Sweet, Stale Little Lies

Fake bread, old tricks, and how neither are great but still edible.

If you put enough work into something, reach some relative level of success and comfortability, it’s only natural that you’ll want to have more of it. Sustain it. How you might be emboldened by it, maybe even start to fudge the rules a bit when you get a little too much of it or start feeling the cold, creeping anxiety of it beginning to slip away.

Back in October, an Irish court ruled that the international fast-food giant Subway’s bread is not, in fact, bread. Due to its high sugar content, it’s now categorized as a confectionary. The literal foundation of their sandwiches, the aroma of which they pump through their restaurants and out into the surrounding streets to Pepé Le Pew the horngry lunch crowd through their doors, is a lie. (At least according to Ireland’s Value-Added Tax Act.)

Is the worst thing we’ve ever learned about Subway is that their bread leans more cake than biscuit? Yeah, no. No, it is not. Does a sugar-infused dough that’s likely designed to become addictive to customers speak to the craven lengths a corporation will go to continue its successes at the expense of their customer’s health? You bet. They’re just working the faulty system that’s laid out before them, we all acknowledge solemnly.

Maintaining a successful career isn’t easy work either—especially one as an extreme sports athlete. A professional skateboarders’ main challenge is to stay relevant in a field that gorges itself on youth. That requires consistent coverage in magazines, videos, and a steady output of social media offerings.

Sometimes it can be difficult to produce what’s necessary. There are innumerable potential obstacles in the way—injuries, age, lack of motivation. But maybe, if you’re lucky when that deadline arrives, you can put some vaseline over the lens and pull one over on the masses.

Colin McKay was not lucky.

Lucas’ keen eyes revealed McKay’s recycling of a 6+-year-old trick in Danny Way’s recent video part—the Mega Ramp section that we’ve been promised for close to a decade. One that has been delayed due to injuries, environmental issues with the Hawaii-based ramp itself, apparent scheduling snafus with DC, and as some folks theorize, Way being repeatedly forced back to the drawing board following Bob Burnquist’s constant one-upping of himself.

By Way’s account, he’d been sitting on this part for a year or more, at least. But considering the evidence, what if the entire thing is over 6+ years old and being passed off as new? Have we been duped? Does it matter? Not really. Is it fair that some pros can coast on name value while others fade into the ether, some with grace or weird knife sponsors on the way out? Probably not. That’s just the way the system works.

In fairness to McKay, I’m not sure he’s technically pro anymore. He’s listed on Plan B’s team page but doesn’t have any boards for sale. If that’s the case, a quiet retirement is a good way to go. A humble acknowledgment of a great career while making room on the roster for the next generation.

Okay, but is it funny that a Hellaclips sticker is what gave his trick away? Oh yeah! Did I ever look at the now-defunct skate-clip aggregate site? Nope! Is the Subway bread good? Yes! I had a footlong veggie patty on Italian Herbs and Cheese last night and enjoyed it thoroughly. Am I aware that I eat too many of them? I’m coming around to it.

That seems to be the tricky part about finding success: knowing when to stop having it. To be happy with where you are and where you’ve been. Before you start reaching a little too far, build a mountain that’s a little too hard to climb and end up telling a lie that’s just a little too sweet to believe.