
But please don't bring it up, because we've all agreed not to talk about it.
So it's pretty hard to imagine anyone checking out for six and a half years today, given that most of us now avoid going anywhere for more than a few days lest we have to catch up on all that streaming TV we've missed.
Those episodes of "Orange Is The New Girls" aren't going to watch themselves.
Yes, time moves inexorably forward--as does technological innovation, and here's a pitch I recently received for a new product:
I want to introduce you to perhaps one of the most unique products you will ever come across.
I doubt it, but I'm listening...
Our company’s name is HappySacs, and we make a product that was designed to eliminate public displays of adjustment (PDA). What I mean by that is men have scrotums. Scrotums cause a ridiculous amount of discomfort. And because of that discomfort men seem to think it is okay to adjust themselves in public.
A "ridiculous amount of discomfort?" Really? Are men dropping to their knees and plaintively wailing, "Will this nutsack-induced agony never cease?!?" I mean sure, there's occasional discomfort down there, but of what body part is that not true? My arm fell asleep the other day, but I wouldn't say limbs cause me a ridiculous amount of discomfort. So just because these people have freakish mutant "pants yabbies" doesn't mean they should try to pass it off as some curse of the human condition.
As for the reason men "seem to think it is "okay to adjust themselves in public," it's simply because men are assholes and think other people are interested in their balls--to wit, sending total strangers marketing emails about them.
I read on:
We have gone through many designs, and our final design will be finished in the next 30 days. I would love to send a sample in the coming weeks so you can see the product for yourself.
Yeah, please don't send me any painstakingly-designed testicular products, regardless of how positively "scrotastic" you think they may be:
Thank you so much for your time and consideration. We will be launching a Kickstarter campaign the first week in December...
Of course you are.
Still, despite myself, I checked out their website, and this is their big breakthrough:
So keeping your nuts in a baby sock is what passes for innovation these days?
This country's in worse shape than I thought.
Not to mention I've already got a similar accessory, though I only wear it on special occasions:
Then I opened my next email, which was another product pitch making an incorrect assumption about me, this one for some kind of morning energy crap:
I wanted to reach out because I believe we have similar audiences and could create a mutually beneficial partnership. Similar to you, I want people to be healthy, the best versions of themselves.
No. People trying to be "the best versions of themselves" is exactly the problem. It's why cycling is full of weenies. If anything I want people to embrace just how badly they suck.
[And yes, I realize I'm projecting my own suckiness onto others in the same way the baby sock people are projecting their genital problems onto me, but I'm a solipsist so I win.]
Maybe people would lower their sporting ambitions if the Tour de France gets shortened:
“Nothing is untouchable,” he Spanish newspaper AS reported him as saying. “We want to plan for a better sport, in that the best riders compete in the best races. With the current structure of three Grand Tours of three weeks it is impossible. We have too many races and days of competition in a lengthy calendar, which requires a significant financial strain. The sport of cycling isn’t simple. We are looking for adequate solutions.”
It's true, nine weeks of Grand Tours every year is almost as absurd as a six-and-a-half year bike vacation.
I say shorten the Giro, the Tour, and the Vuelta to one week each, run them consecutively in July, and be done with it.