Sept. 23, 2004
Somewhere between Albequerque, NM and Durango, CO
It was raining buckets when we woke up, and a tin roof symphony clattered low and high on the bus, the bike pile on top of it, and the trailer out back.
Outside, everything was as grey as a dying heifer’s eyes, and we splooshed out the Shoo Shoo’s back door in a slip, bomber jacket, and some flip-flops to go find a place to pee. As we walked, our sandals flicked mud up onto our vintage periwinkle blue slip, leaving brown grease-spots all over our backside.
Last night it rained too, and some water got into the converter box. The bus blinkers broke first, and then the connection to the trailer’s lights shorted and took out the whole system. All the lights went out. Jarico and the boys pulled over to the side of the highway and temporarily fixed the problem, and got back on the road.
Jarico was still driving when we all went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night, the lights broke again, so he pulled us over into the muddy back parking lot of the Cattlemen’s Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas. By the time we put in some eyedrops and grease-flecked our vintage slip, Shotwell had already crawled under the bus in the mud and fixed it. That man likes to get dirty.
The Cattlemen’s Ranch is a northern Texas icon — a brightly-painted and excellently-decorated hotel / restaurant / truck stop / horse stable that’s most well known for serving the “Big Texan,” a meal so huge that if you eat it all, you get it free. If you take the challenge, they even sit you up on a raised table in the center of the taxidermy-coated dining hall so you can feel like a overeating rock star while you do it.
The catch is, most people are too overconfident in their potential to be the day’s poster child for gluttony, so somewhere in between downing a dinner salad, roll, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, and a 72-ounce steak (that’s 4 1/2 pounds, which is enough meat to feed the entire Cyclecide crew TWO spaghetti dinners), they either give up or throw up. That’s when they have to pay the $53.14 they owe the restaurant and get rolled out of the place.
We felt pretty confident that Bottomless-Stomach Koit could take on the Big Texan and still have room for dessert, but we weren’t about to gamble $53.14 on it. Since it was 8am, we all just got coffee. Even though we didn’t buy anything at all in the store, the employees gave us our coffee for FREE! Yay Cattlemen’s Ranch. We continued the 287 miles to Albequerque, and it took all damn day.
One thing touring with the Bike Rodeo has taught us is that Scrabble sucks. It’s a game from the “temth” circle of hell [see below], where grammarians and linguists must be strapped in three-legged chairs and forced to argue about the Hawaiian word “a’a” (type of lava rock) and whether it’s “playable” (because it’s in the Scrabble dictionary) or not (because it’s technically a word from a foreign language).
Linda and Tuula met in static trapeze class. Being the two “rock chicks” in the otherwise serious-ish circus school, they soon paired up and discovered that not only did they share a love for subverting the feminine, uber-flowy static-trapeze stereotype with a few well-placed gross-out theater props — they also both enjoyed using the English language as a playground for their sick and perverted board-game amusement.
The only rules they play by (and distort) are the ones in the official Scrabble dictionary, which is as much of a “dictionary” as a Big Mac with large fries is “part of a well-balanced diet.”
Tuula is a tall, beautiful Finnish metal goddess with her own band and near-future plans to get a tattoo on her upper arm that has the word “CHEATER” spelled out in Scrabble tiles. Tuula and Linda were the ones who originally introduced us to Scrabble last year — strangely, even though this writer is a word freak, an excellent speller, and an editor by trade, we’d never played it.
Let’s just say that those two language-mangling hellions are the reason we’d rather deal ourselves some solitaire or smash ourselves in the hand with some vise grips than play that infernal game of stupidity and base cunning.
Indeed, every time the Scrabble board is brought out during one of Cyclecide’s long drives, it’s a sure bet there will be a bullshit fight that almost gets serious. Today, the source of everyone’s word-rage was our addition of “REDVINES” to the board.
We asked before we played it, because another thing in addition to Scrabble that’s loathsome is licorice, so we have no idea if “redvines” is a standard word for “red licorice” or a brand name. Plus, we didn’t give a hoot.
Since we didn’t have a Scrabble dictionary, Linda’s hands were tied, and she couldn’t challenge us as she’d made a couple dicey word-choices herself. Big Daddy, another despicable Scrabble freak (and known cheater, we might add) was beside himself that someone had let a proper noun — that was two words, not one — get onto the board.
Then he played something else on “our” word that he didn’t want to allow, and he and Linda got into it.
This is when we gave up for good, vowing only to play Scrabble again if we could exclusively play words that we had made up ourselves and invented definitions for.
So that’s what we did.
Behold the beginnings of the new Cyclecide Fake-Word Dictionary. (Words are listed in chronological order, starting with those falsified at the game’s inception.)
GLURKING – (v.) To hang around in the bushes waiting for gay sex. (From an ancient tribal German word meaning “to rip or tear”)
PIGMAXI – (n., slang) A sanitary napkin for extremely overweight women. (See also “double-wide red-tide slide.”)
FNAST – (adj., slang) (abbr. of “fnasty”) A contraction of “fat” and “nasty”. A derogatory term. (See also “FNASTO,” a person who is considered to be both fat and nasty.)
(This is where the object of the game became to get rid of all your Scrabble letters as quickly as possible, without regard to spelling or wit. We tried to re-explain the loose set of “rules” we fabricated on the spot — you know, just do something like in the New York Times word-making-up contests, or blue-collar comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck dictionary — and we were met with instant derision.
“I can tell exactly what kind of kid you were in school,” Linda said to us. Fair enough — but that comment goes both ways. If not only child, we probably would have killed at least one sibling for being a “NOBITERD,” which according to Che and Linda means “That’s Some Corny Shit.” Anyhoo, the game continued. It was Moses’ turn.)
JIFNIBLE – (n.) A quick bite to eat in a hurry.
(“But ‘nibble’ has 2 ‘b’s,” we said weakly, futilely. “Not when you have to eat this fast,” Moses retorted. “Now that,” we said, “is the way to play fake-word Scrabble.”
“But NOBITERD is the best word ever,” Linda said, a propos of nothing. Yup, she was one of the kids we always carried during school-group projects with our huge brain, the brain that wouldn’t even fit into the largest cowboy hat they had in the gift shop at the restaurant in Texas this morning where their main attraction is a steak the size of a small car. It’s our turn, and we can’t think of a better word than:)
EDASS – 1. (n.) A person that is widely agreed to be an asshole for trying to edit a fake-word Scrabble game. 2. (n., alt.) An asshole who’s only in special-ed class because he or she is too lazy to be in regular school and would rather get passable grades on the backs of nerdy overachievers. 3. (n.) The morass of existential loneliness and/ior societal alienation in which one occasionally finds oneself as a result of habitually pointing out grammatical discrepancies that our illiterate society perpetuates by default, causing said “edass” to feel like a wet blanket despite his/her best intentions and usually Zen-like attitude toward the confusing problem of illiteracy, even among the supposedly overeducated.
(We got mad arbitrary points from this word and its definition. We were happy again. Koit kept the game rolling by coming up with this one:)
TARWREN – (n.)A tar-covered rock that flips off one’s bike tire and sticks to one’s back, neck, ass, or shoulders.
RAPEALE – (n., slang) Malt liquor.
WUAEEE – (n.) In Tahitian folklore, a vampire who only gets blood from people’s shit.
ZOOLS – (n., pl.) Drooling fools who belong in a zoo.
OIEEEON! – (excl.) 1. What onion-haters say when the chef puts onions in the bus food. 2. The slurred, loudly-exclaimed call one makes when one wants to go to “The Bar” (Odeon, SF) even though one has already gotten way too drunk at home to go out anyway.
UGOLAY – (adj.) 1. Too ugly to date, but just fine for a sport-f^ck.
GODRUN – (n.) A beer run which miraculously results in 8,000 free beers.
HIDEVAN – (n.) A pre-90s vehicle which, by virtue of its lack of windows, gas-guzzling engine, and overabundance of customization, looks as if a child molester or criminal lives inside of it. (See also “chomo van.”)
HIDEVANI – (n., pl.) a nomadic tribe of people who hide in vans and do stuff.
TAUDI – (adj., adv.) The act of being late to a meeting because one chooses to cruise around trying to pick up bimbos (or himbos) in one’s new sportscar.
KWATCH – (n.) Notorious wabbit-hunter Elmer Fudd’s nether regions.
TEMZOOLS – (n., pl.) The kings of the Zools. (“There’s tem of ‘em,” Moses says.)
We stopped keeping score right around “Zools,” but we finished the whiskey and took a nice nap. It ate up a good 3 or 4 hours of our day. Even though certain members of the Bike Rodeo couldn’t help heckling and competing anyway, fake-word Scrabble is still way better than the “real” thing. At least you admit you’re making up words.
Any overzealous, non-real-dictionary-having Scrabble-heads out there who want to challenge us can jifnible our edass kwatch.
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