Friday, August 15, 2008


I had to go to a happy hour at RFD (which stands for Regional Food & Drink, not "The Real F*cking Deal" as some would believe) in Chinatown on Wednesday. It was to prove to ourselves that we could all hang out without the St. Louis guy. Irrelevant details. What I really want to complain about is the dude who called me rude.

I was biking from my office to Chinatown, which takes maybe 7 minutes. I make my last turn and start looking for the place. I decide I had better code-switch to being a pedestrian.

(I sometimes imagine that I am a Transformer, during this process, who can transform from a vehicle to a pedestrian with that "Whirrt-whirrt-WHIRRT-whirrt-whirrt!" sound that all transformers must make. It's the boy in me who swore to his parents that he would never grow out of his Transformers phase.)

Still on my bike, up ahead of me is a red light. Maybe one car waiting for the light. I veer into the left lane, slow down, and stop my bike in the pedestrian crosswalk. As I dismount, I hear the 40-year-old guy who is crossing the street with his younger ladyfriend say to the woman "That was RUDE."

I turn back and say, "Excuse me? Are you talking about me?"

He says from behind his purchased-in-the-80s wraparound sunglasses, "Yes. You were rude, stopping right in front of us."

My mind reels. I was nowhere near the two, and, although I did stop in their path, they were so far away, and they were traveling at such snails' paces, they hadn't even needed to slow down. I give him a confused look and say "What are you talking about?"

Before I could continue this stupid argument, I see my friend on the corner and say "hey!" She says hi, how's it going. I say, "I was just told that I was RUDE." She asks why and I say I have no idea. The 40-year-old and his arm-candy go into a bar.

I guess some people hate bikes so much that they will go out of their way to make bikers feel like scum.

What's wrong with people? Was he in that much of a hurry to drown his sorrows that he thought I was holding him up by simply getting in front of him? Don't people realize bikes are the only way to fix the smog we have in cities, short of putting a lot more money into the Metro system? That we're the effing saints in this equation, and that car drivers should weep with guilt whenever they see us on the road instead of engorging with rage? Please, shower me with medals, not with jibes.

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