Apocalypse now

There ain’t nothing like that first week of the Tour, boys and girls. And this has been a particularly bad first few days, what with various other chores coinciding with my need to work five days a week for three weeks at VeloNews.com.

After 20 years of cracking lame cycling gags I occasionally find myself with a nasty case of writer’s block, and wouldn’t you know it? This was one of those times. And me with deadlines at Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (two columns and a “Shop Talk” cartoon strip) and VeloNews (editorial cartoon).

Never get out of the fuckin' boat!

Never get out of the fuckin' boat!

I pushed the envelope so far it turned inside out, creating a wormhole that took me to an alternate universe containing a Patrick O’Grady who was still about half funny. Happily, when I showed up my dopplegänger was asleep under his drawing board with an empty bottle of tonsil polish in one limp paw (some things transcend time and space), so I appropriated his work and returned to my own universe just in time to beat my deadlines.

But is this my universe? Lance Armstrong is not winning the Tour — far from it, he sits in 18th place, 2:30 behind Fabian Cancellara, and is getting heckled by spectators calling him “dopehead” and “cheat.” And Mark Cavendish is getting his ass handed to him in the sprints. The renowned sprinter Andy Schleck has more points than Cav’, f’chrissakes.

Shit. I should’ve listened to Chef. “Never get out of the boat.” Not even to beat a deadline.

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5 Responses to “Apocalypse now”

  1. Boz Says:

    It’s like we’re watching an time warped alternate universe TDF. Running on narrow crappy roads, Petacci taking the sprints, punctures and mechanicas causing mayhem…What, are they trying to copy the Giro or something? This is entertainment, and I’m liking it more than the last few TDF productions.

  2. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Wait until Bizarro Lance starts attacking backwards: “Me have lanterne rouge now, me win Tour!”

  3. Libby Says:

    Another movie reference: TdF = “Chinatown”:
    Jake: (mumbling) do as little as possible…
    Escobar: What’s that you say? What’s that you say? Do you want to do your partner a favor? GET HIM OUT OF HERE. Jake, I’m doing you a favor.
    Walsh: Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    Patrick – this is what I thought of when I read your post. Maybe it doesn’t translate well to the page now that I’ve typed it but the tour is enigmatic.

  4. james Says:

    As one who has heckled TCWSNBN on numerous occasions – including shouting “Dope!” as he shot down the start ramp in Rotterdam last Saturday – I just don’t care about the TdF anymore. It is almost too sterile for my tastes. I want grit, tension, attacks from silly Frogs on Bastille Day, attacks from some team that absolutely NO ONE knows about, anger from the riders, challenges that test the riders, guys who ride bicycles not powered by motors, grime, Bartali v. Coppi, Lemond v. Hinault, etc. This modern racing is crap and who do I hold responsible for it? TCWSNBN……
    To the stoopid fanboy who gave me the evil eye for ruining his fanboy video last week: sorry pudgy, maybe if y’all got on a bike and rode you wouldn’t be a fan…and maybe then you would realize that TCWSNBN fanboy mentality is silly.

  5. Jon Paulos Says:

    What has happened to the Tour? It’s actually got some excitement! Maybe they’re taking a lesson from the Giro d’Italia. I sure did like the cobbles. Not so much the crashes, but the uncertainty it added, which meant entertainment for us spectators. I was glued to the live update window that morning.

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