Friday, April 18, 2014

Hey Rocky, Watch Me Pull A Rabbit Out of My

When I was a kid, I loved watching the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. I still do. For you youngsters, the Rocky and Bullwinkle show was an animated classic. They don't make cartoons like they used to.

Bullwinkle the moose always tried to perform a second rate magic trick for his friend, Rocky the flying squirrel. The gag would inevitably backfire on Bullwinkle, but that never deterred him from trying again. It'd go something like this:

"Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat."

"Again?!" Rocky would say in a real smart-assey voice.

"See? Nothing up my sleeve," he'd continue, tearing off a sleeve.

"Presto!" A roaring bear would pop out of Bullwinkle's hat.

"Must be the wrong hat!" Bullwinkle would say.

I thought of Bullwinkle during this past Wednesday night's group ride, as we rolled through Boyer's Chute in 40°F temperatures and 30 MPH wind gusts. Moments before, Fred had asked me if I was going to perform a magic trick with the "Magic Gloves" that I had just purchased a couple miles back at the Ft. Calhoun gas station.

Magic Gloves, or so they're called, are those inexpensive stretchy-knit mitts you can get at Walmart for $0.99 a pair. Or, if you happen to be in a group ride that stays clear the hell away from a Walmart, you can get yourself a pair at the Ft Calhoun gas station at 200% markup. 

As an aside, retail is a beautiful thing. When the temperature plummets one degree every 8 minutes, like it did on our 2.5 hour ride this past Wednesday (a 20°F net drop), those magic gloves suddenly appreciated in value. In short, I would have gladly paid $5, perhaps even $10, for the comfort they brought over the next 90 minutes. At $2.99, they were a bargain.

At any rate, that was the best three bucks I had spent in a long time. The ROI was immediate: by the time Fred had inquired if I was going to perform a magic trick, my hands had already returned to life. So much so that I regretted not buying a second pair of magic gloves for the blocks of ice called my feet.

But as giddy as I was about my warm hands, I wasn't about to pull a Bullwinkle type magic trick on Freddy and the peloton. But if I did, I imagine it'd go something like this:

"Hey Freddy, watch me pull a rabbit out of my helmet."

"Again?!" Fred parrots along, somewhat irritated at how contrived the whole thing is.

"See? Nuthing up my sleeve" I continue, tearing off an arm warmer while pedaling no-handed on deep dish racing wheels in a 30 MPH crosswind. And let's not forget about those enormous expansion joints along Hwy 34, either. Oh no, I say my line and rip off my arm warmer while bunny hopping those cracks no-handed with such ease and grace that it would even make Mark Savery blush.

Ahem, as I was saying...

"... Nuthing up my sleeve"

"Presto!" and suddenly a bear Paul Webb pops out of my helmet.

"Hey you -- that's my helmet!" Lucas exclaims.

And scene!

Happy Friday everyone. Thanks for reading.

Bullwinkle pulls four animals from his hat here. Spoiler: none is Paul Webb.

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