Saturday, May 28, 2011
Massachusetts mouth on a California body
I was minding my own business, bicycling home with the big Burley bike wagon neatly loaded with stacks of clean laundry. My company has laundry facilities because otherwise the the engineers might stop changing their clothes once they ran out of clean stuff.
There's this funny little squiggle where El Camino Real meets Sandhill Road. The bike lane is on the right side of the road and then it's on the left side as most people cross Sandhill rather than be turned into creamed chipped beef on El Camino.
I signal left and then check my rear view mirror and wait for a good moment and then I cross the road to the left hand side bike lane and ride up to the traffic light. I'm thinking about what I want for dinner. It's a long light.
Grandma rides up and stops her Mary Poppins bike on my right. She gives me a meaningful look and then comes out with "That was so dangerous."
I blink owlishly. I try and figure out what she's talking about.
"That was so close. The way you just cut in front of that car. I was so worried for you!"
My eyes narrow. My finely tuned engineering mind translates the above statement from verbose mode to data mode and gets "I disapprove of you and am disappointed you were not killed."
My brain suggests "Fuck you" as a response but then I remember that I am seeking to improve my civility. Instead I say "un-hunh" and hope grandma shuts up so I can go back to deciding between burritos or pizza.
"Very dangerous" Grandma repeats stubbornly.
I give her my full attention, bathing her prissy little face in the Eye of Sauron. "Where's your bike helmet" I growl.
Grandma blushes and pats her blue hair. "I must have left it home today."
"I think that's DANGEROUS."
A smarter grandma would have dropped the subject at this juncture but this is not a smarter grandma.
Grandma frowns. Her tone turns from pink to frosty. "You cut in front of that car. THAT was dangerous."
"Fuck you Grandma. I make this trip every day. I signal and look in my mirror and check over my shoulder and go when it's safe. Find someone else to harass. And wear you goddamned bike helmet and get a mirror so you can fucking see what's going on behind you instead of guessing."
[a friend of mine said "You just thought that right? You didn't say it? I said it. Lean on me hard enough and I'll say what I think.]
A smart Grandma would have dropped it but this Grandma is outraged at my lack of regret over a non-existent incident. "At least I don't have a" [histrionic gasp of breath goes here] "BABY with me."
"Neither do I. That's my laundry you idiot."
Moral: scratch the surface of a California mom bicyclist pulling her little cherub home from daycare and you may find an engineer from Massachusetts with compromised social skills and a bunch of freshly laundered sheets and towels.