Review of The Picture Brad Took of Me in 1993 and Just Now Scanned Into His Computer and Posted On the World Wide Web For All To Enjoy

May 14, 2007



When I was in high school, I wanted a Flock of Seagulls haircut more than anything, but I was a shy, awkward boy, and the Flock of Seagulls were waaayy too cool for me. Unfortunately, once I was married, some of my better judgment disappeared. I didn’t get fat, I didn’t stop doing the dishes, but I did start experimenting with my hair.

For example, Me, Elden, Bob, and Robert had a bet to see who could go without a haircut the longest. In a spectacularly obvious show of bad sportsmanship, Bob contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, almost certainly only so that he wouldn’t care so much about his hair. He went about 3 years I think.

Anyway. On one of our many pilgrimages to Moab, in what I think was 1993 (maybe 1994), Brad snapped a picture of me in front of the water tank at the start of the Porcupine Rim trail. The picture is, in many respects, unremarkable. Unfortunately, in other ways, the picture is entirely TOO remarkable. My hair, for example, is remarkable.

I want to point out before we get started, that I am solidly into the heterosexual camp on the Kinsey scale, I’ve been married almost 18 years, and I have three kids. There, I said it.

Let’s begin.

The Necklace

I showed this picture to Kim after Brad alerted me that he had uploaded it to the Fat Cyclist Flickr page, and she wanted to know who the poser with the necklace was. When I told her that I was the poser with the necklace, she said “but you’ve never worn a necklace.” But, turns out, I have one on in the picture. It’s not a chain, but I’m pretty sure it’s a braided leather necklace with some kind of stone. I’m also pretty sure I took it out of Kim’s jewelry box to wear for this trip. I will now repeatedly smash my head on my desk until I pass out.

Style Score—Rad

Gay Score—Fair to Middlin

The No Shirt Look

This is embarrassing. I would NEVER do this today, I would rather die. But for some reason, when first got into biking, in the late 80s, early 90s, lots of people would ride with no shirt. That’s what I keep telling myself. Of course, lots of people did lots of cocaine in those days too, and I never did that, so I dunno. At least I was 20 lbs lighter in those days, and nothing hung over the lycra. I get the feeling we should treat this like history—our job is not to judge, but to understand. Please?

Style Score—HOT!

Gay Score—Off the Hook

The Crotchet Short Finger Bike Gloves

Sure, fashion comes and goes, I get that. But I haven’t used anything but full fingered gloves for road or dirt for about 8 years. What was the deal with those ridiculous little home-spun knit gloves?

clip_image002You know what? Bob still uses them. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if I saw Bob all the time, but he only comes out every year for Fall Moab. Which makes it kind of like when you see your nieces and nephews every year or two—they’re HUGE now. When I see Bob with those gloves, it’s like he’s so GAY now. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are gay. Literally.

Style Score—Ridiculous

Gay Score—Actually, I know a couple guys who might be interested

The Goofy High White Socks and Baby Blue and Gray Shoes

There was a time, I rode Slickrock in cut-offs (not the 80s cutoffs with the front pockets sticking out under the shorts, though, yes, I wore those in their day), Teva sandals, and cotton t-shirts. This picture makes those days seem downright halcyon. Nowadays, some people, and yes, I include me in this group, like to bike in tall black socks, just to be weird and bother bike snobs. I can claim no such noble purpose for the socks and shoes in this picture. I will now gargle broken glass.

Style Score—Nerdy

Gay Score—I’m pretty sure no gay person would be caught dead wearing this

The Pose

I’m not sure about this, but I like to think that I’m the kind of guy who DOESN’T pose, but this picture does seem to undermine my position. On the other hand, Brad took the picture about 15 years ago. Maybe I was a poser then. But seriously—what am I looking at so intently off in the distance? And am I flexing? This picture alone is enough reason to ban cameras on guy trips. Do I think I’m posing for the cover of a romance novel? Passion Blooms in the Desert.

Style Score—No, not under any circumstances

Gay Score—a Gay person would be having waaaay more fun with this than I am—I look like I’m trying to pass a coconut

The Hair

The coup de grace, the piece de resistance, the hair is, is, is . . . well, seriously, what the hell is it? It’s not Flock of Seagulls, it’s not Tears for Fears, it’s not anything. Well, anything but off-the-charts stupid. I can’t have done that on purpose. Can’t. Kim would never let me out of the house with that hair, she would shake me off like Nuke Laloosh shakes off Crash Davis. Leif Garret, Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, move over, there’s a new retard in town.

Oh the humanity. I will now boil my own head.

Style Score—sure, if you’re in the Partridge Family

Gay Score—well, maybe. I’ve seen gayer. But not much.


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