Thursday, March 16, 2006

Scene from Chicago ...

I know we are all bikers, specifically urban bikers, and some of us are urban bikers on track bikes. I know there is a degree of brotherhood amongst this cut of cyclists, but I didn't know how much of a hippy thing it can be. I found myself with a young lady whom had a flat on her very nice track bike. It was obvious she rode in the city a lot, was comfortable on a fixed gear in traffic, and knew how to change a flat. She swapped out her tube for a new one and pumped it up with her hand pump, promptly breaking the presta valve. This has happened to me many times by accident, but it was obvious watching her that this was going to happen for sure (pumping at a 45 degree angle to the valve). Fair enough -- its not my tube or bike. I also noticed that she was fairly assertive in fixing it herself so I figured that a "let me help the poor girl" approach would have been very condescending, so I let her alone. I simply mentioned that I had another tube. So, another rider pulls up, offers up one of his tubes to her, which she accepts and promptly breaks in the identical way she broke the first one. Now I am the best person in the world because I have a spare tube. Fine, its only $5 and I would appreciate one if I was in her situation (without pumping like a character in a Grant Morrisson Doom Patrol comic of course). The tube is taken and the other rider pumps it up with his pump and all is well. The conclusion -- nobody gets a thank you. Without going into too much detail, it was obvious the brotherhood vibe was supposedly in effect and that was why the tubes were not seen as favors. They were expected. I'm not a poor man, but it still got under my skin. Say thankyou -- its free to do so. If you want to behave like a hippy, make sure the people you behave that way with are on the same page. Otherwise you'll just be reinforcing a stereotype and annoying me.

...

Tomorrow at work we are allowed to dress down in jeans and anything red for the Badger Men's Basketball Game in the afternoon. We were told that jeans and sweatshirts would be ok, but that "velour jogging suits were not allowed." Obviously this has been a problem in the past. Wow. I obviously did not join the company early enough.

2 comments:

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Red velour jogging outfits? I remember working at the Gap during college when Gloria Vanderbilt was selling them at a 400% markup. I can only imagine what your job is like on St. Joseph's Day.

Max Cady said...

What he said. And expecting a thank you? Brother, that's the way the mop flops.