Monday, July 20, 2009

The Brian Johnson Massacre

Last night I had a dream that Brian Johnson got a hold of my iPhone during an AC/DC show and put some sort of virus on it that changed my home screen to a series of demonic images and made the phone otherwise inoperable. I was pretty pissed off and told him he was a fraud. He didn't seem to care.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Afternoon Delight

About 70 degrees, mostly sunny, and breezy. Shorts, t-shirt, and my bike.

Do newspapers still publish that Family Circus comic? The family was so white bread it was incredibly annoying. Add in some equally annoying children and I’m pretty sure that damn comic was one of the reasons I don’t want or have any kids. However, I could not help but follow that stupid dotted line around the neighborhood every time Thelma gave Billy a sawbuck to pick up some rolling papers at 7-11 and to come directly home.

We didn’t need any rolling papers today, but in case you feel like following my dotted line around the neighborhood…..

First stop – Dinkel’s Bakery. Two Sophisticakes – a nifty hybrid of cupcake and cake – one chocolate with white chocolate mousse and one chocolate with raspberry.

Second stop – Paulina Meat Market. One Polish, one Italian, two chicken sausage, three steak burgers, and a pound of dill cole slaw.

Third stop – Nhu Lan Bakery. Three fresh baked rolls for the aforementioned sausages.

Fourth stop – Harvestime Foods. Assorted produce, mostly fixins.

Fifth stop – Walgreen’s pharmacy. Better living through chemistry.

Sixth stop – Cardinal Wine & Spirits. Six-pack of Clausthaler.

Then after supporting my local economy, back home to my deck for a beer and a turkey and avocado sandwich. While listening to The The.

After a shower, it was back on the bikes… but I’ll save that for the next post.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Infatuations - Week Ending July 18, 2009

1. Suzanne Santo

2. Juliette Lewis

3. Zooey Deschanel

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Folk & Roots Festival - Part II

When we last left our hero, he was chillin’ with some watermelon at the Folk and Roots Festival. Well, it was 7 o’clock, time for a party, and I know what I wanna see…. Anybody remember the London Quireboys? Just me, huh? It was indeed an eclectic lineup, but no, the Quireboys were not at the Folk and Roots Festival. However, a duo called Honey Honey was due to take the stage. I checked them out beforehand and I really wanted to like them but didn’t think I would like them as much as I wanted to. Turns out I liked them more than I thought I would like them, and I wanted to take the female Honey half home with me. But I’m getting way ahead of myself…

Honey Honey is comprised of Ben, on guitar and bass drum, and Suzanne, on vocals, banjo and fiddle. They opened with ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’, a song that Sonny wrote for Cher, but was ultimately salvaged by Nancy Sinatra. This song served as an intro into their single ‘Little Toy Gun’. By this time I was already on the bandwagon and running for president of their fan club. And not only were they rocking the stage, but she was pretty darn cute while doing it. So much that I stole a cardboard sign and a Sharpie from a homeless guy so that I could scribble out a marriage proposal. Unfortunately, I think I displayed the wrong side of the sign and instead got a couple bucks for a sandwich and some thanks for serving my country. I suppose it’s for the best since my first wife was at the show with me.

We were sitting next to the sound board about 30 yards yonder from the stage, so I told the Mrs. I needed to get something to eat so that I would have an excuse to get a little closer to the stage. Though most of the crowd is sprawled across the park on blankets and camping chairs, the first 25 feet or so in front of the stage is usually commandeered by more hardcore fans standing, dancing, or stalking their favorites. I joined the crowd for a tune up front and shortly thereafter the power went out. I’m blaming Rod Blagojevich since he lives just a couple blocks from the park and was probably looking for something to do.

But Honey Honey was undeterred, moving to the front edge of the stage to finish their song for the lucky few, myself included, at the foot of the stage. As the festival staff were still in panic mode, Ben grabbed his acoustic guitar and Suzanne grabbed her fiddle and they did another impromptu jam for the crowd that had been sucked in front and center like a rugby scrum.

They were ushered off stage for a bit while some techy looking folk took up a collection of hemp clothing from the crowd to burn and fuel the festival generators. Several minutes later the power to the people was restored, and despite their time being up, Honey Honey was brought back to do a couple more songs.

After the set ended I wandered back to the Mrs. who wanted to know where my food was. I confessed that I got distracted and ended up watching the rest of the set from up front. Her reply: “You suck.”

We stuck around for the last act of the night – Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears from Austin. Some pretty solid, high-energy, old-school soul and R&B to round out the evening.

Since Honey Honey made me miss out on dinner, we made a pit stop on the way home at The Daily Bar & Grill, snagged a table out on the patio, and shared a ½ pound turkey burger, fries and a beer while watching the crowd wander home.

Put it on your calendar and meet us there next year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Folk & Roots Festival - Part I

As soon as the quitting time horn sounded on Friday afternoon to signal the end of a long work week, I slid down the neck of my brontosaurus and made my way home, stopping along the way at the Greek bakery for an ├ęclair and at the liquor store for a six-pack of Clausthaler. The Mrs. had abandoned me for dinner and I couldn’t remember if we had any Mac n Cheese so I decided to add a spinach pie to my tab at the bakery. Man cannot subsist on ├ęclairs and beer alone. I took my booty to my deck, where I enjoyed the cool summer evening and read an interesting article about Zappos, inspiring me to promptly order a couple pair of shoes. You really can’t go wrong with a black pump or strappy sandal. But I digress.

Saturday brought The Folk and Roots Festival to a park just down the street. You might expect to see a plethora of Joan Baez clones and a handful of rutabaga purveyors. However the organizers put together a pretty eclectic lineup, and several of the acts scheduled for the main stage on Saturday caught my eye. The weather couldn’t have been any better unless Mother Nature herself stopped by to give me a backrub, so I grabbed a couple beach towels, stuffed the Mrs. in my backpack and walked down to the park to catch the 4 pm set by Cedric Watson and the Bijou Creole.

I spent a lot of time in New Orleans after Katrina and have mixed feelings about the town. There’s more culture down there than a yogurt factory, but at the same time it seems a majority of visitors are more impressed by being able to stumble down the middle of Bourbon Street with a drink in their hand, oblivious to the transformation from French Quarter to ballpark restroom. When I visit, I try to get out early in the evening to get some dyn-o-mite food and catch some local music. It’s where I discovered Beth Patterson and also enjoyed numerous zydeco bands. So I jumped at the chance when Cedric brought some of that sound to Chicago.

There is no happier music in the world than zydeco. Period. I’m a grumpy mother-effer, but when I’m listening to zydeco I start farting butterflies and reciting 17th century sonnets. I dance with the homeless and buy ice cream cones for random children. It’s powerful stuff and Cedric Watson brings it like a juiced batter with the wind blowing out of the park. After he finished I bought some watermelon in lemonade while the Mrs. watched our spot.

Next up was the Caleb Klauder Country Band. Caleb brought a mostly classic country sound, I guess. I don’t know the difference between country and western so I really don’t know what I’m talking about. There were some drums, a standup bass, some guitar picking and some fiddling and probably some whittling but I wasn’t close enough to tell for sure. I found it pleasant enough, but the Mrs. seemed a little bored so went for a walk and happened to catch a show from the infamous PuppetBike. PuppetBike is a puppet theater built on the back of a bicycle, which rides around the city and puts on shows at seemingly random locations. It gets rave reviews and the Mrs. claims that it lived up to it’s hype.

I took a career assessment test several years ago when I was changing careers and it reported that my ideal job is puppeteer. Seriously. So maybe it’s best I missed the show or else I might have been tempted to hijack the bike and set off on a new career.

Now that I’ve wildly digressed again, I’ll wrap this up for today and be back to report on my newest crush in Part II. As Lou Reed says, “I love you, Suzanne.”

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Ain’t Missing You At All

Like Moist Rub says to me, “You are a dick.”

I know. That was in response to me letting him know I was unretiring. Like all those other dicks such as Brett Favre and Michael Jordan. You see, believe it or not, this is our 500th post here on Leper Pop. If you knew us, you’d realize that was seemingly as improbable as one of us breaking Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. It also caused me to have a mid-life blog crisis, so I told Moist Rub I was leaving him and starting a new blog. A younger blog with perkier breasts who still thought my jokes were funny.

Moist Rub even helped me name the new, young thang and find a new alias so that I could dump you readers who were holding me back from blogdom notoriety and riches.

Maybe it was poor timing – my day job was slowly creeping into evenings and my new, young blog was not getting the attention it deserved. I also missed the familiar rumble of my car wheels on the gravel driveway of Leper Pop and continued to post here. Of course, Moist Rub knew I was dick going into this venture, so he didn’t bother to revoke my posting privileges and just reminded me that I was a dick when I announced I was coming back before you even knew I was gone.

The other blog has been deleted, but I’m bringing a couple of posts over. If you think I’m a dirty traitor like Benedict Arnold as portrayed by Peter Brady or believe that I’m the Warren Mullaney to Moist Rub’s Greg Brady, then you can skip my posts on North Center RibFest and Chicago Tap Theatre’s Little Dead Riding Hood. Otherwise read on, and I promise I won’t go hiking on the Appalachian Trail again.

Northcenter Ribfest

Ribfest Is Rib-Rockin’-Best

With a name like Sid F’er, you don’t get many job offers for the executive suite so it’s probably no surprise that one of my first jobs, after college no less, was at a mulit-national firm called Red Lobster. I was positioned behind the bar and issued one piece of flair – a button exclaiming that LobsterFest is Lobster Best! It was kind of embarrassing to wear, especially when I forgot to take it off when I went out after work, but it has provided a cheesy, yet effective way to communicate my unbridled enthusiasm for every subsequent fest I have attended that was worthy of the honor.

But before I get carried away here, it was the music that saved this event from itself. I suppose since it’s called Ribfest, I’ll start with the food. Disappointing. I bypassed the offerings from the local neighborhood joints and went to the BBQ joints with a rib sampler (three baby back ribs) from Smoke Daddy and the same from Robinson’s. I’d think that representing at a fest you’d want to be at the top of your game, but the restaurants seem to lose something when they leave their home kitchen and take it to the streets. Like a team playing on the road. Although that might not be a good analogy tonight since I just watched the Penguins win The Cup in “Hockeytown”. Suck on that Wings fans. But I digress. I have a feeling their respective ribs might be better in more controlled conditions. The pool table sized grills seemed to suck the moisture right out of them faster than a vagina drying up during menopause. Nothing seemed to be falling off the bone, which is okay during contortionist orgies but not how I prefer my rib dinners. There’s a good hipster band name – Contortionist Orgy. But more about hipster bands later.

Fortunately, I did arrive early to check out an early band so I was able to avoid the painfully long lines that queued up starting around 7 pm, bringing the main drag to a complete gridlock normally only seen at the Circle Interchange during rush hour. I heard from a buddy in the area that the fest has grown exponentially in recent years, but I don’t think planners have changed the logistics of the layout. Even the TSA has tried some stuff to speed things up at the airport. At least I didn't have to remove my shoes to get in. Lincoln Avenue may not be as wide as downtown streets that host the bigger fests, but give it some thought and you might be able to avoid some of the logjams around ticket booths and the more popular offerings.

Also planted in the middle of the fest was an 18-wheeler tractor trailer combo housing a Playstation 3 arcade and marketing center. Serious, Northcenter? I hope they gave you some serious cash for that monstrosity because there was no other reason for it to be there. The irony of people going to a great outdoor festival in the summer in a neighborhood that I find attractive, only to line up to play effing video games almost knocked me into a vat of brown sugar BBQ sauce.

None of the non-food vendors drew me in – seemed like a lot of the same thing you see at every fest – dumb t-shirts, bad posters/prints (as if this world needs another Scarface poster), Cubs souvenirs, and some other accessory vendors that would seem more at home on Ebay Marketplace. Along with the usual suspects selling newspaper subscriptions and knockoff sunglasses. One other suggestion – lose the soap bubble gun vendors. Besides their obnoxious hawking in the middle of the street, it seems parents can’t say no to their kids and I was assaulted by bubble gun toting ankle biters throughout the festival. And parents, how about keeping the strollers out of my way. Especially the Hummer H3 versions you’re commanding these days. Seriously – your strollers are larger than my sub-compact car. So let’s keep it to carryout at Carson’s for ribs until Jacob and Emily can walk on their own.

Best Wardrobe Choice for Ribfest: The girl wearing the “Meat is Murder” t-shirt. Rock on. And no, she didn't look like a Smiths fan.

But before you completely disregard this event, stick around for Part II where I promise to shake the burrs out of my jockey shorts and tell you about some of the good stuff.

Northcenter Ribfest - Part II

When I was looking over the entertainment schedule at Northcenter Ribfest I didn’t see any familiar names, so I decided to research a few MySpace pages. Mostly for slutty teenage girls and Romanian prostitutes, but I eventually got around to exploring some bands. The one that jumped out at me was Deanna Devore. I have a soft spot in my heart for chick rockers, but she didn’t fit my normal profile. She wasn’t wearing fishnets and too much makeup and playing bass. She didn’t have the swagger of Chrissy Hynde. She didn’t have the manic intensity of Juliette Lewis. She wasn’t even a slutty teenage girl or Romanian prostitute as far as I could tell. The songs I previewed were on the mellow side but the melodies and rhythms had something extra, creating a mood I couldn’t quite define. But I’ll try – you know that feeling you get when you’re leaning back on a chair and you lose your balance and think you’re going to tip over but catch yourself at the last minute? Well it’s the opposite of that. And her voice drew me in. It sucked me into each song, placed me squarely into the groove and held me there like a needle tracking an LP. Even her promo photo was intriguing. Mona Lisa-ish. Not screaming rocker, not smiling, but definitely not angst-ridden or angry or brooding emo child. She’s Canadian, so maybe that was throwing me off. In any case, I decided to check out the show and bailed out of work a few minutes early to try to catch her set that kicked off Ribfest at 5 pm.

My first impression was how tiny she is – or maybe she’s just playing oversize instruments and only collaborates with large musicians. She was laid back, comfortable with her own command of the material and trusting her bandmates with their parts. She was solid on each of the three guitars she played throughout the set and even added a little percussion in a number early on in the set. Her stage persona and performance completely met the expectations I had going in, but the songs sound even better live. When music transcends garage rock sometimes you wonder if it will translate well from the studio to the stage, and this show had a vibe that washed over me like the smell of chocolate chip cookies. That’s a good thing. I like cookies.

The drummer seemed competent in several styles as he moved through the set like a marshmallow fiend in a box of Lucky Charms, whatever that means, and the bass player rounded out a solid rhythm section. The keyboard player made me nervous… for some reason I kept waiting for him take over and make it about him and his keyboards. Maybe because he was barefoot. Never trust a barefoot male musician. But I’m happy to report he kept it in check and added a layer to the music that bridged the rhythms with Deanna’s lyrics. I’m no Simon Cowell, but her voice doesn’t seem polished and I’m not sure she would make it through an American Idol audition, but in this case I mean that as a compliment. It’s real, it’s not off-key and it works perfectly for her. And for us. Oh, there was also a cello player, but I thought she kind of got lost in the mix at this show. It would likely sound swell on the next record.

I even did some journalistic digging. Not quite Watergate stuff, but I did run into one of the band while buying her EP and asked a couple questions. I hoped to get a word with Deanna but she stayed backstage. It was a small crowd so maybe she didn’t think anyone wanted to talk to her. Or maybe my stalker-like behavior scared her off. But rumor has it that the live shows may be limited for a stretch while they go into the studio to put together a new record. I’m bummed I may not see her again this summer, but I suppose we’ll all be rewarded with some new material. She did a tune I believe she said was called “Next To You”. It wasn’t a cover of one my favorite Police songs, but if it’s any indication of what’s to come the new record is worth waiting for.

Speaking of the EP, not only did she write all the material but if you believe everything you read in the liner notes she also played all the instruments on the CD. It’s too good to be true. It’s like a chef claiming he can make a killer risotto and a mean-ass bowl of venison chili. It's the kind of music I'd put on if I liked people and ever had them over to my house for dinner.

Finally, if I haven’t sold you on Deanna yet, I’ll share her Ribfest banter with you:

“I’ve never had ribs before. I’ll have to try one. We don’t have ribs in Canada. We’re born without them.”

I guess you had to be there. It’s all in the timing and delivery.

Thanks Canada, you’re finally starting to make up for Celine Dion.

I caught a couple other acts, which involved following Deanna’s drummer and keyboard player to where they were pulling double duty with Tom Schraeder and His Ego. Besides being named after my second favorite type of tire valve he seemed to have an alt-country type thing going on which can be hit or miss for me, but I decided to give him a chance while I tore into the first of my rib samplers. My first impression here was that the band appeared to be an updated version of the cast of Dazed and Confused. He opened with a couple acoustic tunes which were listenable but needed the band. When they came out, they put together a decent set that included some good hooks and catchy tunes. They claimed they were the gods of Oshkosh, Wisconsin the night before, and I can see them being a lot of fun to see for an evening in a dive bar type setting with some cheap beer and a bowl of peanuts. And they have a girl that plays the saw. How cool is that? She gets that sound that you hear in the old cowboy movies while they’re riding off into the sunset. I dated a girl once who lived in a rural community and when I went to her house for dinner once night, they had a crosscut saw with a landscape painted on the blade hanging on their wall for decoration. But I never saw any of them play it.

I wanted to see The Blakes, but I ran into a buddy and his family and decided to plop down on the dirty Chicago sidewalk and join them for my second sampler platter. Sorry, Blakes, I’ll catch you next time because I get the impression you can tear it up.

I bid my buddy adieu and decided to stick around to see what The Harlem Shakes had going on. It seems that the only requirement for this band was to own a hoodie, some skinny jeans and an interminably happy attitude. Needless to say this annoyed me and I had to find a television to catch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. So sorry, boys, but maybe you’ll catch me on a better night next time.

All in all, not bad for a $5 donation.

Little Dead Riding Hood - Chicago Tap Theatre

Executive Summary: The Athenaeum Theatre houses many performance companies and multiple stages. Leaving after the show, we were walking past some other patrons coming out of another show and I commented, “I don’t know what show they just saw, but ours was way better.”

The Athenaeum Theatre, which I’ll assume is named after the Greek goddess of heroic endeavor, Athena, is very appropriate for a Chicago Tap Theatre show. Last year I discovered them during their production of The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen, their comic book superhero tap opera. After being completely engrossed in the adventures of The Hourglass fighting for justice in her knee-high yellow tap boots, accompanied by her sidekick Daphne in her Chuck Taylor tappers, I wondered if this year’s heroes, Red and her Mother Goose cohorts, would be able to keep my attention through a fairy tale tap dance opera.

The show was tucked away in the same third floor, 75 or so seat theater. No elevators so give yourself a few extra minutes if you’re out of shape or bringing old Aunt Ethyl. Stadium seating and only about 7 rows deep, so not a bad seat in the house. I sat in the front row again, in the same seat with the same duct tape, but I think they repaired the missing armrest since my last visit. Which is great since my arms get very tired from all the clapping. The setting was similar – a simple plywood stage with minimalist set.

The premise here is simple enough: Little Red Riding Hood, or “Red” as she’s called in world of tap opera, steals Mother Goose’s book of fairy tales, and as she taps her way through the forest encountering her fellow characters, she frees them from their story lines and respective fates by tearing pages from the book, creating a her own fractured fairy tale and obviously pissing off Mother Goose.

And in case you aren’t familiar with the tap opera format, there’s no dialogue – the entire story and character development is told through their non-stop tap routines, along with some fantastical costumes and some pretty darn good acting. Oh, and all to an original score written for and in collaboration with the company. No need to be polite – cheering for your favorites or booing the bad guys is explicitly encouraged.

Act I was definitely entertaining, but now that I know what they can do I kept waiting for them to bust out the big numbers. It wasn’t unlike seeing your favorite artist in concert. Say, Neil Diamond. Sure he may throw you a bone early in the show – maybe a “Forever in Blue Jeans” or “I’m A Believer”. He’ll keep you on your feet, pseudo rockin’ out, but the real action starts when the energy starts to build, finally bursting out with a little “Cherry, Cherry” and climaxing in the splendor of “Sweet Caroline”.

That was embarrassing. I can’t believe I just compared Chicago Tap Theater to Neil Diamond. What a digression. I apologize. I also just realized I called the costumes “fantastical”.

What I’m trying to say is that I enjoyed Act I, but in Act II I asked them to bring it and they done brought it. An angry Mother Goose tapping down Red, finally leading to a full-on no tap-out confrontation with the whole cast. Good effin’ times, my friend.

I read a couple other reviews of the show and concur with the Chicago Reader who gave it their coveted backwards R recommendation. But I read a review in the Chicago Tribune that gave the show 2-1/2 stars. I hope that’s out of a possible 2 stars, but I’m doubtful because the reviewer seems to have a problem with CTT adding a non-sanctioned woodsman character to the play, and further references a “muddled message” from inconsistencies in the otherwise entertaining character transformations. Serious? You went to a fairy tale tap dance opera, and you’re worried about inconsistencies in character development and a “muddled message”? Here’s a pretty clear message for you – why don’t you give your snooty arts critic steno pad a rest, turn on your heartlight and enjoy a show for what it is - some pretty damn good tap dancing, a creative storyline, and a chance to kick back for a couple hours at a unique theater experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Ignore the Chicago Tribune – they’re in bankruptcy so you can’t trust anything they say these days. If you ever get a chance, check out my new friends at Chicago Tap Theatre – they pay their bills and will show you a good time.

Unless they revive the production you missed out on this one, but be sure to catch their new show Beyond the Blue on July 18. Come join me.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Singular Sensation

Notify the folks at Guinness. Not the beer guys, the world record guys. Although maybe the beer guys might be impressed, too.

This morning I made it from the nurturing mothership of my Speed Racer sheeted bed to sitting in my office signed in to my IM account in 69 minutes. Without really trying too hard. In fact, I had snoozed a couple extra times since I like to annoy my neighbors and get even for their general loudness, and I needed a few extra minutes. I even showered and shaved and brushed my teeth in case I got hit by a car and was revived by a cute paramedic. Maybe that guy from Emergency! Not because I’m gay, but because he’d take me to Rampart General Hospital where I would be nursed back to care by Dixie McCall. Scratch all that – I was just notified by Wikipedia that Julie London died nine years ago. And if she were alive she would be 82 years old. That means she was 50 years old when she was biding her time at Rampart. I wouldn’t have guessed that. At all. At least Randolph Mantooth is still alive. But I digress.

Once I was fit for public consumption, I hit the road on my trusty Trek and started out at my usual mellow pace all while enjoying the cool summer morning. However, as usual, my usual mellow pace yielded to a swifter ride, exacerbated by a fortuitous sequence of green lights. At the first red light, a young lass on her own trusty Jamis turned into my bike lane and shot down the block. My mildly competitive nature and more exacting male ego will not allow me to get dropped by a girl, so I maintained my cadence after the light changed. Turns out that this girl could ride – her legs moved that piece of steel at a decent pace and she had the instincts to keep it moving smoothly amidst the urban obstacles. Soon I found myself working pretty hard to keep within half a block, but close enough to satisfy my nagging ego along with the excuse that her skinny tire bike was built for speed more than my solid steel steed and semi-slick tires.

Eventually she peeled off to her destination and soon after I rolled through the alley to the bike racks beside my building. I casually unloaded, locked up, grabbed the paper and made my way up the elevator. After dropping my bag in the storage closet which I have commandeered as my changing room, I set up shop in my office and signed on only to be surprised at the time on my computer. A mere 69 minutes earlier I had been tucked away, snoozing like a cat on a sunny window sill with a bellyful of barbiturates. It didn’t seem possible but now that I know it is, I’m afraid I may turn my casual morning ride into a daily time trial. I don’t want that to happen. So if you see me in the morning, my hubris could probably use a good strong stick in the spokes.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

You Talking To Me?

Riding my bike is kind of like drinking. If I’m having a good day I’ll usually be a happy drunk, enjoying the ride, taking clueless drivers in stride, politely interacting with aware drivers and pedestrians, kissing babies and stopping at soup kitchens along the way to ladle out some caring to the downtrodden. If I’m having a bad day, biking can be a good way to de-stress and clear my head. Unless. Unless I run into a dickhead driver. Not necessarily clueless, but outright aggressive or rude. Then I become the angry drunk, looking for a fight and knowing the night is going to end with someone holding my hair back as I puke into the toilet.

In case you haven’t guessed, last Friday I was a little cranky riding home after a night out and, sure enough, as I’m riding lawfully along in my bike lane a car comes by and the passenger leans out the window to yell something at me. I didn’t hear exactly what he said, but I surmised it was something along the usual lines of “faggot” or “get off the fucking road”. Such people are not the most creative types. However, it was enough to piss me off, and as I’ve said before it’s not too terribly difficult to catch up to a car in the city. So I threw it in my big chain ring and hammered after the car and caught it at the next light. I pulled up to the curb next to him and asked assertively, “Did you say something back there?” The passenger leaned back out the window and said in a very flamboyant voice, “I said, “Honk, honk!’” And then flashed a very flirtatious smile. Crap. Here I was, all pumped up for a confrontation with some dunderhead, and instead I was being picked up by a gay guy. I wasn’t even wearing my spandex biker shorts. I was at a loss for words. I wasn’t sure whether I was still angry, flattered, or amused. The light changed and the car took off and I must have been amused since I did laugh a little before pedaling onward. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Hope y’all enjoyed Gay Pride Week!

Bonus Observation: Along my bike route is a place called the Old Town Aquarium. I always thought it was a trendy bar with the purposefully misleading name, but it turns out that it really is an aquarium supply store just named after what seems to be a trendy bar with a nautical theme.