A Vicious Cycle

Alcohol is not a depressant. If it were I would spend most of my time thinking up new and original ways to kill myself. Instead, every time I drink, all I want to do is kill other people. I would like to hear the experts explain that one.

Perhaps I should be more specific lest people stop inviting me to dinner parties on the selfish grounds of wanting to avoid a post-prandial bloodbath.

When I drink it is mostly cyclists whom I wish to kill. Any normal person who has spent a fair amount of time in Cape Town will know what I am talking about.

What part of single file don’t these bullet-headed androids understand? Do they really think that by riding nine abreast they are indestructible? Don’t they know in their case there is no such thing as safety in numbers? Such brutishly dumb behaviour simply enables us to increase our strike rate with minimal effort.

Cyclists are not as harmless as they like to make themselves out to be. I have seen what a high performance Kevlar racing bike can do to a car. Some people think scratches are mere surface wounds not worth a second thought, but when you take your modified turbo-charged Cortina out on the road for a bit of Sunday afternoon sport and end up with rake marks from bonnet to boot, things don’t seem so funny any more.

Last year Ted and I were joint winners of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. But even though we crossed the line at the same time, we spent the next six months fighting off trumped-up drug charges and allegations that we jumped into the race 200m from the finish. Two hundred metres? What kind of imbeciles did they take us for? Thanks to the double jeopardy rule, I can openly say it was more like 50 metres.

We had every intention of entering again this year, if only to prove to the anally retentive organisers that we are so much more than a pair of cheating dope fiends. Ted had even drawn up a training programme that we embarked upon as far back as last Friday evening.

Any idiot knows that carbo-loading is vital for athletic success, but we misjudged our fitness levels and by late on Saturday night we had run out of Tafel lager and resorted to a bag of herbal remedies we discovered while digging up the bottom of my garden in order to strengthen our forearms for the long ride ahead.

On Sunday we narrowly missed the start by a couple of hours. Ted’s wife told me later she had tried to wake him for the race but that he appeared devoid of vital signs. She declared him clinically dead at 8.06am.

Then his pulse came back. It took a bit of work, but she managed to revive him through a secret technique wives use to prevent husbands from dying early and dodging their full quota of abuse.

When I eventually got Ted on the phone he seemed to have forgotten our entire plan. He thought I said come around and watch the dyke race, so he arrived with some kind of portable device that he swears can turn the most hardened lesbian into a real man.

I called him a despicable gender-insensitive whore, a statement I was forced to retract when he whipped out a jam jar full of high-octane amyl nitrate, an essential component of the picnic hamper for those who find themselves at the side of the road watching thousands of grown men and women in skin-tight Lycra pants and homosexual shoes.

Every organised sporting event in South Africa attracts bad elements and I was concerned about openly ingesting narcotics in front of roving bands of paramedics, paralegals and other perverts who, like flies to a dead dog, are attracted to cycle races by the promise of high-impact injuries involving buttocks and genitals.

Ted said there was nothing to worry about. He said these vultures invariably brought their own drugs and assured me that we wouldn’t have to share any of ours.

Besides, he had heard that the World Anti-Doping Agency had recently legalised the use of illegal substances by spectators at events like cycling, chess and bowls. It made sense. Who, in a sober state of mind, could possibly bear watching Gary Kasparov take ninety minutes over his opening move, or watch 38 000 cyborg clones doing nothing more dramatic than sweat heavily and change gears? Self-medication livens up the process for spectators and riders alike.

I believe that everyone who entered the race sooner or later found themselves itching to disembowel the next moron who cried, “come on guys!” or “you can do it!” I could see in their faces that they welcomed our “faster, you faggots!” and “you’re going the wrong way!” and “your ass is the same size it was when I saw you at the start, you big fat pig!”

Through judicious use of the jam jar, we progressed from sniggering at the leaders to laughing so uncontrollably at the losers that every muscle in our faces cramped up and we were taken to some sort of tent where pink plastic oxygen masks were lashed to our dribbling rictus mouths.

Ted later said they weren’t oxygen masks at all, but that a pair of hormonally rampant silicone-lipped divorcees from the Free State had molested us before making off with the jam jar. I suspect he imagined the whole thing because I distinctly remember being inside a tent.

But that still doesn’t explain the bite marks.

 

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