The first year that I went to the bike industry trade show in Las Vegas was , I think, 1995. While we were walking around, Brad and I ran into Missy Giove, the infamous Women's Downhill champ who was perhaps best known for racing with the preserved remains of her dead pet Piranha on a chain around her neck.
As we talked, Missy eyed my Diet Coke and asked if she could have a drink of it.
"Sure," I said, as I handed it over.
She sipped from my straw, and handed the drink back to me. We continued talking and, eventually headed our separate ways. But, before we split, I got her to pose for some pictures kissing me on the cheek.
We had a young mechanic, Brian, at the shop who virtually worshiped Missy. I knew it would make him jealous to see the pictures of her bussing me on the cheek.
When we got back to the shop, at the end of the week, I handed out bags of schwag to all of the employees who didn't get to go to the show. I had gathered up stickers, posters, free samples, etc, all during the show and filled plastic grocery bags up for everyone.
To Brian's bag, I added the straw that Missy had drunk from, and the prints of the pictures of her kissing me.
After he got over being annoyed that Missy's lips had touched the straw, but not him, Brian constructed a little shrine with the photos and the straw, and hung it on the tool rack above his bench in the Service Department.
Missy has fallen from grace, somewhat, in the intervening years. Recently, she was arrested in connection with a conspiracy to sell about a ton of marijuana.
I prefer to remember her as the pro racer who was willing to kiss a stranger, just to play a joke on a bike mechanic.