Wednesday, June 17, 2009

good times yelling at assholes in the street...again

As we've seen through my continued downward spiral (rock bottom is still scheduled for late July), I've found myself engaging in rather strange behavior.

For instance, I yelled at a man in the street yesterday.

"You're the reason why people hate DC! Pull the stick out of your ass!"

And to think, all he did was ask for the time.

Just kidding!

He didn't ask me anything actually. Instead, he decided to lecture me about bicycle etiquette.

"Bikes belong on the streets!" he shouted as I rode by him with plenty of clearance on a sidewalk adjoining Massachusetts Avenue between 17th and 16th Streets.

For those of you more in the know than I was yesterday, Massachusetts Avenue between 17th and 16th is a one-way leading east to west. I was going west to east, but I figured it was only a block, so I moved onto the sidewalk for three seconds -- a bike salmon habit I tend to avoid whenever possible because pedestrians are often more annoying than traffic.

But not as annoying as being squashed by an army of oncoming black SUVs exceeding the speed limit by several miles per hour. More importantly, my dying right now would be extra tragic as I still need to create a will that indicates I'd like to be cremated with my ashes spread among the bean crops of Nebraska. I want to be the fiber in the digestive tracts of future generations.

With that in mind, I didn't heed this man's demand, but instead simply nodded and kept riding upstream. And that was that...or so I thought.

But when I was forced to stop at a traffic light about 30 feet ahead (or 10 meters -- I look out for my European readers), the man caught up to me and decided once again to drop a second deuce of knowledge on me.

"Bikes belong on the street! I know because I do it all the time."

I just looked at him, smiling and trying to tell him he was starting to get annoying (both just with my eyes).

"I do it all the time," he repeated.

"That's great."

"Because bikes don't belong on the sidewalks."

Now I was starting to get perturbed.

"Listen, I got it. I usually ride on the street, but if you'll notice, this is a very busy one-way street and because I don't want to die today I opted for the near empty sidewalk for a block. Sorry."

"It's a hazard."

"I understand that, but I really had no choice. Normally I'd agree with you."

"I never ride on the sidewalk and I bike all the time."

This guy was really giving me the business. But for what reason? When another cyclist -- a male -- rode up on the sidewalk behind us before swerving around the other side of this douche, I began to question his intentions. I don't think he was as concerned about spreading the gospel of bike safety as he was with simply trying to make a girl feel stupid. Ultimately, though, the joke's on him because I feel stupid all the time!

But luckily for him, I'm not so stupid that I succumbed to my urge to harm this man with my spoke nipples. Plus, before I had time to err on the side of hilarious violence, the light changed, so I rode off -- in the street now, as I was no longer bike salmoning. Yet, still this idiot couldn't drop it.

And that's when I stopped being nice.

"I'm not even on the effing sidewalk anymore!" I shouted and continued to ride. "Good God, you're the reason why people hate DC! Pull the stick out of your ass!"

Of course, I'm not sure how much of that tirade he heard, as I was pretty much shouting this like a crazy person from the other side of the traffic circle, but it's the thought that counts, right?

And on that note, I'm once again retiring this blog for a week as I skip town for the second time in a fortnight. I'll be bringing my tiny camcorder with me, though, so there may be another vlog coming on June 26 or so, which is when I return. But don't let that promise/threat stop you from coming back...

In the meantime, enjoy the hot-weather respite today. I'll be enjoying it all week from a cooler place -- both literally and metaphorically!


Shannon said...

I'm totally throwing you a Rock Bottom party in July. You'll be expected to wear pants held up by a jumprope...that is, if you're wearing any pants.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Ooh! More vlogs!

DC people are busybodies...

Daniel said...

Yeah, that's pretty lame, and (sadly) just one more reason a lot of people like me avoid riding in the city. I don't want to die in the street, and I feel all shitty when people say things for riding on the sidewalk. I only do it when there's room! Props for talking back to the guy, you did what I'm too much of a wuss to do.

Norman said...

I hate to be positive or uplifting in any way, but the grey is very nice.
Also, shouting is like Lamaze: it looks/sounds stupid, but it sure does work.

No, my last name ain't Coleman,
It's Janet.
Miss Jackson, if you're nasty.

Marissa said...


Potato sack tight pants. I'll start sewing!


I's a horrid thought. And yes, busybodies, indeed. They won't come to your aid when you need it, but will speak up when they need to mind their own bee's wax.


That's the thing. I TOTALLY agree with this guy. I rarely ride on the sidewalk because it is a hazard. But if it's empty AND I'm pulling a bike salmon move (again, something I detest to do), I think I opted for the smart option. The guy just wouldn't listen.


Thanks. I like the grey too. Easier on the peepers. But now I'm confused. You're Norman Janet? That's quite a strange name. Norman Coleman sounds much more suitable. Just sayin'.

Norman said...

Dear Marissa,

For 8 foot-longs, I will be anyone you want.

Marissa said...


Eight? That's like a month's worth of meals. A little steep.

Heather said...

"I'd like to be cremated with my ashes spread among the bean crops of Nebraska. I want to be the fiber in the digestive tracts of future generations"

Best line I have read in a long time!!

Marissa said...


Thanks! But for serious, there's nothing better than having a healthy digestive tract. Think about it. I just want to do my part. For the children.

Anonymous said...

Teasing us with the potential for a vlog we have to wait over a week for? Not sure I like this whole idea of waiting.


Peter said...

You should have offered to replace the stick with your foot.

Alex said...

I pretty much agree with the guy that bikes belong in the street, but he was a douche for belaboring the point (or even for making the point at all unless you were going fast and endangering anyone which it sounds like you were not).

You were way nicer to debate him than I would've been -- my standard answer to strangers yelling at me is, "keep it to yourself, nobody cares what you think."

Marissa said...


I like to keep people in fear.


Next time...


I, too, agree. I ride on the street unless I make a mistake and end up on a busy one-way street going the wrong way. That's the thing. I agreed with him at first until he kept pressing it. And then when I saw him not say anything to the other cyclist, I kinda lost it. I probably should've just started with what you would've said though.

Anonymous said...

I just heard on the news it's national flip flop day at Tropical Smoothies. I'm sure the ones in Arlington will be hopping!

Sebastian said...

I learnt about a whole new variation of nipples. That made today a whole lot more satisfying, thanks!

I quite liked DC when I visited. Isn't it meant to be quite pleasant compared to other cities? I did only see the nice bits though...

Have a safe trip :)

Marissa said...


Oh that's just sad. On the other hand, I do love a smoothie...although not enough to go to Gnarlington.


You're welcome. I hope you find yourself bringing up spoke nipples in a variety of conversations now!

You must have only been to DC for a short period of time. Or maybe only experienced the museum section. Then I can see how if could be pleasant. Because someone got shot outside the metro in broad daylight in my neighborhood yesterday. That's what DC is usually like. That, or khaki pants. Lots and lots of khaki pants.

Sebastian said...

Spoke nipples also sound like some kind of Shakespearean phrase...

'Bespoke thine intentions doth mine nipples...'

I stayed at GWU with a cousin, and pottered around there, and Georgetown.

I believe those are two of the nice bits :P

Why khaki...?

Marissa said...


I don't think I've ever read a more beautiful turn of phrase...

Alas, those are the nicer areas, although I find Georgetown after dark incredibly irritating. Not my scene.

And the khaki? I wish I understood...

Suse said...

Will someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I think it's legal in DC to ride on the sidewalks...

Marissa said...


It depends on what part of town you're in. I was street legal, though, for sure.