Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guaranteed to incite reactions

I don't know what it is about me, but there's some sort of aura around me that makes people behave strangely. Case in point: people in old, red jeeps.

Last week, as I was riding home from work, this young dude in an old red jeep nearly ran me over because he wasn't looking for oncoming traffic before pulling out into the road from a grocery store. No big deal, I braked, he saw me, he braked and looked sheepish as I rode past him. Standard procedure, right? Nope. He eventually did make it into the road, and as he passed me he shouted out "I'm sorry!" quite loudly and waved.

What am I supposed to think of this? People in cars don't talk to people on bikes. Unless they're whistling as they go by, or unless they personally know the biker. But ok. I accept your apology and and somewhat confused and grateful for it, I guess.

And then tonight! I was riding home from work again, wearing my work slacks all rolled up slovenly to my knees so I wouldn't get them ripped up or greasy, and I was stopped at a red light. This... female person... (too old to be a girl, too young to be a woman, too crass to be a lady) drove up into the right turn lane next to me, and started the most bizarre conversation with me that I've had in a long time. During the time she was waiting to turn right, she chastised me for not "rocking out" to Whitesnake, made inappropriately generous assumptions about who slaps my backside (and whether or not it jiggles on those occasions), mimed fellatio ("practice makes perfect!"), and asked me how much weight I've lost (what, in my lifetime? In the past three months? Since we began this conversation?). Then she just drove off, leaving me in a cloud of exhaust and bewilderment.

What is it about me that invites people to just talk to me whenever they feel like it? I'm just trying to get home so I can spend a few hours unconscious before another day of stress and hard work. Please don't talk to me.

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