Today my friend, That Laura, sent me the following text:
“Hey, did you know you are on the back of ‘Biking the Best’? How cool are you?”
Biking the Best is a booklet of maps of twenty-four of the best road rides in and around Shasta County. I did not know I was on the back cover and I have to say it went to my head a little bit. This was my reply.
“Send me a photo of it. Wait, am I upright?”
Unfortunately, that is a valid question on my part.
“Yes, you’re upright. It’s a picture of a bunch of people at a rest stop.”
Laura sent the photo to my phone but I couldn’t quite make it out.
“Oh good. I was afraid it was when I fell over or something. How do I get my own copy so I can brag about being big and famous? And do you want me to autograph yours?”
Laura called a minute later and asked if I wanted to meet her at the bike shop because she was going to buy a copy. Of course I wanted to buy my Very Own Copy. I think she was actually buying it for the routes. I, on the other hand, felt compelled to buy it because I was obviously the star of the book. And bike routes are nice, too. That way when I get lost because I didn’t look at the map in the first place I can still find my way back home.
So I puffed up my chest and strode into the bike shop. Funny thing is, nobody in the shop stopped and asked for my autograph. They didn’t even recognize me. Didn’t they know the back cover model of “Biking the Best” was in their presence?
I swaggered over to the counter and picked up a copy. I didn’t bother to flip through the routes. Instead I turned right to the back cover. And sure enough there were a bunch of my cycling friends.
“Are you sure I’m in this picture? I don’t see myself.” I said to Laura.
“Yep, you’re right there in your Fat Cyclist jersey. See?” She pointed.
I squinted. A lot. And sure enough there I was. Looking like an idiot. True, I am upright in the photo, but that’s the best thing I can say about it. I apologize for the grainy quality of the photo. It’s a photo of a photo, but you’ll get the gist.
Do you see me? No?
I’m the one on the right.
Yeah. That one.
I have no idea what I was reaching for back there. My only guess is that I had a sock stuck in my jersey or something.
Still, I’m happy to autograph your copy of the booklet. In fact, you probably won’t mind if I sign in big, black permanent marker, right? And I have a long name so you might not even be able to see my photo underneath the autograph. And wouldn’t that be a shame.