Gaudy snow-flakes whizzed across Route 857 in near vertical trajectories. They rode a howling wind that drove the chill north of unbearable. Cars were pulled to the roadside, the occupants cowering inside. Only a man of god-like stature, a Cronos of the cold, a cycling Colossus, would dare challenge Old Man Winter to fisticuffs on such a day. To grind out across a frozen Hellscape with nothing more than a few tubes of aluminum and two wheels as a defense would be more than madness if it were anyone else. Only the indomitable Fat Cat could have had the fortitude, intestinal or otherwise, to throw himself into the breech. All you who would have the audacity to even read of his glory can not help but be overwhelmed by your utter ineptitude and inferiority in the face of he-of-great-girth. Now, it would be perfectly acceptable for those of you who stoked your fires and shuddered in your huts to be incredulous. Could such a man even exist? But, there is a witness. Killer Bee Dave, he-of-70 plus-degree-rides, passed The Fat Cat in his automobile.
Umm…Ahem…Those of you with letters in one or the other degrees of the English language might take umbrage with that last sentence and its lack of clarity. “Don’t you mean that Bee passed you on your bike while he was in his car,” I can hear you say. You know I do not proof-read and will probably chuckle and allow that little ambiguity. But, HA! I am so taken with the utter brilliance of that seemingly inadvertent lack of grammatical precision that I must come clean just so the reader can bask in my literary luminescence.
Killer Bee DID pass The Fat Cat while he was driving his car. The bike was on top, braving the cold, while The Cat was below in a climate controlled cabin. He was well intentioned and well prepared to take on the angry hills. However, the usually dormant lot at the Haydentown Community Center was choked with Haydentowners. The Cat did not want to deal with them as he was changing into his superman cape and tights. Also, Earnestine had a flat rear tire. Just the thought of co-mingling with all those mortals repelled The Cat. Surely, the Wymp’s Gap climb was the way to go. The wind would race across the quarry like the hand of God. Yes, that was the only place fit to host The Flanders Fat Cat, smoter of mountains. Just a little gas in the guzzler and it was off to make history.
The wind cut a jagged gash across the gas station. The petrol came out as a frigid sludge and could be bought by the pound as well as the gallon. The Cat cut the pump off well below full and didn’t wait for the receipt to print.
By the time the intersection with Wymp’s gap was gained, The Cat was toasty warm and bathing in the sweet strains of ABBA. One look at the tree farm’s poor saplings, bent to the ground by the cruel wind, and the thought of fixing Earnestine’s flat tire out amongst the elements was suddenly abhorrent. Better to go home, fix the flat indoors, and then tackle Snake Hill or Breakiron.
Of course, a light lunch of eggplant parmesan, pasta with chick peas and almonds, pickled eggs and a diet soda was imperative once The Cat was back home. By the time his mid-day gluttony had ended, so had the thought of storming the storm. Anyway, it quit snowing. It just wouldn’t be fun under clear skies—or so the self delusion went. Hector could just sit behind the palace walls while Achilles called, couldn’t he? If he had, he’d be alive today, right?
In the end The Fat Cat was able to muster up enough energy to mount the trainer in the garage. His thighs pulsed and his buttocks were ground into pulpy—ah, hell. I can’t do it. It was cushy. He wore shorts, watched TV and stopped in the middle to drink an iced tea from the fridge. Well, whaddaya want? We can’t all be heros.