11.08.2005

Biking to School

Awhile back I read an article--I think it was in Oprah's magazine--about happiness. One guy in the article taught at Harvard, and he said that he'd thought that being at Harvard would be the thing that would make him happy, but that it turned out that getting to walk to and from Harvard every day was the thing that brought him the most happiness. And I feel a little bit like that when it comes to biking to school--it's one of the unexpected joys of my life here. I cruise down the street on my big bike, with my enormous basket, hair flying out behind me, and I feel like a ten-year-old kid.

That was what I was going to post to the blog today--and it's true. But on the way home from school this evening, two cars honked repeatedly at me as I pedaled along in the road, a couple of feet from the gutter, just as bikers are supposed to do. I was obeying all the laws--I was a legal vehicle in the road, but they didn't know it. They were really annoying. One person finally passed me, and as she passed, she yelled, "Get on the sidewalk!" Walter has developed a line for situations of this sort, and I was so glad to have it at the ready to yell right back:

"It's not called a sideBIKE!"

She yelled back, "Get your ass--" but then stopped, apparently silenced by the clarity and truth of what I had said.

We can talk later about the fact that I should probably be learning to be a more compassionate and mature person, but having a comeback was just so gratifying.

6 comments:

Kevin O'Mara said...

That is the best thing in the world. I have had people yell that at me (and those I love) and have never known what to say. Walter deserves much congratulations.

Kevin O'Mara said...

... and you too, for actually using it to its fullest extent.

Alison said...

I have to admit that I've now edited this post, so what you're seeing here is no longer me using Walter's comeback to its fullest extent. I removed a particular epithet that I *said* in real-life, but the fact that it was on the blog was actually keeping me from sleeping (it's 1 a.m. right now).

Sorry, Kevin!

Kenneth said...

The unexpurgated comeback was sheer poetry, but I understand why you edited it.

Kevin O'Mara said...

It's a shame that it had to go, but I understand.

Alison said...

Yes, well. I think it sounded better coming from Walter than from me.

Walter--who, oddly, is often an advocate for compassion and sweetness these days--pointed out that I could have just pulled off the road and let this person pass me.

Honestly, that hadn't occurred to me.