BICYCLE VS AUTOMOBILE…..politicians urge 20 somethings to die

Typical Bike Idiot

Typical Bike Idiot

Good Morning Pundits of Self-Propulsion,

A new report was released from GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) announcing significant increases in the number of bicycle fatalities.  Alarmingly the increases are largely in urban environments (69%) with high population densities.  “The report’s author, former Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Chief Scientist Dr. Allan Williams, analyzed current and historical fatality data to uncover bicyclist crash patterns. There have been some remarkable changes. For example, adults 20 and older represented 84 percent of bicyclist fatalities in 2012, compared to only 21 percent in 1975. Adult males comprised 74 percent of the total number of bicyclists killed in 2012.”

I’m not surprised by this jump in bicycle deaths by 20 year olds and believe I have a viable explanation.  If possible and age permitting, the two or three of you reading this piffle try to place yourselves back to 1975.  Here let me help…  According to Wikipedia:

John Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty (Watergate) and sentenced to between 30 months and 8 years in prison, Wheel of Fortune debuts, Space Mountain opens at Disney World, North Vietnam kicks our butts out of Saigon, Charlie Chaplin is knighted by Elizabeth II, Trans-Alaska Pipeline begins, The Rocky Horror Show opens on Broadway, Bobby Fischer refuses to play chess with Karpov giving him the title, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing, Patty Hearst is captured in ‘Frisco’, Thrilla in Manila…”Frazier goes down!”, NBC introduces ‘Saturday Night Live’ George Carlin is first guest host, Ronald Reagan enters race for President, and the movie ‘Jaws’  premiered.

In 1975 bike riding was pastoral and mostly held a leisurely pace to enjoy being outdoors and a bit of fresh air with “no particular place to go.”  Compared with today’s helmet wearing, spandex donning, high tech bicycles, and their precious water bottles, 1975 must have seemed boring.  With the ever expanding level of political correctness and endorsed by all levels of government we’ve been encouraged to give up our cars and ride a bike to work.

This is all lovely and “proud we are of them”, but last time I checked the average passenger car outweighs a typical bicycle by about 2,000 lbs!  So let’s see…, by placing peddling students and young commuters within the same infrastructure as the faster “heavy machinery” and then factoring in all the normal idiocy associated with driving, our know it all politicians have created an ugly situation.

I know I’ll get hateful emails for this, but it must be said.  Cyclists must also claim culpability for the apparent increase in carnage.  I love these self-righteous arrogant dolts that really think the rules of the road allow them to occupy the center of a lane of traffic relegating everyone else to the 15 mph they’re traveling!  I honestly do consider running them off the road and on one or two occasions have come close enough to deliver the message.  These are the same helmet wearing tree huggers insisting on the same rights as a motorist but think nothing of running a stop signal or sign!  Morons all!

I suppose this falls under the category of ‘unintended consequences’ but if you like to bet when it comes to a winner between a car & bicycle I’ve got my money on the car!  Dah!!  As one might guess death resulting from a car/bicycle collision has to mean someone wasn’t paying attention!  My advice to you ‘Chicken Little’s’ is to pull over as far as possible and/or use public transportation…you’ll live longer.

zuki

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“PRIDE COMETH BEFORE THE FALL”……..zuki keeps looking for other shoe

Just JOE

Just JOE

Good Morning Disciples of Arrogance,

hum•ble (h¾m“b…l) adj. hum•bler, hum•blest. 1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful. 2. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology. 3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage. –hum•ble tr.v. hum•bled, hum•bling, hum•bles. 1. To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate. 2. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit. 3. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin humilis, low, lowly, from humus, ground. See dhghem- below.] –hum“ble•ness n. –hum“bler n. –hum“bly

Several of my associates at ‘Curmudgeon Corner’ are in fact successful in their various endeavors and professions, speaking oft times with wit and humor demonstrating a certain level of intellect.  While intelligence is not always present, most times I find it entertaining and enjoy the interchange.  That aside, today’s epistle centers around the collective condescension toward the less fortunate pin cushions, tatted nitwits, or otherwise mentally diminished patrons nursing drinks at Blondie’s.

The Bible says “Pride cometh before the fall” describing those who would think to themselves, never me! While it’s important to continue with a self-image indicative of ‘man….I’ve got it together’, but it becomes increasingly difficult to hide the humility if one is not normally predisposed to meekness. We so typically attach our self-images to our work. Whether it be professional success or checking off goals accomplished, these things are how we keep score, thus keeping the old ego patched and fully inflated.

I met someone last week that made me feel better about my own sad existence. He told me a story of his rise to prominence in the field of engineering software. Evidently, he introduced a revolutionary package for the mining industry that would save companies millions in shipping their respective ‘mother lodes’ to market. He initially enjoyed great success. He moved his family to a nicer home, fast cars, trips, etc…and was feeling like the ‘King;’ incapable of stinky fecal matter. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, another mining company had developed similar software, but had filed a patent several years earlier and sued for damages.

This man lost everything. His wife divorced him as she had become used to an opulent lifestyle and had been having an affair anyway. He alienated his two children, and sank into depression.  After 15 years he’s only now trying to pull himself up and back into life’s rich pageant. Given the fact I met him at Blondie’s, I suspect he’s going to have a rough time of it.

The moral, if this indeed qualifies as a morality play, is to be grateful for one’s achievements without being a pompous ass rubbing it in the noses to all that listen.  To my associates at the corner try being humble; it’s far more difficult than you think.  Trust me I know whereof I speak!

zuki

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THE RECONDITE & OCCULT SEEK BAGWAN….zuki promised a bone

Shhhhhh...They're here!

Shhhhhh…They’re here!

Good Morning Cabalistic Ones,

It’s a dubious honor indeed to be granted the privilege of introducing a mere mortal posing as the keeper of truth & light.  The two or three of you reading this cobweb are in store for a real treat….so I give you the Bagwan….enjoy:

 

Sad as it may be, I got banned from Blondie’s several years ago. This banishment means that I am left to find my own Curmudgeon Corners where ever I can. It is a dark and lonely job but I am up to it. Plus when worst comes to worst, I am not that bad at drinking alone. In the words of Georgie T – “when I drink alone I prefer to be by myself.”

The net result is that I end up with a wider variety of idiots. I am currently avoiding one down at the Sporting News Grill who is a conspiracy theorist. His politics have a conservative bias, as do mine, but what bothers me is that the real source of his theories is some form of mental illness.

There are all sorts of conspiracy theories and I can’t think of one I believe. Roswell, Bigfoot and the grassy knoll are all interesting enough but where is the physical evidence. For example how come no one has ever found the remains of a dead Sasquatch? Don’t you think someone’s dog would have sniffed out a pelvic bone somewhere?

Experts say that conspiracy theories are born out of mental illness, resentment towards authority and the need to rationalize our own inadequacies. Stop what you are thinking right now! I am NOT talking about Zuki. I would remind you that the only conspiracy theory he subscribes to is the one he thinks is organized  against him personally — that my friends is just good old-fashioned, garden-variety paranoia.

I’m taken by the difference in conspiracy theories vs. believing in ghosts. To me it is sinister, sick and stupid to believe that 9/11 was a government plot. While I find something charming in believing that a deceased Lord of the manor still roams the halls of his castle.

I make irregular visits to the bar formerly known as Legends. They had an incident several years ago where a woman was sitting at the bar drinking like Cush on a 4 day weekend. Turns out she was not only pregnant but in labor. She excuses herself, goes to the ladies room and gives birth. She throws the baby in the trash and returns to the bar and resumes drinking. We make stuff up around here all the time, but my hand to God, this is all true.

By the time the baby is found by the cleaning crew the next morning she is dead. Would it be far-fetched to believe that the baby’s spirit (now a teenager) haunts Legend’s? All of the help there will tell you about doors opening and closing with no obvious explanation. None of them will go in alone in the morning to open. To me the most telling sign is that the only thing in the whole place which would appeal to a child is the bowling machine. One of the more eerie experiences is to hear the bowling machine go on by itself, reset the pins and return the ball — all while no one is within 20 feet of the thing.

I guess the event that convinced me that there could be ghosts in bars happened at Deweys back in the old days. Zuki was sitting on his barstool sucking down vodka and minding his own business when next thing you know he was catapulted onto the floor. Just like that he went from upright on his stool to prostrate on the floor. Most believed that liquid spirits led to Zuki’s tumble, but I have come to believe that it was an entirely different kind of spirit who ejected him from his seat.

Happy Halloween!

Bagwan

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JUST JOE PLUNGES IN TO RESCUE DAWN…..bartender overwhelmed by vapors

Captain Shitman

Captain Shitman

Good Morning Children of the Corn,

Sometimes it’s easy to take the simplest of things for granted isn’t it?  Clean water, garbage collection, electricity, and enough food to eat are just a few of the more obvious things.  I’d wager all the money I have (not risking much) that the two or three of you reading this besmirching go about your day oblivious to the hundreds of people making ‘life’s rich pageant’ a bit easier.

What’s more amazing still is that some individuals will without pay or recognition insert themselves into someone’s life purely for altruistic reasons and are content with that.  Conversely though, the vast majority will only come to the rescue if there’s something in it for them.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be money as sometimes their reward is centered on getting attention which in my mind worst of the two.

“If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.” ― George Carlin

Last evening I personally witnessed an act of kindness that will no doubt set altruism back 100 years!

Blondie’s is for the most part ramshackled.  The new Polish owner put money into TV’s and a nice sound system, but hasn’t spent a nickel to repair the cracked trim or the bar itself.  The tables and chairs as well as the bar stools are from the 1950’s and warped so badly it takes a dozen coasters to level the tables keeping them from wobbling, at least enough so that your drink won’t slide off.

The disrepair doesn’t end there either!  The dilapidation extends to the bathrooms where the toilet partition has been kicked off its side hinges and flaps out every time the door is opened.  The fixtures are continually snapped off and left unrepaired for months.  This is due primarily to Blondie’s clientele.  Every dirt-bag, nitwit, idiot, 40 year old skateboarder, moron, and shit-stain with access to light rail seem to converge at Blondie’s.  They’ve no idea why, but are compelled to arrive and ruin something.

The ramifications to the bar and its normal patrons that bathe regularly are at times severe.  One of the regular duties of the cook is to unclog the toilets after a simpleton drops a duce then clogs the receptacle with too much ass-wipe.  Rather than face up to their filthy deed and take care of it, they meekly close their tab and leave without a word!  The putrefaction taking place adds to the smell of urine creating a wonderful ambience while relieving oneself.

Instead of the cook who was MIA….poor Dawn (our most righteous bartender) went in the men’s bathroom plunger-in-hand to go one on one with the five pounds of shit floating atop the now heavily stained water.

One of the benefits of sitting at ‘Curmudgeon Corner’ is the proximity of the bathrooms.  Our fellow “committee member” Just JOE or JJ “if you’re into the brevity thing” kept opening the door so we could all watch Dawn in action.  It was clear she was having a tough time of it as the asshole that left it for her must have used the entire industrial roll….and despite her elbow grease would not budge.

JJ being the man of action he is threw caution to the wind and jumped into the fray.  My God….between JJ and Dawn it sounded like a couple of alley cats fighting!!  Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth combined with the sound of kids playing in a wading pool I feared for their lives.  I asked Cush to save my seat and was just about to offer assistance when I heard the distinctive sound of a flushing toilet and the joyous cries of victory!  It was clear the two of them had vanquished their foes.

Bursting out the door plunger raised in celebration, JJ was filled with pride screaming “YEAH BABY!”  “YEAH BABY!” but unfortunately was completely unaware his shirt and sweater vest were soaked with the defiled unholy water.  I didn’t have the heart to point out the suspicious brown smudges on his face, as it was JJ’s moment of glory.

zuki

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ZUKI IS HONESTLY A NICE GUY!…….just ask him…really

Go fascinate someone else!

Go fascinate someone else!

Good Morning Promoters of Lithium,

A wiser man than me once said, “I am free of all prejudice.  I hate everyone equally ” W.C. Fields.

I’m reasonably sure Mr. Fields had moments of love and affection even if it was only toward a goldfish.  In this age of texting, Facebook, Instagram, and the internet–perceptions easily become truth.  The danger of altered impressions or any impression for that matter is that they tend to be wrong.

I don’t need to look further than my barstool at ‘Curmudgeon Corner’ to find a perfect example.  Most of the regulars at Blondie’s and even my Son perceive me to be continually disagreeable; finding fault in nearly everyone and/or everything.  This of course is nonsense!  Nothing could be further from the truth!  I’m trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  Also, I’m generous to a fault, kind to strangers, patient, and embrace self-less behavior wherever I find it.

I AM A SWEETHEART!

While there will always be my detractors (and they know who they are) who would take issue with my self-assessment.  But when confronted and challenged to provide one example of my purported anti-social behavior you can hear crickets!  Nada, zero, the big goose egg…..and my accuser slips away claiming they don’t wish to discuss it.

I was sitting under the unilluminated light fixture associated with my place at the bar sipping on a cold bottle of beer to contemplate my next adventure when Roger the Hairdresser appeared from vapor.  Like a friggin ghost he has an annoying habit of quietly hovering just above the floor as to sneak up and touch or poke you.  This always creeps me out, and once again he felt compelled to touch me regardless of my previous admonitions not to.

While the little fella thinks it’s funny ….I do not.  While rare, I indeed snapped and became enraged; momentarily losing my normally good natured demeanor.  I grabbed his wrinkled chicken neck and lifted his heels off the floor screaming “LISTEN YOU MF….DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME AND YOU WILL DIE!!”  For dramatic emphasis I slammed his head on the bar and told him to get the F out or “I shall taunt you a second time!”  To his credit he left….albeit with bar napkins damming up his bloody nose.

I immediately began to feel bad at my obvious overreaction and felt guilty for his eventual black eye and swollen face.  This was so unlike me to lash out like that so I vowed to apologize to the man-child next time I saw him.  To be honest though, the next time he came in I started to get up, and then thought “Why am I apologizing?  The little shit deserved it!  Perhaps he’ll learn something from all this and become a better person.

So you see once again and without being pedantic, I was able to enrich someone else’s life.  So to those who perceive me as a disagreeable asshole, I would beg you to “walk a mile in my shoes” and reassess.

zuki

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