Don't answer that. It's a rhetorical question. I don't really care.
I'm going to tell you all about mine though, because me. Me, me, me!
Well, first I awoke early on the morn of our nation's birthday and headed down to the family's Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon, where I found this large rodent sleeping on top of it:
A blast in the face with an air horn took care of that problem, and next I began loading her up with bikes and sunscreen and watermelons and bear traps and all manner of vacation sundries.
Then I headed down to my neighborhood's artisanal bakery. (It's called "Dunking Doughnuts," and it's fantastic.) On the way, I saw this:
That's what you call "found art," and noticing things like this is what makes me a great photographer. See, it's poignant because the viewer's own imagination fills the frame, and therefore everybody experiences something different:
I experienced a nonplussed guy wearing bib shorts, but that's just me.
Soon the car was packed, the artisanal breakfast foodstuffs had been consumed, the seventeen (17) children were safely stowed in their overhead bins, the David Byrne bobblehead on the dashboard was bobbling away, and we were off to Long Island's Wang for some family-friendly summertime adventure:
The next morning, I headed out for a ride on my bicycle with the shifters that are combined with the brake levers and the click-in pedals and the curved-type ram's horn handlebars like they use in the Tour de France. Inasmuch as this was a family vacation, my aspirations were not even remotely "epic," and my intent was merely to enjoy a brisk ride to the lighthouse that sits at the tip of the wang before spending the rest of the day flying kites and getting sunburnt.
Well, about 20 minutes later, I started experiencing a telltale itching sensation in my armpits.
At this point, I should mention that sometimes I get hives. Not little itchy bumps, but crazy bubbling Toxic Avenger-type bubonic ones that appear in different patterns with each episode. Sometimes my eyelids swell up like Jonathan Vaughters. Sometimes my tongue swells up so that I talk like Kramer in the Mel Tormé episode. Always my legs, arms, and torso look like relief map of the Himalayan foothills. It started maybe ten years ago and happened only rarely and at random, but in the past couple of months it's been happening more often and lately during physical activity. It passes pretty quickly, but the last time it happened was a few weeks ago during a run, and I very nearly passed out as a result of the episode. This was a new and alarming development. I have been to an allergist, and I'll spare you all the tedium, but at this point let's just say so far these episodes remain filed under "inexplicable."
Anyway, the itchy armpits told me that it was happening again.
I was pretty close to the lighthouse at this point, and so I stopped at the side of the road and sat on the guardrail. The hives were a-bubblin' and I felt as though I was going to pass out, and so I lay on the road and called my wife to come pick me up. Then I just stared at my Sidis and waited:
Now, I should point out that Long Island's Wang is positively crawling with people engaged in all manner of recreational activities, especially during a holiday weekend, and wherever you find people engaged in recreational activities you find Freds. Lots of Freds. People love to argue about whether or not Freds should wave to each other, but as far as I'm concerned that's a stupid discussion. No, the real measure of camaraderie is what you do when you see someone lying in the road. Granted, I was mostly just itchy and woozy, but picture it: Here's some guy in Lycra just lying in the shoulder of the road, propped up on his elbows. Well, if you're wondering, here's the breakdown:
In the 20-ish minutes or so I waited for my wife, cyclists passed me pretty frequently. Of the ones traveling in the other direction, none of them attempted to stop or inquire as to my well being. (Though arguably they were too wrapped in Fredness to notice me across two lanes of traffic.) Of the ones traveling in my direction, I'd say that 15% simply rode around me without acknowledging me, and the rest did the textbook "You OK?" and kept rolling. There was only one small group of riders who actually stopped and unclipped, and our exchange went something like this:
The blow to my Fredly ego hurt worse than the hives.
"No, I'm having an allergy attack. Someone's coming to pick me up."
"You have enough water?"
"OK. Well, you might want to get out of the road."
"Where am I going to go?"
It was a fair question, because here was my alternative:
I needed to recline or else I was going to faint, and so it was either lie in the road or crawl into the weeds like a wounded raccoon and get eaten alive by ticks while my wife drove on by because she couldn't see me, thus adding Lyme disease to my list of woes.
Anyway, with that they continued on to the lighthouse.
(I should also point out that I'm not trying to be judgmental, I'm merely reporting what happened. In defense of those who inquired but didn't stop, my reply to their "You OK?" was simply a curt "Yes," since I was both uncomfortable and embarrassed, and indeed there was really nothing they could do for me. I'm sure had I said, "No, I just got clipped by a car and I need an ambulance" they would gladly have called me one. And as for the person who suggested I get out of the road, I'm sure he meant well and didn't want me to get run over, and had he been lying on the road himself he surely would have appreciated that it was the best option under the circumstances.)
During the time I lay in the road, two (2) runners running abreast approached me head-on. They simply ran around me like I was a pile of dogshit.
(I should point out that I am being judgmental here. Of all the people who passed me, these were the only ones who actually could have taken me somewhere in air-conditioned comfort if I were wounded and in need of medical attention.)
Finally, my wife arrived, at which point I put the bike on the roof and crawled into the car frustrated and ashamed like a Tour de France abandoner. By then the episode had mostly passed, and later on I consoled myself with ice cream:
I can assure you I was not standing on a cell phone, and that mine was safely glued to my ear as I prattled on about handbags and flavored vodka and the investment banker party I would be attending later that evening.
Of course, while I lay in the road, I also reflected a bit. In particular, I marveled at the irony that some self-righteous blogger douchebag with 50 bikes who makes fun of everybody had been resorted to an itchy pile of hives on the side of the road. I also marveled at the fact that, even as I lay there incapacitated, I was still chuckling at and feeling superior to people with pro team kit and helmets with visors as they passed. Basically, I looked deep within my soul, and I confirmed something I've always suspected, which is that I really am an asshole. Most of all though, I worried. "What if every time I try to ride I get felled by an attack of hives?" I thought. Would that not be truly Jobsian? (That's Bible Job, not Steve Jobs.) Why hast Lob forsaken me? Surely, I should change my ways.
Anyway, I didn't ride the next day, and then we came home, and yesterday I'm pleased to report I was able to enjoy a three-ish hour mountain bicycle cycling ride without exploding in bubos:
So maybe I'm just allergic to roadies.
I can live with that.
Speaking of mountain bicycle cycling, my friend who I rode mountain bicycle cycles with has alerted me to this article in the Wall Street Journal:
ON A RECENT SUNDAY, Brandon Jones, a 44-year-old fund manager at 9W Capital Management, traveled from his home in downtown Manhattan with his wife and two children to meet friends for brunch in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They were heading to Reynard, the popular restaurant in the neighborhood's fashionable Wythe Hotel, where Manhattan-bound Town Cars regularly idle on the street outside.
But Mr. Jones did not drive. Nor did he take the subway. Instead, he piloted his two children via the deck of his Yuba Mundo, a so-called "longtail" cargo bike.
Immediately after reading this, I burned my Surly Big Dummy and leased a Hyundai.