Getting Around: Baby got BRA

This past last weekend, I went to a place called Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a state in the United States of America. The United States of America is sometimes called "Canada's Undercarriage." Massachusetts used to have Ted Kennedy but he died. That was sad. A long time ago Ted Kennedy's car went into the water and he was OK but the lady who was with him died. That was sad. I think the people in Massachusetts must be the nicest people in all of Canada's Undercarriage. Massachusetts has a city called Boston that is the capital of Massachusetts. Here is a park called Fenway Park, where the Boston baseball team plays baseball:

(Fenway Park Stadiumway, home of the Red Colorway Sox)

The reason I went to Boston, of course, was because on Friday evening I partook in a "BRA" (or Book-Related Appearance) at Landry's Bike Shop on Commonwealth Avenue, and the above photo was taken by me on the afternoon ride that preceded this BRA. As you can see, it was precipitating during this ride, which immediately qualified it as an "epic." Alas, the Great Lobster on High had set the nozzle of his celestial spray bottle to "mist," and only a handful of Boston's most epically-inclined riders showed to brave the light drizzle that eventually transitioned to steady rain once the Great Lobster switched to the "spray" setting. However, even in small numbers, this group was intimidating enough to force me to "salmon"--for if you're familiar with the Fenway area you may have noticed that we're going the wrong way.

Here's an over-the-shoulder shot of our hale party fording the mighty Charles River:

And here we are receiving information and historical facts about the area from a gentleman with a beard:

I prefer to receive information from the amply-bearded, for beards are authoritative and lend the wearer's words additional credence and gravitas. In fact, when told something by the smoothly-shaven or naturally hairless, I am usually skeptical and will often seek out a bearded person for corroboration. Anyway, here we are at Boston Common, where apparently you're still technically allowed to bring cattle for grazing. Foolishly, I had just assumed that Boston would not offer much in the way of grazing opportunities, and behind the camera I am kicking myself for leaving my prize Holstein at home.

Also, we saw a giant baby's head:

As you can see, the baby's expression is ambiguous, and we speculated as to whether this baby could accurately be described as "nonplussed." The fact is, without pupils it's difficult to tell. For example, the baby could be nonplussed bordering on aghast:

Or the baby could be feigning innocence:

Or the baby could be contemplating a question before answering it:

Or the baby could just be feeling "kooky:"

I suspect this is precisely the artist's intent, and that he means to evoke the notion that each one of us is a tabula rasa until we are shaped by our experiences--either that, or he just figured it would be pretty sick to make a big baby head, and that it would totally look like an army of giant babies was crawling out of the Earth if you were baked.

Meanwhile, back at Old Man Landry's, the stage was being set for my BRA:

One chair is for me, and the other is for Andrew Steinhouse, who interrogated me in the manner of James Lipton while projecting relevant images behind us. Here is what it looked like from the cockpit:

(The chairs immediately in front of me are vacant due to my spitting problem.)

I greatly enjoyed this BRA, and words are scarcely sufficient to convey my gratitude to Andrew Steinhouse for organizing the ride, MCing the event, and generally "curating" the entire thing with aplomb; Landry's for being gracious hosts; and the people of Boston for enduring both the rain and my tedious ramblings in order to get free pizza and beer. (There was free pizza and beer.) In fact, words are so inadequate that I'm not even going to bother, and instead I'm going to allow Mr. Neil Diamond to express my emotions for me:

The following day, my heart light still glowing with gratitude, I traveled to Gloucester (the Fish Stick Capital of America) in order to enjoy the "cyclo-cross." Here is dramatic video of the race in which I participated (not taken by me), in which you can see another participant invert himself within seconds of the start:

(That's not supposed to happen.)

As for my own performance, I'm not ashamed to say that when it comes to the "cyclo-cross" I put the "can't" in "cantis," and I spent the ensuing 45 minutes on the verge of tears with a giant snot bubble in my nose. Then, I watched the pros. Here's a picture of Ryan Trebon putting his bicycle back between his legs:

Speaking of professional cyclists, this past weekend the World Championship Elite Men's Road Race took place in Australia (New Zealand's Disembodied Goiter), and of course all eyes were on one rider: Dimitry Fofonov, who eventually "foffed" his way into 12th place.

The winner was lactose enthusiast Thor Hushovd, who undoubtedly felt lighter than milk in his post-victory elation. Here, he compares the weight of his World Championship medal to the weight a pint of half-and-half (out of frame) and appears to be quite pleased with the result:

Indeed, unlike that giant baby head, Hushovd's expression is entirely unambiguous. It's also completely free from guilt, unlike many "green" people, as you may have read in that New York Times article to which I linked in Friday's post:

Apparently, like the fondling priest, the "green" often have trouble reconciling their higher ideals with their earthly desires. Consider this person, whose luxurious house in Palm Springs is a source of great consternation:

Does Mr. Freed — who said his wife, Laurie, is not a greenie and did not even recycle when they met — have any green guilt about his own lifestyle, which includes a 350-square-foot apartment in San Francisco and a 2,000-square-foot house in Palm Springs, Calif.?

“Nonstop, every minute, are you kidding?” he said. “Every time I set foot in the car. I drive a hybrid and I bought carbon offsets for it, so technically it’s carbon-neutral, but with carbon offsets you’re trading the carbon reduction of one company for the polluting practices of another. I have a 2-year-old child, a little girl —
there’s a lot of guilt around the baby, because its stuff is horribly packaged, designed to be disposable, and there are times we have to do things I wouldn’t do for myself, such as disposable water bottles and these plastic placemats we use when we go to the restaurant. They’re great for germs, but disposable, awful things.”

Perhaps the only thing more irritating than listening to a bunch of minimalists brag about how little they own is listening to a bunch of rich people talk about how they're emotionally tortured by their possessions--and of course "possessions" include babies, which are also a tremendous source of guilt and inconvenience and are even referred to as "it" instead of "he" or "she." I look forward to seeing how this new generation of "its" adjusts to the resentment heaped upon them by their parents, bitter about having been forced to cope with the "awful" world of disposable diapers and distasteful packaging. I imagine they'll wind up looking something like this:

Meet the Bard College Class of 2030.

In any case, perhaps some of these guilty parents should really begin living in harmony with the Earth by living entirely off of it and swaddling their children in animal hides. They can then assuage any remaining guilt by using the rest of the animal to make organic leather saddles and antler cockpits, like this example which was submitted to me for "Cockie" consideration:

Here's another, more sporting example of an antler cockpit:

Though if you do kill an animal, swaddle your child in its hide, use its antlers to "curate" your cockpit, and then eat its meat, just make sure the resulting steaks do not contain any clenbuterol.

Or, if you don't have the stomach for hunting, you can always "curate" a cockpit that burns with the brightness of a thousand suns, like this one that was spotted in Baltimore:

In the event of a blackout, he could easily illuminate a Major League Baseball stadium.

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