LJWorld.com weblogs Rolling along
Bombs away! Yum!
I was riding to work the other day when I encountered a banana peel dead ahead.
I probably could have maneuvered around it, despite my proximity to the curb and the car passing to my left, but I decided just to ride over it.
In one terrible split-second before contact with said fruit wrapper, I had an awful thought.
Well, actually, I had a couple.
The first wasn’t so terrible. I flashed back to a story I’d read about vandals painting Mario Kart symbols on a bike lane in Portland. I recalled there were power-ups and a mushroom and a star and … a banana. I have to admit that though I’m not normally a proponent of defacing public property, I found the paintings quite clever.
My second thought was, What if I hit this peel and — cue the crazy sound effects — go tailend over teakettle, just like in the cartoons?
I didn’t, of course, but I think it speaks volumes that my first thoughts when confronted with discarded fruit were of a video game and a cartoon.
I’m so mature.
Once I passed the Chaquita land mine, I started wondering about other unusual potential roadside threats.
Potholes and roadkill are common.
In keeping with the cartoon thread, I’ve seen a few telltale signs of roadside oil slicks. Normally, there’s a huge puddle, followed by a gradual tapering-off that makes me cringe as I think about the catastrophic fallout of an engine running dry.
Then my poor little brain flashed back to a rash of similar — but markedly different — stains I encountered a few years ago. They were dark like oil and started with a dramatic splat.
But they were noticeably more brown and, if I may be so bold, more delicious-looking.
I saw several over a few weeks before I realized the true makeup of the slick. Sitting in the middle of one particular mess was a smashed, empty Hershey’s chocolate syrup bottle.
It made a perfect, innocuous booby trap. Trailing the initial splat were distinct tire tracks that gradually faded away after half a block or so.
I saw so many chocolate slicks, I assumed there was some sort of serial chocolate bomber around (not to be confused with Chocolate Bombs cereal).
So far, I’ve only recently encountered the one banana peel, so I doubt there’s a serial banana bomber about, too.
If there is, however, perhaps he should get with the chocolate bomber, hook up with an ice cream guy, sprinkle on some nuts and open a roadside banana split stand.