There comes a time in everyone’s life when they decide to stand and face the injustice that surrounds them – or fall prey to the perniciousness at the core of humanity. In my life, I not only missed out on pretty much all of the Reagan presidency, but I had to endure the brutal tyranny of Papa Bush, Baby Bush and – worse still – Bill “Big Mac Daddy” Clinton. I witnessed the creation of ketchup in unnatural colors. I’ve had to hear people play that soul-sucking, Satanic “Bananaphone” song. But of all the adversity I’ve faced as a young, middle-class, mostly white girl from the suburbs, the UCSB bike paths disturb my peaceful slumber the most.
Let’s just preface this little tirade with the fact I’m cheap – or frugal, if you’re trying to be tactful. Nevertheless, as a true American patriot, I pay my taxes and registration fees at this fine educational institution without fail and on time. The Associated Students Finance Board likes to make it look like my money is going toward worthwhile, necessary functions through all of their allocations every week. Last year, I remember that my money went towards T-shirts for Amnesty International. But I did not get a T-shirt. And I’m not saying those peaceful folks don’t deserve clothing espousing their views, but I really must note no one is paying for my “I Veto Universal Health Care, Illegal Immigration, Kicking Puppies and Cauliflower” T-shirt. Granted, I’m sure if I went to the Finance Board they would happily throw the money at me, especially if the shirt was made of hemp.
So to continue the discussion of the bike paths and my whiny “What about me?” motif, I ask, “Why do I have to pay for bike paths, bike maintenance and bike confiscation?” I don’t even know how to ride a bicycle. Except for the stationary ones, because then I don’t have to worry about momentum. I mean sure, I cross the bike paths daily – but really, that’s more risky than standing next to a Greka gas line. But are my quick, frightful scampers monetarily equivalent to the constant pounding of rubber by the tenured bicyclists? I think not. And it’s not like I’m usurping all sorts of other funds through all the thousands of clubs I’m a member of… but that’s mostly because I’m not a member of any club. I’m too busy working to pay for, well, bike paths.
And, need I remind you, I am not entirely self-centered here. I know, like, two other people who don’t ride bicycles either. What about them? What about the pedestrians? We are our own transportation minority and we will demand to be heard over the screeching of your bike chains and pre-collision caterwauling. Our brisk walks and morning musings are often interrupted by timing our mad dashes across the paths, because none of you can seem to manage maneuvering your bike at a legitimate speed. Yeah, I’m talking to you, you fluctuating cyclist, with your “I think I’ll suddenly start moving at a snail’s pace because I’m having a really deep conversation on my cell phone about the status of my dark roots.” And I’m talking to you, you angry pedaling fiend, with your “La la la OH WAIT I’M ANGRY. I’M GONNA SUDDENLY SPEED UP!” Your vile trickery has not escaped my walking compatriots and I. We either end up kicking ourselves for missing our crossing opportunity, or almost losing our heels to speed demons.
So really, if we’re gonna be all equal opportunist and liberal here, then isn’t it time we all band together as a community and start paying for the pedestrians’ sneakers? Is it fair we are wrapped up in your bike chains of oppression and you get the free ride?
But really, I’m just kidding. Mostly. I just figured everyone else always protests random shit around here, so why not me? But if you’re feeling all guilty, I wear a size nine in women’s.