Thursday, July 15

Fuck Superheroes


Now I know what you're thinking - this is gonna be another ADI column about the growing field of superhero hentai porn and various merits of the Black Cat and Spidergirl, respectively. But it's not. This is the tale of a Great American Hero and his wrongful imprisonment for fighting The Power as told by someone who is ill-informed and popping Vicodin.
Our story begins, as all great stories do, with me.
I ride a bike every day to work. Monday through Friday, it's pretty enjoyable, despite the 100+ degree heat and the Death Race 2000-style driving which characterizes areas of LA which enjoy high rates of Korean immigration. The keyword which motivates my pedal-pushing, however, is functionality. I ride a hand-me-down bike to work because it's cheaper than owning a car, and because I'm too damn lazy to walk. Most of the time, I'm the only biker on the street.
Come the weekend, however, a deluge of gears and douchebaggery descends upon the streets of suburban LA like some kind of Schwinn-sponsored Katrina.
Basically, there are three types of cyclists: people who ride Schwinns, have beards and drink PBR out of a can to show how unique they are; people who, like me, ride a bike because it's functional and cheap (usually while wearing some sort of food-service-industry-related attire), and the Wannabe Superheroes.
The Schwinn riders are pretty innocuous, as they only ride their bikes to one of three places: Starbucks, to stare at Facebook on their MacBooks while holding onto a pile of Real Books (to disguise the fact that they actually can't read), to the local bar to drink $6 PBR out of a can, or to a park of some sort so they can lie in the grass and throw around words like "post-colonial" and "neo-abstract". More often than not, they just walk their bikes around and leave them chained to mailboxes and light posts. Fair enough. Although this is douchey behavior in the extreme, at least these people are self-proclaimed pacifists who have the muscle tone of overcooked quinoa pasta, so punching them in the face serves as a fun pastime with little negative consequences.
People who I describe as "people like me" are ipso facto awesome people full of rage and nicotine, so there's no reason to say anything bad about them. Ever.
However, the Wanabe Superheroes emit a cloud of Annoying so thick and noxious that there is no reason to pull over your car, bike, scooter, or whatever, and go all Thompson on their ass.

Pictured: Justice

Imagine the following scenario - you are born into an affluent family. Your parents are white and non-threatening in that they are both tied up with various business ventures and extramarital affairs. Your childhood consists of unconsciously absorbing your parents' latent fear of homosexuals and minorities and playing with your Barbie and Ken dolls. Barbie and Ken have it all. Barbie and Ken have a separate outfit for every single fucking occasion. Barbie and Ken are your only friends (fuck Skipper and that black chick), and the long hours they spend with you and the nanny are the only solace you as a young child have in a house filled with white wine spritzers and prescription drug abuse.
Now you grow up. You go to a college full of other white, rich children, where you learn about how evil white, rich people are (other white, rich people, not you). You learn that by eating a box of Kraft Easy Mac you're not only responsible for killing a minority somewhere in the Third World, but you're releasing an unspecificed amount of Carbon Footprint into the Global Warming Sphere. Or something like that. You didn't really pay attention, due to you constant diet of white wine spritzers and prescription drugs.
Again, your only source of solace is Barbie and Ken. But playing with dolls is frowned upon at college (unless you go to Wesleyan University or are getting a degree in positive psychology). So you do the next best thing - you act like Barbie or Ken. Plastic hair, disposable friends, token black people, and all the outfits you can buy! Just like when you were a kid! A shirt to play sports in, a shirt to go hiking in, an SUV in case you ever enjoy the Great Outdoors (you won't), and all the shoes you could want! The more expensive, the better!
After the revolving door of your life spins again, you find yourself with a degree in something or other (maybe Post-Colonial Studies, you're not exactly sure what to call it, but you do know that you watched The Wire while high on Percocet and you're qualified to talk about the plight of black people with a fair degree of accuracy). By the sole virtue of your hard work and gumption, you're now working a desk job for your dad's friend. Good for you!
You still love the clothing and plastic hair. After choosing a "partner" of some sort (you call your wife a partner to show how enlightened you are and how in touch with the gay community your marriage is), you settle into a life of sedentary staring, devoid of interest or purpose. Your only joys are buying expensive dinners for your business colleagues and not tipping your waiter (fuck them. If they wanted money, they should get an education, AMIRIGHT! *high five to golf buddy*)
Suddenly, you notice that you're fat. Clearly, this is the fault of processed foods and Big Industry somehow, so you decide to take matters into your own hands. You begin questioning waiters at restaurants as to what exactly is in every entree, sneering to your dining guests at every third ingredient ("Salt? Are you kidding me? Why not just give me rat poison?!? AMIRIGHT?! Oh, and don't forget the extra ranch dressing"). You would totally take the time to cook for yourself, but then how would you get that special feeling of superiority? And this weight still isn't coming off...perhaps a new shirt is in order.
Then you notice that your friend Steve has the perfect solution. He rides a bike on the weekends! And he's fairly in shape! In the sense that he doesn't wheeze for ten minutes after getting out of his desk chair!
You start looking up bikes online. Not just any bike will do - you take the task of choosing a grown up bike as seriously now as you did when you were ten: you need a bitchin' bike with flashy colors so everyone knows how in shape you are. Plus, you vaguely remember something about car exhaust and polar bear ice caps, so you know it's better for the environment to ride a bike.
You get your first bike, as excited as a kid on Christmas morning, only with slightly more sexual arousal. Man, is it bitchin'! You resist the urge to put streamers on the handle and bicycle cards in the spokes, because you're a grown up now and have to do grown up things ever since Dad died of cirrhosis and Mom moved to Phoenix with a 20 year old tennis instructor named Paolo.
But this raises an important issue: how will people know how important you are without streamers on your handles and Sammy Sosa grinning his mongoloid grin in your spokes? Then your friend Steve stops into the same bike store to pick up some bike-related thing. Maybe a gear. You hide behind a rack of bike things and watch as Steve approaches another rack of bike things.
HOLY SHIT! LOOK AT STEVE'S BIKING OUTFIT! What the fuck is that? Is that some kind of wet suit?! SOME KIND OF WET SUIT TO WEAR ON DRY LAND!!! And just look how GAUDY it is. People will see you coming from a mile away, at least. Passing cars might just run into each other as they stop to marvel at this variegated skintight wonder riding his bike instead of releasing Chlorofluorowhateverthefucks into baby polar bear snouts. You want one....no, you NEED one. You would kill your cheating ex-wife and emo teenage daughter just to have a suit like that. A special suit for special times when you're out saving the world.

Wait.
Wait.
Wait just a fucking second.
Special skintight suit? Saving the world? Killing people?

Holy.
Shit.

You're just like BATMAN!!

And so you drop hundreds of dollars on a suit, dish out hundreds more for a helmet to protect that precious brain of yours with its BA in Neo-Post-Global Mahogany or whatever the hell, and then find out from the kid at the bike store that there are even MORE ACCESSORIES TO BE HAD!! Fucking CLEATS?! How can you not automatically lose weight while wearing cleats?! And the kid at the bike store has dreadlocks, so you know he's legit.
Fuck yeah. You are so ready to rock.

Your first day of biking, you wake up to NPR, listen briefly to a Nuanced Political Issue, and get ready to take your new bike to go to work. You silently hum the Danny Elfman theme to Batman as you suit up. Your cleats make walking a near impossibility, but fuck it, transportation isn't an issue to someone with a bitchin' bike and a bitchin' suit. You are so fucking cool.
Fuck. Yes.
Mounting your alloy steed and carefully adjusting your straps to a more realistic level, you set out to take back the asphalt lanes of the city from its oppressive exhaust-belching overlords. Switching your internal soundtrack to "Ride of the Valkyries", you take off.
Should you ride on the sidewalk? Hell no! You are just as precious and special as any other car-driving douchebag on the road. Probably even more so because you Care About the Earth. Your Nalgene bottle says as much. Sidewalks are for pussies and people who don't want to be seen. You are going to ride proudly down the center of Your Lane, because you spent too much goddam money on this getup to not be seen and respected. You are king. Your carbon footprint is going to look like it was made by one of those bound-up little Chinese girls.
Chuckling to yourself and checking briefly to make sure that there aren't any Chinese people around who might have heard your racist thoughts with their telepathic antennae, you pedal like the eco-conscious Captain Planet that you are. The world is your oyster, you are its savior, and....
HOLY FUCK!! WHAT WAS THAT??!
Was that a car? DID THAT CAR JUST ALMOST HIT YOU?! Why didn't that car stop at the intersection? You know that YOU have the stop sign, but HE'S the douchebag vomiting methane and carcinogens into the air with his Corolla. THAT CAR'S NOT EVEN A HYBRID, MURDERER!! MATRICIDE!! HE'S KILLING MOTHER EARTH!! Fuck that guy, I bet he doesn't even care about the polar bears and their ice caps.
Shaking it off, you continue cycling, but with more caution. Snapped out of your self-involved reverie, you notice that everyone in a car seems to be paying more attention to other cars than they are to you. Don't they see your lime-green superhero suit? What about your superhero helmet?
Why are they giving more attention to those DOUCHEBAGS in their DEATH MACHINES than they are to me?! CAN'T THEY SEE I'M SAVING THE PLANET?!
As more time goes on (about three blocks from now), you realize that biking is hard. You seem to remember something about Los Angeles being a desert. A part of you tries to give a pep talk by saying that pioneers in covered wagons were able to cross the Mojave without even the promise of air conditioning, but a bigger part of you says that YOU'RE smarter than they were, because their actions and irresponsible land maintenance led to dying polar cap bear babies, whatever the fuck, who cares, it's hot as BALLS out here. SIX BLOCKS! That's all you've gone?!
Fuck this.
Defeated and perspiring, you head home to take your car to work, thousands of dollars poorer and feeling like you did when Mommy brought home her "special friend" Javier and you realized three years later that he was boning her.
That day is miserable. You scream at your underlings at work. You yell at the waiter taking your order because his tap water isn't filtered and his bottled water is too expensive. Everything sucks.
You muster the courage to talk to Bike Rider Steve, and the conversation goes something like this:
You: Hey, Stevarooni McGoony, you still riding?
Steve: Yup, got a big ride coming up this weekend. We're gonna go three whole miles!
You: Whoa! Really? Wait, who's "we"?
Steve: Oh, you know, just some guys I ride with. Hey, I saw you crying on the curb in a cycling suit on the way to work today. When did you start riding?
You: Oh, you know, just trying to get back into it. I just haven't really found a good group to go with.
Steve: You should totes ride with us. I'll tweet the deets at you later.
You: Aaaaalll Riiiiiiight. Giggity. Officespeak. Etc.

When the weekend finally rolls around, you join your newfound friends for a "fun ride". This takes you back to childhood days of summer, when everyone was "in it for the fun", and life "wasn't a contest" and "everybody was a winner". This is exactly what you need. This is like the time you and Jimmy McIrish formed a bike gang and ruled the streets together, but then your mom wouldn't let him hang around you after she found you practicing your French kissing on each other.
Everyone is dressed flashily and expensively. There's one guy there in shorts and a T-Shirt, but he quickly pulls ahead of the rest of you, leaving everyone to talk about how he must be new to cycling due to his lack of proper accoutrements. You chip in, "Doesn't he know this isn't a race?" Everyone else sweatily concurs.
The streets are yours. You ride freely through residential areas, casting off the chains of stop signs and streetlights, secure and immortal in your latex armor. You ride three bikes across in egalitarian formation, ignorant to the honking of cars behind you, basking in the glow of your own smugness, finally, FINALLY, receiving the recognition and respect that only thousands of dollars on bicycles and bicycle-related accessories can bring. And no one can stop you, because if there's one thing a liberal arts degree will teach you, it's that a capitalist system that uses complicated machinery and puts people in a single file line is ALWAYS morally inferior to an egalitarian, eco-friendly system that's "closer to the earth". And every weekend, you are the sweaty, cramping embodiment of that system.
But only on the weekends.


Did that rambling vignette sound familiar to you? If it did, go kill yourself.
If not, then perhaps you now understand better the growing phenomenon of the Great White Biker. I didn't realize that biking was so popular, considering the fact that biking sucks ass. I'm not saying that everyone has the same motivation for biking. Just the ones who wear cycle suits. Every weekend, the streets around where I live are choked with multi-chromatic douchebags who fail to follow any traffic laws and zip in front of moving cars as if they are protected by an airbag-like bubble of self-worth which will save them from injury.
Myself, I like to follow a simple code of safety known as "Darwinian traffic laws". Basically, if I'm going to die because I fly through an intersection, then it's my fucking fault. End of story.
Here's a quick scenario: I'm at an intersection. I don't have a stop sign. A car on my right has a stop sign. I know the car can't see me, because the driver is a) Asian, and b) a woman. Now, I can bitch about biker's rights and maintain my right of way by entering the intersection, or I can stop for two seconds and not get my ass run over. It's very simple. (The same rules apply in the ghetto: I can run from a group of black guys at night and come off as racist, or I can pretend to be enlightened and get mugged). Sometimes, you have to lose the moral high ground in the interest of not getting your shit ruined.

Enter Dr. Christopher Thompson, Great American Hero and recipient of the Angry Drunken Irishman Award for Getting Shit Done.
Two years ago, Dr. Thompson was driving his Infiniti in an affluent neighborhood full of picturesque scenery. It was the Fourth of July, which means that this affluent scenery was probably inundated by garish latex wearing superhero wannabes. Dr. Thompson had dealt with this shit before, and wasn't having any of it. He came up behind two cyclists who were riding side-by-side, wrapped in the security blanket of a white upbringing and expendable income, and yelled at them to "ride single file". The cyclists yelled back profanities at him, perhaps erring in assuming that their Narcissism Force Field was also soundproof. Dr. Thompson saw right through their shit, and decided to do something about it.
Now, I may be just speculating here, but I'm guessing that if these had been two Hell's Angels riding side-by-side, Dr. Thompson would have let them ride in peace, because at least Hell's Angels have the nuts to handle being run over by a car. However, Thompson, being a medical doctor, knew that latex and pricey helmets don't give you magical powers, so he decided to exercise some "tough love" to let these two assholes know it, too.
Dr. Thompson just wanted to drop some knowledge, that's all.

Dr. Thompson, showing an unflagging commitment to knowledge and learning, pulled ahead of the two bikers and slammed on his brakes, sending one of them over the car and the other into his back windshield.
Don't think this is justified? Consider the following quote from "victim" Ron Peterson during the court hearings:

“These past 18 months have been difficult, to say the least,” he told the court. “Being the victim of multiple felonies is not a pleasant experience, one which is made even more difficult by the constant court date postponements, stress of being cross-examined, recounting the event again and again, and then finally, the constant worry that in the end the truth will not be heard and justice will not be served. To my great relief the truth has been heard and Dr. Thompson has been found guilty on all counts. Now the question finally arises: Will justice be served?”
-Ron Peterson, Whiny Bitch

I have made it a policy ever since the Rodney King trials to never disagree with anything the LA County Court System has to say. However, I will say that maybe, just MAYBE, this Pussy Ass Bitch deserved to run into the back of a car. Consider the following logical argument.
1) Cars drive on roads
2) Cyclists are always bitching that they're not treated as "equally" as cars.
3) If a car drove into the back of Dr. Thompson, that car would be at fault.
4) Therefore, Ron Peterson is at fault.
5) And a bitch.

Not only was Dr. Thompson sentenced to do five years of jail time, but Ron Peterson DID NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THE DAMAGE HE DID TO DR. THOMPSON'S CAR.
You can't just buff that shit out.

This is bullshit. Dr. Thompson is a Great American Hero, and I would like to personally congratulate him on doing his part to rid our streets of the Latex Scourge.
However, I do not encourage people to emulate his behavior, since it is apparently a "felony", not to mention inefficient. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation in which a douchebag on a bike is screaming profanities at you, just run them right the hell over.

Unless that douchebag is me.

Now bring me a drink. A Superhero Biker (that's like a Bloody Mary, only instead of Tabasco you add vagina juice to it and throw it in your waiter's face.)

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1 Bullshit Responses:

Anonymous Razorback left the following bullshit...

I can out drink, out fight, out fuck your pussy ass any day bitch... and I'm fucking 170 pounds of kick ass, muscled up White American Biking Armageddon for your ass... You were doing fine till you opened you asshole on road rage... we shoot motherfuckers like that here in Arkansas...
P.S. Your wife, before she left your sorry ass, was a lousy lay.

7:27 AM  

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