I was recently interviewed by local weekly paper The Westword for my upcoming Narrators show, which is doubling as a benefit for the Derailer bicycle collective. While I appreciate the plug for my show, and people who have not recently been outed as sex offenders will tell you any press is good press, I would have enjoyed it even more if they had used the words I had actually said instead of made-up ones. You can read the short interview here on their site, but save yourself the trouble, I’ll break it down below.
>>“Denver has this explosive cycling scene, and it seems like everyone around here has a good bike story,” says Andrew Orvedahl, the local comedian behind The Narrators, a storytelling event held at 8 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at Paris Wine Bar, 1553 Platte Street.<<
While I probably talked about Denver’s growing bicycle scene, I don’t believe everyone has a good bike story.
>>“If anybody has any good bike stories, e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll see if we can get you on the list.”<<
This is the only quote which is almost definitely true. I did give my email address, in hopes of storytellers contacting me. Unfortunately that email address is TheNarrators3000@gmail.com. Oh well, only a thousand numbers off, and what a surprise, no one emailed me about getting on the show.
>>Orvedahl says he’s hoping for some good crash stories, reflections on two-wheeled childhoods, and tales of fixies versus roadies on the open road.<<
Wrong. While I said I hoped to get a mix of stories, including childhood bike tales, I’m not hoping for crash stories. If anything I’m hoping that they aren’t ALL crash stories. Also, I have zero interest in tales of ‘fixies versus roadies on the open road’. At no point in the interview would I have said the word ‘fixie’ or the word ‘roadie’. Nor do these two groups frequently clash on the ‘open road’.
>>Admission is always free, but the tip jar for this June installment is earmarked for the Derailer Bicycle Collective, and Orvedahl is asking folks to bring a few extra bucks for the cause or consider volunteering at Derailer.<<
There’s no quote here, but I do want to point out that there is no tip jar at the show. I will pass around some receptacle for people to throw cash in. But maybe I should implement a tip jar in the future. Good suggestion- wish I’d thought of it.
>>The non-profit, all-volunteer community bicycle collective at 411 Lipan Street offers free bikes — as well as parts, tools and workbench workshops — for people who need them.<<
This is perhaps the part that made me most angry. At no point would I have even suggested that Derailer offers free bikes, because I know that this is not true, and I have told people that in person in the past. So now people can read this interview and think ‘free bike!’ and go waste the people’s time at Derailer. Press for a show to benefit them turns into an advertisement for magical free bikes that they do not supply.
>>“It makes me want to support the folks at Derailer even more when I think about all the crazy stuff I’ve gotten into over the years thanks to my bike,” Orvedahl says.<<
Wait, what? Folks? Crazy stuff? This is the most clumsily crafted fabrication. I don’t ever say the word folks, because I’m not 72-years old. Also, my bike has gotten me into zero crazy stuff. Some crashes, some accidents, but mostly just transportation from point A to B. I’ve never put an alien in a basket on the front of my bike and flown across the moon.
So I don’t know if the interviewer lost his notes, or just decided ‘fuck it’, when he sat down to type up this plug. Granted, I’ll be the first to admit it was a bland interview. However, in the interview I talked about how much I loved bicycles and cycling in general because it’s a very egalitarian activity. Almost anyone can do it. Rich people do it, and poor people do it. Even more poor people can do it thanks to Derailer’s efforts. I then said I thought that bikes were a good match for the show because storytelling is also a very egalitarian activity. Pretty much anyone can tell a story. Doesn’t matter your background, if you have a real experience to share. Anyone: [rich, poor, mormon missionary], can ride down to the show and hear anyone: [old, young, messenger, weekend cruiser], tell a story.
But who gives a damn about that when I’m thinking about all the crazy stuff I’ve gotten into over the years thanks to my bike?