Okay, I'm angry. So take this message with a grain of salt, and realize that I'm resorting to hyperbole. If you're easily influenced, stop here, because I don't actually mean to advocate violence.

I was just out on my bicycle running errands. Whenever possible I try to avoid taking my car because I have the slightest regard for my neighbors, and I want to avoid contributing to the congestion and pollution.

I stopped at a stop sign, and was hit from behind by a car that ran the sign. Luckily I wasn't injured.

But it occurred to me how inured I've become to this situation. On Friday night Catherine and I were nearly hit in the crosswalk on Sir Francis Drake at Willow by some scofflaw who apparently believed the rules of the road and traffic lights didn't apply. And we thought nothing of it because it happens so often. As both a pedestrian and a bicyclist I've become completely used to having to watch out for people maneuvering multi-ton deadly weapons as though they were rednecks waving shotguns around in a bar fight.

Except that a redneck with a shotgun is far less deadly than a soccer mom in a Cherokee.

And then these very same motorists have the unmitigated gall to write to newspapers complaining that we occasionally run stop signs because as completely outmassed entities our only defense is to stay mobile.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and other oppressed, hear my call: The next time you hear someone complain that you're a moving target, think about taking action. If someone attacks us with a deadly weapon, aren't we entitled to use deadly force in response?

They show complete disregard for human life, and pay no attention to the law. They offer us little choice. Maybe if we leave their vehicles burning and their heads on stakes by the side of the road as a warning to others we can start to rectify the situation. In a fair world we could bill their surviving relatives for our bullets, but we've got to take justice where we can.

Perhaps that is going a little too far. But at the very least I'm going to start carrying rocks in my pockets so that I've got enough mass to roll up over their hoods and through their windshields, and hurt them as they run me down.

A very pissed off Dan

PS: A Reiteration: I'm not advocating violence. Passive resistance. So carry paint, or something that'll stain. If they run us over the least we can do is damage their precious paint jobs.

Sunday, December 20th, 1998