A long time ago there used to be a guy in MABRA with two thigh tattoos that read "Should stop / Won't Stop."
I had a lot of time back then, so I spent a lot of it--maybe too much--pontificating what that was about.
That idea of going beyond, Saint Paul said it in the tl;dr version:
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.- King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition
Back when I read the Bible and went to places where we literally passed around a bucket and threw cash into it to pay a guy to shout it at us, I took that verse above, from Romans, to be a cause for shame: we know what's right and we just can't muster the energy to do it.
Now I look at it a bit differently. I see it as a celebration of complexity. If I actually did stop when I should've stopped, I never would've kept racing a bike or had crackling or seen what happens when you put a bowling ball in a washing machine and let 'er rip . Louis CK explains this duality of the forbidden best, as usual, in his Of Course, But Maybe bit.
And I'm thankful for this inner complexity when I see it in others. Rugg, for example. When it came to getting a tattoo, the evil which he would not, that he do. Exhibit Z, see below: on the canvas of his twiggy arm, a wolf standing upright wearing a top hat playing a trumpet.
Rugg probably started with just the idea of getting a tattoo, but it clearly escalated (Rugg's mental escalator, unlike Metro's, pretty much is always on full blast, never out of service). And although he probably knew when the tattoo got carried away, well, that was no reason to think twice about it.
Rugg's ink is appropriate in the way that Mike Tyson's is: nothing less than a wolf in a top hat playing the trumpet would do, of course, as a power animal for him. After all, when it comes to important decisions, Rugg quiets the organs normal humans use--the brain, the heart, the gut--and puts the questions to his brass melon-sized testicles.
Last year The Brass, as he calls them, told him to quit his job and went around the country racing his bike. This year they seem to be telling him to quit again--it's only February and he's going back on the road.
The guy clearly should stop. He should settle down and stop getting run over by team cars. He should stop making unprotected love with bears. He should give up shitcore and trying to save Africa with yarn. He should stop growing and shaving his mustache every day and just choose whether he wants a dead mouse on his upper lip forever. He should have that rash checked out.
And by no means should he get another tattoo. But, just in case he's thinking (or, rather, preparing to pose to The Brass) of more ink, I have some suggestions:
Hopefully, he reads this and decides, against his better angels, to ink up a little more madness on the corpus. After all, for many of us, what Rugg does is really the news for local bike racing.
What else is happening, really?
- Two DC Velo dudes won world championships. Great. Did they shout profanity at innocent little girls who happened to be standing beside the race waiting for a delivery truck to bring them a Christmas present, but instead they got a savage sporting a pornographic wolf and crotch and smell sprinting past and shouting unmentionable vocabulary from the deepest sewers of the sub-lingual muck? Not interesting.
- Justin Mauch and Kevin Gottlieb got picked up by a development team. This is great, but did they have to stop in the middle of a race because of debilitating lactose intolerance? No? Not newsworthy.
But did you hear that Rugg bought a Star Wars disc wheels at a charity auction for absolutely no good reason? Did you hear that, far from offering Rugg a pro contract, a DS actually got in his car and plowed over Rugg, right in the middle of a race?
And that Rugg somehow wound up at my parents' house in Wisconsin and persuaded them to come out and cheer for him at Nationals last year. I mean, they've never even seen me race a bike, and there was my mom on the phone saying, "...hold on, here comes the bike riders, I've got cheer for...GO TIM! GO TIM! GO TIM!.." Click. My own mother! Sheesh.
Somewhere out there on that wild road, he's going full-retard for us straight guys. For us who dabble in tights, being skinny, facial hair, and self destruction, he lets us know what it'd be like to go balls-first into the sport, nothing held back, cowabunga, balls a-clanging like church bells, breaking mom's hearts and leaving bears with memories.
In short, the man is doing way more than he should be doing. Ain't it great!