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Camelbak
by Bean Newton

That’s the name of a sporting
goods company. They provide
"hydration systems" for back-
packers and hikers and rock
climbers and the like. Like
most companies, they can't
be trusted to spell correctly.
Spelling well means you're not
cool, and not cool means no-
body and nobody wants that, not
even a Camel's back. They
couldn't have called themselves
"Humpbak," after all, because
"hump" has naughty connotations,
though camels actually have humps
on their backs, where they store
tourists. After all, it's been
years since the trike craze: steel-
tube-framed, fiberglass-bodied
cruisers with three wheels--the
back, ur, the "bak"--a VW, the
front a chopper. The Humpback, as I
recall, was a brand of trike.
It was sin-ugly, but you could
build one at home in a weekend. But
they were all ugly: the riders, the
"old ladies" on the bak, the old
hempbacks or humpers or humpees,
however the case may have been.
These days, it's all factory-
custom, as America: if you want
something done, you pay somebody
else to do it, some strung-out 300
pound relic who built his own in
1978, an old hippie, drug-runner,
biker, what-have-you.
You supply the VW.

 

 

 

 

 


There was no water involved: the
spool drained out its context on
the hot-contested arena floor. Hot
Dog fumes and popcorn and beer
wafted toward the ceiling or
skyward or heaven-ward or what-
have-you with the smoke from a
thousand pre-rolled joints. You
dare not roll your own in the
arena, forbid the coming of
security or conning of the right
for left a one-two ultrafist combo
or shot of pepper spray to the
eyewholes, the soulholes
should be if windows they are. The
Champ expired in a glyph of pre-
doused terminology; of pre-
condoned, predigested sputum of
multi-track career and his Long
Life (7yrs.) in the Ring. For
awhile he was Lord of, but then the
women/steroids/money drained from
his sack of flesh the blood/pus
combination now drooling toward The
Count and Greg "The Spool" Grosso
breathed his last career high.
Later, poured into a limo, he'd
ghost his way into the long ink.