jerks


And by “funny” I mean not at all. Unless contriving a conflict is funny.

As teflon-coated as I like to pretend I am, I do get and remain peeved by trivial affrontations for far longer than necessary or required, and my rule of thumb is if I’m still stewing more than a day later, then it’s time to vent. Well, here it is a day and a half later and in my head I’m still telling the jackasses to fuck off, so of course it’s time to loosen up the pressure valve.

I had just started my pre-ride spiel to the awesome group of cyclists who had gathered in the parking lot of SilverSun Plaza for the Watts Happening ride when this semi-haggard, possibly hungover guy who looked foul-mooded enough to have been able to find easy fault in butterflies or a beautiful day, interrupted me with a demand for my attention as he passed by.

I obliged Sir Surly who then wasted little time in condescendingly chiding me for what he perceived as my obvious lack of consideration in allowing my fellow cyclists to loiter directly in front of SilverSun Liquor the overpriced booze farm that anchors the east end of the garish stripmall. He instructed me that our presence there in the lot along the front of the repository of drowned sorrows  at such an apparently high alcohol-demand hour of 10 a.m. was bullshit because it was preventing patrons from accessing the store’s two nearest parking places and thus in the span of the 30 or so minutes spent gathering there we had dramatically impeded its sales and thus were in the midst of inflicting great negative impact both upon the proprietor’s livelihood and the phantom patrons’ convenience.

His advice, in so many words, was for us silly cycling second-class ingrate lot hogs to stop being dicks and understand that the world doesn’t revolve around us, because it more appropriately revolves around his and the booze dealer’s sour grapes.

Let’s go to the neverminds, shall we?

Nevermind:

  1. That there were plenty of empty parking spaces in the lot.
  2. That we obviously would have moved had a driver chosen to park in one of the two in front of the store where we were — but none did.
  3. That several of the assembled cyclists had actually patronized the liquor store.
  4. That by delaying my opening remarks the idiot was actually keeping us there longer.
  5. That the grumblebum made an argument that didn’t at all pertain to him when he showed himself to be a  pedestrian when he walked from me to the corner in order to cross Sunset Boulevard — perhaps to see if there might be an impromptu Alcoholics Anonymous session taking place on the other side of the street at Cafe Tropical.

I wasn’t sure what this jerk’s vested interest was or what motivated the blindside, but  in the interest of not really caring and also not wanting to provoke the assbag into provoking me into getting all foul-mouthed and demonstrative, I basically shooed him on his way with “You are absolutely right, sir. Cars rool. Cyclists drool. Have a great day!”

Then I turned back to my riders, trying to remember what I’d been saying before being so rudely interrupted, and dang if the liquor store’s Sikh proprietor in all his mustachioed, bearded and turbaned glory was standing in the doorway skewering me with a glowering glare as if I had insulted something dear to him.

I tried to ignore the burn of his stare while getting back on track, but I could only withstanding the searing heat for a few moments until I diplomatically offered to the elder not to get his headwrap all in a bunch because we would be on our way in a matter of minutes. The contemptuous codger kept his laser gaze leveled at me for several deathless and silent seconds before finally nodding almost imperceptibly, as if it took every fiber of his arrogant being.

True to my word, I finished up my speechifying shortly thereafter and we were soon on the road away from the assholes of the morning and on to what turned out to be a most awesome 32-mile excursion to South Los Angeles and back. In leaving I did none of the below, but had toyed with letting the owner know that:

  1. As an area resident and past patron he’d never have to worry about me buying anything from his store again ever.
  2. That I’d be back next Saturday morning to gather riders together in exactly the same place for the Frank Lloyd Wride. And the Saturday after that for the Two Rivers Ride. And the Saturday after that for the Black Dahlia/West Adams Ride. So get the hell used to it.
  3. I’d be strongly encouraging that all of my fellow riders set neither a foot or spend nary a nickel there.

Coming home last night from work in the still-light late afternoon I opted to go the “long way” east across Jefferson to pay my annual spring visit to the Exposition Park Rose Garden, then up Figueroa to 2nd to Glendale around Echo Park Lake and home via Sunset.

Everything was awesome, up until I was northbound on Fig approaching 4th and the latest in the endless stream of inbred motorists dickwads — this one in a full-sized silver pick-up — passes less than two feet from me and lays on his horn despite having room to pass me without the honk and also to move to the left.

Here he is in mid-pass from my sunglasses cam, close enough not only to scare the crap out of me with or without the horn, but also close enough for me in the truck’s wake to get a solid whiff of the skunkweed emanating from the closed cab.

In the next frame, you’ll see he’s further up the block, prepping to make a right turn on 4th and either oblivious to or not interested in  my loud and heated invitation for him to stop and let me physically demonstrate my disdain upon his head and ass until he apologized for being a self-entititle cromag with no respect for anyone but his drug dealer.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. In the next frame I’ve arrived at 4th and I’ve wisely decided that the dipshit isn’t worth chasing down, much less the prison time I’d incur from stomping a hole through his stomach. So I stay on Fig and give the truck a dismissive wave and shake of the head as I pass. Trouble is those two fixie riders on the sidewalk you see there? They see me wave and for some stoopid reason they think I’m dissing them.

Of course I don’t know this until I get up between 3rd and 2nd streets and pull off to the side of the road, seething and half-hoping the truck might be coming back onto Figueroa from 3rd. This doesn’t happen, but in short order the two fixies pass me and the second guy makes a deliberate effort to dismissively wave at me and shake his head as he goes by, like so.

At first I’m all WTF, but since I’m not the dimmest bulb on the chandlier I figure they must’ve thought I was insulting them as I passed them at 4th and they were returning the favor. So, when traffic cleared I get in the left lane for my turn on to 2nd and catch up with them at the intersection, where I seek confirmation of my theory. The guy smiles and shrugs when I ask him if they thought I’d been dissing them and so I tell him he’s got it all wrong, that  I had been waving at a truck on 4th that had almost hit me, not them.

Dude didn’t look too convinced and was all “Whatever you say, man.”

I started to launch into a defensive sermon about my love for bikes and how I’d be the last sumbitch on the streetz to behave so ignorantly toward another cyclist, but I could tell it was lost on him so I just went on my way home chuckling at how only in my world can a motorist harass and disrespect me with absolutely no consequences — and in the end I’m left having to placate to some sensitive misinterpreting cyclists all because I elected to do the right thing and avoid confronting the bastard.

Sigh.

I’m used to getting slagged at some of my posts on YouTube, most notably the ones where I “hate” on the failings of various other road users that I observe from my bike. In fact, it happens with such regularity that when several days or a week goes by without me being called out there by some anonymous cheesebag I begin to wonder if something’s wrong.

I’m readily dismissive of that trash, but I don’t have the same tolerance for those who stop by this blog and behave in a similar fashion.

Make no mistake, if you want to take me to task or criticize me, I’m totally open to it providing you do so with consideration and in an attempt to promote discourse and dialog — and most importantly: not from behind some sort of phony name and email.

Anything less is fully lacking civility and credibility.

See, I view my blog as a bit of a stage version of my house, in other words there’s no fourth wall and anyone can grab a seat in the theater and observe the stuff I report on.

But it’s my house. And sure, I know that having open and unmoderated comments leaves anyone in the peanut gallery feeling so entitled to stand up and shout what an idiot they think I am. And that’s fine because 89.9523% of the general population is blessed with something that the 10.0477% lack and it’s called a sense of decency.

Speaking of that minority percentage, let’s take this morning’s respondent to my previous post about the bike count, one which I rightfully predicted there would be people who’d have no problem finding me to be way outta line in their not so humble opinions. Using the name “Aw Shux. Credit? No thx!” and the email address of “Anonymousjonson@gmail.com” this person couldn’t resist leaving the following comment:

(more…)

I ask because I certainly got some guy in the Lexura coupe behind me all hot and bothered. Admittedly I was daydreaming southbound on Madison and missed the red turning to green in front of Sony Pictures in Culver City, hotbed of a high-speed transit corridor that it is.

Of course, I realized my absentmindedness a split second too late for the fellow and thus suffered the indignity of the driver burping his luxury vehicle’s over-compensating horn at me because how dare I make him a couple seconds late in getting to the red light a couple hundred feet away at Culver Boulevard.

The horror.

As you’ll clearly hear from my reaction, he got me a little steamy as well. And yes, for the WTF insult of the day I refer to him derisively as a “chicken bone.” I have no idea where that came from other than some sort of free-association thing. G’head, dwell on it.

Couple small points of order that motorists might be wise to heed:

1) Exploring opportunities that allow you not to be an impatient dick is a good thing.

2) It’s important to climb out of your coccoon of self-absorbed superiority and understand that in your hermetically sealed, sound dampened, climate-controlled cockpit full of burled wood and hand-rubbed Corinthian leather while thrilling over the latest offering from Kenny G, your motherfucking horn is not NEARLY as loud as it is to the cyclist whose ass you’ve pulled right up behind.

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