If you’re reading this as opposed to, say, serving time for assault and battery or lying in a hospital bed with a broken jaw, chances are you probably don’t hurl invective at strangers very often. The exception, of course, is when you’re driving or riding a bike, in which case you’ve almost certainly expressed some truly awful sentiments to your fellow humans at one time or another. In turn, you’ve also probably had at least one “Jerkstore moment,” in which you lamented your choice of insult and wished more than anything for a do-over:
Now, over the years, I’ve concluded that confronting drivers is almost never worth it. At the same time, I’m not always great at taking my own advice, especially when someone confronts me first. All of this is to say that I had my own Jerkstore Moment while out on my Milwaukee this morning:
There is a street in Yonkers I ride fairly regularly; it is a steep descent, and there is a traffic light in the middle of it. The traffic light controls a very busy intersection, so I always stop. As I learned early on, if you stop in the middle of the street at this light the drivers behind you lose their shit, because it prevents them from making a right turn on red. (Of course if you were in a car and were planning to continue on straight ahead the drivers behind you would just suck it up, but you’re on a bike so you’re fair game for derision.) So, because I am a considerate person, and because I value piece of mind above all, I always take pains to position myself in such a way that drivers behind may make their precious right turns on red unimpeded.
So there I was, waiting at the red light, far enough to the left that drivers could turn, yet still behind the white line and well within my own lane. However, on this occasion, a driver in a Nissan Rogue or some other Dockers-on-wheels lease special who was turning onto this street from the busy cross street did that thing thing where he cut the corner because he was lazy and a shitty driver. He then had to adjust his course slightly because I was there, which naturally irritated him, and so he slowed down as he passed me and cursed me out in Russian, which I knew because whatever he said was peppered with the word “Blyat.” (Or, in fairness, perhaps he was just incensed by the terrible fender line on the Milwaukee.)
Again, I try hard to mind my own business, but if someone rolls down their window and curses at me I’m not nearly enlightened enough to keep my mouth shut. “Shut up, asshole. Go fuck yourself,” I replied calmly. He spoke no further, and he also resumed driving, both of which would suggest he had taken my advice to not only shut up but also find a suitable place to go fuck himself. This would appear to be a favorable outcome–EXCEPT, after the light changed and I reflected on our exchange, I realized I’d just squandered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
See, in college, I had a roommate who was a native Russian speaker schooled me in the use of obscenities in that wonderfully expressive tongue. And while I remember very little of those lessons, I do recall a phrase that translates to something along the lines of “My dick in your mouth, you livestock whore.” Alas, this phrase has laid dormant in my brain for the past 30 years, and while you’d think I’d have had a chance to use it by now, incredibly I haven’t–until this morning, that is. But now it’s too late.
However, I have had a chance to trackify my Midlife Crisis Fixie Mark II after last week’s debacle:
So that’s gotta count for something, right?