Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie


Another spring and I should be enjoying the profuse, pink plum landscapes of ancient China. Instead, I’m laid up here in Kunming, victim of a shattered patella. Knee caps... Now there’s an interesting bone. We don’t have elbow caps... Nor do we have shoulder, wrist, hip, or heal caps, and it turns out we aren’t even born with patellas! One might even speculate that because this unique bone evolved where it did, human’s were meant to cycle.

Now the Chinese take their cycling very seriously, with about a billion commuters pedaling daily. Their medical practices however, are straight up bizarre. The intake M.D. at Kunming Good Luck Hospital, surrounded the injury with semi-precious stones, and told me I would be as good as new in six weeks, when I was cured. I said, “I don’t mean to be culturally insensitive, but where I come from, we undergo surgery for such matters, often necessitating the use of pins and screws in facilitating the bone to heal.” He looked at me with mortification on his face and said, “Are you sure you didn’t sustain a head injury? Your Western procedures sound more like the practices of bicycle repair!”

But I was insistent, taking a proactive stance until the M.D. summoned the Hospital Director. Now Director Skimda Fat wanted no trouble, and he brought in a crack team of specialist to help assuage my fears. First to prognosticate was a Doctor in Forensics, who ascertained rather circuitously, the cause of my accident (another randy goat). Then the next expert to speak was a Doctor in Astrology, who pulled a lot of material out of the thin air supporting an open and shut case that my star sign was Capricorn (another goat). And finally, a Doctor in Tea, after a three and a half hour reading of the leaves, conclusively nailed my Chinese birth year at 1955 (the year of the goat).

The consensus of the group was that semi-precious stones, of the cobalt blue order, were “Super-Jackpot-Lotto” when it came to matters of the sign of the three goats. I looked at my leg in incredulous disbelief, when I realized that the semi-precious stones encircling my knee cap, were none other than cobalt jewels from Campagnolo Cobalto Record sidepull brakes!  Fortune cookies be praised! -Global Freddie.

<INDEX                                                FEBRUARY - 2001                                               NEXT>