Today, a fellow motorist on the lovely streets of Chicago decided to do an impromptu test on both my reaction time and the brakes of my two-ton delivery van. While I’m thankful that I didn’t have to scrape parts of him out of my grill (mainly because I’m sure my company would charge me for the cleaning bill), now that I’ve had time to think back on the incident, I have several burning questions I wish to ask the wannabe Evil Knievel. I don’t want to know the answers – I need to know the answers.
What kind of bike were you riding?
I ask this, not as a motorcycle enthusiast (although I appreciate a classic Indian or Ducati), but out of genuine confusion. Admittedly, I only got a brief glimpse at it while you cut me off on your speedy route from the far left lane to the freeway exit, but it was unlike any other vehicle I’ve ever seen. If I were to hazard a guess, it would be that someone chopped up the body of an old Vespa and somehow grafted it to parts of a low rider. Whatever it was, it looked both extremely uncomfortable as your feet were almost level with your knees, and definitely not road legal, as it was composed of 70 percent rust and 30 percent duct tape.
Why would you not wear a helmet?
I know that it is the right of every free American do reckless, idiotic shit that could easily lead to their death. Hell, I’ve exercised that right pretty often in my last 25 years, especially since I’ve crashed nearly every vehicle type out there (with the snowmobile debacle of 2012, all I’m missing now is a dune buggy). However, during all my endangering behavior, I have always worn a helmet, and I am baffled why you would not do the same. Knowing that you’re riding a rusted piece of shit and given that you were weaving between cars that significantly outweigh you, you’d think a helmet would be a good investment. Maybe it was because you needed your face uncovered so you could properly mouth cuss words at other drivers?
What did you say to me as you cut me off?
Speaking of mouthing cuss words, I didn’t quite catch what you said to me as you sped past my front bumper at an angle that I can only describe as “perpendicular to the flow of traffic.” Unfortunately, reading your lips wasn’t on the forefront of my mind at the time. My attention was split between slamming on the break pedal with the power of an Olympic diver and planning my tearful speech to the jury that would hopefully not indict me for vehicular manslaughter, so you can see why I must have missed what you were trying to tell me.
From what I saw however, I feel confident that the phrases you were yelling at me were not in English. I consider myself well versed on any and all curse words in my native tongue, and it seemed like the words you used an inordinate amount of vowels. Perhaps we are both to blame for that miscommunication. You could have enunciated more clearly, and I suppose I could have had my windows down and not been blasting Shania Twain Spotify.
Where did you learn to multitask so well?
This may seem like I’m being passive-aggressive, but I assure you, I’m genuinely impressed. From the brief moment our paths in life crossed, I noticed that not only were you operating a motor vehicle, but also texting, smoking a cigarette, and transporting your groceries. That’s, like, two more things than I can do just sitting on a couch.
In the last year, I’ve collided with two light poles while attempting to both walk and come up with the perfect Instagram caption to complement my photo, so you can imagine how impressed I am with your abilities. Yes, some would say you’re “pushing the limits,” or “breaking multiple driving laws,” but I say keep doing you, sir. The only laws you’re breaking are the laws of physics, because I’m pretty sure you materialized through my bumper en route to your exit. And while I’m glad you survived what I was sure would be the death of you, I must ask…
Are you still alive?
The last I saw of you, you had vanished into the sunset, middle finger raised high in the air as you rode your ridiculous bike off the freeway (and into my heart). It was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen, but I fear it was also the last sight you ever saw, as that exit ended in a red light, and you were making no attempts to slow down. If anything, I’m pretty sure I saw you shift into a higher gear as you sped towards the intersection.
From the blaring horns I heard as I continued on my path (albeit with a much faster heart rate and a much slower van), my first assumption would be that you perished in that intersection, taken from this earth by a cruel twist of fate.
However, the more I look back on it, the more I realize that could not have been the case. As I replay the image in my mind, I see you floating past me as if borne on angel’s wings, and I know that you are safe. I have no doubt that you glided through the cars on that intersection serenely, with no worry for your personal safety, secure in the knowledge that you’ve bested death once again. Hell, you probably popped a wheelie and were playing Candy Crush on your phone while you did so.
As much as I’ve made you out to be something greater that a mere man, I know that cannot be true. While you do seem immortal, fearful of nothing, and posses the ability to make something as mundane as a near accident look as beautiful as the first sunrise ever witnessed, you are flawed. Wearing flip-flops on a motorcycle is not only insane; it is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
Like, are you fucking kidding me? I get that you’re a crazy person from your general demeanor and lack of self-preservation, but do you not even give a shit about your toes? If/when you die on that rust bucket of a motorcycle, I hope that it is instantaneous, because the idea of shredding my bare feet on asphalt is literally making me cringe as I write this. Do you know how bad a stubbed toe hurts? Can you imagine how much worse it would feel at 80 miles per hour? What kind of psycho masochist are you?
Also, it’s 36 fucking degrees out today. Why aren’t your flip flops in the back of your closet, waiting for June, when it’s finally warm enough to wear them again? There’s a zero percent chance you don’t have frostbite already.
Stay off the streets. .