Thursday, February 25, 2016

Everything Fappens For a Reason.

Except this.

#mspaint courtesy of Rich.

Even while my body was tentatively deciding whether or not I was entirely done being sick in Rich's basement bathroom... still deciding which end to be sick out of... and still deciding if it wasn't just done with this tiresome "living" business...we knew Watts Fappening would fappen again in 2016.
Even if we pretended it wouldn't.
In the same way you finish a race...and with sweat, mud, blood, vomit and urine still caked to your face (wait...face?), you swear you will never do this to yourself again. Meanwhile...your head is already plotting a triumphant return.
We learn from our mistakes.(We hope.) Unless I'm mistaken.
And while the Fappening is, in its entirety, a mistake... on every level... There's that part of your brain that says, "yes, but...if certain decisions were or weren't made... could it not be less...mistake, and more "happy accident?"
Less "wetting the bed"... and more "nocturnal emission."

Not to spoil the ending to this riveting tale, but this year, .I emerged relatively unscathed. There was no destroying Rich's bathroom. There was no puking in his neighbors' (plural) yards (plural.) There was no talk of suppositories. There was just... Fappening. Without a doubt, things got sideways. But they didn't spiral.

Here's at least a portion of the motley crew who joined us on our drunken Homeric odyssey...
...complete with sirens and lotus-eaters and monsters and pigs and evil suitors.
photocred: Zac White. aka: New Zac. aka: New Zac City

I arrived at Rich's in time to put on chamois-pants, overthink my layers, and head to Back Yard Trails for a bit of "dirt church." (A vexing phrase, second only to________ in it's tedium.) The weather had promised to be beautiful and warm. And while it proved to be warmish... I was hard pressed to find the beauty. In the same way that snow can transform a landscape.... sun just... helps. I can look at a shitty, patchy yard and find beauty in discarded child's toys... or in the shadows of scraggly grass. The dying black-walnut looks almost majestic against the blue backdrop of a clear day.
But a day of slate gray skies? Then the clouds...just become Xrays. The kind that reveal unwanted masses. I don't see that beauty and majesty anymore.
I just see trash. And telephone poles. And vape lounges. Tumors.

But I digress.
We rode a good portion of the BYT, with Rich's ever-vigilant type-A brain keeping a keen eye on the time. I like BYT. It's challenging in ways that my local trails are not. Narrow bridges and logs and obstacles that make you pucker up and learn to hold your line.
We wound our way through tight, east coast singletrack... jumped off things (or not, in my case)... and then went home to get ready for the bacchanalia.

This is very high in the air when you're Rich's size.
 The ride to Sugar Creek sucked. I don't know if it was the fact that I'd ridden entirely too hard the day before...for reasons that elude me, subjecting myself to the unholy hell known as an "FTP test"...then lifting weights. Or if it was my under-inflated tires. Or if it was the nachos and buffalo wings that we'd just ingested, and which were beginning to seek a point of egress.. (fore and aft.)
But either way, I found myself cursing Rich as we climbed the many hills of suburban Charlotte. We got to Sugar Creek at 2:01 on the dot, and found that only Rachel and Ryan (Bill Nye) were as fashionably on time as us. Soon enough an entourage rode up... and well damn....I guess we had fappening on our hands.

Rich, Ryan and myself... the brainless braintrust of Watts Fappening.
I opted for the relative safety of a pale ale... and from here we carried on to Old Mecklenburg... to imbibe German beer, devour pretzels, warm ourselves by fires, (and subsequently smell like said fires for the rest of the evening.)
By this time last year, I was nigh on my way to total drunkety...Old Meck having been stop 3 and beer 5. This year...with a Dunkel Lager being beer three for the day... I was just pleasantly chatty (annoyingly so, I'm sure.)
As we were plotting our next move, a few of us noted the new distillery that had opened nearby, The Broken Spoke. Projecting a bicycle theme onto the place, we demanded that this be the next unplanned stop. At which point the route and trajectory of the evening fell into chaos.
You know about chaos theory, right?
This will explain it.

I went with the house bourbon, and we all found ourselves mezmerized by what I'm guessing was a very old version of Don Quixote playing on the television.

Skip and Moe had come down from Roanoke for this mess.

Broken Spoke
Photo cred: New Zac City
From the Broken Spoke... I have no idea. I could go and reread Dicky's order of events... but it's late. And you should go read it anyway.
I'm pretty sure it was Triple C. Which is where all the cute dogs are. If getting a beer there hadn't been as much of a clusterfuck as it was... I'd have pet all of them.

We are the crew.

last year.

this year

I...don't actually know where this is. Or who took this picture.
 I have no memory of drinking from such a chalice.

My understanding is that from here we rode to Lenny Boy. Where we accosted some poor couple out on a date.
I quite liked whatever I drankded there, colour of mud or not.

From here to the Sycamore... which was... horrible. Do you like crowds? Do you like crowds of yuppies who literally shit out more money in a year than you will ever make in a lifetime, but who are still somehow almost on the very bottom rung of functional intelligence? Oh... You do.
Then that was your crowd.
But it wasn't for us... as much as I wanted a damn beer from there. So we rode to the Spoke Easy instead. Tis a fine establishment... full of my peoples.

And... from here... aside from eating the best quarter of a bird carcass that I've ever had in my life at some rando restaurant up the street... things begin to slip.
Birdsong was next. I think? But when you hit that point in the evening where you start saying things like... "I totally remember this place." And that particular place has moved to an entirely new location... and, as it turns out, is actually a totally different brewery than the one you're thinking of... you really just don't even know, do you?
(Shhh. No more talk.)


(insert busted nut joke here)

We reached Snug Harbor in time for Gold Sprints. At about the time I'm typically reading bedtime books to my son... falling asleep next to him. So my yawn game was strong. But...that's the beauty of day drinking. You can accomplish a lot (of drinking) by a pretty decent hour, and still get a good nights sleep. But no....Instead... we opted to slog through until midnight.

Rich trounced this poor baggy jeaned soul. 
When we hit the midnight hour, we shrugged our shoulders, said our goodbyes to friends who stood confidently on wobbly legs... bold in their blindness... and rode our bikes back to Rich's.
Where I awoke the next morning without a trace of nausea. So I either won.
Or lost.

But this is how it is with fappenings. Sure... there's the build up to a manic and triumphant peak. But once that crescendo is over, there's that awkward moment of coming to... sheepishly cleaning up... and knowing that as good as it all probably looked pretty ridiculous making who knows what kind of faces and noises while you flopped around.
I'm not above looking ridiculous. As long as it keeps the void at bay.
Keep on fapping, kids.

What a mess.

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