I's on the Road

The highway is as free and open as the American spirit.


There is a video on the internet from 2008. There are actually many videos on the internet from 2008. However, there is only one video on the internet from 2008 that I am presently talking about. It is called "Test Your Awareness: Do The Test." It's a super dumb title, but then again, titles don't really matter--sorry Colonel Sanders. Why isn't he Kernel Sanders? That seems better, considering popcorn and fried chicken are only a few branches apart on the food tree. I often read "colonel" as "colonial," which doesn't help at all because what I want to see and therefore force myself to see is "colon." Nothing beats Colon Sanders' Kentucky fried chicken. The colon is for poop storage and evacuation. I wonder if Colonial Sanders is at all related to the great two sport professional athlete Celine Deion Sanders? That would be quite a trifecta: baseball, football, and fried chicken. Who do you have winning the NCAA basketball tourney this year? Let's get Mikey, yeah, he won't eat it, he hates everything.

The video starts by saying, "This is an awareness test."  We see eight basketball players, four in white uniforms, four in black uniforms. They aren't real basketball uniforms, but instead the kind of clothing you would see white trash gangsters wearing: loose hoodies, track jackets, and sweat pants. There is no point in their clothing, but still, that's certainly a part of the video I am aware of. The video's narrator then asks you to count how many passes the team in white completes as the two teams dance about in a circle passing basketballs.

Has anyone ever played basketball like this? What the hell do these hooligans think they're doing? There's no baskets and no defense. Modern basketball is nothing like that--it's all baskets and no defense.

The team in white completes 13 passes in about 14 seconds. The New York Knicks could learn a lot from the team in white. The Knicks suck so much. Carmelo Anthony is one of the most overrated and overhyped basketball players in history. He is guaranteed to score you about 24 points per game for the bargain of a five-year $124 million contract, which additionally comes with a guaranteed zero championships. If you had $124 million, would you throw it off the Brooklyn Bridge knowing it would get you zero championships? The Knicks would. And the Knicks did.

The video pauses to confirm that it was 13 passes completed. Woopdy doo I can count! Look how aware I am! The narrator then asks, "Did you see the moonwalking bear?"

In the middle of all the bullshit basketball passing, a bear walks into the circle, does a little dance, and then does a top 5 all time worst moonwalk out of the circle. He doesn't even slide his feet, he just sort of skids backwards. For Christ's sake, the king of pop is dead. Michael Jackson didn't live in Neverland, create some of the greatest music of all time, and grow up to be the grown up version of himself that was, as we are all aware of, is, uh, well... Michael Jackson didn't give the world the moonwalk just for this half ass bear to Carmelo Anthony it--which henceforward means to totally blow in the clutch while receiving all kinds of unwarranted praise--in a minute long, 20 million view internet video.

The video concludes by stating, "it's easy to miss something you're not looking for. Look out for cyclists."

"Look out for cyclists." Concentrate as hard as you can on some contrived passing game only to be made a fool of by not even a real bear because you apparently are out there hitting cyclists with your car willy nilly, you snack-eating, march-to-the-beat-of-the-paycheck-drum, death-can't-bless-us-soon-enough oaf.

Why in the wet world of carwashes would I look for a goddamn bear during a sports game? The entire city of Chicago watches football religiously every Sunday and they don't even expect a real fucking bear to come to the game, yeah, whadup Jay Cutler? Cutler, you and Carmelo should get together and write a series of children's books under the pen name "Lemony Snicket," because everything you two overpaid catastrophes do is a series of unfortunate events.

I realize the point is that you're watching the white team so a black bear will sneak right by you as you ignore the black team. It's the basis of Wall Street. However, if they wanted to make that video realistic they would have had the bear be white, as in a polar bear. After you count the passes, the bear stands up like he's going to do his little dance. Then, because we're all out here actively murdering cyclists with our egocentric concentration skills, the polar bear doesn't moonwalk out of the circle, he mauls each and every basketdanceballer to bloody pieces, finally picking up the two basketballs and dribbling them around an obstacle course made from the dead actors' bodies. That would be more realistic, and even then I still would have the half a brain necessary to be able to see cyclists on the road, because "it's easy to miss something you're not looking for" has nothing to do with driving safety.

Honestly, what kind of slogan is this? I'm not looking for aliens when I'm driving (well not all the time), but still, if an alien was anywhere on the road while I was, I'd 100% see him. If a bull was wearing a camouflage nightgown racing down the road on a black motorcycle with the lights off at night, I'd still see his bull ass, and I'm definitely not looking for him. I could have two Kraft Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows for eyes and I'd still see him.

But a cyclist? As in one who rides a bicycle, one of the five or six things you know are actually on a road? I see cyclists.

What really turns my tiny rage on about this whole video, in addition to the rest of this masterful dissection, is that it denies the real reason people hit cyclists with their automobiles:

People hate cyclists.

A lot of people really hate cyclists. Many are the sort of anger management issues, raging psychopaths who, if given the opportunity, would choose to hit a cyclist over attending the funeral of their mother in law. And they loathe their mother in law.

If most of the people who hate cyclists saw this video, they would say out loud, because they're too insane to think to themselves, "Hey, this video's right! I should actively be looking for cyclists, because then I can kill all of the cyclists."

All we're really doing here is talking to non-smokers about the dangers of tobacco. What we really need to do is go to the source, the real issue.


It was one of the first real days of summer and I was out in the country for the day. I took the train out of the city and excitedly watched out the window as buildings became less buildings became subdivisions became trees and rolling hills. It's always a calming transition that lets the fog out of my head.

I hopped off the train with my backpack and bike. The air smelled like new life. A warm breeze blew my lips up into a smile like Marilyn Monroe's dress above that filthy subway vent. Gross, I thought. Not because of her, but because it reminded me of Lindsay Lohan.

I ate lunch at the base of a sunflower. Half a blueberry, a raisin, and a crumb. Boy was I stuffed! I then hopped on my model bike and set off.

The sun was shining up in the sky like it always is but people talk about it like it only shines when it's nice out. It doesn't have to be that way, guys. Life is pretty sweet if you don't buy into constant pessimism. That's probably how Kenan Thompson lives, and look how happy he is.

As I chugged and plugged along, not a care in the world lol jk not really, I care about all kinds of stuff, I heard the rise and release of gears shifting. I looked over my teeny shoulder and saw a red semi-truck several hundred yards back, accelerating toward me. I moved to the shoulder as he approached. It was quite loud as he passed, but he was kind enough to move into the left lane. People in the country are nicer, I thought.

His tailwind caught me and pulled me forward a tad, which felt really cool. Wow, this feels really cool, I thought. It did feel really cool. The truck drove on, eventually cresting a hill and going out of sight. It took me a little longer to get to the top of the hill because not only am I not a truck but also I'm the smallest man in the world on a very small bike (but not the smallest bike in the world, clowns do incredible things at the circus).

As I came over the hill, I pulled my breaks and skidded to a stop. A pickup was turned perpendicular to the road, blocking both lanes. It was an older blue truck raised up on an extended lift kit. It had huge tires with chrome wheels and a matching chrome exhaust pipe. Its suped-up engine was as loud as a Peter Frampton concert. Peter Frampton fucking rules! The engine wahed along, then stopped.

The driver opened the door and got out. He reached over the side of the truckbed and pulled out a baseball bat. It was a Louisville Slugger. From Louisville Kentucky.

Shit, I thought. Hicks.

"Whatcha think you're doin' out here?" Asked the driver. He wore a white suite with a bowtie-tie, like both a bowtie and a tie. The sun glinted off his thick rimmed glasses. "This ain't no place for a biker boy like you."

"Got that right," said another man, who'd gotten out of the truck from the other side. He wore black sneakers and a bear suit. He did a little dance then moonwalked around next to the driver. It was a top 5 all time worst moonwalk. "Only pussy boys ride bikes."

"Please, I don't want any trouble," I said. I glanced over my shoulder. If I turned around and rode as hard as I could, I had nowhere to go. "I'm just out here for a ride."

"That so?" asked the dancing bear. "Interesting, cause we're here ta take ya for a ride."

Colonel Sanders nodded. He was eating a drumstick from a bucket of his signature chicken. God that chicken looked finger-licking good.

"Can I have some chicken?" I asked. Seemed worth a shot.

"No," said Colonel Sanders. What a greedy son of a bitch.

"But we will give you that ride," said the moonwalking bear. He put on brass knuckles. I guess they were technically brass paws. "In't that so, Colonel?"

Colonel Sanders had mashed potatoes all over his face. "Yup," he said.

I looked down at my feet, trying to think of what to do. The sun was warm on my neck. It felt good. The warmth reminded me of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It'd be a little better getting beat to death with some chicken in my belly, I thought. I heard footsteps. The devious duo was approaching. I closed my eyes. I can't watch.

Honk honk!

I looked up just as a red semi-truck slammed into Colonel Sanders' pickup, rolling it over like a car from a Michael Bay movie. I dove to the side of the rode. The pickup rolled onto the Colonel and the Dancing Bear. Chicken, potatoes, and bear bits sprayed everywhere.

I took a moment to gather myself, shocked at what I'd just seen. Finally, I got up and approached the two. The Colonel wasn't dead, but his legs were squished. He'd never make chicken again, that is if he uses his legs to make chicken. The Dancing Bear, however, was super dead. Bear guts oozed out of him.

"His only wish was to be a real bear," said Colonel Sanders.

"He wasn't a real bear?" I asked.

"No. It was just a suit," he said.

"Are you okay, very tiny man?" asked a new voice. I looked up. It was the semi-driver. He climbed out of the cab and came over to me.

"You're Carmelo Anthony!" I said. He was Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo tipped his trucker cap. "That's a big 10-4," he said. "I drive truck across the country in the summer, being as I'm never in the postseason for more than a series."

"Thank you so much for saving me, Carmelo," I said.

"I couldn't just PASS you by and not be AWARE that I could MISS SOMETHING that I wasn't LOOKING FOR," he said.

I forced a polite smile. Carmelo was trying really hard to allude to the video. "Thank you for seeing cyclists," I said. It was pretty cheesy.

"Don't thank me, thank Michael Jackson," said Carmelo Anthony.

Michael Jackson waved down at us from heaven. "Hee hee!" he sang. Michael Jackson then did the moonwalk, painting a rainbow in the sky.

The base of the rainbow was at my feet. I reached in and pulled out a pot of gold. I'm the smallest man in the world, but on St. Patrick's Day, I'm a leprechaun because we're all a wee little bit Irish!

"Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!" Carmelo Anthony, Michael Jackson, and I said at the same time.


But who was in the Dancing Bear costume!?!?

We'll never know, but it definitely wasn't Jay Cutler. Jay Cutler is a horrible quarterback.