This Is Why: A Short One Act Play

By: Matthew Karre Nov 10

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A father and teenage son sit in the kitchen having an inspired discussion about the finer points of cycling.

SON: “Dad, a funny man in a Chris King hat said ‘mountain biking makes me hate road riding.’ For some reason, I responded to him, ‘Me too. And I love road biking.’ How can that be, Dad?”

FATHER: “Well, you see, son, mountain biking takes all the best parts of road riding, magnifies them by a factor of awesome, and then adds to it the coefficient of transcendental opulence. Does that answer your question?”

SON: “Hmm. Not really. Mostly because I think you just made up the phrase transcendental opulence. How can I love road riding truly, madly and deeply but hate it while I’m riding a mountain bike on sweet, sweet, tacky, flowing single track? My wheels even have the same diameter on both bikes. (700c for life!)”




FATHER: “It’s probably not hate you feel. It’s more likely a sense of frustration with both sides of the cycling coin. Perhaps you feel you can’t love them both, so while you’re with one you take pleasure in the fact that you’ve chosen it but feel a little guilty for taking time away from the other. It’s kind of like the cycling manifestation of Don Draper."

SON: “Oh, yeah. That makes sense. Shouldn’t there be something that combines both? Maybe with yet another kind of bike?”

FATHER: “You mean track racing? That’s not really a different bike, and I don’t see how mountain biking plays a big role.”

SON: “No, not track. I don’t think I could afford having to custom make my cycling shorts to fit the size of quadriceps needed to be any good at that. Besides, I get dizzy easily. I was thinking maybe cyclocross?”

FATHER: “Ha! Are you kidding? Cyclocross has become the family fun 5k of bike racing. Sure real runners show up to running races benefitting some disease but have you noticed the same 4 people win every time? The rest just need an excuse to dress up like fools to disguise their nonexistent training.”

SON: “I don’t think training is required to have fun on a bicycle.”




FATHER: “It is when the event only exists as competition. There’s no such thing as a cyclocross ride. That would be defined as training for a cyclocross race, which we know only 4 people really do, or it’s a road ride on the dirt. Cyclocross equals competition: entry fees, course tape, spectators, and a podium all take their place.”

SON: “Huh. Is it possible you say these unnecessarily crass things about cyclocross because you’re no good at it?”

FATHER: “You are wise beyond your years, son. But your directness about my inadequacies reminds me of what Dr. Huxtable said to Theo in The Cosby Show: ‘I brought you into this world. I can take you out!’”

SON: “Quoting ancient TV shows isn’t very threatening. Next you’ll tell me that your brothers Daryl and Daryl are coming over. But seriously, what of this love/hate relationship between road riding and mountain biking?”

FATHER: “There’s no right answer. You can ride and race both styles and probably live a well balanced and fulfilled life, although perhaps a life that is emotionally confused at times.”

SON: “Do you think Cadel can sleep at night after making the switch from full on mountain biker to top of the heap road racer? Does he have these debates in his head?”

FATHER: “Could be why his voice is so high.”

SON: “I know, right?”

FATHER: “Well, it is what it is, kid.”

SON: “Please don’t say that.”

FATHER: “Say what?”

SON: “It is what it is.’ Don’t say that.”

FATHER: “Why?”

SON: “Because! Of course it is what it is! If it wasn’t what it was then it wouldn’t be at all. It’s a stupid phrase for uncreative iPhone junkies.”

FATHER: “Do you know what a non sequitur is?”

Fade to black. Close curtain. Look at images. Figure out that This Is Why.





 

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