Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Natural Order Of The Bird

Now listen, I'll admit I've dealt out my fair share of "the bird," while riding my bike.  (I mean, do you have any idea how many stupid drivers need to be congratulated for once again winning the ongoing contest of "Could An SUV kill a biker?"  Answer: Hundreds in Orange County and thousands in L.A.)

Yet, as many times as I've given out the bird, I must admit, I'm still completely shocked when I actually receive the gesture.* Take for example the other day:  I was sitting at a light and when it turned green the car in front of me didn't move.  So, I gave two gently taps of the horn to alert them to go.  And what did I receive in return?  Yep, the finger.  And not just a quick finger raised in front of the rearview mirror inside the car.  Nope, I got the entire arm extended out of the window and the finger raised for at least fifty yards.  Again, I got the entire salute OUTSIDE OF THE WINDOW.  Immediately, I felt myself sink inside my car, and then in miserable shame I muttered, "Geez mister, sorrrrryyy...."  As the car sped off, I drove in silence wondering what I had done that warranted such a response?  Had this guy just lost his job, and my horn was just the icing on the cake to a day that was most likely going to end in him driving off a cliff?  Have I encountered this guy before on my bike and he was finally evening the score with his own bird?  Or was I really in the wrong?  Did he see the light and just needed a moment to finish that text to his son that read, "Son, I'm sorry for our disagreement this morning.  I love you."  Why did I ruin that moment?

So, I'm left with a quandary.  Help me cyber world.  Do I continue to give the finger to cars that cut me off and drive too close?  Do I make them wonder why some girl on a little bike is declaring to the world that they are total jerks?  Or do I refrain?  And in the process, do I have to learn to take the bird - in order to not break the natural cycle of "give and receive?"  Because if I stop, will that stop everyone from giving the bird?  Will we then live in a world where no one is politely informed of their stupidity?

Wait, I think I just answered my own question.  I have to go stretch out my arms and fingers.

* Even when it's completely justified.

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