Wednesday, January 30, 2008
league of ordinary gentlemen
The 1960s British duo Flanders and Swann (who, for my money were at least as funny as Tom Lehrer and quite possibly more so) had a song in which they posited a League of British Bedstead Men, responsible for scattering used mattresses around the countryside.
I'm here to talk about the League of Pomona Bicycle Men, about which I was recently informed by a neighbor (not the block captain) who had an interesting conversation with someone who works at the county jail.
You've seen the Bicycle Men -- they pedal past our houses, going places, looking down on their luck. According to our informant, they are generally parolees and often undocumented immigrants. They ride bikes because if they're in cars, they get pulled over and arrested again.
And down-on-their-luck is certainly what they are. They're just trying to get by, looking for opportunities to get a little something in life, legally or otherwise.
Our informant gave solid advice: If any of the bicycle men offer to do work for you, Just Say No. As he said, "You don't want those guys in your life." This, of course, runs counter to my middle-class liberal give-a-guy-a-break mentality, but I've learned the hard way not to let sticky people of various kinds get close enough to stick -- or close enough to pull anything away.)
When our neighbor started telling us to beware of men on bicycles, I was all, like, "Oh YEAH! They're full of erithropoietin and artificial testosterone and lord knows what shit, and you don't wanna get messed up in that." Now that I know the full story of the League of Pomona Bicycle Men, I still stand by my advice to keep Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, and especially Ivan Basso out of your life.