Saturday, April 21, 2012
Are we all just a bunch of wimps?...Or are we simply misunderstood...
Below is a sad tale of dishonor. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Picture four big strong guyz, alone on a remote gravel road. It is in the morning. They pass a lonely house. A dog comes dashing after them, he is a big dog with big teeth, but he is slow and fat, yet he has a good line and so its gonna be a "showdown." There is barking, gnashing of teeth, and “saber rattling” by both parties. The rhetoric on both sides increases to the extent that the terms consistent with implied "death threats" may or may not have been used...Clearly, indisputably, emotionally charged words are exchanged... What is certain is that the canine threatens bodily harm and the men return threats-in-kind.
A youth appears from behind a barrier and commands the dog to retreat. The dog relents. The once heightened mood spontaneously de-escalates. The men move away. The whole episode takes less than a New York minute...The moment is over; all is forgotten. It was just another encounter with a malcontented dog, a scenario that plays itself out thousands of times during the career of any aged long distance cyclist. The men return to their amicable natures…there is renewed laughter and goodwill.
Suddenly, perhaps just a few minutes later, down the lonely road, out of nowhere, a smallish middle-aged rotund swarthy woman flies past the men and slams her car to an abrupt halt, blocking the pathway. She is the dog's owner. The boy has conveyed to her the reckless exchanges betwixt dog and cyclists. With reckless abandon she confronts the men. She harangues the men. She scolds the men. She belittles the men. She berates the men…
My question is: Are we (as a group) that nonthreatening? Is there anybody out there that is scared of cyclists? (Maybe runners, but that doesn’t count)…WOULD THAT SAME WOMAN GO AFTER A GANG OF HARLEY DAVIDSON RIDERS? Would she have done the same attack-thing had we all been wearing “hoodies” or “cowboy hats” or “turbans” or “hockey helmets?” Why are we soooo non-scary to people? Weak, timid, overweight women that are terrified of bees and salamanders, think nothing of verbally attacking a group of four big guyz on bicycles?
Instead of going all Clint Eastwood on the woman…The four men, like all of their tribe, bent their heads and took the rant with forlorn resignation. “Sorry ma'am…It was all just a misunderstanding” was the gist of the collective response.
But that was not enough humiliation for these pride-less men, these benign neutered ones…for then farther along the gravel comes the swarthy woman’s husband. He, too, flies past the haggard group, blocks the road with his car, and then using his unwieldy girth, stands against the riders’ path. This mountain of human-flab, like his spouse, detained the men with a recounting of the Men’s’ sins perpetrated against the dog (and boy). One can only surmise as to the elation the malcontented dog must have felt to see his rivals being “put in their place” by his Masters…so so sad…The men agree that in the future they will be more polite to dogs, even aggressive ones.
Why is it that cyclists get absolutely no respect? Itz cuz we are all just too nice...