Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yet another rant.

It's time for a rant. Aren't you excited? I know I am, because I get to rant about 2 of my favorite pet peeves. Bicyclists and cell phones. What does one have to do with the other? I'm glad you asked.

Recently, I have noticed a growing phenomena here in Beantown. Jerks riding their bikes and talking on their cell phones. And I mean, not with a handsfree set, but with the phone clamped to their ear, or wedged between shoulder and ear. Is it just me, or should it be obvious exactly what a bad idea this is?

I first witnessed this particular asshatted behavior a couple of years ago. I was sitting in a coffee shop one early spring morning with a friend. It was snowing out and it was one of those wet early spring snows. Big, fat, wet flakes, turning the sidewalks into a slushy obstacle course, that you had to carefully slide down, rather than walk on. As we were sitting, drinking our coffee, enjoying the fact that we were all snug and warm as the slush fell from the heavens, I saw some college kid sliding and weaving down the sidewalk on a bicycle. This was an indicator that he was a hopeful in the Darwin Awards. Then I noticed that the little jerk had his cell phone clamped to his ear! I pointed this out to my buddy and it led to a lively discussion of just how stupid this kid must be and made us wonder if he brought the toaster into the tub with him in case he felt like a snack while he was bathing?

After that particular moron sighting, I can't say I gave it much more thought. I mean, anyone with any common sense at all would know better, or at least use a hands free set. Right?

Not so much as it turns out. Since that fateful day, I have been seeing more and more of the intellectually challenged out on their bikes, yacking away without a care in the world as they weave around the sidewalk (illegal) or into oncoming traffic (downright stupid).

So who does this? In the interest of fair reportage, I have to say that I have seen mostly men doing this, but that may just be that I see more men on bikes around town than I do women. I have long ago stopped trying to cheat the distaff side out of their right to behave as stupidly as their male counterparts. Many the woman have I witnessed racing down residential streets at 40 mph, cellphone in hand, screaming at pedestrians for trying to cross the street at an intersection, just because the pedestrian has the nerve to try and cross the street in a legal manner, when the cellphone using harridan is in a hurry and traffic laws don't apply to her. But I digress, since this is a rant about cellphone using bicyclists.

As I was saying, I have seen mostly men doing this. I have managed to contain the urge to start screaming abuse at them when they nearly run into me as they weave their crazy way down the sidewalk and then give me the "can't you see I'm on my bike, talking on my cellphone you stupid pedestrian?" look. That and watching as they swerve into oncoming traffic out on the street, just knowing that they would try and lay the blame on the motorists if they get their stupid ass run down, because they, superior beings that bicyclists are, should be able to do any half-assed thing they want simply by virtue of the fact that they are riding their fucking bike.

In case you haven't got the idea, these clowns are really starting to get under my skin. There is no interest for the most part in law enforcement to crack down on bicyclists, but in fairness, no one seems to be interested in curbing the reckless behavior of motorists, or the stupidcidal tendencies of the average pedestrian either.

So, yet one more hazard added to everyday life here in the big city. I can think of any number of malicious solutions to this problem up to and including a bounty on cellphone talking cyclists. The problem with that is that in the interest of parity, we would have to put a bounty on the stupidcidal in the pedestrian population and the homicidal as well as stupidcidal among motorists. This would make Boston more of an open warfare zone than it already is and trust me, there are enough hazards out there as it is without adding any more to the mix.

Any one with a better solution than carpet bombing and starting over, let me know.