Sunday, July 29, 2012

Riding, Writhing and Writing in Low Lighting

With rhymes like that I clearly missed my calling as a rapper. I could have been huge. Like M&M only taller, weirder looking and a lot less talented. Wait, would that make me Vanilla Ice? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

The entire world recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of my arrival on this planet. Of course, this momentous occasion got slightly less fanfare than it should have in some countries but I've simply had to learn to live with my lack of global appeal. If only I had learned to speak Spanish. Damn you Rosetta Stone!! This might be a good time to point out that I did not actually use their product. Oh, I would have, but after a lengthy conversation with one of their sales reps and some nearly fatal sticker shock I had to resort to learning a second language by going to Taco Bell. I definitely picked up a few new words from the friendly folks way back in the kitchen but according to the urban dictionary they were not actually Spanish. Curses! Foiled Again.

My birthday fell on a Wednesday this year which is just a bit more lame than Thursday but nearly as lame as Tuesday. Let's not even talk about Sunday and Monday birthdays here. It's just too painful. Anyway, my birthday observed fell to the following Saturday. The day began with a nice 45 mile bike ride that began before the sun came up. It is so hot in the Queen City right now that I fear I may melt if I don't start my rides in the dark. The ride itself was fun yet uneventful. Chats were had. Hills were climbed. Sport Beans were consumed in mass quantities. My legs were springy, my lungs were open and all was right with the world. Do you sense the pending doom? I do.

After my delightful morning spin I threw the Little Italian into the Dave-mobile and headed for Lexington. My parents recently moved to the great state of North Carolina and chose this as their home base. My role in the relocation process is to get them southernified as quickly as possible. That is actually a word by they way. It's a great word and I'm going to use it against you in Scrabble. I'll get tons of points and make you wish you had never learned to spell. You'll hate the letter people for the rest of your life and you'll cry every time you eat alphabet soup.

We spent the afternoon discussing the finer points of Southern life and the basics of every day survival here. It is fairly simple. Don't go outside during July and August and no matter what some people may tell you, never eat East Carolina style barbecue. That watery crap is deadly poison. Don't ask me to explain why, its science. And math.

Saturday evening was spent enjoying a crab leg dinner in my honor. There are few things more enjoyable than eating my weight in crab legs and I take advantage of special occasions to partake in a good bit of gluttony. Upon return to my parent's house my mother had a little surprise waiting for me. On the counter in an unassuming little silver pan was a birthday cake. Now, I know what you are all thinking. He didn't. Oh, I did. I have not eaten wheat in three years and rarely eat sugar but the pull of this cake was more than I could handle. Light, fluffy yellow and chocolate marble. Creamy chocolate fudge icing. As Kool-Aid man says, Oh Yeah!

What does IBS stand for? I checked Google and found the following results:
•International Business Systems
•Institute of Behavioral Science
•Ion Beam Sputtering (a personal favorite)
•Integrated Broadcast Services
•Inflatable Boat, Small
•Il Bilancio Sociale
I don't see anything in there about cake, do you? Nope, not one little thing. So I dove in and I dove deep. It started out innocently enough. I had one small piece of cake with my family and it was just as amazing as I had expected. It melted in my mouth and with each bite it curled everything from my tongue to my toes. When the cake was gone I licked the last few bits of icing from my plate with no regard to proper table manners. And I liked it! At that moment my brain started working again. Gluten, sugar, small traces of dairy. Yeah, I knew I was going to pay for that. As goodbyes were said and plans were made for our next visit, two pieces of cellophane wrapped cake were placed in my hands. I bet you're thinking this is where my more intelligent side kicked in to overdrive. I'd even go so far as to assume you think I threw that cake away to prevent any more unpleasantness than absolutely necessary. That is so cute. No, you see, I already knew I was in for a rough night of tossing and turning until the cake eventually worked its way out of my system. And I figured, if I'm going to get sick, I should get really sick! So yeah, I ate the left over cake with a tall glass of coconut milk while The Little Italian sat in the other room completely unaware. As we strolled off to bed I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. In a gastrointestinal sense of course.

6am Sunday morning came more quickly than I may have liked. With a sour stomach and a nasty cake hangover I jumped on my bike and rolled out the door into the pre-dawn light. My legs felt like wood but that is fairly standard at the beginning of every ride. I thought I would just need a little time to get warmed up. Yeah, about that. Each time we came to a hill my riding partners disappeared ahead of me. The harder I tried to chase them the more I could feel the chocolate fudge iced, yellow marble boat anchor behind me. I am not accustomed to getting dropped on hills and found the experience to be most displeasing. It got so bad that at one point my favorite Michiganian rode up beside me and pushed me up a hill. Mark that date on your calendar folks because you won't see that very often.

So here I sit a full week later feeling fully recovered. The snap has returned to my legs and my stomach and I are friends again. I'm happily typing away as the sun falls behind the trees signaling the end of yet another weekend of riding. I think a valuable lesson has been learned here folks. I can't possibly imagine what that lesson may have been but maybe we can discuss it over a nice thick slice of cake.