I'm Like a cannon that shoots underpants instead of cannonballs, and I've been humbled by my adult braces yet again.

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Like a beautiful dove that was captured mid-flight by a photographer, my white underpants appeared to be frozen in time and space as they floated directly in front of my face. I could see every detail in them, including the blue stitching in their elastic waistband. My mother was an account rep for Jockey in Colombia at the time, and she would often bring us large quantities of briefs from work. I knew these were pretty new, due to the blue stitching. The last batch I'd received had yellow and blue stitching. I had enough time to think about all these things as time froze that morning, and I observed my underpants mid-flight. I had been told by my mom repeatedly to never remove the wool slacks that were part of my school uniform, and my underwear at the same time. She had warned me that I'd probably wear the pants again the next day, and that my underpants would be stuck in one of the pants' legs. That's exactly what happened that morning in the sixth grade. As I walked briskly from one class to the other through the crowded halls of my school, the underwear was magically propelled forth from one of my pant legs as though I was a rudimentary t-shirt cannon. As soon as they flew out of my gray wool slacks, I knew what had happened, and when the underpants reached my eye level, they seemed to freeze in mid-air. Apparently, they didn't just freeze in time and space for me. Everyone around me, all the girls in my class included, got a very good look at this mysterious flying object. In one swift move, I snatched them out of the air, and put them in my pocket. No Vegas magician could have performed the hand movement faster, but it was too late. Everyone had seen it. Everyone in my class knew I was capable of shooting underpants out my legs like a human canon, a human cannon that shoots underpants instead of cannonballs. I felt like my life was over. But it wasn't, because life can be cruel. In my case, that means that I've gotten to live for many years after that incident, and thus gotten to endure many more such moments, one of which came my way only weeks ago.

Where it happened
It's a long, and straight descent on my way to work. In some parts it's about 15% grade, newly paved, and about a mile and a half long. When I first started riding to work, I would try to see how fast I could go down it, foolishly testing my aero position just as I used to in the summer of 1984, when I first saw a mountain stage of the Tour de France on television. On a side note, I will now tell you guys something that I've seldom told anyone. Sometimes, when I ride my bike downhill, I will fart and jokingly pretend that its force magically propels me forward like a jet engine. Yes, it's true. My mortgage may indicate that I'm semi-grown up, but my fart-as-jet-engine shenanigans say otherwise.

Anyway....just a few weeks ago, I was starting to go down this fast descent. I was sitting up, taking my time as I went down, when I felt a sudden chill due to the cold morning air. Without putting much thought into it, I bit down on my jersey's collar, and used my right hand to zip up. (I did this to straighten out the zipper. A wiser and more experienced person pointed out today that you can get the same result by tugging on the lower part of your jersey...but I'm an idiot and I didn't think of that. I guess I also didn't want to let go of both hands...but you get my point.) Once I was done zipping up, my right hand went back on the hood, and I attempted to let my collar go from the grip of my teeth. It's at this point of the story that I should remind all of you of the fact that I am amazingly awesome, and thus wear adult braces (something I've mentioned before). Anyway, as I attempted to let go of the jersey from my teeth...it simply didn't work. My teeth weren't gripping the jersey, but my mouth was still somehow stuck to the jersey. I couldn't move my chin up, so I could barely look up as my speed increased. What the hell was happening? Well, as luck would have it, my god damned adult braces were stuck on a thread from the jersey. Because of this fantastic mishap, my chin was pretty much resting on my chest, and I could barely see where I was going. I began to panic. I started to wrestle furiously with the jersey, like the cheap mechanic shark from Jaws. To the cars around me, it probably looked like I was having a seizure. My life flashed before me. In retrospect, I could have clearly tried to put on the breaks and figure out the situation...but as it was happening, I couldn't even see where I was going, and I didn't understand what on earth was happening. I was well beyond DEFCON 1. At the bottom of the hill, I stopped for the stop light while still in a panic. My braces were still stuck to my jersey. By then I had sort of figured out why this was happening, but was no closer to solving the problem. The car next to me was filled with young high school-aged girls, all laughing at my attempts to free my braces from the evil grip of my jersey. Eventually, I tugged hard on the jersey...which was painful for my teeth, left a hole in the jersey, and made the girls in the car laugh so hard that their laughter left a hole in my soul. Not really, but you get my point.