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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Lonely Bear


Imagine for a second that I am a cyclist on the final stage of The Vuelta aBolivia.  I have climbed to the summit of 4,496 metres above sea level, through the high plains of Altiplano, Lake Titicaca and finallyLa Paz.  It is the highest and arguably the most challenging tour on the cycling calendar.  When I first arrived, the locals had told me in hand expressions and broken English that the summit climb would make my lungs scream.  This morning, I saw Padre Perez anoint every ambulance with holy water.  Such is its intensity, I’m told he does it every morning during the tour.  I know the task ahead, but knowing this did little to settle my nerves.  The apprehension mostly leaves me when I’m on the road.  All I can do now is focus on the game plan and the wheel of the man in front.  This is the final stage.  For all the pain a rider has to push through on a climb at altitude, we always hope the final ascent is the sweetest - that is, the ascent to a podium finish.
I was at the centre o…

Your Ugly Face

When you frown, your face screws into a knot not dissimilar to that of a clove hitch, though to compare you to a knot as useful as this one would be to labour it with a comparison it doesn’t deserve.  There is beauty in seeing a well-groomed, happy, obedient horse tied neatly to a hitching post outside of a saloon. There is no beauty in your frown. In fact, I do not know a horse, rope or post in history that has been afflicted with the separate or collective ugliness  of your scowl. I am reasonably confident of this supposition and I will stand by it. However, I must distance myself from objectifying matters, because it is an overly simplistic device used to derive an element of humour from a place where there absolutely is none. And therein lies my problem.  Or rather, your problem. So for fear of comparing you to something marginally favourable, it is only fair that I compare you to yourself, because the only thing that comes close to the profound ugliness of your ugly, frowning face is your ug…