Friday, June 16, 2006

The OBJoeS*

EDIT: changed the ending on this one 7/3

From nearly the beginning of my blog, I've referred to the guys as Joes. It's made writing easier. I couldn't just make up a name for someone I know, nor could I illustrate the back and forth nature of conversation by writing: this guy said... the other guy fired back with... later that one guy hollered from the back room.... Neither a made-up name nor the term guy captured the person behind the story.

It just made sense to make them Joes. Joe said... JOE fired back with... I heard Joe holler from the back room.... It made them real without divulging identities.

However, and he probably doesn't know it, Shannon over at erratica was the one who inadvertently started the OBJoeS* by calling himself Joe #4 in response to a post I wrote about our meeting at the LBS in March.
Joe was working on his new build, while Joe was installing a new cassette/chain combo...from the other room Joe hollers: see-ya Jeanne.

I hear a different JOE: the Old Bag?!
In his reply Shannon, then TGD, signed-off: Joe #4. Which made me laugh, but which also planted the question: who, really then, are Joes #1, #2 and #3? It takes something larger to have a numerical designation. And while there are many significant Joes in my life who will never be classified, this is a bicycle blog: the numerical Joes must have something to do with cycling.

So, the OBJoeS* evolved -- with five Joes so far.

But, a nagging question arose. There are other cycling Joes: Shawn is the second blogger I met, who drove an hour across Phoenix to ride with my crowd while I was there visiting, who lamented with me the changes in the desert landscape. But from the beginning he's always been Shawn. He definitely deserves Joe status, yet a number never stuck. Why not?

It made me realize the Joes, rather than being actual people which they are, mind you, moreso stand for an experience: Joe #4 is the in-the-flesh blogger while TGD will always be Joe #4, Shawn is too. #1 is the rider so smooth he allows me to forget my trappings this one is pretty died-in-the-wool for now. #2 will always be the romantic interest this obviously changes. Joe #3 is the connection beyond the ride we're all potential threes. #5 is the one I'll probably never meet in person, but is a writer I visit regularly and is the one who dared ask to be a Joe or maybe he didn't ask, but he hinted and I offered and it became...ok, so I had a weak moment!

Cycling life wouldn't be the same without the Joes -- or without the Bettys for that matter -- in the same way life wouldn't be as rich without the characters who surround me. Cycling, in whatever form, may be part of my lifestyle but the people make it part of my life.

- OB

* Old Bag's Joe System


budda43 said...

Well that totally clears things up . . .

and I'm not being the slightest bit sarcastic.

Really, I'm not.

Well, ok. I am.

the old bag said...


Actually, I'm still editing and just messed with the last large paragraph -- any better now?

Ptelea said...

OB - I love this confusing Joe explanation. But then again, don't you want to keep some of the mystery AND keep us and the old Joes and potential Joes guessing?

Also, that is quite a collection of Joes at the top!

p.s. I think I like this Joe business!

the old bag said...

Ptelea -- thank for helping to clear it all up

I think


the old bag said...

...does anyone out there understand what I wrote??

shannon said...

i got it, ob--joes are guy-categories--individual guys can fit in (or not), except for #5 and probably #1. right? (whaddaya mean, "not really"?)

[did i see you downtown last night just before the flood? what fun that was!]

the old bag said...


That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying my own thoughts :-)

I'd say both #1 (although in the recreational cycling crowd it's a tough find) and #5 are open as well.

Were you on Peavey Plaza? If so, a couple friends and I were there with the beaters when the deluge hit -- luckily someone opened up Orchestra Hall when they saw the mayhem outside!

Shawn Kielty said...

I think maybe I am still just Shawn, a real person -- as I always am when I blog, but did I somehow just turn into a Joe?

I have some Jane business to take care of. This is brilliant.

SO how do you categorize the ex-Joe's? I'm just going to have to start calling that woman the ex-Jane.

the old bag said...

Hi Shawn -- I haven't thought about categorizing ex-Joes. The last one would fall under


but most of them turn into buddies

Shawn Kielty said...

Hi OB - I am going with old Jane new Jane -- for now -- unless a nother Jane pops up.

the old bag said...

I old Jane/new Jane!

(also like that woman)


you've gotta consider whether the term Jane will span different types of Janes beyond romantic interests: other significant women you may run into


whatif this new Jane becomes an old you have old Jane and older Jane?

budda43 said...

If we're going to go w/ Jane's - I'm going to have to insist we start calling the guys Tarzan.

the old bag said...


Too funny Budda!!

shawn said...

Oh man -- these Janes. Your hysterical Buddha. I want to be a tarzan.

The exJane has been "that woman" for a while, ... what to say ... I think she earned it. The young Jane has me ... I don't know what she's about to do with me, because I ain't driving ... I am just living here.

I can't figure how many of them are actually named Jane ... there's been more than a few. Welcome to Janeville.

shawn said...

If the new Jane becomes an old Jane -- we'll call that a disaster.