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Urgh, what a nuisance!

I wasted the entirety of Friday waiting around at my old house for the gas company to send somebody by to shut off service.  Nobody ever came.

This makes the second time this has happened.

Believe me, the gas company will be hearing from me again on Monday, and while I have no intention of tearing a strip off the poor call-center schmuck that I initially contact, some deserving member of management will be hearing in full about why I consider this state of affairs to be entirely unacceptable.

Not only did they utterly fail to send somebody out to shut off the gas, they failed to call me and let me know that nobody was going to come and shut off the gas.  They did not, however, fail to continue to bill me for their services.  Dickheads!

Moreover, I called the gas company around 1:30 to make sure that I was  scheduled, and they confirmed that I was, and that I was to receive a call half an hour before the service person showed up.

By the time 5:00 p.m. rolled around and nobody showed up, I gave it up as a bad job and went home.  My ENTIRE day, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. was completely wasted.  I wasn’t able to do the laundry, go to the bank, go to the store, work on my new coat, walk the dog, bake some bagels…NOTHING.

I sat around in an empty house with a library book, an insufficient lunch, and a too-small thermos of coffee for almost ten hours not just once, but twice, to no good end.


I hate when my time is wasted like this.  Not just my time, but my money, since they will continue to charge me for service until they deign to send a service person out there to shut it off.  What a scam, eh?

You know, most of the time I’m not a peevish person, but when others gratuitously and flagrantly waste my time, I’m apt to get my peeve on.

And speaking of having somebody waste my time, I’m now going to tell you about the kind of cyclist who gives all the rest of us a bad name.


To preface this, I’ve got to explain that I hardly ever drive.  I mostly don’t have to, since I’ve deliberately organized my life so that I don’t have to.  Not because I think driving or drivers or evil, not because I think it’s nobler to bike, not even strictly on account of environmental concerns, but mainly because I don’t really enjoy driving and I do enjoy riding bikes.

I found myself needing to drive this past Wednesday, however, because Joel’s mom needed a lift to run some errands after she’d broken a toe and couldn’t get around too well.  Since I didn’t have to work until late afternoon, I fired up the truck and we went out and took care of business.  As we were heading back to her place, a chrome-bag-toting, fixie-ridin’ hipster flipped a U-turn in the street ahead of us, thus pointing himself in the same direction we were heading.  He was riding pretty high on the lane…basically, one skinny kid on a bike was managing to take up the whole (one-way-with-on-street-parking) street.

“No biggie,” I think, “I guess he’s a little overzealous about that whole “taking the lane” thing.  Whatever.”

Then, however, he slows to a crawl.  And slows to a stop.  Settling into a trackstand, his forward momentum definitely ceased.

Okay, whatever.  Maybe he’s going to turn around again.

I wait to see if he signals a turn or looks around to make a move.





He lifts one hand off the handlebars.





He lifts the other off the bars.




He lurches violently, and returns both hands to the bar and resumes his trackstand.

By this point, there are three more cars stopped behind Nancy and me, and I’m completely gobsmacked by this dude’s audacity.

I always drive with the windows down (I feel all claustrophobic if I don’t) so I leaned out the window and hollered, “DUDE!?!?!  What gives????“  I only censored myself so much on account of not wanting to yell “WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?” in front of my mother-in-law, though I know she’s heard it all before and then some.

Hipster-dipster finally looks behind himself, lurches again, and resumes his trackstand.

“This is one dumbasssed motherfucker,” is what I was thinking.

I cramped the steering wheel to the left and edged my way around this exceedingly stupid person, and went on my way.

I commented to Nancy that I’d be pretty damn ashamed if I was that kid’s parent, to know that my son was so arrogant and stupid as to think it’s a pretty good idea to stop stock still in the middle of a public street and start practicing his bike stunts.

It’s people like that midtown dweeb who make non-cyclists think that everyone on a bike is an idiot and an inconvenience.  I gave that kid a lot more leeway and patience than most non-cyclists would.

You just have to wonder sometimes what the hell is wrong with people.

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