Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Word for a Special Occasion

I know you probably can't tell it from reading the blog, but I write for a living. In pursuing that craft, I have come to firmly believe that there is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. Careful planning and throrough editing (which never occurs here) are key.

The same is true for speaking. Winston Churchill, a great writer in his own right, overcame a speech impediment to become one of the greatest orators in our common language--one who was known in fact for his witty and seemingly extemporaneous remarks during question time in the Commons. The truth, however, is that each of his speeches was carefully written and then set down in what he called "psalm form"--large print with pauses coming at the end of the line and markings to show emphasis for how it should be delivered. He even planned ahead for question time, anticipating who in the opposition was likely to question him and planning a witty barb or parry for the occasion that, when delivered, would seem both spontaneous and effortless.

I say all that to say this. We, as a group, need to plan some words for a special occasion so that when we need to deliver them, we are not caught speechless. "What occasion?" you ask. Well, it is an occasion that we will all have if we ride long enough: that time when the idiot motorist who isn't paying attention or who is disobeying the traffic laws nearly maims or kills you through their own carelessness, ignorance, or stupidity.

Bolder had such an occasion recently, when a pickup failing to yield at a stop sign rolled out in front of him. He went with the tried and true "HEEYYYYYYYY!" and "STUPID FUCKER!"

Nytro also had such an occasion and went for the non-verbal communication approach: the patented: "What the fuck, dude? You coulda killed me! A plague on your house!" look, followed up by a "You're lucky your son is with you, or it would so. be. oneth. Fucker." look.

As charming as each of these are in their own way, it would behoove us to plan ahead so that we can make the most of these "teachable moments" with motorists. We need a statement to memorize and recall under stress that communicates that anyone who "didn't see" a cyclist clad in dayglo spandex in broad daylight is a loathesome waste of carbon and a disgrace to vertibrates everywhere who should lose their license and their right to walk around freely until they show proper contrition and mend their ways.

So, enter your suggestions in the comments and we'll collaborate on an appropriate statement to carry in our hip pockets. It needs to be something that fits nearly every occasion, that retorts to the "I didn't see you" excuse offered expressly or silently for each near miss, and might also include actions such as having the Sherrif's department on speed dial or casting a brass CO2 canister at the offending windshield. (OK, I doubt I would do that, but I have wanted to on several occasions.) While I generally try to keep it clean, sometimes nothing will suffice quite like a bit of profanity or a good old fashioned F-Bomb.

I leave it to you and can't wait to read the suggestions.

25 comments:

21stCenturyMom said...

I'm pretty sure that preparation notwithstanding what will come out of my mouth should I ever be unfortunate enough to tangle with a car will be "You stupid ASSHOLE! What the fuck is WRONG with you??!!!" Pretty sure of that.

Hopefully someone else can come up with something better and I can burn it into my garbage strewn brain.

stronger said...

You could have killed me!!!

Kim said...

hmmm well i dont remember what it was i was saying when i hit the 14 year old kid who decided to walk in front of my 23mph coasting bike.. i think i was saying 'oh my god, oh my god' and then asked HIM if he was okay...when i was lying on the concrete bleeding and dying.

hmm what did i say to the driver who yelled at me to bike on the sidewalk?? ummmm..."share the f*$king road loser"!

Shelley said...

how about "I have PMS and a GUN..say no more"...LOL

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I pay my taxes, and I am a legal vehicle on the road. I'm often tempted to give back to the Metal Box drivers the phrase I hear from them,

"Get the fuck off my road" (with or without the f-bomb, depending on the sitch).

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Aside from f-bombs (which are fun) how about something like that's negligent homicide, or almost manslaughter or whatever legal-ese term that would actually happen should a car hit a biker

Or how about the good ol' 21st century way "I'm calling my lawyer" "I know your license plate number!" or "I'll sue!"

Nytro said...

or... even just: "you didn't see me? well, then... that's okay! I'm sure that if you HAD hit and killed me, knowing that you DIDN'T see me would make you feel a lot better... for the rest of your life."

Bolder said...

how about:

'thank you for not killing me with your death machine'

it seems very canadian though.

you know, the 'thank you'.

Brent Buckner said...

Bolder forgot the requisite apology. He's assimilating!

GeekGirl said...

"YEAH, WELL IF YOU PULLED YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS, YOU COULD HAVE SEEN ME!"

...Said, of course, with my best Alabama dixie girl smile and perhaps followed up with, "bless your heart."

pinkgurugal said...

how bout... i'm calling the news on you! oh wait, you can't call me after december... ha!

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

BTW - I know a guy who carries a spare water bottle full of stale piss for just such occasions. he calls car drivers "cagers" and will chase them down just to douse their car in something nasty when the occasion arises.

He says that cytomax does not come off the windshield - so a well placed spray can make a harmless point.

On the one hand, he's an angry, angry man.

On the other hand, I think I'd feel pretty safe riding with him. Nobody in a car would mess with a guy like that twice. It helps that he's 6' something and over 215 lbs.

Taconite Boy said...

You flippity flappin piss ant!

Tac loves saying flippity flap.

Also, he always dreams of throwing some large heavy object at said idiot driver, but is in areo and would take to much effort.

TriBoomer said...

Blame CANADA!

Stay tuned...

Lance Notstrong said...

"Go ahead and hit me jerkoff.....I'm not the one who will be ass raped in prison for reckless endangerment"

Jane said...

Lance - that's a mouthful, although I like the sentiment.

I like Bolder's tone: how about "Thank you for almost killing me"?

What about feigning being hit, and saying "YOU HIT ME!" that will scare the shit out of drivers.

CoachLiz said...

My phrase of choice the other day was "HEY! GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONE!!!" with a hand gesture of pulling a phone away from my ear.

You would have thought that self-important blond haired lady in her Mercedes SUV had seen me when I thought she looked at me and I waved to her the first time before she gunned it into the intersection. Silly me, I should have known better. She was BLONDE.

Bigun said...

People normally stay away from me - it's one thing to plow down a hapless 120lb "real" biker, it's another thing to total your car against the 250lb Bigun!

21stCenturyMom said...

Those were all really good. However, when I feel threatened I lose all ability to wax eloquent. I'm guessing I'll just do what I do. I rather like Lance Notstrong's line, though. I'll have to try to remember that.

ace said...

Hey?! Can I get your picture? I want to show it to my kids. They just asked my this morning what kind of dinosaur an "Ignoramus" was.

Fe-lady said...

I don't say anything anymore...as you never know when the idiot will just pull out a gun and shoot you. Really. So I give them the sign language for WAKE-UP! They don't know what the hell I am saying, but it makes me feel better, and I haven't stooped to their level of stupidity/ignorance.

Fe-lady said...

Hey and I am blonde, but I never talk on my cell when I drive...and I have NEVER had an accident, car or bike(that involved a car)- this is for coachliz!

HOKIEX said...

ASSHOLE!

That's probably what I'd go with. I have always thought about having a bag of tomatoes to heave at an idiot driver. Don't know where I'd keep them on my bike!

bill said...

Please visit http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/. Thank you.