Tuesday, January 15, 2013

And the moral is...

Don't be a dick.

No, we are not mincing words here. The moral of the story really is: Don't be a dick. Don't be an asshole. Do not, in any uncertain terms, make your time on this earth a detriment to the rest of us who have to suffer through our time here. Honestly, man, there's so much else out there.

Of course, I was riding my bike. I wasn't even flying along. I was steadily making my way, within all speed limits imposed on users of a multi-use path, to the place where I live, in order that I might pick up my offspring along the way. They are the best part of my day. And the other best part of that day is the quick ride to pick them up; it's like riding a bike towards Christmas.

And it's terrible when you get in my damn way.

I postulated some time ago on the correlation between wearing khakis while riding and motorists being much more considerate. Seems all that considerateness has been exhausted and all that's left are the trembling tendrils of knee-jerk-reaction nerves. No one's waving me through or even seeing my excessively fluorescent yellow jacket until just before the moment of ABS brakes. Nice. And then there are the pedestrians. In the upper part of the commute home, most of these pedestrians are wondering teenagers, very self-absorbed, and completely oblivious to anything, let alone truly hazardous things that are quickly approaching in a possible threat to the teenagers' physical well-being. Nothing has changed, of course; we've always been this way. But now I'm not the teenager. I'm the brightly-colored hazardous thing moving briskly, on my side of the path (of destruction), getting by and trying very hard not to hit anything.

Today, this idiot kid blew smoke in my face.

Now, if you want to be dumb enough to smoke, go for it. It's not my problem. You can do whatever you like with your own body and your mom's money. But when you blow that stupidity in my face, trying to make your scrawny pseudo-gangsta self all threat'nin and shit, well damn man, that's just rude.

I debated for several pedal revolutions as to whether and go back and make a big deal out of it or not. I have kids to pick up. I have professional relations with teenagers all day and I really look forward to the end of the day when I can stop relating with them. And then there's the problem of kids being rude, stupid, dumb, whatever, and getting away with it until they do it to the wrong person and get themselves in jail or the morgue. Ugh. So I turned around and approached him.

He didn't expect me to come back.

He also didn't expect me to try to reason with him, so he kept his headphones on and acted like he didn't know what was going on. Then his buddy mumbled something and spat in my direction, though, thankfully, it was on the ground before it was actually anywhere near me. I became increasingly incensed, and asked if he had something to say. I invited him to come on over and clarify. He considered. He and his buddy, the original smoke-blower, were probably quickly calculating whether or not they could confront me successfully, physically or whatever, and they must have come up with a good answer: no. No way. So I asked if they had a problem, and they claimed ignorance, and I said fine, and wished them luck. I meant it with all my heart. Assholes like that really will need all the luck they can get.

So the moral of the story? Don't be a dick. And its corollary? Don't waste time on teaching ignorant fools about not being ignorant fools. The world will teach them. It will hurt. And in the meantime, I've got kids to pick up. I do still toy with the idea of bring those idiots doughnuts or something though. Doughnuts make everyone happy...

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