I am a motorist in Austin. I drive a car about town. I have eyes that watch the road. Feet that press the appropriate pedals at appropriate times. A neck that turns to check to blind spot in times needed.
I'm a good driver. I respect other people on the road. I do not use my horn unless absolutely needed. Rarely is the word I would use to describe the number of times I've used my middle finger to show disgust.
Pedestrians, you get the right of way with me. Busses, I shall not pass your whale like body and risk causing a ripple in the strong current of traffic passing you. Eighteen-wheelers, I shall never fuck with you and your wind currents of woe. Respect from me you do have. (<--- Yoda style)
I do my best with you. I do. I try my damndest. I respect you and your respectable modes of transportation. I admire your helmets. Your jaunty use of hand signals. Your strong legs pressing you forward to your destination.
So what's your problem with me?
Besides the fact that I'm adding to the problem of polluting the air and using up valuable fossil fuel resources to take my ass to places that support capitalism and the killing of baby owels so that their toes may be used in abrasive toxic cleaning chemicals.
Aside from that.
Somewhere along the asphalt paved way, we hit a pothole of misunderstanding. My alignment with you was destroyed somehow and the shrill ringing from your handle bar bell still haunts my sleep.
Scene: A road. A nice road. A nice road with a bicycle lane. There are cars parked in said bicycle lane. There are birds flying in the sky. The smell of jasmine is in the air.
LadeeLeroy: What a grand day it is! How I love to be driving out and about on such a fine pre-summer day as this. What do you say, sweet pimptastic ride?
Honda Civic: Dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyum. This day is all looking fine and shit. My wheels are loving the feeling of this nice pavement. My Jedda cassette player is blasting some fine ass tunes. My interior is clean and my carpets are smelling like the musk of a lean minx.
LadeeLeroy: This is because I cleaned you, horseless ride of awesomeness. I took the time and wiped your dashboard down to make it look wet when it is, in fact, dry. I vacuumed up the numerous french fries that had once dwelled under your seats laying a foundation for a city of some sort to evolve. Straw wrappers became citizens of that under world, but were quickly enslaved by the larger power of bank and Pronto Mart receipts. But they became weak and were quickly overthrown by the hardened ways of empty CD cases and random shoes of woe. Woe!
Honda Civic: That's right. My shit was jacked all up in here. Totally jacked.
LadeeLeroy: But now you shine and sparkle in the wonderful Austin sun. Stunning. Damn stunning you are.
Honda Civic: Thank you LadeeLeroy. Thank you for my "I Used To Be Jacked But Now I'm All That" make over.
LadeeLeroy: You are welcome. Tarry ho! Onward shall we shine as we make our way towards our destination.
And onward did they drive. The two friends encounter a strange situation.
Stragne Situation: Braugh! Braugh. Weirdness is all about! Surreal surroundings cloud your judgement. What is this. normalcy? NO! No! It is not! It's strange. So very very strange.
LadeeLeroy: Strange indeed. Cars parked in a bike lane? Never have I encountered such an occurence. I must take precaution as to make my way through without trepidation.
Honda Civic: True that. We don't need no damn trepidation getting all trepidatey up in our faces.
Stange Situation: Oh! Oh! Oh! Not weird enough for you? Not enough danger presented? Well! Well. Let me up the risk factor here and throw in this!
Suddenly, a bicyclist appears. He is wearing a helmet. He is wearing a backpack. He is on a fine looking Mongoose mountain bike complete with red flashing light to alert less precautious drivers to his presence.
LadeeLeroy: Being of the precautious ilk, I recognize that a bicyclist is now present in this strange situation. I also notice that his appropriate lane has been occupied by SUVs, lemon-yellow Hummers, and other vehicles of largeness. I can see that he is having difficulty manuevering around such obstacles. In order to make his travels more safe and lessen the power of this strange situation, I will simply pass the bicycle and its rider on the right hand side as to insure both his and my safety.
Honda Civic: Damn, LadeeLeroy. You are one smart, safe bizzitch.
LadeeLeroy: Thank you my civil Civic.
LadeeLeroy makes sure that her path is clear. There is no on coming traffic. There is no yellow double line. She signals, accelerates and passes the bicyclist.
Bike Rider: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?! ANGER ANGER ANGER DIRECTED IN YOUR DIRECTION.
Honda Civic: Uh-oh.
LadeeLeroy: What-? Huh-? I- I-
Bike Rider: You fucking piece of shit! Get some fucking patience. Give bikes the right.
Honda Civic: I feel uncomfortable.
LadeeLeroy: As do I- What should we do?
Honda Civic: Don't ask me. I'm only a car. A car that doesn't talk unless you're writing about some car adventure. The only thing I know how to do is drive.
LadeeLeroy: Then drive! Drive Honda Civic! Drive like you've never driven before.
In a panic, both Honda Civic and LadeeLeroy quickly drive away from the Strange s
Strange Situation: Now onto world domination!!!!!!!!!!!
LadeeLeroy and Honda Civic arrive at a stop sign. They stop.
Honda Civic: Whoa. That was some fucked up shit.
LadeeLeroy: He called me a piece of shit. That really hurt my feelings. I thought I was doing the right thing by not waiting behind him and making him feel as if he needed to rush. I was just avoiding a strange situation that I'd never been in before. Thinking safely does not qualify me for being a bowel movement of stinkiness does it?
Honda Civic: No. No it doesn't. There, there. Don't get upset. Don't take it personally. Remember the four agreements.
Just then, the bike rider also arrives at the stop sign.
Honda Civic & LadeeLeroy: Oh shit.
Honda Civic: What do we do? What do we do?
LadeeLeroy: I don't know about you, but I'm going to look forward as if I am competely intrigued with the passing traffic and the fire hydrant across the way.
Honda Civic: Oh. Good idea. I'll do that too.
All three sit. The bike rider mumbles under his breath remarks that LadeeLeroy should not take personally, according to the four agreements.
Bike Rider: stupid girls driving stupid honda civics with her stupid radio tuned into stupid NPR while she stupidly looks foward. she is so stupid. you can tell just by looking at that girl right there sitting in the honda civic that she is the stupidest person ever. that girl is stupid and i mean stupid in the most personal way.
LadeeLeroy: That is the most fascinating fire hydrant I have ever seen. I will not ever ever ever take my eyes off of it.
Honda Civic: I'm glad that I don't have any real feelings or my self esteem would be bruised by now.
There is a break in traffic. LadeeLeroy and Honda Civic begin to lull forward into their designated lane.... But before that occurs, the Bike Rider does the unthinkable....
Bike Rider: Hacktooey.
A large ball of spit flies from his mouth as he turns his bike in the other direction. LadeeLeroy's eyes pry themselves from the fire hydrant and watch as it floats through the air and, as if guided by the Godess Of Huffy, lands squarely on the freshly washed hood on the Honda Civic.
Honda Civic: I'VE BEEN HIT!
Honda Civic: Oh! Oh! The pain! The horrendous dirty germy pain!
LadeeLeroy: Oh, Honda Civic! Honda Civic! Can you speak! Can you speak!
Honda Civic: Don't loooooook at me! Don't! I must be hideous. HIDEEEEEEEEEEEOUSSSSESESESES. So hideoususouousous.
The spit ball slowly melts in the sun. It spreads spider legs and flows down the aerodynamic hoodage.
LadeeLeroy: No! NO! NOOOOO! Honda Civic! This is all my fault! If only I had not played it safe and driven incredibly slowly behind that Bike Rider, none of this would have happened.
Honda Civic: Gasp. Gasp. No time to talk. Get me home before any other cars with metaphoric personalities notice me.
And home we went. When I parked outside the house, I examined the wound. It was dry and crusty. I went inside and sat, twiddling my drivers license, doubting that I was fit to drive.
I am a safe driver. I am a safe driver. I drive the safe way.
I drive the safe way.
I do give bikes the right. I give bikes more than the right. I give them my respect. My right lane when needed, my friendly wave when they pause at crosswalks.
I am a good person. I am. I am not a piece of shit.
Bicyclists? What's your problem with me? Why did you take your anger out on my Honda. My sweet, innocent Honda. This tragic occurence will take months to heal. Months.
But I'm not going to take it personally.