There’s a point when I know I’ve gone too far with a Noos. It’s when my mother says the following:
Noodle’s mum: “Well, you can’t even show that to me.”
Never fear, Ma! I’m gonna dilute the whole sordid incident by crafting a verbal sleight of hand. I’ll weave two stories together, thus forming a nubile soup of sexiness and dullness. It’ll make two boring stories more exciting!
By now, you’ve grown accustomed to me and my relationship with The Stupid. The Stupid is a blanket term for my actions, thoughts and deeds. The Stupid things I do. The Stupid things I think. The Stupid things I agree to do before I think.
Today’s The Stupid involves me agreeing to ride 42 miles on a bicycle as part of the Five Boro Bike Tour. Despite the fact that I have never ridden that far in my life. Despite the fact that my bike has been hanging on my wall since last summer and both the tires are flat as tacks.
So why did I say yes?
Because Lance asked me and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Many decisions in life are made because they seem like a good idea at the time. In Australia, a Bachelor Party is called a Buck’s Party, or Buck’s Night. Both of these events are essentially the same, and many of the shenanigans that occur during the course of this event seem like a good idea at the time, but invariably are not.
1. Attendees are men (US) or blokes (OZ), wishing to celebrate the Bachelor or Buck’s last night of freedom before hitching his testosterone wagon to a wife
2. Alcoholic beverages are consumed
3. 99.9% of the time, a stripper will pop up somewhere (sometimes out of a wonderful cake!)
4. Someone will probably end up chained to something.
So, knowing all this I was somewhat startled when Mr. Ajello asked if I would be interested in attending Zolty’s bachelor party.
“Um… isn’t that kinda weird?” I asked.
“Well, you’re his friend and Mike (co-best man) and I thought it would be ok.”
I wasn’t convinced, so I conducted a small poll. Sample size = 1 guy. The respondent to my poll (and there will be another kind of poll coming up later, if you catch my drift), informed me that he knew of another Bachelor Party where the guy had some gal pals there too.
That settled it then. Etiquette said, “chocks away” for Z’s B Party.
“The Noodle will attend,” I said to Tom. “Providing you invite one other girl.”
I had it all worked out. Should things get out of hand, we could toddle off to the ladies lounge for a quiet shandy and escape the blokery.
Define “Out of Hand”.
Well, that would be something like witnessing the Dance of the Flaming Arseholes. I’ve since found out not many people are familiar with this particular tradition, and that’s probably just as well. Because I’m sure if this group had known about it, it would have seemed like a good idea at the time and the photos would have ended up on Flickr.
My bike’s name is Scott. I know that’s his name because it’s written on his frame. Lance’s bike has a name too. It’s “I m a super-duper fast professional slick machine that weighs nothing and you will eat my dust”. That doesn’t fit on the frame, but I know it to be true because I witnessed it in action.
But I’m jumping ahead.
We started this bike race by cheating. Not in the ‘roids made me superhuman kind of way, nor the ‘I just hobbled a competitor in the car park with a baseball bat’ sense either.
Just low-grade, rule bending. Like the gentle tilt of a reed in a slow moving stream.
Basically, we just neglected to start at the official start line. We kind of just jumped into the 40,000-bicycle current as it whizzed by us in Central Park. That was about 5 miles into the race. I don’t feel bad about the cheating. No guilt. None at all.
Because Lance made me do it! He’s the real cheat. I’m just a cliff-jumping lemming. Shame on you, Lance! Shhhhaaaaammmmeeee!
I’ve never been in a limo before. It’s a shock, I know! You’d totally expect that I’d have a limo as my Wednesday car, or something. But I don’t. Anyway, as we were sitting on an Amtrak train headed for Boston, I knew there was a limo in my future. Andrew had no idea what was in his future. He’d only just worked out we were going to Boston for his bachelor party, and it was just Tom and little ol’ Noodle with him.
I could see his brain workin’ overtime.
‘So…it’s basically just me and people I see at work every day…and one of them is a girl. And we’re going to Boston for my Bachelor Party. This is gonna suck.’
Just by-the-by, Andrew has two Achilles heels. On the left heel, it’s a dislike of heights. On the right it’s an inability to be on the ocean without launching the contents of his stomach on unsuspecting sailors. Days earlier, as a riotous, rib-tickling joke, I had told him that this weekend was going to involve him being thrown out of a plane with a parachute and landing on a ship in the middle of the ocean.
He half laughed. Which was good, because I was only half joking at the time.
The original Bachelor in Boston plan had been to take the little tyke out deep-sea fishing. When I told Christy (his fiancé) of this plan, she winced a little. Then mentioned this might not be such a whiz-bang idea since our boy Queequeg was a wimp and would hurl the whole time, thus ruining it for everyone. One weak and sensitive stomach effectively harpooned the whole thing.
But never fear. You might say there’s nothing in Boston apart from Red Sox and the Freedom Trail. But there’s the Sam Adams brewery. And nightlife. Right? There’s nightlife in Boston, right? Tom shrugged when I asked him. We were approaching the station in Boston. We were too far into the process to change gears now.
My gears were changing themselves, at will. This was my fault, not Scott’s. See, I knew I’d be doing this race for weeks leading up to this day. Weeks. That means I had weeks to get Scott off the wall and whiz him off to a bike shop so a bike doc could check his head and heart.
But I took him off the wall the morning of the race. That’s when I noticed his tires were flat.
So, I figured that I deserved the jerky, gear-change-with-no-notice treatment I was getting. Fortunately, Lance’s bud Patrick got a flat tire and we all had to pull into one of the rest stations to get it fixed. Which meant I got Scott a little free service lovin’ and I could continue on without much fuss.
Once back on the road, we trundled on at a breakneck speed. Well, not me. I was on a mountain bike that’s never seen the mountains. I trundled along at break nail speed.
Many people managed to crash at all sorts of speeds. We saw a few bloody examples. This race must be an insurance company’s wet dream. Coming through the tunnel on FDR drive earlier in the ride, we’d seen some poor dude on the ground with his face in the gutter and teeth on the street. Then on the Queensboro Bridge, we all ground to a halt as they waited for an ambulance to attend to some injured cycling soul.
I was half expecting to perform a face plant into an unsuspecting but open-armed gutter at some stage. I just know to expect those kinds of occurrences. That’s what puts the accident in accident-prone.
At the Sam Adams tasting bar, they give you just enough beer to get you interested, but not enough to trigger an ashtray face plant of drunkenness. We left the brewery barely buzzed, and headed back to the hotel to do something about it.
Silliness arrived after just three beers at the Beantown Pub. Silly is good. We ate, got changed, and then came back to the bar for a quick Red Bull and Vodka to wake us all up. The limo turned up, and then the Boston Z party began. Z as in Zolty, not Z as in sleep.
It wasn’t such a great start. We couldn’t get in the first club due to shoe issues. So we ended up in a kind of rank smelling place with a comedy club downstairs.
Tom heckled – that’s just his way – and the MC called Nikki and I hookers for hanging out at a bachelor party. I’m sure he was just lashing out at Tom and our large, overwhelming crowd. I mean it’s obvious from looking at my impressively intelligent brow and writer’s hands that I’m not a hooker.
Plus, I was officially an honorary dude for the night, and I had paper penis in my pocket to prove it! Tom had kindly fashioned it for me out of the stub of his rail ticket.
Here’s a word - ARSE-TASTIC. Definition: when something is fantastic, but your arse is the only thing not in on the joke.
Toward the end of the Bike Tour, I lost the ability to sit on my bike seat. You’re probably laughing, but it’s not funny.
It was on this final hurdle of the ride that I thought of my invention. It’s a bicycle seat that works like a transformer (the toy, not the thing that gets electricity to appliances).
So, when you start out riding, it looks like a normal bike seat. But then, when yer ol’ bum starts complaining about the lack of respect and general mishandling it’s getting from said seat, you hit a button and zip-zap-zing, it transforms to a different configuration of the seat.
One that gives the parts of your bum that ain’t been abused a turn on the whirly gig. It’s an equal distribution of hurt, across the entire surface of the bum over time. I’m sure there’s some way to write that out as an equation.
She was waaaay up towards the top of the pole, and then she dropped, mission impossible style down the pole, stopping just inches from the floor. Had I not already been standing, I would have leapt to my feet and applauded, shouting out “Bravo! Bravo!” in my best bravo voice.
I was on the second level of the strip club, sipping on yet another Red Bull and Vodka, and watching the amazing display of agility and skill on high heels. It had been an odd night. Not because I was now in a strip club in Boston, but odd in the sense that we’d been all over Boston and the most exciting place to drink had been in the back of our limo.
I’d been denied entry to one pub because I didn’t have my passport with me. Four years I’ve been in this country and not once has my Australian license not granted me entry anywhere.
“You should know better,” the doorman had said to me, and I didn’t get why I should have known better. Because I’m way too old to be ID-ed? Because I’m Australian and we’re really smart?
“You won’t get in any of the clubs on this street,” he said with that asshole tone some people get when empowered with an ink pad and a smiley face stamp. That kind of tone that makes you want to kick them right in the ping pongs.
Nikki wouldn’t put up with his attitude and asked to speak to the manager, who let me in. Nikki didn’t have a penis in her pocket. She just has lady balls and a whole lot of moxie. We drank in that bar for a bit, and then proceeded to get into every club on that street without one person even questioning me. Boston is weird.
Our driver told us all the bars were closing, and that’s how we ended up at the strip club.
“That lady,” I said to Nikki as we watched the show. “That lady has no hair (whispers) down there.” We giggled for a bit. I gotta say I was very impressed with the club. Cheap drinks, no bad behavior, and some pretty nifty moves on the dance floor. Weirdly enough, I’d watched a thing on the Today show about pole dancing classes being all the rage with suburban housewives. The demo they did on the morning show was nothing like this.
Later, after releasing a beer from the mini bar in our room, I checked on the status of my paper penis. It was crumpled and ratty. My dudeness was officially extinguished in the pocket of some Banana Republic jeans.
Coming over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was a happy time for me. The QBE had been the best part of the ride, but Lance could barely stop flying on his machine and I had to push my poor legs beyond their pain threshold. And if you know anything at all about me, you know I have no pain threshold.
I hate Scott. He’s heavy and slow, not sleek and speedy. Whenever we’d hit a hill, Patrick would ride up next to me and say:
“Ah, look. A hill. Your favorite” and bugger off with Lance and Liz, leaving me in a cloud of road dust. I would catch up eventually, but only after throwing my legs on the funeral pyre of pain.
But the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was a good thing to finish on. A little bit of up, but then downhill right to the finish line. If there’s one thing Scott does well it’s go downhill in a hurry.
An even happier time for me was getting a beer on the Staten Island Ferry afterwards. It was one of the best beers I’ve ever had. Ice cold and going straight to my head. It’s also sad that it went straight to my head, because I agreed to ignore the subway and ride home. It probably added another 7 miles to the ride. The Stupid strikes again.
My back was burning, right in the center of my shoulder blades. My arse bone was screaming like a banshee. My wrists were sore and my face sported a permanent wince. But it was nothing compared to pulling up to my apartment and having to carry that damn bike up to my 5th floor walk up.
Scott. We’re through. You’re chucked. Good luck on the single bike scene.
Toodle Noo. Here endeth the missive.
PS: My Dad made the Queen’s Honors List this year. I’m as chuffed as he is embarrassed. God save the Queen! (Hey, she’s on all our money. Gotta give her a shout out every once and a while.)
©Janeen McCrae 2007