Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oot And Aboot

Big day...big day. It all started with a trip out to Harvard, MA with my friend Deborah to watch her horseback riding lesson. While this might not seem exciting to some, it was exciting as hell for me. I felt like a little kid at the zoo — a zoo where you get to pet the elephants. I've heard Deborah talk about horseback riding a lot over the past year or so, but I had to see it to believe it. I had no idea how physically taxing, how dangerous, and how freaking intense it is. Wow. I was impressed.

When I first showed up, I gotta say, the 1,000 pound animals made me a little nervous, "Is she going to bite my face off? If I walk behind her, will she kick a hole in my head the size of a tea saucer?" These seemed like valid concerns. But after a while I was hand-feeding Deborah's horse "Hope" carrots and oatmeal cookies. I even got comfortable with her nuzzling my pocket with her huge, muscular head, looking for more treats.

Deborah rides her bike to the stables from the train. People there think she's a freak. I'm going to start a blog called, "People Who Ride Bikes to Places Where People Think They Are a Freak."

And then, just when I let down my guard, Hope bit my face off and kicked a hole in my head the size of a tea saucer.

THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!

That is the full phrase from which "NOT!" was derived. In the nineties it was considered funny to say something ironically, but then, just to reiterate the irony of the statement, shout "NOT!" immediately afterward to further the point. Hilarious. This incredible comedic artifice was derived from an earlier, more protracted form. Before the days of strict industrial safety codes, workers in glue factories were exposed to glue fumes for up to 27 hours a day. This caused catastrophic, irreparable brain damage.

As a result, the level of humor in these factories sunk to a low level. An example of a glue factory joke was to say something at the lunch table like, "A unicorn just licked my lettuce sandwich...THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!" Another version of the joke was to say something like, "My cheese sandwich is on fire...THAT IS NOT TRUE!" (most jokes were told in the lunchroom and therefore tended to center around the props at hand). Any variation on this theme was guaranteed to illicit raucous laughter, just as long as the speaker leaned forward as they shouted the contradicting statement, spraying the listener with flecks of the creamed corn which had been bubbling out the side's of his mouth.

Alright, moving right along. This is kinda cool, I submitted a photo to Singletrack's "Phat Photos for November" contest, and it's in the running. It's one of the shots from last month's trip to Vermont's North East Kingdom.

After my visit to the horse stables I stopped by Miriam's work to check out her new "Green Building." I would make a joke about how it was not actually green..more red and bricky, but I don't work in a not-up-to-code glue factory. It was cool to see where she "fixes the defective kids brain's," as she puts it. She rides her bike to work. She does it in the dark, when it's way colder out than when I ride, and she has to look and smell nice when she gets there. She's the only person who's not eight who rides a bike to school. Everyone thinks she's a freak. I think she's kinda awesome.

Ah yes, the photos at the top of the post. I rode my bike for the first time (other than riding the 36 lb, protected-by-elven-magic Schwinn Varsity to work) in a week and 3.5 days exactly, or " a week and a half" as you normal people might say. It was a lovely day and I hit up Burlington Landlocked Forest. The trails were leafy but packed down, allowing for a lot of free-sliding in the corners. I wasn't content until I laid it out a couple times. I rode through what was left of the available daylight and then some, getting out to the power-lines after sunset. I love riding that stuff, the trails are killer and now they're even well-marked. Thanks trail-marking dudes.

Next week: More Bay Circuit exploration, sponsor thank yous (really entertaining ones, I...er. promise), and cool never before seen photos of the NYC MTB race at High Bridge, and who the hell knows what else.



1 comment:

Miriam K said...

****blushing****