All Apologies: Armstrong-ing Your Life

January 18, 2013

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field...

If he were a body spray, I would spray him all over myself. I have loved Lance Armstrong from the beginning and I will love him to the end. All he’s ever done is win, win, win and then win some more. It doesn’t matter if he has a mean, rat face, he is my man and I would be in his drum circle in a second. I own 17 Live Strong bracelets. Two of them were even custom made, with one serving as a “power choker” and the other acting as a kind of belt/floatation device that I like to wear when I’m in the water. That’s how committed I am to the man and his ideas.

At any rate, Lance has taught me that you have to do whatever it takes to win, all the while accumulating as much money and as many sex partners as possible, and if that means cheating and lying and lying and really, really committing to the lie, then that’s what it takes.

On Thursday, Lance Armstrong bravely went on Oprah to share his winning philosophy with the public. It was inspiring and I kind of feel like it’s America all over the world today. Lance makes me a better person, and following his lead I would like to clear up any uncertainties that might orbit some of the great sporting accomplishments of my life.

Angry Birds
I have often told people that I completed Angry Birds Star Wars in just four days, achieving three stars on each level. This is not true. At a certain point, I just gave up and decided that it would be easier to lie than it would be to work to achieve my goal. I am sorry if this confused people, particularly my nephews, but winners write the story of their own lives.

Although I have often told the story of how a movie producer saw me doing a completely awesome Tokyo Drift while racing at a Go-Kart track and then asked if I would be a stunt driver on the movie Drive, this is not entirely true. The movie producer was the father of a 10-year-old boy who had very aggressive tendencies while driving, tendencies that necessitated that I run him off the into the tire barrier. I was on cocaine at the time, so my adrenaline was at a warrior’s peak, and I do regret that I fought the boy’s father on the racetrack, as it was clearly disruptive for the other drivers.

Online Scrabble
I have a reputation for being a pretty awesome Scrabble player, and while this is true I have to acknowledge that to consistently compete at a top level I have used Anagram Solver Programs. It started off innocently enough. I had a hangover and was having trouble with my words one day and thought that on this particular occasion it would be okay to get a little help, but the next thing I knew I had begun to rely on it to spell all the words I played rather than spelling them myself. I am sorry to all who were hurt by this behaviour, although due to circumstances beyond my control I will be unable to pay back any of the money my opponents might have lost to me in bets.

I did not sing a Karaoke duet of Under Pressure with Lance Armstrong at a bar in New York City. I have never been to New York City nor have I ever met Lance Armstrong, my hero. I believe that I dreamt this and carried it with me into my waking life. I went through a stressful period when I was learning how to parallel park and I consequently took sleeping pills and drank quite regularly, and I fear that the line between fact and fantasy may have become blurred. I regret my error but still hope that one day I might get to live-out my dream.

The Batting Cage
After returning from a vacation in Cuba I told many people that I visited a batting cage in Havana. This is true. It is also true that many Cuban men snickered at me as I waited in line to have my turn, saying things in Spanish that I could not understand but that I sensed were very unkind. (Tortuga pequena temblorosa?)

In the version of events that happened in my heart, I crushed every single pitch that came my way, and as I walked out of the cage all of the Cuban men celebrated me and gave me the thumbs up. We then drank rum and played dice games until dawn. That is the story I tell, but the truth is that I was unable to connect with any of the pitches because Communist pitching machines don’t work properly. All the lazy Cuban men who had been watching laughed and laughed and laughed at me. And then I got diarrhea. End. Of. Story.

The paintball trophy I have in my home was bought at a Value Village and not won at a weeklong tournament held on a secret military base where I was nicknamed The Colonel. I apologize for the misunderstanding.


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Photo by AFP

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field. He won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest and dislikes Cuba. He works as a creative writer, copywriter, blogger and “journalist” and as he is modest, he feels awkward talking about his genius, which he recently found out does not translate into IQ tests. His work has appeared in the Toronto Standard, Slant Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and