Stems, but no seeds

This “Shop Talk” cartoon appears in the April 2021 edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, available in fine shop bathrooms everywhere.

This cartoon from the most recent issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News seems to be eliciting a few chuckles, so I thought I’d let you civilians in on the gag.

There’s a bike boom going on, in case you hadn’t heard, and pretty much everything involved in the creation, distribution, and maintenance of our beloved two-wheelers is as scarce as Christian charity, thoughtful discourse, and mental health in the GOP.

The dope-dealer angle came to mind when it became clear that New Mexico would be green-lighting the sale of recreational weed, the only retail gig I have ever held. The Mud Stud and Dude have been pushing a legal high (bicycles) since 1992.

If I had it to do over again I’d be a little more subtle in the first panel, having the dealer say something like, “Psst, guys … want some good stuff?” But this sort of Monday-morning quarterbacking is fairly typical for me. I’m rarely satisfied with the way my stuff turns out.

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26 Responses to “Stems, but no seeds”

  1. Tony Geller Says:

    Not one to second guess the professional, but I like the cartoon this way. As it is, the two panels make two jokes rather than having the first be the setup and the second the payoff.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well, Tony, I’m glad you like it. Some other folks did too, apparently. I need to start drawing more. I used to doodle all the time but sort of got out of the habit some years back. Blogging sort of took over as my skull-flusher of choice, probably because I’m naturally lazy and running off at the mouth is easier than running off at the drawing board.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Nicely done. And shaking down your LBS for scarce parts is just around the corner.

  3. Charley Says:

    Good cartoon! I’m getting ready to sell a 1992 custom-made Holland racing road bike. Full period DuraAce. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ooo la la. It’s been a while since I rocked the Dura-Ace on anything other than hubs. I have two sets of wheels with D-A hubs, and they just keep on spinning.

      Will it be hard to part with that Holland? I have a Steelman time-trial bike I should really try to sell, but I hate to part with it. He’s not making any more of them, y’know.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Ooh. I only scored Dura Ace when Nashbar had a fire sale, so I have D-A on a CAAD5 bike in nine speed version.

      I would be hard pressed to part with a classic bike. As O’G says, they don’t make them any more.Kinda like the late 1940’s Winchester Mod. 70 I inherited when my uncle got off the boat on the far side. I will never really need it, but it is sort of a classic and they don’t make them like that any more.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Fun tour? Crappy? That’s some good shit, man!

  5. TJ Mora Says:

    Thanks for the laugh. You are so on point. Crazy world. Keep the old 8 speeds running.

  6. Shawn Says:

    I believe I heard on Facebook from a person who really knows that rumors can be factual, that F. Landis is starting to sell a bunch of old gear that he may have had from the postal and hearing aid days. I guess CBD really goes well together with STI.

    Charley: Holland with Dura-Ace. 7700 DA? 8-Speed? Downtube shifting? No STI? Is the Holland 531? What’s the frame size? Does it have chrome lugs? Questions, questions, blah, blah, blah. I thought I’d warm you up for all the questions you will get if you go to sell it. If you don’t need to see it, then I wouldn’t. Even if the wife wants the space to put in a new wine rack. If I hadn’t of ridden all of my vintage steeds into the ground, I’d have more than I have now. But don’t hesitate to tell us more, Perhaps one of your fine POG deviants would be interested in making you a bike lighter. You have to remember though that POG will need to get his sales commission – A 10 lb Greenie dog chew….

  7. Dave Watts Says:

    Sign of the times? Great cartoon, Patrick. I’ve been out of the bike biz long enough that I really have no idea what dealers and customers are going through trying to get their bikes on the roads or paths these days. Perhaps my parts bins that I still have in my basement and garage might be worth something? Is it time to sell my full Crampy Super Record vintage 1982 Paramount (really a custom Waterford)?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oh, man, parts bins are like bank vaults these days. My man Charles Pelkey used to have a garage full of interesting bits, but he may have eBayed them all away.

      But do you really want to unload that Paramount? Are you prepared to be haunted by the ghost of Ignaz Schwinn, rattling six-speed chains in the attic all night long?

      • Dave Watts Says:

        Wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been haunted by old bike store dreams/nightmares for years now. I’m very used to it. But Ignaz? I’m almost old enough to have met him, and might have seen his ghost when I was a lot younger and had the dealer tour of their plant on Kostner Avenue in Chicago in ’73. That block is all townhomes now.

  8. Opus the Poet Says:

    Love the manufacturers’ names on the boxes: Funtour and Crampy. One of those would actually make a good trademark for recreational bike parts.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry, getcher FunTour seven-speed friction shifters, for the veteran cyclo-tourist. And don’t forget the FunTour cantis, which pay homage to the legendary Dia-Compe 986. Come to a stop in less than a week or your money back!

  9. Herb from Michigan Says:

    An excellent cartoon. This past year I dug out two sets of ancient SunTour friction bar ends and used them on family bikes to replace index shifters that wouldn’t work. Damned if I’d ever pay what Shimano charges for STI levers. Those bar ends are still working as good as they did new 35+ years ago. Maybe better since the derailleurs and chains the past decade have gotten better at dropping onto to cogs and chain wheels. Little did I know there would be a bike parts shortage when just prior to the pandemic I donated a large box of bike parts to the local non profit bike co-op. Ah well….I hate selling on eBay anyway. I did keep and mount a Crampy Rally rear derailleur and it still shifts like a fat man getting out of a bathtub.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, matey. As the STI fails, which it does, I go to the bar-ends.

      I’m fresh out of eight-speed Shimano shifters, I think. There’s a seven-speed set on the time-trial bike, switched to friction ’cause it’s rocking an eight-speed cassette. The Voodoo Wazoo has one seven-speed Shimano bar-con on a Paul’s Thumbie mount. The Nobilette and Voodoo Nakisi both use nine-speed Shimano bar-cons.

      Four bikes have Rivendell’s Silver friction shifters. These I like quite a bit.

      Have you seen the SunRace bar-cons Rivendell is selling? I might buy a set for experimental purposes. They’re doing thumbshifters too.

  10. Shawn Says:

    FYI for all us bike parts and classic steed sellers: Part of the recent Stimulus package included a modification to the requirement for the issuance of 1009-K forms by transaction handlers like paypal, ebay MP, etsy, etc. The current tax code requirement is $20,000 and / or 200 transactions. The new requirement going into effect in January of 2022 is now $600. If you have stuff to sell and don’t do so on a regular basis, you may want to do it this year. Otherwise the income will become part of your tax reporting. Fortunately when selling items, there is a cost in doing so and a value of an item both of which are deductible.

  11. JD Says:

    Great cartoon as always, PO’G. Unrelated but cycling related: check this out!

  12. SAO' Says:

    Classic. Nailed it the first time.

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