Author Topic: Happy Birthday, Mr President


Happy Birthday, Mr President
« on: February 17, 2014 »

Credit: Alex B. Hill

If it's the third Monday of the eleventh from the last month of the year, it must be Presidents' Day. George Washington, the proximate cause of George Washington's Birthday, leads the parade.

Barack Obama recycles compost into new executive orders using pedal power.

Like rulers throughout history, if George W Bush saw something he liked, he just took it.

The three ages of Bill Clinton: too poor to afford a bike; leader of the free world freewheeling wherever he pleased; a prop for Miley Cyrus.

George Bush the Elder with Barbara Bush or her mother. After Nixon's stunning rapprochement with China, the future vice and then president made himself available on the streets of Beijing for any questions, grasping a bicycle as the universal symbol for peace. Note an early attempt at CCTV in the background.

Ronald Reagan was notorious for cruising the backlots of Hollywood on the hunt for budding starlets in need of directions to the casting couch. "The pipe always pulls," he used to say.

Jimmy Carter may appear humble, but when this photograph was taken he had just finished demanding that a secret service agent "kill them. Kill them all." It is uncertain to whom he was referring.

Gerald Ford shows off the bike he's just stolen. He would grow up to pardon Nixon. "For sneezing," he would later complain. "Everybody took it the wrong way."

Richard Nixon caressing a communist hand; thoughtfully composing his enemies list; congratulating Elvis on his heavyweight championship of the world.

Lyndon Johnson was the consummate politician. Here he passes out fake IDs to allow his young supporters to vote for him.

Marilyn Monroe knew the words to Happy Birthday. All the same, Jackie preferred that former president Harry Truman sing it to John next time.

Dwight Eisenhower had seven heart attacks. Nixon was ready to take the helm if the worst should (finally, for chrissake) happen.

Harry Truman proudly shows of the newspaper in which he managed to finish his first crossword puzzle. He hasn't actually noticed the headline.

Students of history will recall Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Yes we have no bananas" speech: "We have no bananas today."

Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, and two hat warmers, shortly before the Great Crash. Nobody knew how to steer.

for more American history see Independence Day


Happy Birthday, Mr President
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015 »

John F. Kennedy, born this day in 1917, upped the ante from "Ask what you can do for your country" to "Get on your bike," an exhortation that would be echoed by UK politician Norman Tebbit a quarter century later. The idealistic young president's remarks were made in the context of a speech intended to calm and ultimately distract his fellow Americans during the latest crisis as he tensely clashed with Fidel Castro.

Bike sales immediately shot up; then plunged after news reports surfaced that the dictator's henchmen had poisoned the nation's bicycle bells – one flick of the thumb was rumoured to send the cyclist writhing to the ground. Every last bell was recalled, an event chronicled by Don McLean in his moving song "The Day the Music of Liberty Died" in one of the few unambiguous verses: The bells were silenced, freedom unwrung / Castro had won, our future unsung. The fears proved groundless, but the damage was done. Cycling didn't fully recover for decades.

JFK discusses the shocking Schwinn gap with Attorney General/bro RFK

Little known fact: those happy-go-lucky bike scenes in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were inserted on insistance of the Nixon administration, eager to once again distract Americans from a serious issue, the war in Vietnam.


The other W
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017 »
Yesterday was Woodrow Wilson's birthday. I must have missed it because Google didn't do a doodle. As Yankee Doodle Dandies go, the 28th POTUS was "complicated". He was also, apparently, an avid cyclist. Therefore I think it behooves him to take part in the following historical reconstruction. Woody, meet the African American Cyclone:

Some casting choices are obvious: Denzel Washington, now too old to race but a source of valuable advice, to the right of Major Taylor; and Joe Pesci in the middle, ready to put the fix in to ensure Wilson's improbable victory. (If I were better I'd have given Woodrow cornrows. Just because.) Not sure about the guy in the far background.

Candle in the wind
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2021 »
"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."
- actual BrainyQuote

Ask not what your bike can do for you, ask what you can do for your bike.

Keep it reasonably clean.

("Every day is president's day" always used to work as a pickup line)

Take it out as often as you can.

Everyone should have a commute like this

Don't put it in harm's way.

Rhymes with dash hole

Appreciate its utility, even in the event of alien invasion. Spoiler alert: not as many bikes in trailer as in Netflix series.

Colony RIP

Don't get carried away with the bodges.

Did your arachnophobia kick in, too?