The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Henry's Interview Corner


A Beagle Dreams of Finally Getting Some Answers

Lance Armstrong

(Interviewed July 13, 2013)

H:   Our guest today is zero-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong. We’ve picked up his trail just outside his lovely home and it seems as though we’re going to go for a little jog. Lance… Hey Lance!

LA:    What the…Who … you’re a dog.

H:    Yes I am.

LA:    What the hell are you doing?

H:    I’m interviewing you. It’s what I do. You’re welcome.

LA:    I’m trying to run.

H:    I can see that. I thought I’d take the show on the road, so to speak. I could use the exercise. Let’s start with why you’re jogging. You’re a biker.

LA:    There’s more to life than competitive biking.

H:    Like what exactly?

LA:    Like solitary jogging.

H:    Okay.

LA:    And philanthropy.

H:   Well…

LA:    I meant litigation.

H:    Hey, could you hold on a sec? I really have to pee.

LA:    No. You know, this really is easier alone.

H:    Hey, the sidewalk’s yours. I’ll stay on the grass and if the grass runs out I’ll switch over to the street. See? Grass… street…grass…street…grass…

LA:    What I meant to say is that this is really more enjoyable alone.

H:    Really? I thought team sports were your thing.

LA:    Team sports were never my thing. I was the team. There was no team without me. Get it?

H:   Making allowances for the fact that I’m a Beagle who dropped out of puppy training and that my spelling, therefore, is not what it probably should be, my understanding is that there is no “I” in team.

LA:    Guess it all depends on how you spell it, doesn’t it?

H:    Okay, well how do you spell it?

LA:    Lance Fucking Armstrong is how I spell it.

H:    Hmm. You sure it’s not c-o-r-t-i-c-o-s-t-e-r-o-i-d-s?

LA:    No. Leave me alone.

H:   How about E-r-y-t-h-r-o-p-o-i-e-t-i-n?

LA:    No! You … stupid… Agh!

H:    Ooo. Ouch. Yeah, it’s tough to run and kick at dogs at the same time. Those mailboxes really come out of nowhere. You okay?

LA:    Do I look okay?! I’m bleeding!

H:    Little scrape there on the arm. That’ll heal. Mailbox got it much worse than you did. Come on soldier! On your feet! Atta boy!

LA:    So help me God…

H:    I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. God’s not going to help you kick a dog. Not in the middle of an interview.

LA:    This is not an interview.

H:   Right; here’s the interview part: Is it true that you tried to bully and badger and intimidate your teammates into participating in and then covering up the most egregious illegal doping program in the history of professional sports?

LA:    No. The East German doping program in the 70’s and 80’s was much worse.

H:   Laaaaaaanccce….

LA:    Yes! Okay? Yes. I admitted to all of this already! How many times do I have to say it? I’ve publically admitted it.

H:   You mean the Oprah thing?

LA:    Yes, the Oprah thing. What, you think that doesn’t count?

H:    Well…

LA:    She interviews people. What do you want?!

H:    I interview people, Lance. I have interviewed Oprah. She let me sit in her lap.

LA:    What’s your point?

H:   Are you really suggesting you didn’t pick Oprah thinking you might get a bunch of touchy-feely softballs?

LA:    Did you see the interview?

H:   Yes.

LA:    Do you see any softballs?

H:   No. The interview was good. Oprah killed, even though she let you wander around a bit. Anyway, it’s the answers that were concerning.

LA:    I con…fessed. I confessed to everything.

H:   We don’t think you were contrite enough.

LA:    We who?

H:    Beings of planet Earth. We still think you’re lying.

LA:    About what?!

H:    About being sorry. This has the stink of a PR strategy all over it.

LA:    Strategy? Strategy?! What strategy?

H:   A strategy to appease the anti-doping authorities by doing a nationally televised mea culpa, testifying against various officials to help clean up the sport you nearly single-handedly ruined, and then return to competitive athletics under the banner of reformer, freshly expiated and ready to ruin some other competition. Rowing maybe. Or Iron Chef.

LA:    That’s the most ridiculous…

H:   You wouldn’t by any chance be out here training for the triathalon, would you?

LA:    Listen, I’m through talking. Get…get…

H:    Lance?

LA:    What …ow!

H:   Mailbox.

LA:    Why won’t you leave me alone? Shit that hurt.

H:   Get up you big baby. You know Eric Holder and the Justice Department are out for blood.

LA:    Of course I know.

H:    Do you plan on calling the Attorney General a crazy whore too?

LA:    That’s not fair. I never called Emma O’Reilly a crazy whore.

H:   Sorry. You’re right. Let me rephrase: are you going to call the Attorney General a whore and imply that he is also crazy?

LA:    Leave me alone. Please.

H:   You know Rupert Murdoch is coming for you too, right?

LA:    Yes.

H:    For paying you half a million bucks to settle a libel case that you brought against the Sunday Times for accusing you of, of all things, doping.

LA:    Yes. Yes. I know. I lied. What’s your question?

H:    Simply this: Are you going to call Rupert Murdoch a crazy whore also?

LA:    Well… um….

H:   Right. Never mind. Not sure what I was thinking on that one.

LA:    Will you let me run in peace?

H:   Tell you what.

LA:    What.

H:    I’ll leave you alone, but you have to do one thing.

LA:    What.

H:    I’ll even give you a choice.

LA:    Just…can you just…

H:   You can either admit that you were a monstrously obnoxious ass who intimidated, manipulated, and bullied a lot of people into despoiling the sport of cycling all so that you could decorate the mantle of your enormous and fragile ego until the evidence became so overwhelmingly irrefutable that you decided to orchestrate a campaign to clean up your image – first by apologizing to Oprah after the statute of limitations has run for perjury and then by testifying against others – so that you might once again strap on a competitive jersey of some sort…

LA:    Or?

H:   Or you can race my buddy Stretch over there to the Post Office and back. Hey Stretch! Over here! Look at me! I’m talkin’ to Lance Armstrong!

S:   Woof!

LA:    Are you crazy?

H:    I don’t think so. Why?

LA:    First, I can’t go anywhere near the Post Office—any Post Office—any more, ever. Second, he’s a Greyhound.

H:   So.

LA:    So? He’s got twice as many legs as I do.

H:    Oh, right. That’d be cheating, wouldn’t it?

LA:    Go away. Please.

H:   Whatever. Lie-Strong, Dude.

Next Guest:

Paleontologist, Nick Longrich


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