A few days ago you might recall I waxed apoplectic over an article in the Times that waxed apopleptic over the joys and necessities of spending upwards of $8,000 or more for a bicycle. Indeed as an off-the-rack and rebuild type of cyclist I dared to dismiss and demean that niche market of really rich people on really expensive rides. Some people might say I doth protest too much. Some people might say there are better battles to fight. Some people might say I was a little harsh or stupid. Some people like commenter Ed who, from an @worldofwonder.net email address from which I presume he’s currently employed, chimed in several days after the fact with this little missed-the-point nugget that finished with rather a low blow that indicates he first read yesterday’s lamenting post about my continuing state of joblessness and found out the true reason why:

What’s the fuss about? Many serious cyclists have custom made frames, although not at that high a price tag. And many of them don’t brag about the frame, the cost, etc. No wonder you’re unemployable – you have a chip on your shoulder the size of Catalina.

If you’re like my wonderful wife you probably read what Ed said and voiced something along the lines of “What a jackass!” And in a few minutes you’ll have relegated Ed to the growing panel of internuts and forgotten about it and him and moved on with your life. Man, I wish I were like you and my wife. Because me? I dwell. First I post a semi light-hearted and decidedly expletive-free reply that seems to indicate my actual lack of a chip (or at least one much smaller than Ed’s island-sized idea) like this:

Man Ed, you’ve got balls the size of my chip coming in here with such a weak little smackdown that’s almost as chicken shit as it is a cheap shot. No on second thought it IS as chicken shit as it is a cheap shot. Looks like World Of Wonder won’t be offering me a job anytime soon, eh?

Then I dwell some more. I argue internally with this Ed in my head about how I have no problem with owners of “custom-made frames although not at that high a pricetag.” I cuss a bit in telling Ed that in fact my entire post had absolutely nothing to do with anyone but those who are owners of custom bikes at that high a price tag. Beyond presuming Ed to be a rather obvious proponent of such lower-end custom-made bikes I wonder what kind a synaptic misfire he must be suffering from to go tangent with an argument I did not make. I mean, if I posted on my blog the low regard I have specifically for orange trees that grow four-inch fruit or republicans who drive 7-Series BMWs would I be able to count on impolite extrapolatin’ Ed to come back to tell me I suck because “many orange trees have oranges, although not at that size” or “many republicans have beemers, but they’re 5-Series? Yikes, that’s a special little-bus level of logic he’s got going there.

But then we come to his closing statement, where he goes on a caged hunt and brings his popgun to bear on a pretty easy and wounded target that he’s pinned up against a corner of the corral, and it’s that what I find the most dander-up perplexing. Somehow Ed managers to draw the sweeping conclusion that my singular disdain for high-priced cycles is obvious proof of my unemployability. Now that’s not a synaptic break causing such a leap. That’s delusional!

I finally shake Ed out of my head in enough time last night to enjoy dinner with my wife and then get my $400 off-the-rack bike ready and join my buddy Steve on a 30-mile ride from Silver Lake up to the Rose Bowl and back in mid-30-degree temperatures. At various points along the way, Ed snakes back into my cranium like an invasive creeping vine and I dwell on him some more. I dwell on things like “what kind of person or lack thereof does Ed present himself to be by posting up such a kneejerk mean-spirited snap judgment like that to a person he doesn’t even know.” I feel relief knowing that the size of my chip pales in comparison to how big an ass he’s shown himself to be. And I wonder how many others like him are out there and I lose count at 467,258. But at least it got my mind off how cold my hands were.

When I get home from the ride and thaw out, exhausted and exhilirated from yet another Midnight Ridazz adventure, I log on to see if my posted comment or the email with those same thoughts that I sent has brought Ed out of his hole for another point-and-shoot. It hasn’t. Sitting there spoiling for another round, instead I’m forced to consider how I put myself at risk for these petty snipers by daring to have opinions on all things insignificant and maybe some significant and also daring to be honest and open about the various states of my life, good bad and ugly. I think about how it would probably be safer if I killed off this blog or at least kept it quieter or took it underground, but that’s not how I roll. To do so means the Eds of the world win. And the Eds of the world are not winners.

So in the meantime this little project definitely leaves me open to dwelling on the unchecked aggravation of the snitty hit-and-runners who google “custom bikes” or “parking tards” and wind up reading my rantings that offend them enough to express themselves so lamely. But the Eds of the ether out there gotta be careful as I’m not the only one vulnerable. Because if, say, hypothetically I did have a 24-square-mile chip on my shoulder I’d hyptothetically ignore whether his email address is valid or not and go straight to the telltale IP address that was logged when Ed posted his comment and hypothectically I’d find that his little bitch-n-moan originated from a World of Wonder server which would hypothetically lead me to the World of Wonder website, which might hypothetically list its Hollywood address, allowing me and my hypothetical chip to pay the place a visit and inquire politely as to where I might find such a diligent scoundrel by the name of Ed and present myself to him with a hypothetical invitation to:

  1. Kiss my righteous ass.
  2. Invite him into a discussion with his immediate superior as to why he’s utilizing company resources for such trollish online behavior.
  3. Buy me a cup of coffee so that we can show each other that we’re either the respective chip-bearing or one-dimensional logic-impaired asses we believe each other to be or maybe that there’s more to us than what we write.

Hypothetically, why don’t you dwell on that one a bit Ed.