Honesty, stoicism, integrity, and fair-play form the fundamental guideposts from which I live my life; coupled with the fact that, as those of you who know me well, can attest; I am a meticulous planner in the same mold as that of a top ranking nuclear physicist or a quantum mathematician from the Ivy League halls of academia. These essential and laudable personal values combined with my well-honed character trait of strict, even obsessive, attention to detail have melded together into a concerted strategically fool-proof preparation resulting in perhaps the singular or at least certainly a quintessential recipe for success for the upcoming Winter Gala cycling-event known as the Arrowhead 135. Initially, upon its completion, I hung close to this plan-of-success, even conspiring to use it against my competitors, but upon reflection and ingestion of many fermented barley beverages, I began to question the efficacy, even the morality of my selfishness.
Winter Formal: Arrowhead 135 To-Do List:
· Plan out hairdo. Experiment with cut, style, and color but without commitment. Commit two weeks out to allow for mellowing of color (be careful of too much gray cover-up).
· Remember to bring a bike, some warm clothes, a sleeping bag, and 3 lbs. of Genoa salami (thickly sliced).
· Practice with meaning, conviction, and desperation: “Pierre, je me gèle!”
· Bikini wax.
· Consider lumbar and endoscopic thoracic sympathectomies (cuts down on sweaty feet, hands, and armpits resulting in warmer appendages). Check for good deals at local hospitals; what with it being the Great Depression and all, elective surgeries are way down…
· Suck up to the snowmobile volunteers at pre-race meeting.
· Have remaining toes, pinkies, and privates removed (remember to insulate catheter).
· Bring shiny, albeit appropriate bartering items for use at the casino.
· Order boutonnieres for Cheryl, Pierre, and the Gear Nazi.
· Bring extra duct tape.
· Have tear ducts removed; shop around for the best deal.
· Check with Lance Andre (not Armstrong) about the reliability and price of The Original Whizzinator.
· Attend support group for cyclists repeatedly beaten by Dave Praman.
· For the camelbak, add one shot of quality Irish whiskey to each liter of water (make that two shots of quality Irish whiskey added to each half pint of water).
· Bring salty wieners and sour-kraut for a play at Gear Nazi appeasement.
· Shave legs, pluck eye brows, have upper lip waxed. Pluck hair from back mole. Clip ear and nose hair.
· Make sure all major sponsor logos are prominently displayed during pre and post race press conferences.
· Load up on E.P.O. and Testosterone (See Hamilton and that Mennonite fella for good deals)
· Ask for drug testing of top runner and skier; prerace and postrace.
· Make hair, nails, and makeup appointments (ask for discount on nails as few nails remain on hands and none on feet). Go with a bright, cheerful color.
· If Blue Shield/Blue Cross will pay for it, go for the removal of all that heavy gray matter except the primitive or instinctual part of the brain. That is the amygdala, the primitive part of the brain, responsible for gut reactions, including fear and aggressive behaviors, versus areas like the frontal cortex, which develops later and helps us control our emotions and cognition. So get rid of all of it ‘cept that amygdala thingy, saves weight and makes the race seems “normal.” Check around for the best deal, may be have tear ducts removed at the same time.
· Whiten remaining teeth for that perfect Arrowhead smile. Bring ample breath-fresheners in case of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and/or podium finish.
· Repeat practice with meaning, conviction, and desperation: “Pierre, je me gèle!”
· Check on the cost of quick “tummy tuck” (abdominoplasty), again maybe cheaper than ya think.
· Add a smidge of vodka to the hammer gel flask to prevent freeze up (make that— add a smidge of hammer gel to the vodka flask).
· Go tanning.
· Practice victory celebration, stay conservative and yet convey subdued jubilation.
· Start vicious and scandalous rumors about both Dave Gray’s and Dave Praman’s past. The juicier the better, try to include accusations involving inappropriate behaviors in public restrooms at the Minneapolis airport and/or associations with terrorists.
· Pick up prom dress or tuxedo two weeks in advance. Go ahead and try it on! Go provocative, yet with highlights of enigmatic innocence. You may need to get alterations so be prepared to spend a little cash for that perfect fit.
· Arrive to the pre-race meeting in style and make everyone (especially those goofy runners) green with envy. Treat rivals with feigned sincerity. Make a big deal about Lance’s Ti sno-machine, etc.
· Wear the subtle, yet non-gender specific perfume “The Provocateur” at pre-race meeting. Wear a beret highlighted with French national colors to garner favoritism from race directors.
· Don’t forget to practice with meaning, conviction, and desperation: “Pierre, je me gèle!”
· Determine the strength of alliances/relationships among rivals and the potentiality of betrayal (Note: Gray’s father and uncle in the past have made no apologies for their affinity for quality whiskey, use this to your advantage).
· Wear only high-end Scandinavian sounding brand-name clothing to pre and post race interviews (CRAFT, SWIX, etc).
· Bring birth control.
· Practice North Dakota dialect, things like “you betcha.”
· Adjust living will to donate any important excised frozen organs or limbs to the Cryogenics department at the University of Minnesota. Have wife insist on a plaque in return.
· Do not agree to drug testing.
· Bring a 1920s era British military-issue H4877 centrefire Webley Mark IV revolver with one well preserved cartridge preloaded and letter of resignation (with appropriate postage), for use in the event that the participant finds himself unable to complete the race (for DBD members only).
· Bring a pack of Lucky Strikes non-filtered cigarettes to be used as a final act of defiance before the end, for use in the event that the participant finds himself unable to complete the race (for DBD members only).
· Practice poise, modesty, and humility in victory.
· Remember to hold bicycle over head in victory, stay calm as podium girls kiss cheek.
· Bring Cheryl and Pierre day-old baguettes from Great Harvest (day-olds are cheap and they will never know the difference).
· Practice bitterness, excuse-making, and victimization in defeat.
· Blame defeat on equipment and the race organizers.