Jul 19, 2012

PapaThank: You 2 Old 2 Drive, Old Dude!

With the exception of wine and my lovely, supportive, dear wife, most things get worse as they get older.  It's called ageing.  It's called life.  It's called "get over it and accept the nasty, nasty fate that awaits us all."  This is especially true of driving.  After a certain point, you just suck at it.  I'm not there, but the guy who almost hit me this morning is.  In fact, I think he's past it.  So to you, Mr. Gold Prius on 29th St., I say:

"Stop driving.  Please.  You're an old guy, and you don't have it like ya used to.  I'm sure that as a young man, all the ladies from the block thought you were a terrific dancer, and maybe on the weekends, you won a couple races at the track, back when they let amateurs come take a crack.  But now, you're just old.  Old, white headed, and barely able to see over the steering wheel.  THAT'S A PROBLEM.  It's also a problem that you have never heard of a bike lane.  I'm sure you thought it was something they built for you, being a proud member of "The Greatest Generation."   It ain't.  It's for me.  A young, vigorous, speed demon.  It's all for me, dude.  Me and my kind.  We may not be the "greatest," but were younger, and can probably take you in a fist fight."  

"I'm not down on you for being old.  My birthday is tomorrow, and I know what that means. And one day, my kids will tell me to get the hell of the street.  But for now, it's you for whom the bell tolls, and the bell is saying, 'Please stop driving, old dude.  Buying a Prius is a responsible choice, but not if you use it to crush innocent people.'"  

Take a cab.  You've earned it.  

Jul 12, 2012

The Grateful Bike

Pig Pen says, "Don't steal this bike right off of the street."
On my way to work, I came across this sweet bike.  Why is it so sweet?  Because it's blends two of my favorite things into one really favorite thing:  bikes and The Grateful Dead.  Also, it's doing a good job in the anti-theft dept., and that's also a favorite.

I started listening to the Dead in high school.  I wasn't alone.  Jerry had died in 1995, so people were talking about them, and most of my friends, at some point in the next couple years, would buy a copy of Skeletons from the Closet.  But when everyone else stopped at "greatest hits," I kept going.  And when a friend of my brother's - a guy with impeccable taste in music - lent me his copy of American Beauty, that was it.  I had found "my band."  The next couple years were spent wearing giant tie-dye shirts, sandals in all weather (easier to do in Hotlanta than here in the NY), and taping over my dad's old sermon tapes in favor of the Grateful Dead Radio Hour, which used air late Sunday nights on Z93.  The trick?  A little scotch tape over those square holes on top.

I'm a long way from high school now. The shirts are gone and the sandals come out a little less often. But the Dead remains.  And most mornings, if you ever pass me on the Q'boro bridge, trying to pedal over that beast without my heart exploding, there's a really good chance I'm listening to the Dead.  Maybe from Europe in the 70s, or post-diabetic coma Jerry in the late 80s, happy to be alive and playing like it.  Hell, it might even be something from the studio.  That's right, I even love the albums.  Now that's a fan for life.