Now I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t want to live in a world without bicycle messengers. As we saw from yesterday’s post, smugness is the life’s blood of our culture, and the unique brand of smugness exuded by messengers is one that will surely be missed. It’s an absence we’d feel almost as acutely as the stench of their dreadlocks. There’s a special sense of entitlement that comes from delivering parcels on a bicycle for little pay that you just don’t get from any other profession, and if you take away any one of those three elements the magic is gone. They even have their own world championship, just like singlespeeders, facial hair enthusiasts, baristas, and lumberjacks. (Granted, you could easily merge all five of those championships into one or two, given the overlap in interests and tastes among the participants, but still.) As such, it’s essential that we preserve their vital way of life
But how? I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “I’m just one person. What can I do to save these fragrant, conceited, fashion-forward delivery people?” Well, if there’s one thing we all should have learned from the plant-schlepping fixed-gear rider yesterday, it’s that every little bit counts. Here are just a few things you can do to help save our newest endangered species:
Siphon Resources From The Company You Work For
If you work in an office for a large company, there’s a constant trickle of money that you can re-direct into the deserving pocket of a bike messenger. How? Messenger stuff unnecessarily! For example, every day people waste millions of man-hours instant messaging each-other during business hours. While you’re burning your employer’s money you might as well help out a starving messenger too. Instead of IMing, just messenger Post-It notes back and forth. Your average exchange with a friend about what you had for lunch, how stupid your boss is, or how much your new underwear itch is good for at least twelve messenger round-trips. And that’s money he can spend on essentials like food, rent, and tattoo time.
Breed Messengers in Captivity
Almost every day a new species is added to the endangered species list. However, every so often a species comes back from the brink and is taken off the list, saved by the measures that were taken to protect it. One such measure is rearing the animal in captivity and releasing it into its natural habitat. Hey, it worked for the peregrine falcon, and it can work for messengers too. Messengers are easy to care for. All they need is food, beer, pot, and a dry place to sleep. And there is no more rewarding feeling than that of hacking a messenger into the wild. You’ll cry tears of happiness as you watch him take off down the street, run his first red light, and knock over his first senior citizen. It’s more moving than the end of “Free Willy.”
Are you a wealthy person with a busy schedule? Do you maintain a veneer of environmental awareness even though your guest house has the carbon footprint of a small city? Does the phrase “Mo’ money, mo’ problems” ring true for you? Well, now your mo’ problems can be over! Bike messenger valets are the must-have status accessory for 2008. Just imagine how cool you’ll seem when your personal bike messenger skids to a stop outside the pro shop to pick up your new golf club. Remember—a person is only as cool as his help, and having a personal assistant who drives around town for you in a Jetta is totally 1998.
Start a Grassroots Campaign
As we learned from Levi Leipheimer on Monday, there’s no more effective way of creating a groundswell of support for your dubious cause than by creating a grassroots campaign. As such, it’s absolutely essential that we start one for messengers. The first step is creating an image that people can rally behind. Now, there are people much more qualified than me to do this, but nonetheless I’ve gone ahead and taken a swing at it:
There’s a lot of room for improvement here, but I think it’s a good start. Granted, the messenger does look like Rik Ocasek on his way to an aerobics class, but I think the neon cross he’s bearing in place of his bag is a potent symbol for the martyr complex borne by so many couriers. I also think with a little effort we can make the plight of the messenger the “Save the Whales” of this century.