Two very weird incidents from the past month or so that I’ve held off on talking about because I don’t know what they mean, but then on top of this continuing Obama/Osama nonsense, the latest of which comes from my own home county, I thought I just had to put them out there.
First incident – as a bike rider, runner, or anyone who does any form of sport in public knows, there are LOTS of people who are hostile to the very idea that you are exercising. It angers them. It’d be hard to say why, but even when you’re nowhere near their path of travel, drivers and passengers will go out of their way to scream, honk, throw things at you, threaten you with their cars. Being fit or getting fit seems to piss these cretins off, and a quick glance is usually enough to see why. So I’m used to being yelled at. But I admit even cynical old me was taken aback about a month ago when a beat-up old car with two lunkheads pulled slowly past me as I was climbing a hill and one of them leaned out and yelled the “N” word at me. For one thing, I’m as white as can be, and even with my bike tan I’m not what you would call passing. For another, I’m just amazed that in this day and age, the first thing that comes out of some lunkhead’s mouth when he wants to spew hate is a racial epithet that doesn’t even apply – I mean, how fucked up does your head have to be that the “N” word is at the top of your list to shout at someone? I expect to be called “gay” because I’m on a bike – I don’t know why, but it’s standard – but I’ve never before been called that.
Then, last week as I was taking a bump up Washington Avenue past the downtown SUNY campus, a carload of jerkoffs (that’s a technical term, I’m just trying to describe them as accurately as possible) drove past and the driver leaned out his window and screamed at me, “Obama sucks!” Again, I’m confused – did he, too, think I was black and that therefore I must care about his opinion about Sen. Obama? Or did he assume that because I was on a bike, I must be gay, and that being gay, I must be in favor of Sen. Obama, and again was in need of his opinion? Too deep a thinker for me to figure out, I guess.
And today, I couldn’t be more proud of my home county, which managed to send out absentee ballots with “Osama” on the Democratic line. Listen, I worked in a print shop, and I know how this nonsense happens – some joker commits a dumb joke to type and it doesn’t get fixed before press time, which is why that kind of behavior is unacceptable in a print shop. Really unforgivable.