Floyd will be back in the Tour de France. He does need a game plan, though.
Floyd himself admitted it aint going to be easy. But it’s not as challenging as going into Mennonite country to score some crack or to cast a porno film. That would be difficult not to mention highly inappropriate. Still….
Floyd Landis is going back to the Tour de France and we at Twisted Spoke will give him the blueprint, or as the French say, le print de blue. The following steps are simple, tried and true and bullet-proof ways to bring those gallic race organizers around. They can be had because the French have their weak-points.
Start smoking Gauloise cigarettes like the great stars of the 6o’s and 70’s — whoever they are. Jean Gabin, you know. Yes, this is bad for training in the short term but good in the long term. Don’t inhale, for god-sakes.
Read up on French existentialist novels, a little Andre Gide, Albert Camus. Be able to quote a few lines from de Maupassant, Flaubert and Baudelaire. Crap like that.
Buy the complete Rosetta Stone learning French DVD’s. Take a freaking page from Lance Armstrong, will ya? A few honestly mangled statements in French will go a long way to erase the Hawthorne-ish red D for blood Doping etched on your forehead. Just a thought.
Get yourself a classy French actress girlfriend. Amber is long gone, we miss her and she stood by you thru thick and thin but a highly public fling or two with Virginie Ledoyen, Emilie Dequenne or Laetitia Casta will get you on the start list in Rotterdam. And if not, well, you had fun, right?
Use your weapons! There were French Mennonites. This is basic stuff. Google a few scholars on the subject in France and start reeling yourself in. You could have dual citizenship before you can say sacre blue. No one denies a French citizen the right to ride Le Tour, mes amis.
Wear a beret. Yes, it’s embarrassing but just do it. Work the whole suffering artist on a bike thing. Ask Giro to whip you up a retro beret helmet. Everyone will laugh except the French who will find it simply adorable.
Name check Humphrey Bogart at every possible occasion. The French are suckers for that rumpled, hound-dog look in their actors. It’s just their thing. You don’t have to do the whole “leeches on the body” thing or recite Casablanca. Just stop shaving so often.
Buy a little pied a terre in Aix en Provence. Whatever — some little charming stone shack and an acre of olive trees or grapes. Get yourself a pair of blue overalls and a wheel barrow. Say you’re going to retire there. You want to get back in the Tour? Then just pretend.
Get a scarf and wear it. That’s just the way it is in France. You’re no longer the ugly American with the blood bag, you’re a stylish euro-hipster with the new hip. (Note: see beret.)
Drop the Obama card. They love the man over there in stinky cheese land. Make sure you let slip how thrilled you are that “zee bullshit president Bush is now bye-bye.”
Become an expert on truffles. Yes, some famous French chef once called truffles the “diamond in the kitchen.” Embrace it, study it, consume it. Buy some truffle oil to put on your hot dogs. You want to be the go-to rider, the peloton’s expert on this magic mushroom.
This is a tough one, we’ll admit — maybe the toughest. Embrace Johnny Hallyday, the vapid, aging, horrifically embarrassing French rock ‘n’ roller. The French are essentially and fundamentally clueless on all things rock. Sacrifices, Floyd — it’s not as painful as riding on that damaged hip was.
We, meaning me, at Twisted Spoke have a degree in French literature and language. We’re telling you in all honestly they will let you back in. They just need a few grand bisous on the cheek, baby.
Finally, if all else fails, run over to Radio Shack and ask to speak to Lance. Beg forgiveness and get on the team and forget everything what we said about all that French pandering stuff. Armstrong will make one call, you’ll be in the tour.
But you know, just in case, be ready.