...Only not speaking so very much. Ever have one of those conversations where your best course is to find noncommittal platitudes to utter 'cos the only possible alternative is FLAME ON?
Hookay. So, yrs. trly., girl oxyacetylene torch, had bicycled herself to the market. 'cos A) I like riding, B) I kinda need the exercise and this is low-impact and C) it's like six blocks: only a total weenie or a very feeble person would drive it in good weather.
Parked the Large Bike With Large Baskets in the rack at the market next to a couple of newer, fancier bikes, locked it, went in, purchased a wide variety of staggeringly delightful things to eat and drink* and reemerged. While I was packing the bike, a nice young couple walked up bearing bags and Styrofoam containers from one of the nearby eateries -- nearby, but not in that parking lot.
She, to her fella: "Oh, cool, she's got baskets!" To me: "Those work out so much better for things like this" (gestures with bag o' food) "than our backpacks."
I agree and point out the weight's carried lower in a basket than on one's back, which puzzles her but she smiles and replies, "Don't you just feel so greeeen on a bike?"
Me: (with a dire sense of this-is-where-it-goes-all-pear-shaped) "Unh, yes. And healthy," (the last word delivered with an idiot grin.
She, mounting her bike: "Oh, there is that, too, I guess. But it's so good for the planet!"
Me: (Shiny, happy, must-not-lecture smile).
He: "Stickin' it to the Man!"
Me: (Rides away, rapidly, trying not to snicker).
No, son, you are not. And Miss lady? If you have a car, too, you are less green when you add a bike -- or did you think your bicycle was grown in a garden instead of hammered together in a Chinese factory the mere sight of which would curdle your hair? --The Man made a fine profit on your bikes, over and above what you paid for your car, while your gasoline usage for a trip to one of Broad Ripple's many dining establishments is not a drop in the ocean. The Man has done stuck you -- and he's struck your brains clean out, as near as I can tell.
Of course, if I'd've told the poor dears that, they'd've been all miffed and sniffy an' called me a mean ol' buzzkiller. It's not actually about "sticking it to the Man" or being "green," it's about their precious feelings. $DEITY help us, these are the folks I'll have to depend on when I am old and feeble. If you are what you eat, let's hope they never become Soylent Green and pass the infection on.
Update: Look here: "The Man" is what makes your nice life of shiny bicycles and take-out food in disposable, planet-killing containers possible. Sticking it to the Man is peeing in your own punchbowl.
* Including, of all things, Moxie, pretty much the oldest carbonated (I've been rightly taken to task here: add non-alcoholic and see next para.) beverage still being produced and most wondrous strange and tasty.
Update: ...Yes, it is true, beer is totally not on my horizon -- it just doesn't even occur to me, despite a roomie who keeps the fridge door pretty much full of longneck bottles of fine India Pale Ales. This why we get along: Tam's beer is safe around me.
Most amusing of all? Moxie has a bitter, almost hoppy finish.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago