Old Joe Soucheray Reads "How to Repair Your 10-Speed Bike" by Young Joe Soucheray

[This is a real book.]
I spend as little time as possible thinking about Joe Soucheray, for the same reason that I dislike cleaning my toilet. But when someone told me that the famously-automobile-centric anti-everything grouch had written a book about bike repair, I was floored. It turns out, Soucheray's first career, before becoming Saint Paul's version of Jabba the Hut, was to write pre-teen books about sports and bikes.

So I ordered myself a copy of the 1979 Creative Education Soucheray classic, and here it is, as I imagine it being read by the current ridiculously ornery version of its author.

Young Joe Soucheray: You must frequently use tools or your father wouldn't always be asking you where they are. And you have to admit you did leave the pliers and wrench down at Dave's house where you were trying to fix HIS bike.

Old Joe Soucheray: Kids today! They steal stuff all the time. If any kid gets near my garage, they know which end of the shotgun I'll be holding.

And these bicyclists are the worst of all. You see these bicycle gangs running around Saint Paul, stealing things from garages, terrorizing the minivan-driving moms just trying to bring their bike-free kids to school. Not on my watch. Next time I see a biker gang stealing things from innocent garage owners, my SUV bumper is going to have a thing or two to say about that.

Young Joe Soucheray: Actually, 10-speeds are perfect examples of form following function. They combine the economy of lightweight and selective gear ratios to give the rider the most efficient use of his pedaling power regardless of terrain -- from city streets to dirt country lanes.

Old Joe Soucheray: The bicycle is a menace to the innocent taxpaying driver. If bicycles are so great, why do these spandex hypocrites with their Italian leotards that look like the labels on olive jars keep breaking the law, taking over the road, and preventing innocent minivan moms from bringing their disabled nephews to the hospital? Bicycles are a relic of history, like elevator operators. Just the other day a mom that I know had to hit the brakes because a bicyclist who looked like a tangerine tried to turn. When will the city listen?

Young Joe Soucheray: And the derailleur! Derailleur is French word that means "Don't you dare come near me with a tool." The derailleur, of course, is all that gobbledy-gook at the rear wheel hub, where the small sprocket connects to the big sprocket and the big sprocket connects to the chain.

Old Joe Soucheray: Speaking of gobbledy-gook! What have the French ever done for anybody? They're a bunch of lazy snobs living off the government, they don't even have a word for "entrepreneur." Anything French needs to be voted off the island, beginning with these fancy Italian bicycles with their clown hypocrite riders, who are all lawyers with two cars waiting for them in the garage. If I had to describe this weenie little bike part, I'd called it a "Freedom gear," because the last thing you'll find coming out of my mouth is French.

Young Joe Soucheray: Now that you have your tools, don't get excited. Always remember never to fix anything unless it barks, screeches or goes clank in the night.

Old Joe Soucheray: If you want to hear some barking and screeching, just stop for a second and listen to the roar of the people when the big government at City Hall proposes another "traffic calming" bike lane!

Traffic calming? More like traffic enraging. Destroying small businesses and minivan-moms with six kids just trying to survive while City Hall is taking their taxes, and ruining the streets with more bikes. If you hear something going clank in the night, it'll be me hitting the next Italian jersey wearing hypocrite bicyclist I see with my car.

Young Joe Soucheray: However, it still goes flat. Don't worry, though; you can fix it. Start by looking for a nail or a sword or a tree trunk which might be causing the flat.

Old Joe Soucheray: A sword? Why didn't I think of that. I've been slashing bike tires with my trusty pocket knife, but a sword would be a lot quicker.

Young Joe Soucheray: Once you have changed and repaired a flat tire properly tell your father you want to go to college at M.I.T. He'll know what you mean.

Old Joe Soucheray: M.I.T.? Liberal elites. Over my dead body.

Young Joe Soucheray: Now for the understatement of the year, or at least the understatement of this book. Brakes are important. They are so important that you must check them carefully and often -- before every major ride.

Old Joe Soucheray: If bicycles have brakes, it's news to me. I've never seen any of those Italian racing suit tax-dodging hypocrites with two cars back home in the garage use them. It's the poor minivan-moms with seven kids who have to brake for these biker gangs destroying small businesses one bike lane waste of money at a time. Next time you have a biker in your sights, if you forget to hit the brakes, I forgive you.

Young Joe Soucheray: Cycling is a unique sport. Every time you cycle you are getting the same benefits that walkers and joggers receive, but you are traveling at your own pace, seeing more and hearing more. Any machine that can provide that for you is worth taking care of.

Old Joe Soucheray: These hypocrite bicycle people believe in nothing but their own egos, and in wasting your precious tax money by destroying everything we love about Saint Paul. Don't get me started on these joggers. Get the hell out of my way. How loudly do we have to yell?

Who wrote this socialist propaganda anyway?


Anonymous said...

It helps to think of "Joe Soucheray" as a fictional character, created by the actual Joe Soucheray. Sort of like the character "Garrison Keillor." Where the honest expression ends and the fiction begins, who knows. By now it's probably confusing to Soucheray as well. It's awful to think that what began as a columnist's marketing position might now have overtaken Soucheray's actual state of mind.

BrianM said...

There was a 1989 movie with exactly that as it's plot, called "How to get Ahead in Advertising!"