Friday, January 22, 2010

I Am Joe Btfsplk

I noticed a frightening trend this morning on my ride in to work.

Yesterday, I check the weather: Ten percent chance of rain, with temperatures staying in the 40's all day. Not exactly primo cycling weather ... but it'll do.

This morning, eating breakfast and fixing my coffee, I check the weather again. Misting out, but not really raining. Temperatures still supposed to be in the 40's all day. Again, not great, but I've got my cycling things on and my bag is packed, so off I roll.

Into the rain.

Well, maybe not really rain. I wasn't being pelted by actual raindrops ... to put it in a Chemistry 101 vernacular, this was actually a case of atmospheric supersaturation. The water molecules were falling out of solution.

Ah, but I love speaking nerd.

Anyhow, what with this morning's commute and last Saturday's soggy 200K permanent, I decided that I have become Joe Btfsplk.

Now, I'm probably dating myself with this reference ... but, that's okay, because RandoGirl doesn't like me dating anybody else anyway. Joe Btfsplk is a character from L'il Abner -- a comic strip that I read when I was growing up. For those of you who don't remember, there used to be things called "newspapers" -- so called because they were full of news and were printed on stuff called paper -- that had a section called "the funnies" or "the comics." This section was usually a page or two of comic strips, which regaled us with the unparalleled humor of Nancy and the drama of Mary Worth.

Think cave paintings, but with talk balloons over the stegosaurus' head.

Anyhow, L'il Abner was a strapping hillbilly boy, sweet-natured but simple-minded, who eventually grew up to become Fred Thompson. Just kidding -- since L'il Abner was a comic strip he stayed eternally young and has all of his hair. Besides, Fred Thompson is not really sweet-natured.

There was a cast of colorful characters in L'il Abner's world in the hollers of Dogpatch, including the aforementioned Joe Btfsplk. Joe was a jinx, with a dark cloud always over his head. Bad luck befell anyone unfortunate enough to be in his vicinity. Although Joe meant well and was friendly, his reputation inevitably preceded him, so that Joe was a very lonely little man.

Now, I don't think that the universe necessarily revolves around me, but that's because I don't think that the universe revolves at all. It's actually slowly spreading outward away from me, since I was the original center of the Big Bang (which looked like nothing the TV show). I don't even think that I am the cause of all of the good, bad, or indifferent things that happen in the universe, although I do not discount the idea that if I did not live in this universe those things might not continue to happen. Certainly, I would probably cease to care whether they happened or not.

But my point (if indeed I have one) is that lately, if there is the slightest possibility of crappy weather and I go out riding in it, said bad weather will materialize. Thus, I feel that I owe an apology to everyone else who happens to venture out on these days.

Everyone: I'm sorry that I ruined your ride Saturday and today. If you got caught out in the rain on either of those days, you can now blame me: RandoBoy.

Oh, and a word of warning: Don't go out for a ride this weekend. I'm going to be out there, and you know what that means.


  1. I am planning on being out there, but maybe my vibes will undo yours or maybe we'll just be riding in the rain.

    Oh, well, at least we'll have Flordia(Gran Fondo camp)!

  2. I rode through the same stuff this morning. Wet glasses are a pain.

  3. Phil: When your gloves are wet, you can't do the windshield-wiper thing on your glasses.