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Unidentified Elizabethtown Man Bicycles 15,000 Kilometers in 2011

Dec 28th, 2011 | By | Category: Features, Front Page, People

bikephotoTwo Elizabethtown Journal reporters, carrying a copy of Stalking the Wild Asparagus and munching on wild hickory nuts, were foraging for food near the Conewago Trail last weekend when they encountered an odd-looking character outfitted in cycling regalia and riding an Italian racing bicycle. He appeared to be four score and seven, but we suspect that he is considerably younger than that. Because the EJ reporters’ have an insatiable appetite for vapid stories, they engaged in a conversation with the man and recorded the interview presented below. The man preferred to remain anonymous, citing that his identification could be a problem in several states and the District of Columbia. In the interview transcripts, he will be referred to as “UM”, the unidentified man.

EJ: We understand that you have logged in quite a few miles during 2011. Just how many miles have you ridden?

UM: I have ridden a little over 15,000 kilometers. I am not sure how many miles that is, but if you give me a second, I’ll let you know. (The man then pulled an odd looking contraption out of his pocket. It was composed of a wooden frame encasing several rows of beads mounted on metal rods. He began flicking the beads with his fingers very rapidly and within a few seconds he continued speaking.) That’s about 9,400 miles.

EJ: That must take up quite a bit of time. How fast do you ride?

UM: Usually about 25 kilometers an hour or so. If you give me a second, I can convert that to miles for….

EJ: That won’t be necessary. Why do you use kilometers instead of miles? Are you Canadian, eh?

UM: It came that way on my bike computer and I don’t know how to change it.

EJ: All that cycling must not leave you much time for much else. What else do you like to do?

UM: I like to watch. I watch TV.

EJ: That’s very Kosinskian. What have you learned from TV?

UM: I have learned that America is the greatest country of all. That we need to spread the American way of life all around the world. That God looks over America and that the liberal-PC establishment is fighting a war against Christianity and God. I have also learned that the President is a Communist and wasn’t even born in this country. I also know that democrats are trying to expand government and take away our liberties just so they can get more power. I have learned that corporations are people and they speak using money; their speech should be protected. I know that the rich are the job creators and the achievers in our society and that we should not compromise their ability to accumulate more money. By the same token, we should not support the poor non-achievers, it only makes them dependent and lazy. I have also learned that the media has a liberal bias and you can’t believe anything that they say. And much more, should I go on?

EJ: No, that won’t be necessary. Where did you learn all of this?

UM: I watch Fox News.

EJ: There are other news programs on TV, why don’t you watch those?

UM: They are part of the liberal news establishment. Besides, Fox has prettier girls with nice legs.

EJ: Let’s move on. Why cycle so much?

UM: I guess it is my calling. I think that God directs us what to do and, since he created the world, it must be right thing to do. Since he created the world, this must be the best of all possible worlds. I guess my cycling is part of that world and my calling.

EJ: That is very Panglossian of you.

UM: I guess so.

EJ: Will you continue to cycle obsessively in 2012?

UM: I might. I also might take-up mall walking. Many of my contemporaries do that. They open the mall early for mall walkers. I am waiting for an inspiration from above.

EJ: Thank You.

6 comments
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  1. ROFL (Rolling on floor laughing)

  2. Will the crack EJ staff get a Peabody (or whatever it is they give for journalism) for their in-depth reporting on God, media and cycling? One can only hope.

  3. They did receive the Polish-American-foraging-related-French enlightenment literature-excessively hyphenated literature award for accomplishing the seemingly impossible: integrating Jerzy Kosinski, Euell Gibbons, Voltaire,and the hermeneutics of news media into a story about an aging recreational cyclist.

  4. A bit of Weber mixed in as well. But Puritans were very concerned about accomplishment as a sign of God’s grace–that component of calling seems to be missing in UM’s responses? What does he think of his achievement–which after all is quite notable? What does it signify to him?

  5. We reached UM and although he doesn’t understand your question, he responded this way, “This could be yours if the price is right.” We think this is very Sellersian/Kosinskian.

  6. Mr. Schwartz seems to be learning that he was born for the world of letters. Great fun.

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