Ok, I don’t know what the deal is here…but something is not right in the world when a girl can’t bike around town without the fear of something terrible happening.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about my running in with Killer Geese. Well, that was nothing compared to what happened this past week. At least in the case of the Killer Geese, I was alone…and no one saw anything that happened; so there was no embarrassment in running from birds. But the things I am about to tell you were in front of what felt like the whole world.
Incident #1: Sometimes I’m riding home from work and the wind is blowing harder than I can ride, so to anyone who is driving by it looks like I’m sitting on my bike, completely still, and pedaling as hard as I can…but not going ANYWHERE.
Incident #2: Friday Eliot and I decided to ride across town to have lunch at Northern Grounds. Since I had to get back to work, we were kinda bookin’ it on the way back; and because Eliot doesn’t like to obey traffic laws (mainly stop signs) it can be a dangerous ride. Somehow, he always gets away with it….but I do not. So we were riding on the sidewalk and having really good luck with light-traffic. But we got to an intersection where we needed to cross traffic and Eliot didn’t even stop. He just zipped right on by; missing the cars that were quickly approaching. I was about to go right behind him…after I assessed that there was plenty of time, but then this car… I think it was driven by an old guy (no offense to old people) but he totally didn’t see that I was in the middle of the road…and he was goin’ for it! So I had to stop very quickly. And do you know what happens when you stop very quickly when you’re biking at a whopping 10 miles an hour? Yeah, you get thrown from your bike.
I didn’t get thrown from my bike, but I did get jerked from the seat…to the center bar. If I were a guy, I would be unable to have children…EVER.
Incident #3: This incident actually took place a couple days before, but it’s worth noting anyway. This day was a day that I had been biking in the morning and now I was home and my host parents were going to go for a ride. When they are biking, they are gone for at least an hour…sometimes 2. So I figured, I had the house to myself for a little while. Perhaps I could invite some friends over and have a short Keger!
(I’m kidding about that whole Keger business).
Anyway…I settled down on the couch with a book…and my laptop to get in some good reading/writing time, and all of the sudden I hear this very high pitched beeping sound.
WHAT IN THE WORLD?!
So I’m searching around trying to figure out where this wretched noise is coming from, and I found it…in the kitchen. It was the fire alarm going off because my host mother had left a pan of bread crumbs in the oven and had forgotten to turn it off. Actually, I think she intended to turn it off but had turned it all the way up instead of all the way down!
So I did what any girl my height would do…I jumped up and down waving my arms in front of the alarm, trying to get it to stop beeping.
Then I realized, “that’s not really going to help Gretch, unless you turn off the oven so the smoke stops!”
All my flailing around wasn’t doing anyone any good, so I decided I needed something to stand on so I could actually reach the alarm to try and turn it off the correct way. I found a little step stool ladder thing that just happened to be close by. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to turn off a fire alarm; the button I kept pressing (thinking it was the “on/off” button) was really the “test” button, so that was frustrating. It ended up that I had to stand on the ladder with placemats in my hands, waving them around like a mad woman trying to get the thing to shut up.
Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself, “Oh great, the Bruin’s are out gallivanting around town, expecting that I’m gonna hold down the fort while they’re away….probably hoping for some homemade croutons when they get home…and all they’re gonna get is a burned down kitchen!”
It took a lot out of me. So much for my relaxing time alone ‘eh.
Incident #4: Now this is the whopper. This is the one that just pushed me over the edge and forced me to write about it.
Ok, so it started out as a great morning. I got up feeling as though I’d slept extremely well…probably had some good chat time on Facebook the night before…had some good dreams? I don’t know, but whatever it was, I was in a great mood.
I took the bike out of the garage, noticed the temperature was quite lovely (though there was a hint of rain possibly in a few hours) so I shoved my hoodie into my backpack, put in my headphones, and headed on my merry way. I cruse down the road, over a few blocks, and across the train tracks. I feel a bit of rain fall on my leg and I start to hope that it will hold off until I get to work. I go a ways further until I get to the first stop light, where I usually have to wait a while for traffic. As I’m waiting, I rest my hand on my leg and balance the bike. I felt like my hand was damp when I put it down on my leg and think, “wow, maybe I went through a puddle or something? Maybe it’s really starting to rain and I just didn’t notice because I was riding like the wind?….” And then I am distracted by a lady across the street, yelling at me, asking if I knew how to get to the new License Plate store. “No, sorry, I don’t know where that is!” I shout, just as I’m jumping back on the bike to cross the intersection.
The moment my hand touched the handlebar I remembered my ponderings about the rain and my damp shorts, because I noticed that there was still something on my hand.
I glanced down quickly, and what I saw totally shattered my good mood.
What was it you ask? Consider my history with geese and take a wild guess!
A HUGE smattering of BROWN Bird POOP!!!!!!!!!! Yeup, all over my shorts…AND all over my hand, and now all over my handlebar as well!
Yeah, you laugh now…I certainly was not laughing then.
All I could think was, “I’m glad I wore a helmet.
This morning Joe VA came into work with a very long face on, and declared somberly, “Guys…I think I just killed a goose. I ran over it with my bike”.
My reaction: What a biking shame!