Friday, January 18, 2013


We have yet to reach the end of the first month of the new year, and already, I am embracing my geeky side :-)

Yes, that didn't take long, did it...

'Déception' is the French word for 'disappointment'.
Having tackled the etymology of 'pity' and 'mercy' to death, I now turn my geeky attentions to 'disappointment'.

I get it. The French see 'disappointment' as a kind of deception.
This feels about right. I see their point.
In fact, I might go so far as to declare that disappointment feels sometimes like a lance has been driven though one's heart.
Exaggeration? Of course!
But we all resort to exaggeration when we feel pain, don't we...


Endurance sports have always been one of my geeky 'things'. There have been times when I have done some nutty stuff whilst under the influence of 'two-wheel craze'.

To this day, I own a bike which costs more than my old banger of a car. (No joke).

One of my (as yet unfulfilled) aspirations is to do a stage of the Tour de France just once before I die. Preferably a mountain stage :-)
When the Tour came to Britain for the first time a few years ago, I was there...

I wonder - is one of my beefs against feminism due to my dismay at the slogan 'A fish needs a bicycle like....'??

This fish rather digs a bike, lol.
(I know, I know, they were talking about something else...)

My love of cycling has always been there, as far back as I can remember.
But it didn't quite 'go into orbit' until one man's meteoric rise to fame.


Around the time that Lance Armstrong won his first Tour, I knew a group of men. They were mostly young (under 40), mostly bald, sick all the time, ghostly pale and were missing a double-appendage that most men would rather keep.

Yep, what these men all had in common was testicular cancer. And at the time I encountered them, they were all intra- or post-chemo.

They were courageous and exquisitely interesting men. With a (dark) sense of humour to boot. Dealing with a condition that ensures you lose your fertility is not funny. But these men were hell-bent on forcing one another to confront their predicament in the most brutal way possible.

In a manner similar to Black men calling each other by a prohibitive word that no-one else is allowed to use, these men called each other names I cannot possibly repeat on this blog...
The fact that one of the chemotherapy regimes (for some of them) had the acronym 'CHOP' did not help matters in this regard. You get the idea...

Testicular cancer is one of the best prognosis male cancers. But like its cruel cousin, breast cancer, it hurts the sufferer where it hurts.
Some of these men were as young as 18. 'Cryotechnology' mitigates the hopelessness of infertility somewhat, I imagine, but knowing you would never become a parent the 'natural' way has its own unique drawbacks. Of that I am pretty sure...

I had not much in common with these men, of course.
Except for a shared love of cycling with (some of) them.

So when a young man (just like them) who had lost his 'crown jewels' (just like them) showed the whole world that he had the biggest ones of all when he won the most prestigious prize of one of the most prestigious sports in the universe, again and again, seven times, these men found a new inspiration that medical technology, in the form of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery could never offer them.

Quite honestly, to these men, and to the rest of us mortal 'groupies' in the world of cycling, Mr. Armstrong was a demi-god.
His book 'It's not about the bike' takes pride of place on my bookshelf.

So, of course, many people are going to be disappointed with this week's news.
Many of us will be feeling deceived right about now.

But, hey, that's life. We'll get over it, somehow, someday.
Perhaps it will help to think of him as simply a young man who beat cancer.

And, perhaps we might even trust that the next guy who gets to wear the 'maillot jaune' at the end of a gruelling three weeks in July, will have won it on merit, and in honour, without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs...

As ever, on this blog, my thoughts always come to rest on the SMP, no matter how far away from this topic I began :-)

I think one of the problems of the current SMP is that everybody is simply disappointed. Everyone feels cheated by the other.

There is a 'marriage strike' because men feel they have been duped out of the option of having at least a 'critical mass' of marriageable women to choose from.
Women, even the few marriageable ones left, feel disappointed by the men who seem to have passed judgment on all women.

It all feels like one big hoax.

Blood, sweat and tears?
Or just... drugs.
PS: I like this video, so I keep it. But I just notice the lyrics are colourful in places. Excuse this, please! 

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