April drool

Yesterday’s air-quality report from the City of Albuquerque.

I lay low for April Fool’s Day. It’s gotten to be kind of like the St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve of comedy — not for serious funnymen. Funnypersons? Persons of funny?

My favorite April Fool’s gag may be the time the Gazette caught the Greeley Tribune napping. It was in the late Seventies, and some wisenheimers on staff faked up a photo of an El Paso County pickle farmer inspecting a bumper crop (reporter Don Branning in a planter’s hat, examining a plump dill tied to a tree across the street from the newspaper).

We ran it on the Metro front, then put it on The Associated Press wire just for giggles. To our astonishment, the Tribune picked it up and ran the shot on its Farm page despite the photo credit, which read something like, “GT photo by Aprylle Foole.”

The desk jockey who made that call clearly was not a local boy with shitcaked bootheels. The Tribune is in Weld County, one of the richest agricultural counties east of the Rockies, the state’s top producer of grain, sugar beets and cattle.

Not pickles, though. El Paso County had all the pickle farms in Colorado.

Here in New Mexico the ash and juniper are providing all the comedy, if your idea of a good laugh involves watching some poor sod’s nose run like an irrigation ditch with a busted headgate.

I pretended to be a runner yesterday afternoon and came home with an enraged snotlocker, a condition that persists this morning. Snot funny, man.

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26 Responses to “April drool”

  1. Steve O Says:

    April Fools is all about proportion. The shit Google has pulled the last couple of years has just been annoying. Most corporate attempts just look lame. Back in the day, VeloNews did an ok job. You knew it was coming, were in on the joke, and readers and editors alike were mostly laughing at themselves.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Charles Pelkey was particularly good on April Fool’s gags. He had a dry wit and a stealthy delivery, and you rarely saw the gag coming until it was too late to dodge.

  2. Steve O Says:

    My 8 year was totally into it this year. She’s a heavy sleeper, hard to wake up. But yesterday she got up early, stuffed her sheets with stuffed animals and blankets, then hid in the closet to wait for us to come up and yell at her. When she set the table for dinner, I got a serving ladle, her mom got three knives, and her sister got chopsticks, which didn’t quite work for chili. Nothing destructive, just silly things like that all day.

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    For some reason it’s pesce d’aprile (fish of April) here in Italy.
    Didn’t see many gags, though I wish this was one https://www.colnago.com/en/bikes/e64/
    I guess the joke’s on you when this passes you on the climb. Based on the photos any clues to this being an e-bike look pretty well camouflaged. To me these things are the “Viagra of cycling” so they should have painted on some blue highlights and called it the V64!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      You see the latest from BRAIN? Whoo hoo, talk about not funny. Wholesale bike sales are in the toilet for everything save for (wait for it) e-bikes.

      The goal seems to be to make these things look as much like a non-electric bike as possible. Just as the compact double crank saved geezers from surrendering to the triple.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Funny you mentioned that – back-in-the-day before the compact idea we had to work on a lot of what I called “vanity triples” with gawdawful combinations of massive rear cogs never designed to be mated to the close-ratio rear derailleurs of the time. I got so tired of trying to make chicken soup out of chicken s–t while hearing, “Geez, it worked perfectly before I put it in the box” I was ready to scream.
        I’m sure these same guys (if they haven’t quit riding by now) will snap up this “cycling Viagra” in the same way they probably did with the little blue pills, Just for Men hair dye and Low-T treatments. There’s a ton of money to be made selling crap to those who just can’t accept they’re getting old as long as their retirement funds can pay for it.

      • SAO' Says:

        I got mixed feelings on these things. They seem to be way over the top, and most folks would benefit from actually pedaling once in a while. And yet, compared to cars …

        Yesterday saw three parked outside the library. Only saw two of the drivers. One dude was suited up in some Clif Bar racing kit, the other was Mr Urban Messenger Dude, black jeans, black high tops, Chrome bag, ironic handlebar mustache. It’s easy to stereotype either of them.

        But nine times out of ten, the folks I see on them are retired, mid-sixties, Old Towners who ditched their cars and are simply trying to get around. Fort Collins has heavily invested in bike lane infrastructure, and it’s pretty easy to live the car-less life here.

        So I guess, if you had to force an opinion out of me, I’d say, e-bikes are the worst idea ever, except for everything else. I think anything that takes a bite out of combustion engine car sales has got to be a good thing.

        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          I have nothing but praise for e-bikes when they replace something that directly burns fossil fuels for transportation or fun.
          But when they replace a bicycle that you pedal, one that consumes no energy at all (never has to be plugged in or filled up) they are the cycling equivalent of Viagra.
          If that’s what you need to have fun it’s OK with me, but don’t claim you’re doing it naturally or honestly and stay the hell away from me with it!

          • Steve O'D Says:

            I hear ya. And that E64 definitely looks like it fits that bill. I hate telling anyone else how to spend their money or fun or how to do anything that doesn’t directly impact me, it seems like common sense if you’re putting a battery in a bike, the bike should have fenders and racks and panniers and headlights. Hiding the battery begs the question, watcha hiding? You glad to see me, or is that 250W in your downtube?

      • SAO' Says:

        “After reporting they sold just a single 26-inch dualie in January this year, BPSA members said they sold exactly none of them in February 2019.”


    • JG Says:

      Fawk – I’ve been wondering when pro level e-doping would trickle down to the cycling masses (or at least the ones that can afford a Colnago)… Don’t have to wonder any more.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I wonder what the industry is gonna do when it runs out of old white guys.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Become a non-industry. Batteries will not be a long term solution and things will go back to where they were before the various bike booms created the “industry”.
        You know, like back when we got into it. When people were happy to make a living making and selling stuff they had pride in and getting rich was never part of the plan.
        SOPWAMTOS and all that rather than just calling up Taiwan and ordering X containers full of crap with your brand name slapped on it.

        • Steve O’D Says:

          Depends on the definition of “long.” Seems like temp storage is the way to go if the goal is renewables or unlimited sources like a back to the future fusion drive. Just don’t cross the streams of the flux capacitor. Check out any cross walk in Berkeley or San Francisco and there’s VC money behind some start up glueing batteries to anything that moves or doesn’t. Bikes, scooters, skate boards, pogo sticks … Battery powered, free to unlock is how everyone within 500 miles of Silicon Valley gets around.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Do you remember the first real bike shop you stumbled into? For me it was Central Cycle on Union in Bibleburg. Schwinn dealer. I’d been riding department-store bikes since forever and wanted a sure’nough Schwinn for my very own. Must’ve been about 13.

        It was dark and weird and full of arcane bits of this and that, like some tank-town gen’ral store. There was magic being practiced in there, I’m certain.

        Turin in Denver was kinda like that in the Eighties. Old Town Bike Shop in its original Bibleburg location around the same time was another such.

        Down here the closest thing would probably be The Bike Coop down on Yale, which is a real dungeon of a shop, or maybe Bikeworks on Stanford. Two Wheel Drive has a great old space over on The Mother Road, but it’s very well lit and you can actually see the wizards at work.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          That would be Zion (Schwinn) Cyclery in Zion, Illinois. Opened in 1964, but I didn’t discover it until 1974.


        • SAO' Says:

          Cumberland Transit in Nashvegas. Bought a Specialized Allez, changed my life.


        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          For me it was a Schwinn dealership all painted up in the factory colors. Circle Cycle was the name and the best thing was getting that new Sting-Ray (or later Varsity and finally Super Sport) and riding it home from the shop!
          When it came to pro-quality stuff it was Montrose Cycles, the retail end of Euro-Asia Imports and a Mondia made with Reynolds 531 and equipped with Campagnolo Nuovo Record and Fiamme red label rims. A few years later it met its end hitting the rear quarter panel of an old fart’s car who left-turned me on a fast descent. My shoulder is still screwed up from that!

    • Sheepish Kaputnik Says:

      Got some interesting javascript on the Colnago page. The vertical scrolling is cool. Typically you see smooth verticals and carousel horizontals, but they flipped the script.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Them technologists is always a-thinkin’. Why, I’m old enough to remember when the “web” involved a spider, “java” was the shite coffee you got at small-town diners, and a “script” was something you sought from a crooked doctor.

        “Say, doc, I need a ’script for Dexedrine. The java ain’t doin’ it for me. Fuck, look at the size of that spider! That must be a world-wide web! Or is the acid finally kicking in?”

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Anything, and I mean anything that gets people outdoors is A-ok with me. Whether they are flying drones or diddling with radio controlled cars it beats the alternative of staying indoors and disconnected from others and the real world. If we cycling snots want safer streets and more trail support we have to expand ( and share) our base of allies. As others have noted, one less Jeep Grand Cherokee (pick an SUV of your choice) on the road is the right direction.

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