I had the most harrowing bike ride of my life today, and it wasn’t down a cliff in Chile or across the Queensboro Bridge at rush hour – it was on the Santa Monica beach bike path on Memorial Day.
Eight miles of every way to get your ass kicked. There were pissed-off Hungarian dads who didn’t understand the concept of the “bike path” when he invited his entire family to camp on it; there were skateboard thugs wearing Vans that said FUCK YOU on one shoe and FUCK ME on the other; and there were throngs of sweaty, obese Americans giving God the finger and asking for skin cancer. There were HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
It reminded me of the video game “Paperboy,” in which you, the player, have to navigate your furiously-cycling paperboy through a daily route, while being sabotaged by breakdancers, dogs, bees, angry motorists and the occasional terrorist with a black bomb.
Once I started thinking about my ride as a video game, it got a lot more fun. Never mind that my actual limbs were at stake; it was like skiing. Having done this ride, I’ve come away with a few things:
1. Americans have gotten fatter, but they kept their old bathing suits. I can’t tell you how these gargantuan men and morbidly obese women fit into their Speedos and bikinis, but somehow, they manage to keep their nads and nipples in. I saw one guy in a navy blue Speedo that was so unbelievably leviathan that even fat people stopped to watch him walk by.
2. Boobs have gotten bigger. Maybe this is part of the weight thing, but your average teen didn’t have that kind of chest when I was in high school. Is it the Bovine Growth Hormone in the cheese supply, or is America breeding a gaggle of porn stars? Or did I just go to a conservative prep school in Southern Virginia?
3. The only thing more fun than being with your 15 Mormon cousins at the beach is being with your 15 Mexican cousins at the beach. I mean, I thought we had FUN down to a science when all us cousins got together back in 1983, but these Mexican* kids are a blast. I raced two of them over the Temescal hill, and we all high-fived the winners. Then, I was paid the ultimate compliment when a girl chucked a ball at me, and I caught it, mid-ride, to her delight. Oh, to be Mexican and young again!
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