The other day I opened the gate and quietly slipped my bike out on to the street to go to work. It was a brisk, dry morning and every sound seemed to echo in the vastness of the morning air.
About 20 minutes in to my ride, a driver yelled "go Lance" out his window to me. I yelled back, "thanks, he's not my favorite, but I'm glad you can see my ability". On a commuter bike with panniers and a hipster cyst, in baggy shorts and a baggy shirt, I must have been doing something really special to be equated with the grand poobah Lance Armstrong. I arrived at work with a spring in my step, and slowly the daily grind completed its task of crushing my spirit. But as cyclists we like to claim we really know how to suffer, so enduring a life-sucking, soul-robbing job for 8 hours is not the end of the world, and soon I was back on my bike with a smile on my face.
Then it happened again, another motorist yelled "good job Lance", after that I think he turned up some Ozzy because I heard the laugh of Crazy Train, but the guitar was missing. Again, I took it as a compliment even though I ride because I enjoy it and want to get out of my car, not to be like Lance. Besides that, my shirt was wrinkled from being at my desk, and I was going much slower due to the energy robbing meetings I had endured in my own personal hell earlier that day. Admittedly the nice compliment fueled me more than any caffeine which RoadBikeRider just can't seem to let go of would ever do and I arrived home rejuvenated.
That is, until Stevil burst my bubble. Apparently motorists yell "go Lance at him too. For a moment I held the delusion that Stevil and I must be freaks of nature, and it was a bizarre coincidence that we both get called Lance. Then I read the comments and saw even more people get called "Lance" when just out riding, I knew the jig was up.
Being more passive aggressive than confrontational and knowing motorists can run over me easily if I even make a gesture back to them, I feel it easier to simply apply the same logic to anyone else out doing a hobby or something that makes them happy. I figure, if I do the job well enough, it will eventually come around to the sarcastic Lance-calling drivers.
Next time you see anyone playing basketball, whether it be an all-out game or just shooting hoops in the driveway, yell "drive the lane Shaq!". If the player looks like an accused rapist who later was found to be innocent, yell "I thought you were framed Kobe!" If they are nice enough to invite you to play, insist to them that LeBron James isn't a true athlete like Lance is.
If you see an impromptu football game going on or a dad playing catch with his kid on the front lawn, yell "nice pass Manning" or if you want to be not as nice, "how are your dogs Vick?". I don't condone that one. If they are nice enough to invite you to play, be sure to ask why they insist on wearing cleated shoes, because apparently they think they are in the NFL.
Tennis is another sport/hobby that you can question why the players need to dress like pros as I doubt anyone will be out there playing in jeans and cowboy boots. For those with trouble thinking of tennis players on the spot, reference this hot female tennis players blog. A good one might be "nice swing Anna Kournikova", creating an unintended pun and making you sound clever.
An obvious one here is "get off the roids Bonds!" This one should be an easy one to spread around as there are so many softball games going on all summer long all around town. Just remember softball often includes drinking, and drinking can make some more hostile, a wise exit plan is in order.
Hunting or singing
"Hey Ted Nugent" is a great one for either of these. What follows may need to be altered to apply to the correct hobby, but you get the picture. You might think twice about sarcasm around the hunters.
This is just a very small list to get us started. If we can show everyone doing a sport or hobby how we realize their idolization of the pros, then everyone will get the satisfaction of being associated with a pro athlete in whatever sport or hobby they are pursuing, even if they are out simply doing it for fun and because it makes them happy. That would make me happy.
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