Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Commuter Woes

Okay, now I realize that riding your bicycle is a healthful activity. Really, I admire your 5% body fat, and your willingness to exercise out in the lovely sylvan countryside. But.

Mr. “I Just Bought a Bike and All This Bright, Shiny Spandex Crap So I Could Look Just Like Lance Armstrong (Excepting for Having Both Stones Intact)” was out this morning, pedaling his little heart out going toward Springville on Highway 11. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of your old-timey, two lane, unlimited access U.S. highways built back in the long ago. The shoulders are narrow and uneven, and there is no such thing as an emergency lane—there is pavement, and forest. Or a giant mailbox. Or a tractor-trailer. And the speed limit is 55 mph. In other words, not quite the safest environment for someone on a pile of metal soda straws.

I had passed him as I was taking the kids to school, and on the way back down toward town, here he came, laboring along, BEING OVERTAKEN BY A SCHOOL BUS. Which decided that it would be better not to hit Mr. Bikey, BUT TO PULL OVER INTO MY LANE. A busload of schoolkids, on the wrong side of the road.

All for an—I’m sure a very nice, robust, monetarily secure—IDIOT who can’t quite figure out that with all the other streets and roadways in the area, there HAS to be a better place to ride at 7 in the morning. If there’s not, maybe it would behoove you to go earlier, or later, but rush hour ain’t the time.


On then to go fill up the van. Pulled into the Racetrac station (where they do not lac for snacs, and when the guy bends over to get a sac, you can see his crac), filled up and went inside to pay. I had to get my breakfast, you know—Diet Coke and pig-flavored air—so I picked up those, and decided to also get a copy of Old Car Trader for something to look at when I went to the soccer park tonight.

Plopped all that on the counter, and as the guy rang it up, I felt someone walk up to my right rear.

“What you in the market for?”

I turned to see a youngish guy had moved up beside me—short, scraggly, ball cap, checkered shirt unbuttoned all the way down, white wife-beater underneath, with a nice patch of lichen crawling up out of the neck hole.

“Aw, nothin’. Just lookin’ at the pictures.”

I’m sure he was just being friendly.

Friendly in that way of those guys who want to talk to you while you’re standing at the urinal.

One of the Man Rules is that you don’t talk at the urinal—stand close, stare straight ahead, flush, go. Talking once you get to the sink is okay. Marginally. If you’re like really good friends. Otherwise, that’s out, too. The same thing goes, or should go, for standing in line to buy stuff. Normal guys just don’t scan your purchases and then try to strike up a conversation about them.

“You like trucks?”

Aw, gee whiz—I am TRYING TO LEAVE, little creepy crazy dude.

“Ah, well, yeah, I guess.”

He got me all befuddled, and I handed the cashier my debit card instead of my credit card, which meant I had to stand there more precious seconds, and he kept mumbling something.

“’Cause if you want a truck, you know, I got all kinds. I got every decade model of Shivolay back to 1935, you know. That’s what I do, you know.”


He kept right on halfway mumbling to me, to himself, to the line of people behind me.

Finally got the receipt and grabbed my bag of loot and headed on out to the van, half expecting him to follow along, but thankfully he didn’t. I did notice he drove off in an ancient Nissan Maxima.

Go figure.

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