I want to ride my bi-CEE-cull

April 6, 2006 at 3:30 am (Uncategorized)

The beast is constructed of lightweight aluminum and has shocks in the front and center. It has high and low gears and quick-release levers just about everywhere. butcher_boy.jpg
Officially, it’s a Mongoose Eliminator, but for our purposes, we’ll call it the Inner City Rapid Response Unit. Its purpose is to allow me swift mobility when the action is just around the corner or located in dark, narrow places.
It’s not that I want to beat the cops to the mayhem. It’s just that I’m tired of them hogging all the good witnesses and mucking up the crime scenes with their yellow tape and fingerprint dust.
The Inner City Rapid Response Unit (bike) is a great way to wheel into the fray without the hassle of one-way streets and cumbersome traffic. There are low gears for the rough terrain and rugged tires for the mud.
With this baby, I could fly down dark alleys and across back lawns. I could zip across the park in seconds or sail across the foot trestle like a rock skipping on water. I could get one of those goofy red horns and put baseball cards in the spokes.
Too bad the bike is still chained in the yard, with a thick film of spring dust over the shiny aluminum frame. If the Inner City Rapid Response Unit could talk, it would have nothing of interest to say.
They just don’t make bikes the way they used to. When I was a boy, you had your Schwinn with a banana seat and chopper-style handlebars. If you liked getting beat up every day, you had tassels dangling from your handle grips. Some people had sissy bars, but those stopped being cool when it was discovered that the word sissy wasn’t good.
After we all got used to our Schwinns, some marketing whiz came up with a new design and every kid, rich or poor, had to have one. Enter, the Huffy.
The Huffy had a muscular, square seat and handlebars that ran straight across. It had sturdy, rugged grips with knobbies. Woe be unto the boy who dangled tassels or anything else from those grips. The Huffy was not a bike meant for dangling.
It would be a perfect world if we never graduated, bike-wise, beyond the Huffy. I’d be out there right now patrolling comfortably upon that thick, cushiony seat and looking pretty cool all the while. But no. Eventually, the need to ride over greater distances became impossible to ignore. Specifically, every pretty girl you met in school lived on the opposite end of town and it was just not chivalrous to ask her to meet you halfway.
So you worked four summer jobs so you could buy what would be the most important object marking the transition from childhood into young adulthood: the 10-speed.
It was a strange creature: rams-horn handlebars that could be gripped at the top for casual riding or down low for frantic, high-speed escapes from your girlfriend’s brothers. There were two fairly simple levers located right before the handlebars. You did not need special schooling to learn how to operate them. One lever for the low gears, one for the high.
These bikes were simple and they were the height of maturity. You could ride your 10-speed wearing a pair of those athletic shorts with the stripes down the sides for added cool points. You know the ones I mean. Wear those today, you’ll get beat up by the same guy who thumped you for dangling tassels from your Huffy.
Regardless of what style bike you were riding, you could count on owning only pants that were chewed up around the ankles. Because no matter what innovations were spirited to the bike market, your pants would always get stuck in the chain. Sometimes, if you were going really fast, the chain would suck the pants right off your body. This would cause you to come to an abrupt stop, in which case your girlfriend’s brothers would catch you and give you the beating you so richly deserved.
Which brings me around to my point. Anything beyond the Huffy, including those mutant 3-speeds and 5-speeds, is just too complicated for inner-city use. And so is this new bike I meant to deem the Inner City Rapid Response Unit.
The gear shifters are discreetly hidden on the handle grips. There are numbers and arrows written on them in a language that appears to be extraterrestrial. I know twisting this way will make pedaling harder and twisting that way will cause my ankles to snap. But do you think I can manage the mental strain necessary to memorize that alien gear pattern while racing to the downtown firefight?
I picture it this way. Sweaty and panting, I make it to the scene of the chaos and wheel up to the first bloody man I see.
“Sir,” I’ll say, wheezing. “Marklaflammefromthesunjournal. Can you tell me what happened here?”
The bleeding man will look me up and down and take a look at my ride.
“Dude. Do you realize your bicycle chain fell off six blocks ago?”
“Yeah,” I’ll say. “I realize that. How do you think I lost my pants?”


  1. Martha said,

    LOL.. Mark, that was not the picture I wanted to envision this early in the morning…
    Hey.. I have a solution.. you need to get one of those motorized scooters.. they move right along, and no chain to rip your pants off.. you could get your story, and even maintain your dignity… Oh yeah.. you gotta have some before you can keep it, huh?

  2. LaFlamme said,

    Don’t those things roll along at about 3 mph? Or, slower than an average human walks?

  3. Martha said,

    Well, the guys who used to use them to buzz around the Penn State parking lots on game day, seemed to be moving a little faster than that. Maybe not.. At least when you got there, you wouldn’t be all out of breath and red faced.

  4. Bulldog said,

    Or, you could get one of those mini rice rockets. They’re absolutely adorable and they go pretty fast. At least you’d LOOK cool

  5. Martha said,

    Good morning Bulldog

  6. Gil said,

    Or a Segway! Those are going to revolutionize the way we get around in the big cities! Oh, wait, that never really happened did it?

  7. A.O. said,

    I think Mark’s more of a scooter type of guy. I can see him now, pushing his way around the streets of Lewiston. He does have that Jimmy Neutron hair-do going for him. All he’d need is a pair of red, Converse high tops and he’d blend right in. Scooterboy Mark.

  8. Bobbie said,

    Can’t forget the trusty sidekick. Gotta have room for whoever that may be.

  9. Robert said,

    Mark, You neglected to mention the real reason the Mongoose wasn’t working for you…the training wheels…without them you continue to tip over, but with them it limits for high speed cornering…..darn, no compromise there…

  10. brenda said,

    maybe a skateboard?

  11. K2 said,

    Mark, did you have to pay extra for the training wheels? The Hello Kitty reflectors in your spokes are classic. And your big, blaze-orange triangular safety flag is style defined.

    Man, I haven’t ridden a bike in 10 years or more. Used to love ’em, but they fell out of my life somehow. And all the new technology is a put-off, I agree. As Thoreau stated, “Simplicity, simplicity.” I just want a standard-issue mountain bike that needs no instructions. Just haven’t felt like dropping the quid to get one. Anyhow, these things happen in cycles.

  12. K2 said,

    Damn, Robert, you beat me to the training-wheels bit. Shit.

  13. A.O. said,

    I still have my red, Schwin ten speed from my high school days. Talk about your classics! Gawd, I don’t even want to THINK about how old that thing is.

  14. Bobbie said,

    For anyone that’s interested, I have 4 bikes sitting in the garage that are no longer used. My son got creative when he was bored one day and now one of them is spray painted gold.

  15. K2 said,

    Funny, A.O., I still have my Scwhing! from high school. Oh, you meant 10-speed. Never mind.

  16. A.O. said,

    Party on, K2!

  17. Robert said,

    K2, I heard from one of the Lewiston cops that when Mark was riding the bike to the scene of a crime they always knew he was coming because of the sound that Ace of Spades card made, clothespinned to the wheel and rattling against the spokes…

    Im gonna have to try out one of those Segweys later this month on vacation, they rent em for tours of the area,…

  18. K2 said,

    Ahh, the Ace if Spades in the spokes. Rebel Without a Car.

    Those Segways look freaking cool. But I’m holding out for a George Jetson flying car. (My damn Spacely Sprocket stock is down 18% since January.)

    A.O., I haven’t started partying yet, but I did finish the guys’ gig the other night with Janis Joplin’s “Mercedez Benz.” Gary coaxed me up there, that bastard. No, I didn’t have their velociraptor ‘wings.’ They really are out of the movie ‘Alien.’ Me no like.

  19. Mainetarr said,

    K2, I told you to dump the Spacely Sprocket stock for Cogswell Cog stock. Jaysus, don’t you listen to me? Mr. Spacely is about to get pinched for insider trading.

    Plus I heard it wasn’t Judy Jetson fooling around with Jet Screamer, it was Jane. Eeep Ooo Ork Ah Ah…..

  20. Linda said,

    I’m surprised Mark didn’t get on top of this title before CNN 360: “Getting your share of federal pork?”


    Oh wait, the food comments are on the other posts, aren’t they.

  21. LaFlamme said,

    Did anyone see the photo of the Auburn Mall crash today on page B2? Outstanding!!

  22. K2 said,

    Rot Ro!

  23. A.O. said,

    That was quite the photo. New photographer?

  24. Crystal said,

    So, Mark after your comment about being one of those people…I decided to post at least 1 comment to prove you wrong. Okay so it doesn’t really prove anything and I will probably still just read posts without commenting but thanks for the link.
    I went to SJ online and went to check out one of the other blogs, and it’s like you have to read a novel first. I don’t know who wrote the disclaimer, but ramblin on and on and on… I though I was stuck watching the English Patient again..
    See ya later

  25. Mainetarr said,

    Yup, that was my picture. I have been getting phone calls all day about it. Too friggen funny!

    K2, you peckerhead, knock it off with the Italian jokes. My maiden name was Scipione. You wanna be sleeping with the fish? Bastard. LOL Don’t MAKE me call my Uncle Mario.

  26. Robert said,

    I just posted on LSJ and have now been officially been called a racist by a couple of folks…ouch that hurts…the place just ain;t the same without all of you so I go less and less…

    But I do like the couches here in this new place….although the color is kind of drab and from the 60’s.

  27. Mainetarr said,

    Screw the Sun Urinal…they suck.

  28. K2 said,

    Mainetarr, not Uncle Mario! Please I’ll do anything, even not tell you what Pope John Paul really meant when he was on the Vatican balcony, waving his hand outwardly from his torso. (Let me know if you want the answer!)

    Come on, I love everything Italian. My brother got to go there a few months back — I was so jealous. I want to have a Grappa in a small Italian village, a la Hemingway, in the worst way. (What’s Grappa taste like?)

  29. Mainetarr said,

    Me too, one of my Doctors just got back from 3, yes 3 weeks in Italy. Lucky guy!

  30. Bulldog said,

    My son is doing his Senior year in college- first semester in Italy! The lucky bastard! He’s is stoked.

  31. Bulldog said,

    My son is doing his Senior year in college- first semester in Italy! The lucky bastard! He is stoked.

  32. A.O. said,

    Do you know that the Sun Urinal has removed ALL of my past posts? They’ll keep the ones where Dan’s calling other blogger’s names like..oh let’s see..Slut, KKK members, cross burners, etc. But, the ones where I had nothing but nice things to say to others…all gone. They DO suck!

  33. Bulldog said,

    HEY! how come I got a double post (or am I just seeing double?) What the hell is in these friggin drinks!

  34. A.O. said,

    Geez, Bulldog, I know it’s your birthday and all but, stop hitting the flucking back button!;)

  35. Bulldog said,

    I didn’t hit the back button! really I didn’t. help me! get away from me! dont- stop- dont stop, dont stop!

    yehaaa ride em cowgirl!

  36. A.O. said,

    Is your man home from work already?

  37. Bobbie said,

    How do you know that they’ve removed all of your posts? Just curious. I checked my previous posts after reading that and my posts are still there. I did notice that when you click on a post to edit or delete it, it says that if you are a free subscriber, your post may be reviewed before it’s posted on the blog.

    It would appear that the SJ has 2 sets of rules-one for the paying customers and one for the free subscribers. It would appear that’s why Dan’s comments have not been removed yet and probably won’t be. If I remember correctly, Dan is/was a paying customer and is /was given more latitude when it came to name calling and such.

    Sounds like a double standard to me. I wonder what the SJ would do if someone (read: free customer) requested the posts that they believed were slanderous and libelous to them be removed? Somehow, I don’t think that the paper would be so quick to respond.

    Has anyone else noticed that if someone who spoke up about the fiasco with the Street Talk blog even attempts to ask Eric a question, they’re blown off and ignored?

  38. A.O. said,

    Because, I went back and checked on a few things yesterday. Remember the L.L. Bean blog? All of my posts have been deleted. And, yes Bobbie, I have noticed that non-paying customers were blown off by Eric, myself included. If you want to re-visis that L.L.Bean blog, it was in September I think.

  39. brenda said,

    verrry interesting

  40. Mainetarr said,

    That’s weird. Those double standards are crap!

  41. brenda said,

    I never get a “whoa cowboy”?

    prob’ly never will, with my dial-up internet…..

  42. LaFlamme said,

    Any ‘slow down cowboy’ sightings today?

  43. Mainetarr said,

    Nope, not today, you?

  44. Bobbie said,

    I checked it out and you’re right, AO. I wonder what you did to tick Eric off so that he’d do that? Knowing you, it could have been that you were overly polite to him. LOL

    Just got off the phone with a friend of mine and she told me that the kid who died in the accident was a friend of her brother’s. I feel bad for all involved because it’s hard on everyone.

  45. LaFlamme said,

    I’ve never seen the cowboy message. The only problem I get occasionally is, when I try to send my commet, it takes two clicks.

  46. A.O. said,

    I got the cowboy warning today. And, I’ve also gotten the double click quite often. But, no biggie.

  47. LaFlamme said,

    Awright. I’m keeping my eye on the cowboy thang. WordPress should be releasing a new version soon, with fixes to various bugs. Overall, it’s pretty smooth.

  48. A.O. said,

    Cool. But, something NEW to get used to again? Ha.

  49. LaFlamme said,

    I should have more options, more control, with the new version. I think I’ll install beer taps.

  50. A.O. said,

    Could you install a wine tap for me? PUHLEEZEE!!

  51. Bobbie said,

    Make sure you have plenty of Mountain Dew on hand, ok?

  52. A.O. said,

    Bobbie, Are you still drinking that rot gut? Ha. I don’t think they put it in kegs yet. But, at the rate I sell it, they should! Teenagers could have Mountain Dew keg parties.

  53. Thaifood Teena said,

    At least she’s not drinking Yoo Hoo.

  54. A.O. said,

    Could be worse, she could be drinking Rum and Coke. Or, Tequila. Heard that makes you sing Disco…

  55. Bootybake said,

    Hey, there is NOTHING wrong with disco. Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty….love, peace and chicken grease.

  56. A.O. said,

    Dis ain’t no disco. Dis ain’t no party. Dis ain’t no fooling around….

    Disco sucks.

  57. Bootybake said,

    Come on AO, can’t you feel the love? Come on, you know you want to do the Hustle. Just admit it.

  58. A.O. said,

    Hey, I can Hustle as good as the next chick but, do the dance? No thanks, Bootybake. Hey, maybe Dan would like to do the Hustle with you. Or, maybe the Bump? 😉

  59. Bootybake said,

    If you look real hard, you will find Mainetarr in some of the pictures on the Motor Booty website.

  60. Bootybake said,

    Knowing that Fat Bastard, he would want to do the HUMP, not the bump. 🙂

  61. A.O. said,

    Ha. On that lovely thought, I’m going to bed! Kisses!

  62. Bootybake said,

    me too. Goodnight….

  63. Anonymous said,


  64. Gil said,

    Now here’s how you party old school on your B-day:
    Peace out, be-otches

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