Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Q & A With Dr. Spalm

For your reading pleasure today, a bit more Dr. Spalm.  Who knew it was going to be a whole retrospective of Spalmisms?  Me, that's who.  Enjoy.

Dr. Spalm - It is an extraordinary coincidence that your name is also an obscure cycling term. Did you feel compelled to become a vaguely European cycling consultant because of your name?
Curious in Spokane

Dear Curious - I am pleased to hear that you are aware of the cycling affiliation with my name. It is indeed an obscure term as one of the team riders recently informed me that even among Spokane's equivalent of the tifosi, it was an unknown term. As I have always had a very, highly personal way of explaining the term in person, I will instead refer you to the Urban Dictionary definition:

Spalm - To apply ointment or lubricant to the undercarriage of oneself to prevent chafing or sores. Before going running, Penelope spalmed her nether regions to avoid chafing from her ass cheeks rubbing together (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=spalm).

I would not personally use the term "ass cheeks", because I prefer the term "buttockal lobes", but then that is the term my mother always uses, so you will have to excuse me. You can tell, however, that this is a real word because it has its own page in the Urban Dictionary and it is cited right there so you can check it.

In any case, the answer to your question is "no," I did not feel compelled in my career choice. Rather, I let my natural inclinations lead me to my career choice and I changed my name to match. It had been my childhood nickname, much as Rider 2 is also known as "Quicksilver" among some portion of the local riding population (and yes, Quicksilver, movie magic really is made when you combine Kevin Bacon, Nelson Vails and the tumult of the messenger bike scene). The origin of my nickname is best left to the mists of time, but suffice it to say that everyone involved has received either therapy or time in detention, so it all turned out okay.

Much to my surprise, it turns out it is relatively easy to change one's name in most states and since I was not changing my name to evade creditors, this time, the judge banged the gavel and I have been Dr. Spalm ever since. Now onto more cycling questions.

Dr. Spalm - Your answers are as clear as the mud falling from Sven Nys as he outkicks Lars Boom. Is there a reason for this? Also, does Spokane really have "tifosi"?
Confused in Spokane

Dear Confused - Your question would imply you are one of the fixed gear crowd, because no one else outside of Belgium would make a convoluted reference to Messers. Nys and Boom. My question to you would be, why do fixed gear cyclists enjoy cyclo-cross so much? Do you not notice that those gentlemen, as well as most of those winning such races stateside, use not only gears, but also carbon tubular wheelsets and the newest, lightest, most expensive technology? I applaud the ethos of the fixie, but I would appreciate greater consistency in the application of these principles. For example, you would shudder at the addition of a cupholder to your beloved fixie, and yet most of you spend your time commuting to local bars. Well, not a question I can answer now.

As for Spokane tifosi, I concede that this may not be strictly true in the strictest sense of the word. Tifosi are generally the knowledgeable fans of a particular soccer club, formula one team or a particular cyclist. For instance, the subject of an upcoming post, Paulo Bettini, has his own Cricket Tifosi. But, I believe in the broader sense of the word, we Spokanites may also be lacking, as the word is most commonly applied to the old men in corner cafes smoking cigarettes and arguing about the race of the day. Here in Spokane we have old men, we have cigarette smokers, we have establishments that could reasonably resemble an equivalent of a corner cafe, and lastly, we have people who discuss the races of the day, but I am not personally aware of the coming together of all of these elements. The day the Swinging Door announces pitcher specials for Milan-San Remo, we will know the tifosi have arrived. They will have to smoke outside, but you get the idea.

Thank you kindly for your questions. I will look forward to conversing at my standard by-the-word rate at a future date.
Sincerely,
Dr. Spalm

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