Tue 16 Sep 2008
Then the punk pitched his cigarette at me.
But let me back up to the beginning a block away on Sunset and Parkman where I was stopped waiting for the light to turn green. A champagne colored Japanese coupe pulled alongside my right to make a right turn and as he passed me I heard the driver say out his open window “Way to take up the whole lane dickhead,” before making the right turn that he had plenty of room to make between me — in the bike lane for freak’s sake — and the curb.
Am I the kind of level-head that let’s that shit go? The answer to that is I caught up with him at Parkman and Silver Lake Boulevard where I reeeaaally took him by surprise — no shit he literally jumped in his bucket seat when I skidded to a stop beside him — and asked him if he truly honestly thought I didn’t hear that shit.
“Memory trouble much? You know like 15 seconds ago at Sunset you made a right turn past me and said — and I quote: ‘Way to take up the whole lane dickhead.’”
“Well you were taking up the whole lane.”
“OK, then, explain me this: if I was , as you say ‘taking up the whole lane,’ how on earth did you manage to get by and successfully complete a right turn just after calling me a dickhead?”
All he could do was puff on his cigarette and repeat his previous statement.
“Because that’s some righteous driving skills to be able to somehow get around me without hitting me seeing as I was in the fucking bike lane where I belong and you had the ability to do everything you wanted to do but keep your flapping mouth shut.”
And that’s when he said the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.
“Look man. I ride a bike.”
I looked his nondescript car over.
“Yeah? Nice bike.”
“No really. I ride.”
“Oh well, sure. That makes it all OK then,” and he nodded as if I was being serious so I added, “About you being an asshole I mean.”
He started to say something again, probably either “I ride a bike” or “”You were taking up the whole lane,” but I cut him off before he could get started.
“For argument’s sake,” I said, “let’s A) believe it is indeed true that you ride a bike and B) pretend that I give a shit about any aspect of your life. If so, then what kind of motherfucking idiot are you?”
And he just stared so I added, “No seriously. Please explain to me how you came to be such an impeccable monster asshat because that shit fascinates me.”
That’s when the few words he had failed him and he did this rather fey kind of jerky shudder — almost a petulant tantrum but it really looked awkward on someone his age and hipsterness — and he finished the maneuver off by flicking his cigarette at me and gunned it into Silver Lake Boulevard At first I thought the butt had missed me but looking down later I found the ash mark standing out starkly against the white of my shirt. Probably a good thing I thought his aim was as lame as he was.
Trouble was the braintrust didn’t leave. Instead he cut across the street and around a little island to where Parkman continues southward. And he stopped.
So I pursued. Hotly. And loudly. With language most foul and demoralizing.
And he ran to Marathon, where he made a right and then to Silver Lake where he made another desperation right — there he is in mid-turn:
Given his stupid attempt at escaping me I was able to stay pretty close behind all the while yelling at the top of my lungs all sorts of expletives. Then he made another right at Parkman to go around again and I realized a couple things: 1) he really had to suck if he didn’t know how to get him and his car away from a madman on a bike, and 2) he probably lives around here. As in, nearby. As in, to me.
Here’s looking for you, kid.
So I broke off the chase and left him with “I’ll be seeing you around, neighbor,” and I kept going north a bit on Silver Lake before residual adrenaline forced me to double back and take a last look around. But he was gone, and so I turned back up Silver Lake then up the incline of Ellett Place to Occidental and home.
And yes, this time the timelapse cam was pointed in the right direction and functioning properly, and I’ve spared you the pixelated hell of YouTube by foisting the snippet upon my server as a Quicktime file here. But don’t get all excited, because with the exception of the frenetic little chase scene, most of the action’s taking place out of frame.