Frank Ricard’s Imaginary World

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16 minutes and 30 seconds into Old School, the poster for ‘Mitch-A-Palooza’ is shown, reading “Thursday, 9PM, Live Music, Beer.”

One minute later, Frank The Tank is cornered by soon-to-be pledges of their fraternity. The boys mistakenly think the house belongs to Frank, then offer him a beer bong. He refuses, telling the boys, “I told my wife I wouldn’t drink. Besides, I have a big day tomorrow.”

One of the boys asks, “A big day? Doing what?”

To which Frank The Tank replies, “Well, uh, actually a pretty nice Saturday. We’re gonna go to Home Depot, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath and Beyond, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.”

So my question is this, if Mitch-A-Palooza is on a Thursday night, and Frank The Tank is purportedly not supposed to drink because he has a busy Saturday planned with his newlywed wife, then whatever happened to Frank The Tank’s Friday?

Following Mitch-A-Palooza, Frank The Tank is caught streaking by his wife. He’s ushered into the car, and assumably brought home by his wife, who somehow makes haphazard but steadfastly quick plans to see what I’m assuming is an emergency “come whenever the necessity arises” marriage counselor. Obviously, the Home Depot, Bed, Bath and Beyond trip never happens. But another question arises, how in the hell does one make ‘day of’ plans to see a counselor of any type? Those appointments take weeks to get, not seconds.

Later on, following the marriage counselor scene, Mitch Martin is attending to a meeting with his boss. The meeting is interrupted by his boss’s daughter, Darcy, whom Mitch had slept with the previous night, just after Mitch-A-Palooza. The boss asks Darcy, “How was the slumber party?” To which she answers, “Great, you know, movies, popcorn,” all the while trying to pretend as if nothing had happened between her and Mitch just a few short hours before. Later, it comes out that she’s a high school senior. Again, I’m left wondering. Who in the world of high school slumber parties schedules said parties on school nights?

I know there’s no real answers for any of this, but wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where one can skip the minutia of going to Home Depot, get straight to the beer drinking, visit counselor’s on a whim and know in their heart that teenage girls can have slumber parties any night of the week that they goddamn want to….

A man can dream, right?

Here’s to Stephen Murray

For those of you not in the know, Stephen Murray is a professional BMXer that was critically injured last weekend at the first 2007 stop of a traveling professional circuit comp called the Dew Tour. The Dew Tour is funded by Mountain Dew, Ballpark Franks and a shitload of other corporate sponsors. It’s also broadcast on MTV2 and NBC.

Basically, it’s big time. Riders that win the year-end title win $75,000, the cash purse at each event is pretty huge and the whole thing screams of corporate money trying to hook in with an activity that used to equate itself with counterculture.

Last Saturday, Stephen went down on a double backflip, crushed a few vertebrae and is now in intensive care in Baltimore, unable to move, surrounded by his family and a quickly amounting stack of medical bills. The crash has potentially ended his career and will definitely affect the rest of his life.

Now I’ve gotta give credit to the BMX crowd; everyone, regardless of the various strata that rip BMX apart, have rallied in support of Stephen, sending money and support his way.

Everyone, it seems, except for the companies that put the event on. I haven’t heard the inside story on this yet, so I might be jumping the gun a bit, but Stephen Murray was giving his all to make the first stop of the Dew Tour something that people would want to watch on TV, and something that would in turn make people want to drink Mountain Dew and eat Ballpark hot dogs. Yet, those brands ahve been steadily silent since the crash. Kids on message boards are donating $5 at a time out of their allowance, and the companies that essentially put Stephen in the position he’s in have done nothing.

Hopefully I’m proven wrong and NBC takes care of Stephen’s bills, or at least a good portion of it, but right now, I’m pretty fucking irritated that any BMXer participating in the Dew Tour is a pawn and nothing more. Get well Stephen, everyone is pulling for you.

An addendum: In the past, ESPN has paid for athletes’ injuries if the injuries happened during and ESPN event, be it the X-Games or the B3 comps. And if you wanna call me a hypocrite, please have the balls to leave your name and contact info so I can get in touch and discuss.

Me a sexy vegetarian?

I don’t know how this happens, but Peta2 always puts myself and a handful of BMXers on their ballot to vote for the year’s sexiest vegetarian. Now I’ll be the first to say that I have a lot of work to do to actually achieve that position (chest waxing, pedicures, etc.), but I’m also going to post the link and get people to vote. If you don’t wanna vote for me, you can pick from Aaron Behnke, Alexis Desolneux or Taj Mihelich. They’re all swell guys and sexy in their own right.

Here’s the link: http://www.peta2.com/outthere/o-sexyveg07.asp

Scroll down and look on the left side. For some reason, my name is bolded so it’s fairly easy to find. And remember, you can vote for a man being sexy without outing yourself (that goes out to the one million homophobic BMXers in the world…)

Cloak/Dagger

I wrote a new bio for a Richmond, VA band called Cloak/Dagger here! It’ll be available on Jade Tree in September. I don’t know what else to say except that it’s there if you want to read and/or like fast music. The abridged version is also here. Aint I getting good with the hyperlink function?

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Biohazard?

Dan Haugh sent over this link. If it were aimed at BMX bikes, I’d be embarrassed, but being on a road bike (or a “ten speeder” as The Jerky Boys would’ve said) makes me think it will only be a matter of time before these wheel covers end up on Vice-inspired hipsters from here to Portland….

http://www.ladyada.net/make/spokepov/

THE MOST TERRIBLE TRIP IN THE WORLD

I hate Air France. And now I hate Paris too. Let me explain.

My day started off Tuesday night, flying out of Philadelphia, bound for Bristol, U.K. via a stopover in Paris. Before we even left the ground in Philly, things got bad. Traffic bad. We sat on the runway for over an hour due to airline congestion. So we were an hour late arriving in Paris. Still, if I hurried, I was assured that I would make my connection on Wednesday (yesterday) morning.

We arrived in Paris, sat on the plane for 45 minutes, then sat on buses for an hour before we arrived in the terminal. By then, my 40-minute connection flight to Bristol had already left, so I was re-booked on another flight from Paris to Bristol at 2 PM the same day. Not that horrible of a thing, I could waste three hours in the Charles de Gaulle International airport pertty easily, and I did just that.

When boarding at 1:25 PM was to commence, we were told to hang on another 20 minutes for technical difficulties. When that 20 minutes passed, we were loaded onto another bus and shuttled to the tarmac where the plane was being prepared to leave. It was surrounded by three tech trucks, a fuel truck and about 15 airline mechanics. The 20 or so of us passengers looked at the two propeller airbus and didn’t have a good feeling, but we loaded onto it anyway and sat there til the repairs were finished.

Two hours later, we were still on the tarmac, waiting in line to taxi. When it was our turn, the pilot recognized some kind of problem with “pressurization” and decided that the plane couldn’t fly. So they took us back to the original spot where we loaded on, gave all of us cans of beer and apologized. Then they loaded us back on the bus, returned us to the terminal, and re-booked our flights again.

This time, we were to leave at 7:30 PM for Amsterdam, then connect to Bristol and arrive in at 10 PM. So we passed another two hours in the airport at Paris. Then something happened. Our flight to Amsterdam disappeared from the schedule, and the gate we were told to go to changed its destination to Rome. So I panicked, then followed the other original Paris to Bristol passengers to someone in charge. They gave us a gate, a plane and even got us on the plane to Amsterdam fairly close to 7:30.

Then it started raining in Paris. And then we got stuck in traffic yet again. But sure enough, we made it into the air. I fell asleep (after missing the previous night’s sleep). Then we arrived in Amsterdam with 10 minutes to run across the airport, get a paper ticket for the next flight to Bristol, rush to another bus and jump on the plane to Bristol. By now, the original Paris to Bristol group had faded down to about seven of us, and those of that group that weren’t able to run decided to stay in Amsterdam for the night and get hookers. I decided to run, and I made the connection.

When I arrived in Bristol, I didn’t know who or what I was supposed to do. I didn’t have an address for customs, but I somehow remembered the old Seventies warehouse address, so I told them that I was on my way to Hastings. Then I got a call from Red Bull. “Take a cab to the ‘Cadbury House’ and get a room. It’s already paid for,” they said. Get in the cab, cab driver gets lost, finds the Cadbury Garden Center, tries to let me out, then eventually finds the hotel.

I get a room, throw my backpack down, get a pint of Stella and pass out trying to watch the Eddie Murphy movie ‘Norbit.’ The room is nice and the bed felt amazing. Altogether, I endured three bouts of airline traffic, two canceled flights, one mechanical failure and from start to finish, a 24-hour journey from Philadelphia to Bristol (when it should’ve been somewhere around eight hours.)

Hopefully the rest of the weekend turns out better for me. Oh, and Air France lost my bag too, so I washed my clothes in the sink with shampoo and used a hair dryer to dry them this morning. I really miss brushing my teeth though. Thanks for nothing Air France….

I’m now sitting by myself and wondering how in the world I’m supposed to get to Devon.