Saturday, July 12, 2008

cycling = terrorism?

Yet another encounter with the fundamentally insane. Where do these fucking people come from? And how do they keep finding me?

Today was the Mississippi Bluffs road race (MBRR), a super low-key local race just above Rapids City. Set on rural roads with wide shoulders and rolling hills, the MBRR course is one that many of us train on regularly. The course was 25K (about 15 miles) and the small field was divided into two groups: Beginner men/women, and Cat. 1-4. There were less than 30 racers total. Absolutely chill and no big fucking deal. A good day.

I sat this one out, due to my inability to shake this cold and my recent travel to Oregon (more on that later). I headed out to the race to help (DICE was putting this on, after all) and ended up being a corner marshall in a snappy orange vest. It offset the tattoos well.

This is where the weirdness begins.

This race was short. The Beginner group did one lap, the other group did two. After the two groups came through the first time, a man who lives across the street rolled by slowly in his red, shiny, what-the-fuck-ever car. He pulled into his driveway, paused, drove up to his house, reconsidered, turned around and drove back to the end of his driveway- about 20 feet total. He then got out and stood there, staring at me. after a few minutes of these shenanigans, he decided to shuffle across the street towards me. I should also mention at this point that he was missing at least four visible teeth. Our conversation:

Lazy Toothless Fuck: "What is going on?"
Me: "Just a small bike race. I'm here to direct bikers and make sure everyone's safe."
LTF: "You should have a sign."
M: "Well, there are signs up the road this way and down that way. I'm marking this intersection."
LTF (with a small 'smile') : "So you're the sign, then?"
M (smiling back pleasantly) : "I guess so!"

With that, he mumbled something about safety and shuffled back across to the sedentary safety of his car, which he then pulled back up to his house. All in all, not that notable an incident. Until he came driving back 20 minutes later.

LTF: "I called 9-1-1, and they don't know anything about this."
M: "You called 9-1-1?"
LTF: "Yeah, they don't know anything about this."
M: "Well, 9-1-1 is emergency services so I can't imagine they would. But there is a county sheriff at the next interestion who knows about it. He's guarding the course."
LTF: "Where?"

At this point, I give the man detailed directions on how to find a T intersection. I'll spare the details.

All converstions with this guy entailed him saying something ridiculously negative and/or paranoid, and me responding in a pleasant, telemarketer fact-giving way. I will now give you the best parts of this conversation.

LTF: "Black Hawk?" (pointing to the license plate on my car) "Is that where you're out of?"
M: "I grew up there, but I live in the Quad Cities now."
LTF: "Well, I reported that plate to the police."
M (saccharine): "Of course you did."

But hands down, the best part of the conversation was this:

LTF: "I wasn't notified anything about this thing. I didn't even see anything about it on TV."
M: "No, we won't be televised. This is a pretty small event. Just a group of people getting together to ride our bikes."
LTF: "That sounds like terrorism to me."

I am happy to report that I did not laugh in his face, nor shove--or get otherwise violent with--this man. I simply responded (happily):

M: "Terrorism? Really? You think we're terrorists?"

I have to admit I was kind of psyched at this point. Fucking sweet--I've never been called a terrorist before! I don't think it was the reaction he was hoping for, as this man obviously feeds on negativity. It must suck to be him...

LTF: "Well, a group of people getting together and not telling anybody about it..."
M: "It's more like a family reunion."
LTF: "Then that definitely sounds like terrorism!"

Wow. It must really suck to be this guy.

M: "I'm sorry. If you have any concerns you can direct them to the race promoter. His name is Donnie Miller and he is over at Adventure Quest right now."
LTF: "Don't talk to me about Adventure Quest! It's a gimmick."
M: "Okay. Well, I'm a volunteer. We're using the parking lot over at Adventure Quest, and that's where you can direct concerns. Or feel free and head down to the T intersection and speak with the sheriff."

The rest of the conversation between myself and this particular fucking idiot was simply a banter of him giving me some form of criticism, and me sweetly responding with directions to either Donnie, the sheriff, or both.

I would've been pissed if it hadn't been so funny... and kind of sad.

I swear to God, these people love me--and I have no idea why. How do they keep finding me?


Matthew said...

Way to go,Osama Bin Laden!

mattonne said...

I am in awe of your patients and kindness...I have NO stupid people skills