Sunday, July 20, 2008

Safety First

Dear Punk Ass Pre-Teen Boys Hanging Out by the Grocery Store,

Thank you for reminding me how dorky I look in my crazy/bulky/brain protecting bike helmet. I agree. All my life I never wore one, and I thought it was mostly ridiculous that I felt like I had to have (for kids it's become law, wow, but we've also removed all the cool playground equipment from many of our parks, so it's no surprise), yet I gave in and bought one to go along with my hopeful hobby of using my car less and riding the bike I'm borrowing more.

Years ago when you were still pooping yourselves and eating jars of pureed peas while your mama made airplane sounds, some of my Japanese students then about your current age dubbed me "Safety Girl" for reasons unknown (I didn't wear a helmet with the granny bike and didn't feel I was supposed to do so, so it wasn't that, but the name has fit, so I wear it), so I had to laugh quietly when I overheard you laughing at me, mocking me even, saying "Safety First" as I rolled by and then giggling like a bunch of girls.

You were right, though.

I am too chicken to ride in the points-for-"progressiveness"-but-they-are-way-too-suicidal bike lanes on the sides of the roads so plentiful here in the Portland Metro Area (I think bicycles vs. pedestrians are a better match than cars vs. bicycles, but what does common sense have to do with the price of tea and pureed peas and airplane sounds in China), so if I am going to insist on riding primarily on the sidewalk as I do, then I'm going to be the opposite of my moniker and ditch the helmet (gasp!) unless I'm sure I'll be riding in the death bike lanes (where the oblivious drivers of large vehicles veer), which will be not ever.

I'm old enough in Oregon to decide that; you are not. So if I see your punk asses on bikes, you'll have to wear helmets, and I'll laugh at you and mock you because I'm totally mature like that.

Signed Disgruntled Most Times "Safety Girly"


  1. I just have to say I laughed so hard at this I thought to myself you go maggie.
    If it were me on the bike they would really get a laugh because not only would I be sportin a helmet I'd have some pads on just because I know I would wreck been years since I rode a bike.
    keep on keepin on maggie

  2. you're the safety girl!!! ok this is hilarious! i had one of those outburst-at-the-computer moments. i can just picture you rolling by and hearing those punks with their "safety first".

    for my kids, i'm the super-safety-girl. for myself, i'm the anti-safty girl/rebel like in the having to ride in the wayyy wayyy back of the minivan and refusing to wear my seatbelt kind of way. because i have a thing about being me and having to wear my seatbelt in the back seat. and my husband will just sit in the car and not drive (stubborn! stubborn man!) until i put it on (grudgingly). and i feel like a child. that's my recent safety story.

    keep on truckin!!!

  3. Maggie,
    I think you got it right when you called them punk asses! I would have added Bi#(ES to the end though! I had no idea is was the law for kids but not adults...goes to show you how much I know about the world of biking! Hopefully they are wearing theirs or should I say will get theirs....(ticket I mean) if they don't conmply but if they are anything like we were, they are too "cool" to ride bikes. Even though I was "too cool" for things of that nature. Even thought I was "too kool for skool", at age 12, I did continue to ride a skateboard for transportation and for competation and I knew better to make fun of others, especially when they fell on their asses which is what happens often when you ride ramps and pools!

  4. Don't let them get you down. Nothing wrong with being safe. Besides, taunting people? Please that says to me that have some self esteem issues they need to work out.

  5. That is SO well written! You tell 'em girl! I mean, Safety Girl!


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