etiquette

I think it’s been raining for 3 weeks straight. There was really no end in sight. In fact there continues to be no end in sight. There was a brief hiatus in sight 2 days ago. That hiatus has now come and gone. It proved to be a few, what I assume were blissful hours of sunlight and dry. Not so much that the concrete was sapped of moisture, but dry enough that I didn’t have to wear boots this morning.


This has been the first year I’ve used an umbrella. Up until now I’ve been emphatically anti-umbrella. Why? Because they are cumbersome, soggy and dangerous. Dangerous for me primarily, who insists on unavoidably thrusting herself into harms way. I get mocked relentlessly by my friend Katie-Lynne for voicing my two biggest grievances. Umbrella etiquette and bicycle etiquette. However, despite the mocking I know I’m not the only one who the malpractice of both these activities irritates to high heaven. Abuse of umbrella and bicycle privileges runs rampant. As soon as the first rains arrive the bikes go inside and the umbrella’s come out.


There’s not a season in the calendar year that doesn’t have me flinging myself out of the path of some jack-ass recklessly wielding a spoke-laden weapon.


The rules are simple.

Bikes: If you’re riding a bicycle and you’re too afraid to ride on the road, keep the thing chained to a pipe in the laundry room where it (and you) belong. Don’t . . . I repeat, don’t force me to yield tso you may continue your leisurely roll down the sidewalk. And if you’re on a motorized scooter, you sure as shit better not be within striking distance of a pedestrian. More specifically? Me. A helpful hint in minding the p’s and q’s of bicycle etiquette is in the word sidewalk. Ahem.


Umbrellas: They are pointy. They are designed cleverly to keep you dry-ish, but it’s seldom a person’s person extends to the perimeter of that protective dome. It seems common sense (and courtesy for that matter) evades 80% of the population. Don’t walk under the awning with your umbrella when someone without one is walking towards you. (this is the exception where a wally on a bike would be welcome to run Umbrella Offender into a particularly wet puddle) Think about it. Do not assume everyone is 5’4”. Umbrella’s don’t skim the top of my head, they impale me directly in the eye. I will spaz. So jack-asses the world over, be prepared to have that umbrella either torn out of your hand and pitched into the streets, or carelessly deflected with the business end of my fist.


It’s time to implement some sort of ticketing system. Lets put those screaming wastes of space the Downtown Ambassadors to good use. Finally, something feeble enough that it could be “in their jurisdiction”. Otherwise I’m more than happy to perform my brand of a citizens arrest. I’m going to need an angry ferret and some steel wool.