Dear Mr. Armstrong,
Until recently, I was truly one of your biggest fans. I was the president of the Alpine, Utah chapter of the Lance Armstrong Fan Club. I have now resigned.
I have — and used to wear daily — a yellow jersey, which I signed myself in what my friends call a stunningly accurate replica of your own signature. I have even asked my coworkers and family to call me “Mellow Johnnie,” although they have not yet complied.
And so, as you can no doubt imagine, I was distressed to find yesterday that your collarbone has been broken. I even observed some of the events leading up to it.
Here’s what happened. I got to my spot to watch the race nice and early. Three days early, in fact. And after a while, I got a little bored. So I decided to have a little fun. Specifically, I started giving “Lance Armstrong Fan Club” musette bags full of candy to every little kid I could find, and told them to make sure to stand either at the side of or in the middle of the road and wave the musette bags wildly as you rode by.
Next, I encountered that dork who threatened you with the hypodermic pitchfork in the Tour of California. I told him that his pitchfork was very dangerous and quite possibly a hazard if it were to be jabbed into a cyclist’s spokes. Believe me, he paid strict attention to my warning, in particular the part where I explained how while it could do serious damage regardless of the wheel it was stuck into, the front wheel would be much, much worse.
I’m confident I set him straight.
Finally, in a burst of creativity, I sprayed your name onto the road with Pam cooking spray, knowing that I could then cover the entire area of that road with yellow watercolor paints and that the paint would not stick to the Pam. This left a very cool “GO LANCE” on the road, where the “GO LANCE” part was where I had sprayed the non-stick cooking spray.
Pretty awesome-looking, isn’t it? That Pam is terrific stuff.
Anyway, by the time I finished each of these projects, I still had a couple of hours before you came by, so I took a brief nap.
Imagine my surprise and alarm when I awoke to the sounds and sights of a massive bike pileup!
“How could this have happened?” I asked myself, shrugging off my sleepiness. But clearly, this was no time for questions. This was the time for men of action — like me, for example — to take charge!
I cast my eyes about, looking to see how I may be of most service.
Which is, naturally, when I saw you.
Now, I don’t mean to be telling tales out of school, but frankly you didn’t look all that hurt. In fact, you were scrabbling to your feet, and quite clearly had the use of both arms.
However, I did notice you fell back down a couple of times, probably because of those hard-soled biking shoes you wear — so I grabbed you under your arms and hauled you to your feet.
As I did so, I heard a distinct “popping” sound. You must have heard it too, because you whirled around to face me, your face a mask of anger.
“Hold still!” I yelled, all business. “I’ll attend to you as soon as I remove this broomstick from your front wheel and disentangle these nylon straps from your cranks and handlebars!”
I wheeled your now-freed bike to you — falling down a couple of times myself; what a slippery road! — and placed the bike in front of you. As you started to remount, I yelled, “Hold on a second, mister! I heard that popping sound a moment ago! Your spine is out of alignment!”
Reaching around your shoulders from behind you and grasping your neck in much the way I recall my chiropractor doing, I pulled and twisted, expecting the “pop” that tells me your back is straight and true.
Oddly, I heard a different sound — more of a crrracck than a pop. “How peculiar,” I said, and then prepared to try again.
Which is when, of course, you started screaming. As if you were in pain or something.
Reassuringly, I said, “Seriously, stop squirming. Hey, your other shoulder looks a bit tweaked. Let me take a look . . . hey! Where are you going? I’ve got my acupuncture kit with me.”
And then you — completely unreasonably — were demanding that people restrain me and not let me anywhere near you.
I confess to feeling disappointment in the way you treated me.
Later that day, I read that you had been injured while riding, and while I am certainly curious as to how and when it happened, I simply cannot muster up the same concern I would otherwise feel for you. After all, if you’re going to treat me — one of your biggest fans — so rudely, why should I bother with how you managed to get yourself injured?
I know you’re hurt, Lance, and so I am not asking for an apology in person. Simply reply with a phone call or email explaining your actions and we’ll let bygones be bygones.
The Fat Cyclist