Cant Handle Your Shit?
Photo by Rebecca SchoenkopfThere was no answer emphatic enough to the friendly, casually posed question, "So, are you going to ride?"
Maniacal laughter didn't really cover it. Nor did the slightly quirked ironic eyebrows, the sophisticated (and frequent) deployment of which have unfortunately given me a Luke Perry forehead beyond my tender years.
The freaks on bikes at the first-ever 24 Hours of Fullerton: Le Tour de Tryptophan were taking a break Friday night from the 12-mile laps on the Fullerton loop, cracking some beers in the light drizzle, hanging out by the RV squatting in the courthouse parking lot, watching the riders come in, scarfing down some Chinese food and Teddy Grahams, and heading out for another moonlight ride. No, I was not going to ride. Thanks, though. No, really.
I said no!
I listened in—and quickly listened out again—as grizzled dudes on camping chairs talked about bike parts, although, for men, there was surprisingly little talk of titanium.
The day's Six Million Dollar Man was Mikey Miller, who only rides once a month but stayed up all night to complete 12 circuits—which, really, seems excessive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.
The next day, the 29 people on the underground ride (no permits, yo, but Sheriff Yum is on the organizers' speed dial, and the mayor stopped by to say hey) had themselves a little party and gave out some awards based on a formula that included the number of laps rode divided by shoe size times the number of letters in your middle name, and then they ate some meat basted in bacon and handed in their entry fees, which will go to a toy-buying frenzy for Children's Hospital of Orange County. You know what kids in the hospital at Christmas really want?
How come none of the charities ever give them that?
Frankie of Cool Grrrls tells a great story about a China Whiteshow at the Galaxy Concert Theatre and a crazy drunk chick who'd started a fight and then called the cops to complain when she got beat. "If you can't handle your shit," the Santa Ana P.D. told her with a surprising amount of common sense, "stay out of the pit!"
I'd been reciting it pompously and ponderously to all my brothers and sisters all day on Saturday—it took the place of my old mantra, courtesy of Wyclef, "I'm on the guest list, plus five!"—when we all headed for Waxapples with the Blasters and X at the Sunset House of Blues for the 22nd birthday of my little brother, Cakeyboy.
I was inside for most of Waxapples' set—pretty Jamie yowling in a throaty alto while she jumped around like Gwen Stefani doing aerobics, but less annoying, and Brian's voice melding nicely with Jamie's counterpoint like they were X Juniorwhile Brian did odd Stonehenge-leprechaun kicks in a very sharp, zootish suit—until I realized all my brothers and sisters were still MIA and I'd paid $27 plus a Ticketmaster charge of $10 per for all their tix, and I wasn't drinking, and I was broke, and it was raining, and they weren't there, and I was real pissy and pinched-faced like Lynne Cheney, but not a lesbian.
But then my brothers and sisters showed up, including Cake, who in years past had missed at least two of his own birthday parties! And I told them the thing about the pit again! Which I found hilarious, but I didn't tell them the story behind it, so it probably wasn't that funny! But I said it again (and again) anyway! Then while everybody was doing something else, I said I was going to smoke, and I sneaked upstairs to the muy exclusivo Foundation Roominstead, where my palless Jamie had given me a couple of wristbands, and everybody had awful long blond extensions, and there were dudes dancing in a circle to the DJ while they wore vests and pink bowlers, and everybody looked like they were waiting for Paris Hilton, and it really wasn't an acceptable place to be! And then X came on, and the pit started, right where I was minding my own business at the front of the stage! And the little kid next to me started with the flying elbows, and I said, "Sweetie, you gotta watch the elbows," and I said it real nice-like (like I was his real nice mom), and did he watch the elbows? He did not! And I was bruised on my firm (but tender!) breasts! And some weird punk guy was beating himself on the head for a good seven minutes, just punching himself right on the head, and then someone kicked me in the knee, and all of a sudden, I started drowning, and I escaped from the floor by grabbing onto women in my way and using them for ballast as I dragged myself forward, and they got mad, so they slugged my best friend, who was baby-sitting me like he was the sober guy and I was on acid, even though I wasn't, and I don't know why he thought I needed a bodyguard off the floor like I was some dumb, delicate princess who couldn't handle her shit, except maybe he thought that because I did. Who couldn't handle her shit?
You know. Me.
But I'm still on the guest list, plus five.
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