Archive for the ‘Fat bastards’ Category

It’s loud and it’s tasteless

March 20, 2019

Sorry, it does not come with fries.

Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry, step right this way!

It’s the first day of spring, and nothing says “spring” quite like a change in wardrobe.

Unless you’re in Colorado, in which case “spring” says “snowshoeing to the liquor store.” Or in the Midwest, where it means “building an Ark.” (The Bible is not particularly helpful here. What the hell is a cubit, anyway? I don’t see any “gopher wood” down at the Home Depot, either. Do I have to go to Hobby Lobby for that?)

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

But yeah, everywhere else, wardrobe change. And have we got a deal for you. Mad Dog Media and Voler have teamed up on their first-ever Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter Spring Jersey Sale!

See, we figure you’ve put on about 15 percent over this long, cold winter. So we’re helping you take 15 percent off, and the easy way, too, by buying something. It’s The American Way™. And it’s cheaper than snowshoes, liquor, and kitty litter for the bottom of that Ark.

Just pop round to the Mad Dog corner of Voler, deploy the Secret Code — OLDGUYS15 — and surrender your money, personal data, and the final tattered remnants of your self-respect.

G’wan, y’fat bastid, take the plunge. Join the team. You need the kit, and we need the laughs. Also, and too, the money. Don’t make me stop the Internet and come back there. We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town, beep-beep.

Offer good until April 1, when the usual foolery will resume.

Life in the Fat Lane: Everything, all the time. With fries.

March 10, 2019

If you’re seeing a little more sun all of a sudden, it’s not just because it’s Daylight Saving Time. It’s because the Fat Guy is throwing a little less shade.

The Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter turned 30 today, and he’s been on one of those weight-loss programs for celebrity has-beens, the kind where you don’t look quite so porky because hardly anyone ever sees you anymore.

When I turned 30, back in 1984, I was on a weight-loss program of my own. It had occurred to me that I had problems, which included but were not limited to drugs, booze, food, voices in my head, and newspapers, and I found that vigorous bicycling helped me sweat out the cocaine, alcohol and gravy.

Didn’t do shit for the voices in my head, or the newspapers. But what the hell, a guy needs friends. And a job’s nice, too.

Five years later I finally put those friends in my head to work, when I signed on to draw cartoons for VeloNews, which was just settling into its new digs in the People’s Republic of Boulder. I was two more newspapers further on down the road, in Santa Fe, and the voices were telling me that once again my days were numbered, probably because the publisher kept saying things like “Are you still here?”

I’d been racing for a couple of years, and out of an abundance of caution and a desire for some sort of change that involved more than my ZIP code I applied for the managing editor’s job at VeloNews. Didn’t get it. But the honchos liked the cartoons, and the first one they published featured the Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter, who debuted in Volume 18, No. 3, cover date March 10, 1989.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Back then the Fat Guy didn’t look at all like he does today. In fact, he looked a lot like me. Long hair and a full beard, both of which gradually went away, and a variety of undistinguished and too-tight jerseys that by the mid-Nineties had stabilized into the familiar yellow-and-red kit with the “Spare Tire Ale” logo on both sleeves, the one we still sell today over at Voler.

The shorts sponsors tended to change whenever I had a notion. Lardasche Jeans. Juan Ton’s Asian Tacos. That sort of thing.

And the dude just kept getting larger.

At one point Fais Dodo couldn’t find his bike (turns out he was sitting on it). At another he had sucked a few smaller riders into orbit around him. Almost everybody was smaller. Entire teams were.

He even tried to sue the bicycle industry for making him a great fat bastard, when it had done the exact opposite for me.

“Yep, cycling did this to me,” he tells the lawyer, hot dog in one hand, sack of pork rinds in the other. “Couple hours in the ol’ saddle and I gotta eat a 7-Eleven.”

“You don’t say,” replies the lawyer. “Sounds like a no-class-action lawsuit to me!”

Every time I revisit that particular cartoon I see and hear John Goodman, playing Walter Sobchak from “The Big Lebowski,” and not just because Goodman’s first TV appearance was in a Burger King commercial. I just like John Goodman.

I like the Fat Guy, too, and he went with me when I left VeloNews in 2012, not long after the original honchos sold it to the publishing equivalent of a chop shop run by meth-heads. We didn’t go bowling, though. We teamed up with Charles Pelkey at Live Update Guy, where Il Fattini was cast as a gender-bending Fat Lady Singing.

“It’s over!” he’d croon whenever a break got caught.

And El Grande started appearing more regularly in the “Shop Talk” strip I still draw for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, though he’s basically down to walk-ons and cameos behind that strip’s stars, the Mud Stud and Dude. He’s the kind of customer who dollars up on the wrong side of the ledger, drinking all the beer in the shop fridge and grazing the energy-bar display right down to the bedrock.

A customer once asked the Mud Stud if he had any fat bikes.

“Nah,” said the Stud. “We got a Fat Guy, though. Sell ‘im to you cheap.”

Behind him The Large One is mumbling through a cloud of hoagie crumbs. “This shop needs a deli. Maybe a brewpub. A bakery? Funny, I don’t climb so good lately. Bro’-deal me on a lighter bike?”

We’ve all ridden a few kilometers in those Sidis, eh? Any cyclist worth his kit knows that to find the shortest distance between two points you have to cut a few corners, or at least round them off a little.

And lighter is always better, amirite? Fatso is not the Road Runner, so bloody fast that his sheer velocity straightens out the curves and flattens all the hills. He’s Wile E. Coyote with an eating disorder, shopping for solutions at Acme. Or Walgreens. At least he’s out there, putting in the kilometers.

He was the guy the legendary Dong Ngo had in mind when we were discussing the 1987 Trek 2500 on display at the Denver Spoke.

“Who buys this bike?” I asked, stunned by the price.

“You wouldn’t believe who buys this bike,” he replied.

The Fat Guy, that’s who. The last guy who needs one. His eyes were never bigger than his stomach. Nothing was. Or is.

Maybe that’s why the Fat Guy struck such a chord. He wants what we want, which at rock bottom, basically, is more. Or maybe it’s because he seems so obliviously comfortable in his oversized skin.

Oddly, the jersey he covers it with seems especially popular with little skinny climber dudes, probably because people go “Oh, yeah, right,” when they see them wearing it.

But you know what’s really odd? Nearly 30 years to the day after Fatso and I pranced onto the VeloNews stage together, we’re both working for Felix Magowan again. A full circle, that is.

Yep. Felix was one of the honchos back then, and he’s one of the honchos now, ever since Pocket Outdoor Media bought Bicycle Retailer in January. I got my first check from the new owners in March. It didn’t smell like meth, and it didn’t bounce, so I guess we’re all one big happy family again.

We’ve been downsized, of course. Before this latest acquisition BRAIN published 18 issues per year, and now we’re down to 12, which accounts for Fatso’s sleeker shadow, and my slimmer paycheck.

Still, 30 years is a nice long first lap. We may be off the back, but we haven’t been pulled yet. Good thing the Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter has been taking his turns on the front. It’s been like drafting the Budweiser beer wagon with a full hitch of Clydesdales.

Interbike 2018: The dream is gone

September 20, 2018

El Grande, being (ahem) gravitationally challenged, rarely participates in the Sport of Kings. Organizers grew tired of the frantic phone calls from the National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado.

The inaugural RenoCross took place last night. Alas, neither I, the Mud Stud nor the Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter was in attendance.

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of coverage out there at 8 a.m. New Mexico time, though cxmagazine.com has a brief report, results and pix.

My colleague Steve Frothingham had contemplated doing the Wheelers & Dealers race, but his new duties may have kept him in the Show Daily office. The Fake News never sleeps, and it rarely pins on a number.

El Grande did, from time to time. But it usually got swallowed by a roll, crease or fold, and even if he finished none of the judges could see it and thus he never got his just deserts.

Sometimes he didn’t even get beered.

• Next: Relax.

Wide Load Wednesday

November 22, 2017

Comedy is easy. Gravity is hard.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and come Black Friday you’re gonna need to go for a long, slow, fat-burning ride to recover from the turkey flu. Sweat a little gravy. Know what I’m talkin’ about?

But your kit won’t fit anymore for some strange reason.

What to do?

Good news, Tub-o. We can’t help you for this holiday, but if you act now, you can have your official Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter kit ready to roll by Christmas.

Just click here to take advantage of our special holiday offer* and you, some anonymous porker who happens to be wearing your XXXXL underwear, or a gravity-challenged friend, co-worker or family member, can be trundling along in style like a Clydesdale hauling a beer wagon, just in time for the New Year.

We even have a long-sleeved model now, the better for mopping grease from your chins.

• The fine print: Some restrictions apply.** One jersey per customer.*** Offer void where prohibited by law.****

* Actually, it’s not that special.

** No, they don’t.

*** Bullshit. We’ll run your credit card until it smokes. Buy as many as you can afford, and in ascending sizes, because you’re only gonna get bigger, bubbeleh. Eat, eat; like a skeleton you look.

**** Law? What law? You see any law around here lately? If we had any laws in this country we’d have a jail on every streetcorner instead of a Starbucks, and there would still be a waiting list to get in.

Good news and bad news

October 4, 2016
Classic Fat from the last millennium. Some things never change.

Classic Fat from the last millennium. Some things never change.

First, the good news: Julia Moskin at The New York Times serves up a modern recipe for chicken pot pie that looks absolutely scrumptious.

The bad news, also from the NYT: Whatever you weigh right this minute, you’re only gonna get fatter as 2016 and its various holiday seasons waddle to their belt-loosening denouement. I blame Obama. Also, the chicken pot pie.

The worse news: “Anything that happens in these next 10 weeks, on average, takes about five months to come off,” says professor Brian Wansink of Cornell University’s business school.

Does that include the election? Oh, God, no. I need some comfort food. And I think we all know what it might be. …

The Farce Awakens

December 18, 2015
The Farce is strong with this one.

The Farce is strong with this one.

You haven’t ordered your new Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jersey yet? Saving your pennies for “The Force Awakens,” are you?

I find your lack of faith disturbing. …

Fat Guy Friday

November 27, 2015
The new, bigger-and-better-than-ever (but mostly bigger) Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jerseys, available now at Voler.

The new, bigger-and-better-than-ever (but mostly bigger) Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jerseys, available now at Voler.

Hey, you! Yeah, you … what are you doing there, with one jaundiced eye on the monitor and the other bleeding gravy into your Cheerios? It’s Black Friday, man! You’re supposed to be duking it out with someone over a two-buck “smart” toaster at Best Buy.

Not into it, hey? What are you, some sort of communist? How about proving your U-nited States of America American™ bona fides by ordering up one of these fine Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jerseys? For you, today only, no charge!*

* A small shipping and handling fee of $77 per garment applies.

Fat suit

October 19, 2015
The new, bigger-and-better-than-ever (but mostly bigger) Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jerseys, available now at Voler.

The new, bigger-and-better-than-ever (but mostly bigger) Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jerseys, available now at Voler.

Halloween is just around the corner (boogity boogity boogity), and you too can dress up like The Large One and go trick-or-treating (hey, free food!). All it takes is American money and a visit to the Mad Dog Media fashion collection at Voler.

Blow Hard

February 26, 2015
As far as GOP candidates are concerned, renowned kingmaker and fixer Mister Boo says he'd treat Christie just like a Bush.

As far as GOP candidates are concerned, renowned kingmaker and fixer Mister Boo says he’d treat Christie just like a Bush.

That’d be a good title for a movie about Chris Christie, though I’m not certain that Bruce Willis can put on enough weight to land the lead role.

The smart money is saying Christie’s presidential aspirations are stuck in traffic on some bridge somewhere, and that this whole charade may have less to do with the White House than with landing him a cushy talk-show gig, which could come in handy if New Jersey moves and changes its name the next time the Mouth That Roared leaves town on a “trade mission.”

That sounds about right. One thing Chris Christie will never run short of is ass to talk out of.

A gay old time

February 26, 2014
"Don't we have anything to read in here that isn't a bicycle magazine?"

“Don’t we have anything to read in here that isn’t a bicycle magazine?”

That little Albuquerque training camp spoiled me for the remainder of February in Colorado.

After a week of long, steady distance in springlike temperatures, coming back to winter flat crawled up my butt. Twenty, feels like 10, y’say? Well, to hell with that, I think I’ll just stay inside and eat everything, watch Arizona try to out-stupid Colorado. Next these sunburnt simpletons will be issuing 55-gallon spray cans of Homo-NoMo® to the National Guard. Send the bill to the po’ folks, sonny, this here’s a Christian state.

Anyway, I was in danger of reaching that tipping point at which my inner fat bastard says, “Fuck a bunch of bicycles, let’s sell ’em all and buy a pie factory.” And it struck me that the problem wasn’t so much the weather as it was riding other people’s bikes all the damn’ time. Inspecting this, questioning that, making notes about it all — this is not unlike riding a couch in the company of a psychotherapist.

“How does that 30-inch low gear make you feel, Patrick?”

“Like a fat little girl with polio, you head-shrinking halfwit. Now shut the fuck up, I’m trying to climb this hill without chowing on the handlebar tape.”

So today I dragged the old Voodoo Nakisi out of the garage, aired up its Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Roads, and rode off to see how many times I could fall down on the ice in Palmer Park (none, though one sneaky patch in the South Cañon nearly got me). It was a beautiful day and I hardly endured any shrinkage at all, being covered from tonsure to toenails in colorful fossil-fuel weather repellent.

I even saw one bozo riding in shorts. Take that, Arizona.