Why Kim Kardashian and Lance Armstrong are the perfect couple

What’s the story?

Said by a news editor, saliva creeping out the side of his mouth, to a writer.

What’s your story?

Said by a man at a bar, saliva creeping out the side of his mouth, to a random woman who’s just sitting there, reading a book.

Somehow, the two worlds have merged. We’ve all become so used to news cycles, news recycles and news about men on cycles that we know how it goes.

We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. We know these things have a dynamic arc. We know some people end up like Joan of Arc.

Famous people sometimes lose control of their stories and fall by the wayside, sometimes literally.

“Didn’t you used to be Mel Gibson?” we ask, smugly.

Yet recent days have shown us how two of the more famous world names grip their stories like an angler clutches his rod when there’s a shark on the line.

Kim Kardashian’s story looked like it might be cool-de-sacked. Somehow, she was becoming a little stale. Her fans were getting older. Worse, so is she.

How many more brief relationships could be made to make news? So there had to be something new, something vibrant and aspirational.

Those most interested in your story need to move with you. They need to change their lives as — and, perhaps, because — you change yours.

First, Kimmy took up with Kanye. We all could do with a little Kan(ye)-do.

But then suddenly she’s pregnant. She’s up the Hilary Duff. And the story is hers all over again.

Did you see that coming? Did you imagine it would happen so soon? Aren’t you excited?

Doesn’t it suddenly make Kimmy a touch more mature and worldly?

Here is the news.

And think of the commercial opportunities now. A whole new range of products beyond perfume. A whole new type and size of fashion. A whole new Kimmy emerging from the skin of a whole old Kimmy.

It’s not merely a whole new chapter in her life. It’s a whole new book. It’s like Harry Potter suddenly reaching puberty.

There’s a new story to tell. Kimmy will control the telling of it, as surely as if she were producing a reality show. Which, in fact, is precisely what she’s doing.

Her life is news and the news is her life.

One wouldn’t dream of suggesting she’d deliberately got pregnant. But, now that she is, she’s thought about it and knows exactly what to do with it.

She knows how to get more mileage out of it than out of a brand-new Bentley.

You can imagine that Lance Armstrong’s right bicep might, too, have been stuck recently in the pose of Rodin’s Thinker.

His story had been one of defiance, success and more defiance. He defied critics just as surely as he defied cancer.

Nothing could defeat him because he was Lance Armstrong. And once you’ve put so many yellow bracelets out there, you have the world standing carrying you forward, not merely your own balloon of self-confidence.

For a moment, though, the story got away from him. Finally, enough people were willing to declare him a cheat that he risked losing his foundation.

Literally, metaphorically and newsaphorically.

He couldn’t get pregnant. He’d already dated Sheryl Crow. He couldn’t date Kanye. And Demi Lovato wouldn’t have looked right, would it?

What to do? This morning, the New York Times reports that Armstrong is considering coming clean about being dirty.

For most, this wouldn’t be a revelation. There might be a worldwide shrugging of the shoulders or a collective “you don’t say.”

But Lance, ever the competitor, is thinking ahead. A hoe-down, row-down Rodin against the current.

He may now have a new story to tell. It’s one of ambition and redemption. It’s a profession of confession.

Suddenly, Lance the Superhuman can turn himself into Lance, the super human down the street.

No, really, I am just like you. I make mistakes just like you do. Everyone wanted me to win so badly.

Yes, all my fellow countrymen, all my fellow cancer sufferers, all the downtrodden, hopeless dreamers who thought life was just a series of travails.

I was carrying the weight of their expectations on my shoulders. And still I got up the mountain faster than anyone else.

Everyone was on drugs, so I was still better. But, now that all my Tour De Frances have been taken away, I can admit to it. In return, the media can admit me to more column inches, analysis, thoughts, wishes and talk shows.

Soon, the story will be his again. It’ll be full of quaint elements of truth and personal tales that will ravage us yet again, picking the pockets of our emotions for the spare change that he knows is there.

Will we buy it?

Don’t we always?

(Image: Hollywood Backstage/YouTube. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk)