Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Bicycle Riding Clubs are Grown in Laboratory Pod Clusters

            On Monday I finished writing about my food bank adventure and the subsequent events of Saturday.
            In the late afternoon I ventured out into another hot day for a bike ride. For a weekday there were a lot more cyclists travelling east past Woodbine than usual. I rode up Pharmacy to Nancy Avenue, took that east to Presley and then travelled north to St Clair and then went back to Pharmacy. On the way back down the hill I usually manage to avoid all the potholes but this time dropped into one that surrounded a manhole cover. It was jarring at that speed but it didn’t throw me off balance.
            There wasn’t much bike traffic going west on the Danforth or Bloor. I went down Yonge to Queen and then headed west. After Bathurst I got passed by what appeared to be a Gay bicycle club. Now, for all I know every pack of spandex cyclists that I’ve ever encountered was a Gay bike club. There are certainly no riding clubs that give off a distinctly heterosexual vibe, and frankly they all kind of look like they were grown in clustered pods in a laboratory. But these guys were distinctly human Gay men and most of them weren’t dressed like clone riders. All of their shirts might have been bicycle gear but they weren’t the typical logo prominent riding suits one tends to see on club riders. The only one that looked closer to a hard-core rider was their leader. He was dressed all in black spandex, he was super thin and he was the only black person in the group. He also seemed to be the only experienced rider among them. This pack looked like they were mostly beginners and it was very annoying riding behind them. I made it past most of them but ended up riding with them for a while because their leader was very hard to pass, not because he was fast but because he had this tendency to go out into the passing lane and block me. Sometimes I had the impression that he was deliberately preventing me from getting past his flock but this move was probably him playing the role of a mother duck checking on her ducklings to make sure they were all still behind her. He was blasting rap music from his bike and moving to the music. He would give little hand signals to direct the others as they rode such as stretching his arm down to 4:00 o’clock with his palm towards them and wiggling his fingers when there was a red light, as if they couldn’t see the read light and know what it meant anyway. I finally went out onto the streetcar tracks and got crossed back over in front of them almost at the same spot where I wiped out three weeks ago.
            When I got home I started cooking the ribs I’d bought on Saturday. Once they were half done and I’d put a potato on to boil, my landlord arrived with a new kitchen faucet to replace the one that’s been broken for the last couple of months. It still worked but it was floppy and so I’d have to fiddle with it to find exactly where the cold or the hot water would be. I’d told Raja about it two weeks ago and he said he’d come in a week, so being only one week late, he’s early. I complained that he always comes when I’m about to eat. He said it can’t be helped because he works late. I wonder if he means e works late as a landlord or if he actually has another job. I had to clear everything that I have stored under kitchen sink so he could work under there. Once my ribs were done I put some more into the oven and so Raja had to work in the summer heat next to the heat from the stove for the whole time he was here. I know he’s a Hindu but I’m not sure if he’s a vegetarian because I know he worships Siva and some Shaivites eat meat.
            I couldn’t use the kitchen counter to prepare my meal so it was a bit awkward. Fortunately he asked me for tools before I sat down to eat and not during. I didn’t bother making coffee because it would have been too much trouble stepping around him. He was there for at least an hour. The new faucet moves a little stiffly from back and forth but at least I can control my hot and cold water again.
            I watched two episodes of Dobie Gillis.
            In the first story Dobie has a cold and he can’t do Maynard’s homework for him and so Maynard lies for the first time in his life and tells the teacher that he was kidnapped by Gypsies. Zelda convinces him he has to stay honest and so Maynard suddenly goes extremely in the other direction and tells the raw truth to everyone, with disastrous results.
            In the second story a zoology professor is trying to demonstrate the amazing sense of smell of a basset hound by hiding a liverwurst sandwich behind a painting and to show how the dog can track the sandwich down by smell. The hound does nothing. Suddenly Maynard climbs through the window and immediately goes to the painting, takes the sandwich and eats it. The professor blindfolds Maynard and tests him further, finding that he can recognize anything by smell, such as a telephone, a pen and a book. It seems he can even almost read the title of the book with his nose: “David Copperhead”. Dobie realizes that Maynard’s nose is a goldmine and so they open up a detective agency to find things and people by smell with a 100% success rate. One of their classmates though, the beautiful and greedy Elzbeth has bigger plans for Maynard. She takes over and takes advantage and charges an arm and a leg for Maynard’s nose, until Maynard gets a cold and can’t smell anymore. She walks out on him but he was only faking.
            Elzbeth was played by Yvonne Craig who later became Batgirl on the Batman TV series.

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