Of Luck and Annoyance: Squeaking Through By The Skin of Your Suit

(Another compelling contest submission.)

Of all the seasonal seasonways, spring is by far the most insidious. Summer is honest in its punishing, carcinogenic, skin-searing brutality. Autumn is frank in its portentiousness, and it makes its intentions known to you by killing leaves before your very eyes. And winter is arguably the most straightforward of them all, bitter and barren in its frigid indifference.

Spring on the other hand tricks you into thinking that all is right with the world. In particular, here in New York, you might be fooled into thinking that this is actually a pleasant place to live. Even I, after pretend-moving to Porland, have temporarily returned to visit in order to enjoy the parks, and the riding, and the over-abundance of banks and chain drug stores. However, I will not be lulled into complacency, for I know we're merely dwelling in that two-month window during which life here is tolerable.

I found myself pondering all this after reading the following "Tweet:"


I suppose if anything inspires me it's the basic animal drive to fulfill my family's basic needs, and if I can also manage to enjoy a solitary, uninterrupted bathroom visit on top of that every now and again then so much the better. I'm sure this isn't what they wanted to hear. Instead, they probably wanted to hear some nonsense about how inspirational life in New York City is. Nonsense. Life here isn't inspirational--it's annoying. Sure, that's a form of inspiration, in that it inspires me to complain, but you can get pretty much the same effect from airplane travel, and in fact if you're ever wondering what it's like to live in New York City just think back on the last time you flew coach. It's exactly like that, including the frequent searches and borderline violations of your civil rights. The only difference is that airline travel is way cheaper, even with the gratuitous baggage charges.

By the way, I didn't know what "freecycling" was (I thought it was the opposite of fixed-gear riding) so I looked it up on a popular user-edited Internet encyclopedia:

Freecycling, also known as Free Recycling, is the act of giving away usable unwanted items to others instead of disposing of them in landfills.

Is this actually a novel concept? Can't people even give away their old crap anymore without ascribing some self-important term and accompanying lifestyle to it? Is there any limit to people's capacity for congratulating themselves for performing mundane acts? Apparently not. Here I was thinking that when I gave my extra copy of David Hasselhoff's autobiography, "Making Waves," to my neighbor, all I was doing was giving it away. Instead, it turns out I'm actually a "freecycler," and thus entitled to all the ensuing smugness benefits. By the way, here's a video the Tweeters made, and apparently they're inspired by things like bicycles, brunch, and Lady Gaga:

Ugh again. Hopefully something will eventually inspire them to move to Portland where they belong.

Speaking of springtime and congratulating yourself for doing absolutely nothing, I was visiting the Best Made Co. website (I guess I wasn't annoyed enough already) where I learned that air-drying your clothes is apparently now an act of personal expression:

Okay, let me see if I have this straight:

Having a MacBook Pro and an iPhone and an iPad = "Minimalism;"

Giving Old Shit Away = "Freecycling;"

Living in the City and Being a Pretentious Douche = "Urban Homesteading."

Anyway, why does she need to wait until spring to air-dry her clothes? I guess I must be an even better "urban homesteader" than her, because I have an artisanally curated wooden piece of functional design called a "folding drying rack" that allows me to dry clothes all year round. Then again, I guess hanging my Lycra from a rack in my home where nobody can see it doesn't present "an opportunity for creative expression:"

5) The clothesline presents an opportunity for creative expression. There are many ways to hang your clothes out to dry, for example:

a) Totally random: you just hang out to dry your clothes in whatever order you happen to pick them up.

b) By type (ascending/descending order optional): First socks, second short sleeved shirts, third long sleeves, fourth pants, etc…

c) Rainbow: Arrange your clothes in a rainbow spectrum or some other color coordinated way.

d) Whites: For those that separate their laundry, an all white laundry line is always stunning.

I thought this was great advice, and so I took my drying rack outside and arranged my wet laundry on it so it would spell out "Fuck Best Made" in underpants.

But some things are more annoying than people who get way too into their own laundry and think they're artists for doing their own household chores--like drivers who run red lights and hit cyclists. In fact, a reader recently sent me this shocking video from Seattle:

Fortunately, the rider was unharmed:

Jeff Word was crossing Valley St at the crosswalk from Terry Ave N into South Lake Union Park the evening of May 18 when a driver ran a red light and struck him and his bicycle. Word reacted quickly and was able to put his foot onto the car’s approaching hood and push off. The collision damaged his bike, but Word landed on his feet unharmed after being thrown across the crosswalk.

“I’m doing good,” said Word in an email. “I was so happy that nothing happened I was pretty much laughing afterwards. I’m a chiropractor, too, so I get adjustments all the time.”

Apparently he's not only a chiropractor but a martial artist, because the manner in which he uses his foot to launch himself from the car's hood is worthy of Jackie Chan:

Meanwhile, Stevil Kinevil of All Hail the Black Market alerted me to this video from London, in which another cyclists also walks away from what could have been a very serious accident, but in this case it's entirely the cyclist's fault:

Hipster Trash Compactor - East London from jssjmsvckry on Vimeo.

I'd very much like to know if the cameraman caught this by accident or if they were actually filming an "edit." I've been waiting (far from eagerly) for the day one of these stupid "hillbombing" or "mashing" videos goes horribly awry, and if this was one then it looks like we came incredibly close:

This is also what comes of a new wave of "urban cyclists" convinced that their narrow bars and zen-like ability to "pick lines" through traffic allow them to pass through any space they'd like, when in reality they're about as stealthy as a cat after you cut off his whiskers.

Perhaps soon we'll see these urban cyclists wearing skinsuits to further reduce their bulk, and Klaus from Cycling Inquisition was kind enough to let me know recently that a genuine Mario Cipollini "muscle" skinsuit is now available on eBay:

I already have one of course, but I plan to buy this one too so I have another to wear when it's hanging from my artisanal drying rack. Still, nobody wears it like Cipollini himself:

It's almost like he's wearing nothing at all.

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