Fred Socks

I had dinner with some college friends last night. By “dinner” I mean an omelette at 8pm, which I ate while quaffing a cold bottle of Sierra Nevada. There’s nothing quite like breakfast food with beer, except maybe cold pizza for breakfast. But I digress.

One of those present was my friend Joe, who I’ve mentioned on these pages before. At the time, I referred to Joe as “an all-around athletic guy, a semi-serious runner, and a dabbler in all things cycling,” and I think the following image corroborates that description.

Joe looks like your average mountain bike dabbler: logo-less jersey, an adequate but not high-end bike, and a marked lack of training-induced apathy exhibited by most of my cycling acquaintances. Riding with Joe is refreshing because he just loves riding bikes. However there’s a fine line between “dabbler” and “fred,” and on the day that photograph was taken, Joe chose to step precariously close to that line.

As we climbed a gentle gradient on our mountain bikes, Joe informed me that he had read my blog and was offended by my denigrating post about Bonktown.com; apparently, Joe had recently purchased a bike rack for his car from Bonktown and was quite satisfied with his experience.

“Of course you did…Fred!” I said mockingly, as I admired the Pro-ness of my reflection in Joe’s Performance sunglasses.

“Don’t knock Bonktown, man! That bike rack was a really good deal!” he replied matter-of-factly, and his tone made me wonder if I had been too quick to judge the website. In fact, I spent several weeks wondering if I had unfairly labeled Joe as “fredly” for his Bonktown purchase. That period of wondering ended last night when I saw this obscene pair of DeFeet socks on Joe’s feet.

What…the…hell? As soon as I saw those socks, I envisioned the inevitable stylistic train wreck: a sleeveless tri-top emblazoned with Mickey Mouse ears. As it turns out, I wasn’t far off. A quick google search revealed the team’s logo, which is everything I imagined and more.

Joe, I love you man, but you’ve officially crossed the line. By wearing those socks, you’ve exchanged one monosyllabic name for another.

Joe, I now pronounce you Fred.

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