How to be a Quick Change Artist

An Angry and Somewhat-Incredulous Note from Fatty: Little by little, I’m getting to the bottom of the confusion I talked about yesterday. It may yet shape up to be an amusing story, or at least it would if it didn’t avoid tumors. Basically, this comedy gold will involve my wife travelling today (Tuesday) to the orthopedic specialist only to find that the orthopod (as we in the business call them) wasn’t in that day. At all.

The neurologist had told Susan she was scheduled for today, but had actually scheduled her for Thursday. Furthermore, when he told us yesterday that he and our oncologist had agreed that it was more important that Susan go to the orthopod than do chemo that day, he did so without actually consulting our oncologist. Also, he failed to send the crucial MRI results to our oncologist today, in spite of the fact that I specifically told him this was the most important thing he could do for us.

Um, we won’t be going back to that neurologist anymore. Nor to the orthopod he recommended, mostly because he recommended him, but also because this neurologist somehow managed to recommend the orthopod that was further away than any other in the county. I’m guessing they’re golfing buddies, seeing as how that neurologist and the orthopod have adjoining offices in this town that is a 70-minute drive from ours.

OK, Fatty, take a deep breath. Take another. Okay, better take a third.

A Much-Less Angry Note from Fatty: I’ve got a new article published at “How to be a Quick Change Artist.” You can read a preview of the article below, or read the whole thing by clicking here.

How to be a Quick Change Artist
As a cyclist, I am used to sudden, intense bursts of effort. I know how important it is to be prepared, steel myself, and then make that all-out-dash that can result either in victory or — if not done properly — abject humiliation.

I am talking, of course, about changing clothes in a public parking lot before a ride.

Why Change at the Parking Lot?
I have perfectly good reasons for why I change into my riding clothes in a parking lot. Specifically, I do this because I don’t want people at work to know that I am blowing them and their group lunch invitations off in favor of some saddle time. In the name of stealth, I leave the office in my work clothes, and I return in my work clothes, too.

It’s possible, I suppose, that I leave a few clues. For example, when I leave the office I’m carrying a couple water bottles and a large sports bag full of clothes, helmet, and shoes to my truck, which has a bike locked in. Then, two hours later, I return, smelling terrible, with dried mud on my arms and salt formations on my face. Depending on how the ride went, there’s a reasonable chance I’ve got a little blood seeping through the knees of my pants, too.

But I’m sure nobody’s figured out what I’m doing when I leave on those long lunches.

My lunchtime rides usually begin from one place, whether I’m riding road or mountain bike: the parking lot of the city zoo. On one hand, this is very fortunate, because this large, open, high-traffic parking lot is unlikely to attract thieves.

On the other hand, it is a large, high-traffic parking lot generally full of children. A man caught undressing here at the wrong moment might be . . . shall we say . . . misunderstood.

Click here to continue reading “How to be a Quick Change Artist” at

PS: Tomorrow’s Halloween (or, when most of you read this, today’s Halloween), and I’ll be out Trick-or-Treating with the twins (one will be dressing as nurse, one will be dressing as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz).

They have taken months to settle what they will be for Halloween, with their decisions changing almost daily. Strangely, though, they have been absolutely certain of what they want me to be, and have been for since early Spring.

And the truth is, I love their costume idea. It’s brilliant. It’s hilarious. It has nothing to do with bikes, which will catch everyone off-guard. And as far as I can remember, I have not ever seen anyone dressing as this supremely recognizable character for Halloween, ever.

Here I am:

Merry Halloween!

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