Ride the Irritation Wave Toward a Golden Future

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

I live on Bainbridge Island, and something bothers me about my morning commute. People line up on the right side of the walkway when waiting to board the ferry, and keep the left side clear for exiting passengers. But lots of people go up this left lane and saunter up to the front of the line. OK, so it's not exactly breaking news that there are assholes in the world. But what I don't understand is why, day after day, everyone in line ignores this behavior. Do they like being taken advantage of? The one time I said something to a left-lane saunterer, he completely blew me off. When I turned back, everyone in line was staring at me like I'm the asshole. What gives?Solitary Line Monitor

Dear Monitor,

Those people aren't following the rules. How does that make you feel? Not very good, huh? I can almost see it myself, the little cartoon rain cloud forming over your head. Don't let that cloud follow you around all day like an orphan puppy. Ride the wave of irritation rising in your chest like a surfer toward a golden future. Feel your balance. Feels good, doesn't it?

I mean, sure, you could continue to directly confront those exit-lane saunterers. But hasn't that already been proven ineffective? And isn't that the very definition of insanity, continuing to do something even after you know it doesn't work? I'm not really saying you're crazy. That you're ready to be strapped in a straitjacket, pumped full of drugs, locked in a padded cell, and force-fed lime Jell-O for the next three decades or so. But maybe that's what those people think, that crowd staring at you, their eyes like cruel darts in your soul. Like you're a stranger in an evil village. Maybe you don't have the strength of character to face their stares. Maybe you feel something inside surrendering to them, like a girl giving herself to womanhood.

And you know what? If you did give in, that would be a good thing. That would be a thing that would make me stand up and shout, "Hooray!" Because it would mean you finally get it. You get that the only way to stop people from doing something is by staring at them in silent judgment. The crowd just did it to you. Now you go do it to others.

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

What is it with tights in Seattle? Isn't it possible to go out in public for some exercise or a bike ride, or even to the grocery store, without wearing tights? I'm telling ya, the only thing not showing are the zits and the ass hair. It's rare that I see someone who looks good in tights, and even then, with the funny shoes and the overwhelming stench of narcissism, it's hard to find anything attractive about them. Just once I'd like to get to and from work without having to see some dude's ass or the creases in some chick's cellulite. Can't we all just please put some pants on?Your Ass Hurts My Eyes

Dear Eyes,

You mean these? They're not tights. They're bicycle pants. OK, you got me. They're not just bicycle pants. They're Moda Eagle Skins. From Sweden. Repel the rain but they still breathe. That's cool, though, if that fact slipped by you. I can guarantee you that the other bicycle guys recognize the tasteful little MES logo on the waistband. I mean, not that that's important. I don't notice logos myself. It's just that when you ride a lot, like I do, your gear is almost a part of you. Some people have an appreciation for it, some don't. It's not a big deal either way.

But, I'll grant your point that some people could show a little more decorum. A modicum is what they call that in Latin. That's why if I'm making a PCC run or something, I always throw on a pair of shorts over my bicycle pants. My comfy old brown shorts. They're a little on the shapeless side, but they've got soul. I've had them forever. It's a casual weekend kind of look, but there's no reason not to go with it on a Tuesday afternoon, too.

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