Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Three Essentials

It Takes Good Gear To Do the Job Right
Here at the Trailer Park Cyclist World Headquarters and Beer Guzzlery we utilize the Quasitron 6000 steam-powered Computer Search Thing to constantly seek out all items related to Cycling and Trailer Parks and Beer. It is an exhausting job and requires a lot of coal and a lot of Shoveling of Coal and sometimes I have to get up in the middle of the night and kick the damned thing strategically to get it going again. But it is Worth the Effort, because every so often the Ol' Quaz spits out a gem like this one:

Dateline Hollywood, CA
...Rich Movie Guy Cracks Noggin in Bicycle Accident, Lives, Gives Away Fortune, Sells Mansion, Moves Into Trailer Park...

(The Quasitron 6000 is programmed to print my notifications in simple language that even I can understand before the first cup of coffee.)

Intrigued, I threw an extra shovel-load of  coals into the boiler.  I twisted three creaking  knobs fully open, I tapped the crusty gauges that let me know we weren't about to be Blown Asunder and then  I yanked on  the appropriate ropes and chains that would  guide the Quasitron 6000 and the Trailer Park Cyclist deeper into this fascinating story...

Three Essentials for a Movie
Tom Shadyac, a highly successful Hollywood writer and director, is also a cyclist and something of a hippie, as near as I can tell. But this is a kick-ass guy: his movies include most of Jim Carrey's big hits like "Ace Ventura" and "Liar Liar".  ( I never saw those movies but I suspect Money Got Made). 

And One Keeper
But Listen:  Tom also  wrote and directed “Dragonfly” with Kevin Kostner. Now I have seen that movie:  in fact,  I've seen it  a couple of times.   “Dragonfly"   the Movie doesn't have any Jokes or Karate or Gratuitous Nudity, (the Three Essentials)  but it is, according to the TPC , A Reasonably Good Motion Picture.  (RGMP).

Kicked By A Mule
After a near-fatal accident while riding his bicycle in Virginia, Tom went through a long period of Concussion Stuff and Soul Searching and ultimately decided Materialism and Gratuitous Nudity weren't the most important things in life and did that whole Dumping of his Wealth Thing and really, truly moved into a Trailer Park.

 In Malibu. 

 Yeah, I know. Well, give the guy some credit, which he may need right about now. A trailer park is a trailer park. But still...Malibu? I had no idea there were trailer parks in Malibu.

You can put Good Odds on the Ol' TPC looking into that subject at a later date.

Trailer Park Tips
I saw a video of Tom showing his Trailer to Oprah or Diane Sawyer or Geraldo or one of those guys. It's a Pretty Nice Trailer and I think I noticed a Porsche in the driveway.  But hey:  it looked like an old Porsche.  Hell,  Jungle Jim has an old BMW and Coyote has a pretty cool old Volvo,  so at least Tom Is Trying. (A funny side note is that in the video I spotted a telescope in the living room of his trailer. Like I said, Tom is a kick-ass guy. It didn't take him long to figure out the value of Amplified Vision in a trailer park. I personally use an antique Keuffler&Esser builder's transit.)

Get to the Point
What's The Point, you ask? Even if you didn't ask, I'll explain.

The Meaning of Life
Tom's story is Newsworthy. Why? Because there seems an inherent Yearning In the Heart of Everyone for things to be less crazy, less strident, less pressurized, less...well Just Less. With you guys, I realize I am Preaching to the Choir. By your very attendance (roll call) here at the Park it is fairly safe to assume that the first thing on your mind in the morning is not how to get a bigger piece of Some Other Guy's Pie. (Actually, a Slice of  Pie sounds pretty good right about now. I just got in from a Forty-Miler.)  But  by your attendance here I know you already understand about the Quiet Moments Alone Out There on your bike and the fun times going Fast Downhill when you have to look around to make sure no one is watching when you sing out “Wheee!” and Laugh Out Loud like a kid.

But that's just us.

It's All About Me ( I Wish)
Back when the TPC was a Respectable Person I followed the path of Avaricious Intent. Not because I was money hungry,  (luckily I have never been afflicted with that sad disease).  Instead, by being Good Enough At What I Did, various people wanted me to do More Of It. That meant I  needed help, and that Help would have to be paid. Suddenly, there appeared around me many other people I did not want to know but they also had to be paid. Think Insurance Companies, the State, the Fed, Accountants, Equipment Suppliers, on and on.  And Lawyers.  Always with the Lawyers.  What the hell  lawyers have to do with pounding nails I'll never understand,  but they got in there.

The more pressure that was put on me  to Produce the less I found myself even so much as thinking 'Wheee!” and the only time I laughed out loud was in a saloon and even then I knew I would have to work harder later to make up for the fun I was having now.

And nowhere in that tale resides A Bicycle or A Ride Thereupon.

Tom's New Flick
Tom Shadyac just made a new movie called “I Am” which is more or less about his experience and transformation. I probably won't watch it because I already live in a Trailer Park and know How to be Poor just fine but some of you guys may want to check it out just in case.  I doubt it will have any of the Three Essentials but you never know.

Shut Up and Listen, Oprah
Here's what Tom figured out and told Oprah,  who I don't think is a cyclist:

1. It is scientifically proven that the entire human race is connected
2. It is human nature to be cooperative rather than competitive.
3. If you don't do what your heart wants you to do and follow your passion, it will destroy you.

Maybe THAT is the Three Essentials

Enter the Dragon 
The Blonde, even though we no longer live in the same trailer, still comes by to bring me food or to visit Miss Daisy the Yellow Dog. I was telling her about this story.  "Dragonfly"  is her favorite movie.

I don't get it,” she said. “What does living in a trailer prove? Why would he give away all his money? Who did he give it to?” Very practical questions from a woman who thinks, practically.

I don't know,” I said. “I don't know. I just know how things seem easier and better, though, now that I don't have that big machine to run anymore.”

Oh, I know,” she said. “You always said you felt like you were running down the railroad tracks with a train behind you.”

And that I would be OK as long as I kept running, but if I stopped...”

I know, Honey, and you're a lot more fun to be around these days, but still, he gave away all his money? He must have got hit on the head pretty hard.”

Sometimes that's what it takes, I guess,”  I said.   The Blonde took Miss Daisy off for a bath and I cracked open a beer and went over to Me Darlin' Little Schwinn where she was resting in The Stand after our quick Forty Miler of the Morning.

 “What do you think, Darlin'?” I asked the bike. (Yes, I talk to my bike. Don't you?)

She thinks that before you give away all your money she still needs a new seat.  Some chain oil and some new bar tape wouldn't be bad either.

“Shut up,  Voice,"  I said.   "Nobody asked you.   But while you're here, what do you think?"

You already know what I think. You're doin' all right.

Yeah,  man. 

Tom Shadyac,  Filmmaker and Trailer Park Cyclist Trainee

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Spiritual Retreat


  1. Cool and introspective post. Here's hoping it doesn't always take a dope slap from the pavement to get us to see what matters. Roll on Velo Brother.

  2. Tim Joe I think you nailed it once again...

  3. The Monkey remains unimpressed by this fellow with the Soft Head.

  4. I named my bike "Sugar" with a nod towards "No Country for Old Men". Sometimes she can be sweet and other times she turns on that killer nasty streak. Nice post, TJC.

  5. Hey Swell Guy, did you try that Gator Sauce yet? I mailed some up to Dillon Bikes in NC and I'm waiting for his review. I'm confident his review will be something like this: "blah blah blah what do i have to do to get some more of that sauce yadda yadda yadda no really i need more of that sauce i'll do anything..."

    At least that's what I'm telling Uncle Bill. Let me know. yer buddy tjc the tpc

  6. What happened to your last post? It's not hard to tell that you're having a tough time down there. I hope you're managing to keep it together for the most part. Believe it, I feel your pain. It's hard to accept that we're seemingly moving backwards no matter what we try to do. Try to keep a good attitude and be glad for what you have. And try to ride more. And if you feel like it, make a blog post. I do enjoy your style.

    Steve Z