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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-24-05, 02:23 PM   #1
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Sure to get the keyboards clacking...

This little story is taken from Chicago author John Green's website, www.sparksflyup.com
Here's the specific link: www.sparksflyup.com/bikemessenger.html

Here's the full text, it's sure to get your little keyboards clacking....

The Bike Messenger

I got run over by a bike messenger last week at the corner of Clark and Division. Like all accidents involving bike messengers, this one wasn't his fault. Oh no. I was foolishly standing still at a crosswalk, thereby providing an excellent target, and I am deeply sorry for my carelessness. I'm sure that bike messenger has a very sore shoulder, on account of how the collision broke my nose and gave me a concussion. I wish he had waited around long enough for me to apologize and get his address. If nothing else, I owe him a deep tissue massage of that shoulder. Oh, yeah, and he owes me 4,000 dollars in hospital bills.
I think it's safe to say that most Chicagoans sort of, you know, hate bike messengers. By and large, they're a pretty unpleasant lot of people, what with their flagrant disregard for the sanctity of human life. I know I'm not supposed to say that, since bike messengers are young and poor and trendy like me. But a funny thing happened to me as I lay on the ground bleeding profusely from the face. I didn't care about defending the young and poor and trendy anymore. I just wanted to kill me some bike messengers.

So here's my question: Can I go after this guy even if I have to beat up a lot of innocent bike messengers on my way to the evil one? See, all I remember about the individual in question is that he was Caucasian and blurry, so in order to be good and sure I get him, I'll need to beat the holy living heck out of every white, male bike messenger in Chicago.

At first, I worried my plan might be either illegal or immoral, but then I remembered President Bush's exciting new foreign policy initiatives, which encourage me, so far as I can tell, to exact vengeance upon my iron-shouldered nemesis by any means necessary.

The President has argued that Saddam Hussein, the President of Iraq, poses a threat to the world and therefore must be toppled. Well, if you aren't convinced that the bike messenger who mauled me poses a threat to Chicago's pedestrians, let me invite you to gaze upon the festering pool of flesh that used to be my face.

Clearly, we have to eradicate the twin tyrannies of evil bike messengers and evil dictators. I can trust President Bush to take on Saddam, but if I don't take dramatic measures to make Chicago's streets safe for walking, who will? The wusses at the United Nations? They'll just debate over whether my nose is actually fractured for months before deciding that while my nose IS broken, it wouldn't be fair to hold thousands of bike messengers accountable for the misdeeds of one.

I would love to have broad support for my cause, but if I have to act unilaterally, I am not afraid. If necessary, I will defy the world to avenge my crooked nose, and I salute President Bush for sharing my vision of vigilante justice.

After all, Saddam Hussein IS a pretty bad guy. Not only is he a ruthless tyrant, he has also written three novels, each of which is by all accounts unimaginably horrid. I find it impossible to forgive the sentimental prose of dictators, and so I'm all in favor of doing away with Hussein and replacing him with someone who is either a better person or a better writer.

And I have no doubt that we WILL kill him. Look what we did to Manuel Noriega! Oh, wait. He's still alive. Well, Mullah Omar, then. Oh, yeah, still alive. And Milosevic is still alive, too. Bin Laden? Still alive, unless he died, in a stirring testament to the precision of American smart bombs, of kidney failure. So I guess maybe we aren't so good at killing the evildoers. But we're sure good at killing the regular folks, which is good enough for me, because secretly, I don't want justice for that bike messenger. I just want revenge.
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Old 01-24-05, 02:32 PM   #2
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ok, fess up, which one of you chicago boys did this?
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Old 01-24-05, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shot
Like all accidents involving bike messengers, this one wasn't his fault. Oh no. I was foolishly standing still at a crosswalk, thereby providing an excellent target, and I am deeply sorry for my carelessness. [/I]
That says enough for me.
If he stood in the middle of the street and got his ankles taken out by a Corvette would he go around hating all vette drivers because he was too dumb to stay on the sidewalk until the light changed?
What a maroon.
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Old 01-24-05, 02:45 PM   #4
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bah - dime a dozen. F him. So b/c a bike messenger hit him, all of them are bad. What a ******. Anything that happens to him at this point, he deserves.

Clark and Division - I'd be curious to know the time of day and what day it was.

"to make Chicago's streets safe for walking" - streets are for walking j^ckass...the sidewalk is though. Stay there.

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Old 01-24-05, 02:47 PM   #5
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Thats what he gets for not looking before crossing. I bet he was blabbing on a cell phone or something and not paying attention to what was happening.
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Old 01-24-05, 02:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by [165]
bah - dime a dozen. F him.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

A steal at $10.87
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Old 01-24-05, 02:57 PM   #7
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Or he may have just been standing there. I don't really believe this but you never know. I have hit a few pedestrians in my delivery days. Some were my fault and some were not. Unless I knew for a fact that they were not really hurt I would always stay and find out. It would be a funny thing if I took his outlook and just started smashing into folks for no other reason than their misfortune for using their legs and feet while out in the street.
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Old 01-24-05, 03:04 PM   #8
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I definitely hit some pedestrians in my messenger days, though mostly 'cause they walked out in the street without looking. The thing is, they figure they're walking out only a little bit so it's OK, but that's the little bit that belongs to us. For what it's worth, though, the political commentary part of this essay is fairly amusing, and if we can respond by saying, "one accident with one messenger is a dumb reason to kill all messengers," then maybe we're subtly getting an important message about our esteemed president's foreign policy.
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Old 01-24-05, 03:32 PM   #9
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That was one of the most advanced ADD articles I've ever read. Jeez the guy is all over the place. What a cry baby. Didn't his momma teach him to look both ways when crossing the street?
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Old 01-24-05, 03:39 PM   #10
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His mind was made up before it even happened. I'll not give him my sympathy. Sort of reminds me of the guy from the CPD I dealt w ith after I got hit. Despite the fact that the taxi driver was standing there right next to me claiming responsibility, in this prick's eyes I was the only person who could possibly have been at fault, etc. His mind was made up before we came in the door.
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Old 01-24-05, 03:58 PM   #11
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I think this writer is a bit more nuanced than a first glance suggests. Sure he got hit and is angry. It may have been his fault too (I'm sure he'd say no), but I think he's taking this incident and the accompanied feeling of helplessness (not knowing who hit him) and anger and using it as a launch point for an attack on our present administration. That's why he seems to jump back and forth. It does appear that he holds messengers in low esteem and you can love him or hate him for that, but I don't think the article is really about beating up a 1000 messengers.

He probably should've sat on the story for a week or two....his point would've likely been clearer.

Or, I may have missed the point and given him too much credit.

Jim
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Old 01-24-05, 04:55 PM   #12
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"flagrant disregard for the sanctity of human life..."

Love that line. Damn you and your healthy bike riding!!!!

Also, if you're getting laid out that easily, good luck beating up anybody. I'm not the guy, but if you want to go toe-to-toe Mr. young, poor, and trendy...I'm game.

Also, also, how did he know he was a messenger?

The guy's nose was broken for god's sake...so we know he couldn't have smelled him. Past that, how can you tell these days?
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Old 01-24-05, 04:56 PM   #13
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I thought his point was, right or wrong, it wasn't fair to blame a large group for the actions of one-reference to his 'good at killing the regular folk'.

I thought a lot of it was toungue in cheek (I hear a bad joke coming), and (I'm gonna get it for this) I believe his version had him standing still AT a crosswalk, not on one.
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Old 01-24-05, 04:57 PM   #14
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My vote's with Jim: messengers just happened to be a clean launch point for a rant on the administration. Just substitute 'pie' for 'bike messenger' and maybe his point is a little more clear.

"...I don't want justice for that pie. I just want revenge."
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Old 01-24-05, 05:05 PM   #15
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another vote for the metaphorical argument. i bet he didn't even get hit, but it makes a good story.
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Old 01-24-05, 05:09 PM   #16
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I can trust President Bush to take on Saddam, bu [/I]
funking republicans
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Old 01-24-05, 05:09 PM   #17
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this article has been around for awhile. seen it here before.
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Old 01-24-05, 05:14 PM   #18
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Okay, it was me. Plus I'm the one giving people cancer.
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Old 01-24-05, 05:15 PM   #19
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Can't we just kill the young & trendy? Oh, wait...they're working at Reckless, Filter, Earwax, uh...(fill in the blanks) killing themselves slowly....
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Old 01-24-05, 05:54 PM   #20
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Jesus, people, think a little harder about this.

Or read it, have a chuckle, and move on. Your choice.
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Old 01-24-05, 06:02 PM   #21
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Hey, trendy as it may be, I've never had a bad meal at Earwax. However, the one time I purchased a beverage at Filter was enough for me, f that noise.

I wonder if the assumed messenger yelled "look out! no brakes!" before the impact.
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Old 01-24-05, 06:05 PM   #22
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*
Quote:
Originally Posted by raygunner
Okay, it was me. Plus I'm the one giving people cancer.
* Now that's funny!

I also agree with jfmckenna's observations regarding ADD; he strays. His initial objective scattered, his thoughts diluted, any effort for appeal to his audience lost. A shame really, as he clearly demonstrates superior literary skills.

Perhaps the ADDs introduction is a direct result from the collision.

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Old 01-24-05, 06:11 PM   #23
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I wonder if the assumed messenger yelled "look out! no brakes!" before the impact.
LOL!
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Old 01-24-05, 06:13 PM   #24
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John Green is a NPR/WBEZ radio commentator. He's also an avid writer type - read: McSweeney's intellectual type. He's a storyteller. He's pretty decent - I've seen him on stage and met him once when he was co-hosting a show here in at the Hideout (coincidentally he's doing another one with some writer type friends of mine - here , if you're interested, I'll be there this Wednesday). While I'm not quite fond of this piece, I put it down to hyperbole -- that sort of excessive exaggerated story to get laughs. No more, no less.
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Old 01-24-05, 06:26 PM   #25
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hyperbole is good - at the expense of something completely non-sensical. Not at the expense of safety of cyclists. Some j^goff made a messenger tag comment last year on WGCI and that, while hyperbole, was not called for. Yes, it happens. No, it is not needed.
The parallels in the story are clever, but the pulp could have been focused on a different urban facet.
If it is true, I would love to see the full extension of the event, not just his perspective. And here I thought anything NPR associated was good. Next year, I will not even think about considering a notion to possibly investigate the off chance I might donate. Fockers...Cartalk can now officially kiss my ^ss
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