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I’m kicking myself, figuratively speaking. I let myself get talked into representing the department in the Corporate Challenge bicycle race for reasons I will never fully comprehend. The current working theory is lack of sleep. I get real muzzy and giddy and manic with insufficient enough sleep, and may say or do damn near anything, up to and including agree to compete in an athletic event.

While I am a very active person, I am not a very sporty person. I don’t care for competitions, I don’t give a shit about winning, and I am not especially looking forward to taking my bike apart, schlepping out to the boondocks (some racetrack way the hell out in BFE), and participating in a race in the height of midday which promises to be 90 degrees Fahrenheit with pea-soup humidity. For as much as I bike, and as much as I have ridden in the past two decades (pretty much I have hardly stopped since I first learned) I have never actually participated in any sort of a bike race. So, here I go. Hope I don’t completely suck and embarrass myself. Also, I hope they don’t disqualify my helmet. I have never damaged it in a wreck, but one of my cats did chew part of the outer cover off it. The outer cover doesn’t really provide any structural integrity—it is a thin, plastic sheathing which mainly serves to provide reflectivity and color, and is little more than injection-moulded paint. Nonetheless, the fact that it is cracked in a couple of places, and bears tiny, random pits (tooth marks) might make it look unsafe, even though it should be just fine. Wouldn’t it ever suck if I took my bike apart, stowed it in the trunk of our Volkswagen, trekked out to God-Knows-Where-Raceway, got lost a minimum of twice, put the bike back together, and stood around in the heat, on the asphalt, for an unspecified length of time, only to find out that it was all in vain, and I was not qualified to race because my cat had decided to see what a Bell “Paradox” helmet tastes like. Oh, man, I’d be just sick!

On a completely unrelated note, I wish it were socially acceptable to post a sign in the Ladies’ toilets reading, “Whomever is pissing all over the toilet seats, kindly knock it the fuck off, you disgusting pig. And if you can’t bear to set your delicate ass down on the toilet seat (even with using a tissue-paper butt-doily), and insist on peeing via cropduster technique, would you at least mop up after yourself?” I swear, if I ever catch this woman, I am hanging her up by her underpants on the coathook beside the tampon machine with a placard taped to her shirt reading, “I can’t control my urine—go check out the far stall for evidence.”

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