Mud & Beer

Everything is a little fuzzy and wandering.. .but here's what I can gather from my slowly awakening senses.. .I'm lying on my back, I'm beading and concussed, and the rain hammering on my face with the fury of Thor. 'Tree cover' is saturated to the point where by the towering redwoods bear droplets the size of marbles in a heavy, relentless downpour. It's a fecking miserable day to be out mountain biking, which causes more than a little confusion in me. Only a short moment ago I was laughing my ass off in a pub, thoroughly enjoying my brilliant choice of giving the finger to the mountain in favor of a warm fire and a pint of apple cider.

Events can easily become tangled in the mind by any number of concussive measures; a big rock or thick bottomed ale glass about the temple, or perhaps a lightning bolt to the frontal lobes.. .what did I do to deserve this? Why am I here? And why do I feel the pinch of very tight legionnaire undergarments about my mind?


In The Beginning.. .my friends and myself were all sitting in a warm comfy pub chatting about the crap weather and our friend Chris who is out braving it. He's on Mt Tam by himself, battling through the mud, the misery, and the ire of the gods. And most likely he's having a thoroughly miserable time. Meanwhile, we recline indoors quaffing our pleasure and laughing at what an idiot he is.. .but for our callous mirth divine retribution is at hand.. .

A large man and his girlfriend walk in. It's the, not unusual, sight of tiny girl with a massive, massive fellow that one can’t help but ponder over the physical mechanics of. She's petite and curvy, and he's about 6ft-4, built like a brick shit house, and clearly of un-Earthly decent. Through the skylight dark clouds are following him like meek apostles as he crosses the room, every brutal step begetting wines of mercy from the floorboards beneath his feet. Let’s call him 'Thor the Bringer of Thunder.' I'm looking at them over my friend Lukes shoulder, and I steal another quick glance at Thor's girlfriend before I look back to him. But he’s cottoned on to what drew my eye, and within moments his neck is craned 180 degrees, and he's fixed on the girls’ backside.

Thor is looking straight at Luke, as Luke gawks at Thors’ girlfriends’ ass; but Luke is completely oblivious to Thor seeing his leching. As she passes Luke makes a series of little puckering mouths, flicking his eyes between her ass and me, so as to direct my look there. I oblige him and look at her bum in the hope that 'playing along' might end his lechery, and save us from Thor exacting retribution upon one or both of us (well me really!)

Luke starts to sing a little song; ".. .dada. ..nice legs shame about the face!". He doesn't know how loud he is, and my palms instantly start sweating nervously at his volume. And so, in an attempt to defuse his singing, I try to engage him with a well thought out pun on the situation that sides with his observations. But instead, just as the music in the pub reaches an obliging lull in volume, my nervous disposition reaches my throat, and I splurt with a shrill panic;

       "Her Face is Ugly!"

Everyone in the bar looks in my direction and the music wilts to a hum in what is now. ..a desert of fear. I look back at them thinking 'No.. .I don't think she's ugly at all, I just want Luke to stop singing!'. But I realize that they're not looking at me at all; they're all looking over my shoulder at the Goliath rising behind me. I hear a creak and then the wincing of the boards that herald his approach. ..and after what seems like a thousand years, his journey across the floor of the pub comes to it's end, like the motion of a giant stone god arrested by a thousand tiny slaves. A thick finger taps me on the shoulder. I turn slowly to see a white button down shirt, and my eyes crane up to a face that doesn't fail to deliver its brutal intent. Bloated red, veins standing out in his temples, eye's bulging. I can see right up his nostrils - there pulsing, and flared so wide that for a moment I imagine his tiny Neanderthal brain falling straight out of those bacon caves onto my face. No such luck, the brain remains feebly attached to the neural system of this man that is about to strike me from life. Once more my brain and mouth conspire to the doom of my occasion.. .and with a big excited smile, I tell him.. .

       ". ..You have a big Ugly VaneEy FaCe.. .toO!"

. ..I've wasted my last few moments on this earth.. .

   'Unconscious now, I'm in Valhalla raging down a muddy gully next to my friend Luke. He doesn't see danger.. .just the thing he wants - his goal. It's his tunnel vision for lady bum, his ability to focus so intensity on what makes him feel things within his trousers that makes him such a good downhill mountain biker. On a decent that would turn most sane people to stone, he sees nothing but the path through the danger, all led out for him like the curves of Aphrodite's body. From the 'neap of her neck' to 'tip of her toe' he'll never sit down because he's literally wielding a massive trouser axe for the trail. I've seen it after a run, desperately trying to get out of his pants, which is why don't speak to him after a ride - I can't look him in the eye! It's something that admire about him.. .not his boner - his Olympian Focus.'


‘. ..last few moments on this earth’. ..or at least on that bar stool! It takes a few seconds for my faculties to return to me, and for me in turn to return to earth. I begin to realize that I'm not on the trail - I'm on the floor of a pub, drenched in beer, looking up at the thunderous rain hammering down on the skylight.

I roll my head towards the door just as Chris walks in, covered head to toe in mud. Eyes shot with blood, and through a face black with dirt he throws a gleaming teethy smile in my direction. A smile that he’s earned on the trail, but which falters in the dawning sight of this violent pub altercation. I follow his eyes, rolling my head over to see a large and scary looking man led out on the floor next to me, and just behind him a small feisty girl is being restrained by other strangers as she kicks and shouts. Nobody's backing down, Luke is crouched over me and pointing at everybody to stay back, he's been in scrapes like this before. So when he looks me calmly in the eyes to assure me; "Jay.. .I'm getting you out of here!" I trust him. Because Luke's tunnel vision for ass and, general lack of ability to see danger is greatly aided by the fact that he's an expert in kung fu.. .

. ..Luke punches me in the head, and I fall unconscious again. I'm in Valhalla, two wheels cranking up towards Olympus. ..and we roll out of there.. .

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