At least that's how they taught us the map in public school.
In any case, like any squeeze cheese-blooded American I appreciate the rare opportunity to go into hock on a car made by a company that was bailed out by my tax dollars, but I also think it's important not to get too swept up in the Presidents Day sales and to remember the true spirit of the holiday. Granted, I'm not sure exactly what true spirit is, but I'm going to go ahead and say that it's about honoring the people and the ideals that make this country great. I'm talking about the ideals that George Washington fought for, and Abraham Lincoln died for, and William H. Taft ate cheeseburgers for--ideals so arousing that they left Thomas Jefferson with no other choice but to have sex with his slaves.
So what better way to honor these ideals than by paying tribute to a Great Living American? That's why this Presidents Day I'm choosing as my Great Living American a man named "DonnieDudeDarnit," the auteur behind the YouTube sensation "Driving with Stupid Bicycle people in the road:"
This video was the correct answer to last Friday's bonus question, and I'm still trying to figure out whether "DonnieDudeDarnit" is a meticulously honed stage persona crafted for the purpose of satire, or if he's really just an idiot. Either way, "Driving with Stupid Bicycle people in the road" is a bold entry into the transportation discourse. Basically, like many Americans, DonnieDudeDarnit doesn't like cyclists, and here's why:
"They're always in the road. Like, on the side of the street?"
He's right, cyclists do go in the road. In fact, my son has a book called "Things That Go," and in it is a chapter called "On The Road." Here is what "Things That Go" has to say on the subject of things that go on the road:
There are many different things that go on the road, including cars, trucks, buses, and bikes. They have wheel to roll on, and most have engines to make them move.
Clearly DonnieDudeDarnit has read and understood "Things That Go," and it has provided him with a sound understanding of the American transportation infrastructure, so whether or not you agree with his philosophy the truth of the matter is that bikes do go on the road and he has the source material to back that up.
But why does he hate them so much? Well, here's why:
"I always have to, like, go over into the other part of the lane because there're fucking bicycles in the fucking road."
This too is very sound reasoning, because DonnieDudeDarnit is an American, and there are two things that we Americans hate more than anything:
1) Certain things going with, on, or around certain other things, such as:
--Men "going with" men
--Women "going with" women
--People from other countries going in America
--People going on bikes
--Bikes going on roads
2) Anything that requires us to move any part of our body, however slightly, including but not limited to:
--Having to ask for seconds when dining (we "Supersize" our meals preemptively in order spare the additional calorie-burning effort of walking back up to the cash register)
--Paying attention (taxes the eyes and brain)
--Thinking (I get tired just thinking about thinking)
--Moving a car steering wheel a fraction of an inch to avoid killing somebody.
Each scenario on its own is enough to enrage even the most patient American, but when you combine #1 and #2 the effect is synergistic and potentially lethal. I mean, bikes going on roads and having to avoid driving into them? Sure, we love God and Jesus and all, but we're only human. How much do you expect us to take?
Nevertheless, you have to give DonnieDudeDarnit for at least coming up with a solution:
"Somebody needs to fucking run these motherfuckers over."
Note in particular his use of the word "somebody," since like most Americans he's too lazy to do it himself. However, he's not too lazy to stay "on message," and if you forgot what his message was it's that cyclists are in the road:
"They're always at the fucking...n...in the road 'n, you know? Like, they're--there was this one street all over where there's fucking dirt and shit? And then there's a two lane road, and they're in the fucking road!"
My guess is that the street with the "fucking dirt and shit" is the one on which DonnieDudeDarnit's shack is located. But most importantly, despite his apparent anger, DonnieDudeDarnit does have tolerance--for sunglasses:
They always wear sunglasses too which ain't a problem, they just look the same.
In other words, just wear these and you'll stay on his good side:
Here's what I learned about the man himself:
--DonnieDudeDarnit is "a fucking security guard."
--Specifically, he's a "gate guard," which entails making sure that "fucking people are allowed to get in that are supposed to be allowed to get in and shit like that."
--He's not a cop. (DonnieDudeDarnit likes to believe people think he's a cop in the same way that the Fred in the full team kit likes to believe people think he rides for Team Garmin-Whatever-They-Are-Now.)
--Despite appearances, he is not broadcasting from the bathroom. DonnieDudeDarnit has more dignity than that, and he's actually a good half a foot outside of the bathroom. See?
Sure, he used to work from the bathroom, but he got promoted.
And here are the things he hates:
--When people complain about his approach to playing video games, for as he puts it, "As long as I'm fucking killing people who gives a fuck?"
--When he goes to the fair and people try to get him to play the games. (Apparently DonnieDudeDarnit goes to the fair for silent contemplation.)
--When you do play the games at the fair and you win, you have to carry a "stupid ass stuffed animal." (This is understandably confusing to somebody who has never had a girlfriend.)
--When they show a funny scene from a movie in the preview and then it gets big laughs at the actual movie. (The thought of DonnieDudeDarnit going to the fair by himself, winning a giant stuffed pink bunny, and then taking that bunny to the movies afterward and being haunted by the laughter of hundreds of happy couples made me want to cry.)
--When people walk in on him while he's farting. (He should just blame it on the stuffed bunny.)
--The term "reckless driving," because he doesn't understand why "reckless driving" is bad. Instead, he thinks that dangerous driving should be called "reckful driving," because apparently he thinks that reckless driving is "wreck-less driving." (It was at this point I decided that the DonnieDudeDarnit persona was a put-on. Not only does that degree of stupid stretch credulity to the breaking point, but the concept of a mentally-challenged Jerry Seinfeld is actually pretty viable and could probably take him at least as far as Dane Cook or Larry the Cable Guy.)
--When people call other people "boss." (I kind of agree with him there.)
--Post-urinary pecker tracks.
--Reading newspapers (because the unfolding part vexes him).
--Umbrellas (just because).
--Lengthy YouTube upload times.
--And finally, when "they" (Mexicans) don't understand what he's saying. His solution to that? "Fucking speak English." (This solution is hardly a novel one and has been put forth similarly in the past. Also, I'm a native English speaker and I can't really understand him either.)
The sheer volume of stuff on this list makes you wonder what else he included on "Things I Hate" Parts 1-3, though not enough to actually watch them.
Anyway, regardless of whether or not he's real or invented, if you can find me someone who embodies modern-day America better than DonnieDudeDarnit I'll eat my Sidis. Also, if DonnieDudeDarnit is real then it's tempting to blame our educational system. However, it's not that simple. Ours isn't the only educational system that is failing its children, as this image that was forwarded to me by a reader proves:
That kid totally nailed that question yet the teacher marked him wrong. Disgraceful.
I only hope that one day DonnieDudeDarnit appears as a guest on Portland's "The Pedal Powered Talk Show," which I only just learned of from a reader:
"You ever wondered what would happen if you combined a talk show and a bicycle?" No, I have not, but that's only because I don't live in Portland, and as such I don't spend every waking moment thinking of how to graft bicycles onto every single component of the human experience. I'm perfectly happy to consume my beer from a stationary bar--it doesn't need to come from a bakfiets. I really don't mind if my plumber shows up in a van. And there is no circumstance I could possibly imagine in which it would be acceptable to call this man an "actor:"
Then again, as I mentioned, I don't live in Portland. Instead, I live in Brooklyn, and things are pretty backwards here when it comes to cycling. In Portland it's perfectly normal to ride around with a desk, but here we still need basic "portaging" classes:
(Seen by a reader in the Park Slope Food Coop newsletter.)
Would you like to use your bicycle to commute to work or haul your groceries, but don't know how to get started? Worried about locking your bike on the street? Wondering how that bicyclist in the checkout line manages to carry a full shopping wagon of groceries on a bike? Seasoned volunteers from the Five Borough Bicycle Club will explain how to get two-wheeled transportation into your life.
Presumably they'll start you off with single stalks of asparagus, and eventually you can work your way up to the archetypal basketful of baguettes. Also, if you're new to food portaging you might not want to start off with costly organic groceries--instead, just buy "beater produce" from your local Key Food.