I’ve never been interested in racing a bike. The seats look like shoehorns, I’m not a fan of the hats, you spend the whole time hunched over as if your back has snapped midway up and those bike shorts would make my legs look like half-filled sausage casings. I’m all about the glamour.
But I am absolutely hooked on the Tour de France. This happens every year —a sport I normally care nothing about lures me in with the promise of horrendous crashes, nail-biting finishes and this weird desire of mine to see a top racer inhale a bee at high speed. (So far, no luck.)
It is a fascinating race, full of tactics and strategy, not just mindless pedaling. Riders have to be thinking about all manner of things like, “do my legs look like half-filled sausage casings?” or “I wonder how bad it would hurt if my bike seat broke off and I didn’t realize it.”
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I say this without a pinch of cynicism or sarcasm: I’m pretty broken up about the death of Michael Jackson. Say what you want about him, whether you liked him or not, thought he did all the horrible things he was accused of, or was just downright stranger than a summer squash.
Forget it all. The pure and simple fact of the matter is this: He may have been weird, but for my generation — the MTV generation — he was part of our childhood, not to mention our cultural identity.
And you would be hard-pressed to find a single one of us who didn’t try to be a little like him. Especially to dance like him, which is why my generation will need an extraordinary number of hip replacements. (I alone dislocated my shoulder, a knee and even a kidney trying to imitate him.)
We were all Michael Jackson in one way or another in the 80s. Music videos were new and groundbreaking, giving us these marvelously absurd glimpses of performers like him who followed two fashion rules of pop stardom: No. 1 – Raid your mother’s closet and jewelry box; and No. 2 – Only wear clothes that look like the fabric has melted onto your skin.
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