Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Edmonton resident proclaims himself Tour de France winner

Sam Smug of Edmonton, Alberta, announced today that he has completed the gruelling Tour de France a week ahead of anybody else, making him the clear winner by 245 hours. And he wants to make it clear that he didn’t even have to take any illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

“All I did was build myself a pair of robot legs,” explained Mr. Smug. “Each leg is made from reinforced steel, weighs 212 pounds, is two metres long and 70 centimetres in diameter. When I walk towards my kids, they shriek with alarm. CLANK! CLANK! CLANK! go my legs. EEK! EEK! EEK! go the little monsters. It makes me double over with laughter to see ‘em!”

Sam Smug started the Tour de France on July 7, just like the other cyclists, but his competitive advantage became quickly apparent. Hurtling through the French countryside, he waved to passengers of the TGV (train à grande vitesse – high speed train) and at one point, even accepted a bag of peanuts that a passenger handed him through the window.

“That now stands in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest peanut hand-over in world history, at 302 kilometres per hour,” said Mr. Smug, proudly.

Mr. Smug is becoming used to shattering records. The previous record for fastest tour finish, set by American Lance Armstrong, is now lying in the dust.

“Lance Armstrong’s puny legs are no match for my robot machinery!” chortled Mr. Smug. “I phoned him after my victory lap in Paris. I didn’t need to say much. Mainly, I just laughed at him.”

Mr. Smug reports that, unlike other cyclists, for whom the Tour de France is a brutal exercise in self-imposed torture, for him it was an amusing distraction from his day job as a computer programmer.

“It was a delight,” admitted Mr. Smug. “After each day’s cycling, which of course for me was finished during the first hour of the morning, I would generally retire to the nearest café, have a few Leffes and a salade niçoise, and flirt with the waitresses. Then I’d go to the park and stretch out in the shade of a tree and read Ken Follet novels. Brilliant holiday it was. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Next year, Mr. Smug plans to compete in horse racing.