Imbibibations© → Shireyfied® (Pendergrass)
The arrogant egotist, the self proclaimed hedonist, the undisputed cock of the walk, Health Net’s Jon the Kid Murphy collected another box of booty, and another 100 bucks, as he climbed another rung up the ladder towards the cycling’s zenith—the topmost slot on the leader board for most lifetime wins in the WBL—with a riveting, nail biting, sphincter squeezing, come-from-behind victory on the Jamaica Cycling Dot Com Pendergrass Classic on 10 February 2007. The Kid appeared to be down for the count, eyes lolling in their sockets, drool dangling from his lips, unable to offer either rejoinder or riposte to a staggering mule kick to the testicles late in the day from Jelly Belly’s Nick Reistad, a.k.a the Candy Man. The Candy Man attacked with revenge on his mind (and jelly beans in his pocket) from a 7 man break with almost 1 mile to go to the Pink Church finish line. Candy Man appeared to be heading towards the greatest win of his star spangled, candy-sated career when he sped away from his former compatriots and put 6 seconds of distance between him and them in only 10 massive pedal strokes. He kept repeating The Candy Man can, the Candy Man can, the Candy Man can as he drove-drove-drove to the line-line-line.
The voracious Reistad was devouring the blacktop, covering a country kilometer with each revolution of his wheels as steamed towards the line (with jelly beans in his pocket). But the cocksure Kid was only playing possum, pretending his heart, like the others around him, was also banging against his chest wall with the same furious tempo as a John Bonham solo. (The Reader will please insert Black Dog into the CD player for effect at this point. The Reader will please crank it.) With half a mile to the finis, the Kid lifted his large ass into the air, expelled a bit of noxious odor caused by the previous evening’s imbibibations,* and blasted up the road like a demon dog that smelled fresh blood. He caught and blew by the tiring Reistad only 100 meters from the line and cruised in for the victory with room to spare, ringing up his 8th lifetime win in the WBL, and his 2nd of the 07 season, in the process. On the podium, a jubilant Kid once again partook of imbibibations (em-bib-ba-bay-shuns) aplenty with his despicable drinking buddy, Jeff Shireymania (see photo above—photo coming). Both were carted home later in a wheelbarrow. Both were singing, “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” Both were besoaked, besotted and bespeckled with vomitus on the front of their shirts. Mama might want to also caution these 2 fellers about the evils of alcohol. Both were utterly and completely shireyfied. (Shireyfied is a word coined by your most Humble Chronicler that means a drunken stupor. It is derived from a combination of the following 5 words: Shirey, schadenfreude, bonified, fried and whiskey. I was shireyfied when I thought of it, having been imbibibibing (em-bib-ba-bibe-ing) for several hours beforehand.)
8 miles before Murphy cruised across the line holding 8 fingers in the air (it took him a moment to get the correct number of fingers up—counting on his hands at high speed is not the Kid’s forte), the group entered the final Attack Zone at the bottom of the Pink Church Incline when they turned right at Alligator Pond and the Whistler warbled a most mellifluous tune. (Mozart’s little known Whistler’s Sonata in Ursa Major it was.) The first time across the Pink Church Line, the group was sprinting for an exquisite bottle of Cuban rum, compliments of Castro, C. Parks, Che and the boys. But the fun and games weren’t over after the first sprint. The grupetto would keep going round in a circle for another 7 miles, and sprint for the win when they crossed the Pink Church Line the second time. With 3 nasty pitches in this finishing circuit, this Attack Zone was sure to please, like a sadomasochist sex partner with a black bag full of strange and wonderful gadgets. The group always shatters to bits on this vexing little loop. Today would be no exception.
When the Whistler trilled his (Mozart’s) sonorous sonata, the group of 50 or so had 3 hours and 15 minutes of big ring cruising in its legs. The average speed at the entrance to the final Zone was a steady 20.5 miles per hour. The Zealots were slightly torqued to say the least. Once again, during the pack’s circumnavigations around the globe, a round, lemon drop sun burned a yellow hole in a crisp, clean, cerulean sky. Though Old Sol’s furnace wasn’t blazing with warmth, the temperature climbed to near 50, and the Zealots were privy to another fine day in the WBL. Even Nathan O’Neil was so overcome with emotion that he was swept up in the festive atmosphere. He declared he was quitting racing to become the WBL’s fulltime Sag Driver. He dumped his bike in the garbage can and hopped behind the wheel. The announcement was instantly broadcast over all major news channels and he became the envy of all Australia, and the entire cosmos at large for that matter. Who would not give their left leg to be the fulltime WBL Sag Driver? Some wonder if he was perhaps shireyfied at the time. “No,” he declared, “I don’t imbibibibe at all!”
When the group of peripatetic cycle bangers entered the final Attack Zone, there was a momentary lapse in the eternal quest of pedal turning, followed by a cantankerous surge that immediately lopped the pack in half. Jeff Shirey, well known man of drink (see above; see below), and Casey Magner lurched ahead of the lead group and opened up a 50 meter gap approaching the first sprint. Magner tired to shake Shirey off his wheel, but Jeffery was stuck there like a green winged horsefly sitting atop a fresh pile of dung with its feet sunk deep like an anchor dropped in the mud—he wasn’t going anywhere; that man loves liquor. Shirey jumped Magner at the line and stole the Cuban rum, calling young Casey a “novice drinker” as he passed.
Behind the 2 gin rummies, the group was stretched taut, like my wife’s frazzled nerves whenever she gets a shout out in the Ride Report. The chain snapped in a few spots and the forward group was quickly and quietly whittled down to 9. The front 9 swept up the 2 off the front rounding the first right hand turn after the Pink Church. The first mile had caused a major rupture in the peleton. With 7 miles to go, what further damage would be done?
The lead group of 10 or so (9 + 2 = 10 or so) stormed down into the steep gulch after the Pink Church, and when they hit the lower angles of the vicious incline of Hateful Hill, Aerospace’s Serbian hitman and climber extraordinaire Prokic Predrag, a.k.a. Stringbean, tap danced away, standing in the pedals with his slender, coat hanger shoulders rocking from side to side, leaving those behind with their jaws hanging open sucking in air and wondering where the hale Prokic thought he was going. “Your not just gonna ignore me,” Loco’s Marky-Mark Anderson angrily shouted, but Stringbean was too far gone.
String Bean opened up a huge 100 meter gap over the top of the hill causing much consternation in the legs behind. The Kid, Hagner (Loco’s) and Candy Man recognized the conundrum String Bean caused and threw some wood on the fire—they pressed down on the accelerator in an effort to bring the Flying Serb back into the flock. Cresting the hill, the strung out chase group was now down to 5—Murphy (Health Net), Anderson (Loco’s), Hagner (Loco’s), Reistad (Jelly Belly) and Crowe (Team WBL), with Stringbean (Aerospace) off the front. Magner (Myogenesis) was dangling in no man’s land, but he gritted his pearly whites and went on a soul searching, never-say-die diggity-dig-dig. He was able to scratch and claw his way back to the leaders, the sign of a future WBL winner in the making. At the front, Stringbean had turned into the wind, and though he can slice through the air like a dime turned sideways, his forward progress slowed.
Taking the right hand turn onto Cabin Creek Road, the 6 chasers achieved radar lock on the Serbian heat seeking missile and ran him down. “Damn Stringbean,” Hagner complained when they caught him. When the 7 leaders turned right onto Jefferson River Road 4 miles from the line, it was Crowe’s turn to have a go. He was given a little rope, just enough to hang himself, but Murphy pulled back the slack with a rip roaring pull. He blew by Crowe and attacked again; but this section of the parcours has a downward tilt and the 6 others were able to fight their way back and latch on to the backside of his butt, albeit just barely. Murphy’s giant fundament created a vacuum behind, and since nature abhors a vacuum (horror vacui), the space was filled by the other 6. Taking the final right hand turn at Alligator Pond 1 mile from the line, the 7 were all together. The winner would come from this group: The world watched.
Murphy’s cell phone suddenly rang. To his pedalmate’s surprise, he answered: “Hello, Murph here.” About that time, Reistad launched atorpedo up the vicious slope. The others could only stare with wonderment. They all turned and looked at Murph. “Listen,” Murph said into the phone, “Gas up the jet, tell Cheryl to slip into something sexy, and I’ll see you in 20 minutes. I’ve got a little business to attend to first.” (His eyes were lolling in his head and he was drooling, but those watching on pay-per-view couldn’t hear what he was saying; thus, the confusion.) Travis Hagner launched from the group with ¾ of a mile to go, just as Murph was mouthing “something sexy,” but the Candy Man was motoring; it looked to be too late: The Candy Man Can, The Candy Man can, The Candy Man can. Murphy pocketed his phone, zipped up his jersey, looked over at Anderson and said, “How do I look?”, and stood up and stomped with his elephantine thighs, torturing his frame beneath him. At first it looked as if Murphy had left too late, but as has been already mentioned, the Kid was simply playing possum. He caught Hagner and added insult to injury when he told Reistad, “Not today, Candy Man,” as he went screaming by. Candy Man did hang on for 2nd, followed by Hagner, Anderson and the rest of the boys and girls. Erin Winter and Kristen Keim rolled in 1-2 for the women and Eric Hollifield had another fine day of hammering, keeping him in contention for a top 5 placing in the Overall. After the finish, everyone had a nice puke, then rode home. It was another ball-buster of a day in the WBL. It would be another evening filled with imbibibation.
- Cock of the Walk: 10 points
- Candy Man: 8
- Hagner the Horrible: 6
- Marky-Mark: 4
- Double Talk: 2
- E. Winter: 10
- K. Keim 8
- C. Abernathy: 6
- 2xTalk: 10
- E. Hollifield: 8
- Lance: 4
Kudos to Jeff Shireymania (outstanding sprint), Erin Winter (outstanding ride), Don Newman (outstanding cartography), Len Slote (outstanding effort), Dale Hair (outstanding appearance), the Bogartarian (outstanding t-shirt), Nathan O’Neil’s dog (outstanding excitement), Coach Chris Andrus (outstanding year), Farm Boy Fahey (outstanding perseverance), Eric Hollifield (outstanding grit), Russ Griebel (outstanding pulls), little Miss Kristen Keim (outstanding toughness), Buck Kirkland (outstanding name), Oliver Quinn (outstanding cabinet work), Tom Palmer (outstanding bagels), Micah Rice (outstanding sponsor), Mick Stukes (outstanding president), Peter Stewart (outstanding jersey) and all the rest of the outstanding Zealots from near and far who come to pedal the mean roads of the WBL. Three quarks for Muster Mark, and one for each and every Zealot too.
With 1 ride remaining, the battle is still raging for the top 5 podium positions. Though Cleve Blackheart Blackwell has the Yellow jersey in the bag, and Erin Boots Winter appears to have a lock on 2nd, the battle is still raging for 3rd through 5th. And with surprise points on offer the last week, things could turn upside down. Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel. See you then.
*Imbibibation is a word also formed by the convergence of 2 other words: Imbibe and Libation. Imbibibation implies a consumption of alcoholic beverage far beyond the point of saturation. I was shireyfied when I thought of it.