There’s a part of me that’s really pissed and a part of me that’s really glad I didn’t understand what the guy yelled at us.
As Eric, Michael, Mack, Stephen, Ingrid and I in all our laidback IAALâ€¢MAFness rolled west on 11th Street across Broadway sometime around 9 p.m. last night, a muddled bellow from behind us took us by surprise and I whipped around at the sound to find several people gathered on the sidewalk near the southeast corner of that intersection. I wasn’t able to figure out who said what or what was said. All I knew was that the voice was male and what came out was “Dah rah gizz bah caz,” and my first and main thought was all “whoa… better be last call for that fella.” Then when we just looked at them and they just looked at us and whoever it was didn’t follow up such witless mumblings with more, we just pointed our heads forward and kept on riding.
Had my comprehension of his statement been immediate, our quiet and casual and easygoing and fun ride around a mostly deserted downtown would have taken a decidedly noisy and confrontational turn as of course I would have peeled off, circled back and imposed upon the guy the following questions:
- Did he have to work hard to be such a skinflute or did it just came natural?
- Where the fuck did he get off coming up with the totally awesome idea of showcasing what a complete asshole he was?
- Was he always in the habit of instigating shit by saying stupid things to strangers who just might opt to jack his ass up?
- To what might he attribute the uncontrollable impulse to harsh my mellow: a) alcohol and/or narcotics, b) a lack of breastfeeding as an infant, or conversely a prolonged period of breastfeeding deep into his toddler years, c) some sort of compulsive syndrome, or d) all of the above?
But none of that happened because instead, it wasn’t until we’d gone to the next street — Hill — and turned right that Ingrid and Stephen and Michael mockingly repeated what the asstard had spewed:
“The road is for cars!”
I believe I expressed my incredulity at such a statement with something along the lines of “You’re shitting me! That’s what he said!?” And when they assured me they were not they also demonstrated the enviable ability to laugh off the ignoramus by pointing out the irony of a pedestrian on the sidewalk making such a statement. I in the meantime was trying to comprehend what would possess someone to be so award-winningly lame while at the same time squeezing the handlebars hard and seeing red, and tensing up with hackles locked and loaded. For another half a block I was stuck in a struggle between the forces of calm and chaos with one fighting to keep me moving forward and the other reeeeeaaaaalllly wanting to turn around and go back with my list of questions. And my pepper spray. The internal dialogue went something like this:
It’s not too late to go back and give that guy what for!
Yes, it is.
No, it fucking isn’t!!
Come on, calm down.
Don’t fucking tell me what to do!!!
Well, think of your friends. They came here to have fun, not get into fights with meaningless idiots.
Besides, you could end up hurt.
Gah, I hate logic and reason!!!!!
No you don’t.
Don’t tell me what I do and don’t hate!!!!!!
Fine, just stop adding an additional exclamation point at the end of each new statement. And don’t turn around.
And this pretty much looped inside my head until we got all the way up to Pershing Square, where my ego finally gave up. Mostly.
Like I said, I’m ultimately happy I restrained myself, not just for my sake but for the sakes of my friends who can put up with that crap far better than me and shouldn’t be punished for it. But I’m also ultimately unhappy that there are people out there such as this malformed punktwerp pedestrian who propulgate a tired status quo and see a group of cyclists enjoying the ride as the problem. You’re the problem, pal.