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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Bicycle PSA: Tales of Sexual Assault

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: September 2011

Apologies dear readers, apologies in advance. This week I’ll be deviating from my usual topic of offbeat nerd goodness to discuss a pressing matter. A topic which has always been relevant and important to me, but was brought to the forefront of my mind last week.

I was walking downtown on third street with a friend debating JP (Jurassic Park), when some douche-canoe on a stupid black cruiser bike rode toward us on the sidewalk. As he passed us, he reached out and fumbled around, grabbing at my chest, then rode away. If I hadn’t been thoroughly engaged in the eccentricities of Jeff Goldblum, I would have realized what was happening and shoved him through the window of the shoe repair store. As it was however, I simply watched, shocked, as he rode away, calmly and without even a word or a backwards glance. So dear nerdlings, this is a two-part column. Firstly, to the owner of the black cruiser… I hope you get hit by a semi and die, you abhorrent piece of shit. It’s assholes like you that give this town’s youth a bad name. Secondly, don’t ride your stupid bike on the sidewalk.

Biking is a fantastic mode of transportation in this town, due to the size, and relative lack of hills. However, I feel like I’ve become so used to seeing idiots riding on the sidewalk or against traffic, that it hardly phases me anymore. So dicks, consider this your warning. If I’m walking on the sidewalk and I see you riding towards me, prepare yourself for me to get in your way. If you are on a bike, you’re a vehicle, and should be riding in traffic. It might be scary for you at first, but please, grow the hell up and get over it. It’s a lot scarier for the eighty year-old woman coming out of a downtown store to nearly be run over by your over-privileged ass. When you decide to join the adults in traffic though, don’t you dare ride against traffic. Which brings me to my next point…

I highly suggest all you bicyclists take a cue from Horse Fight’s Rob Reeves and use his technique for breaking people of this dangerous and infuriating habit. I have it on good authority that when he sees a bike coming at him against traffic, he has a water bottle at the ready to give them a good face dousing. My hat is off to you, sir. Seriously people, what’s it going to take? If you’re on a bike, congratulations to you for the litany of positive effects you’re bringing about. Now take the next step and use your bike in a responsible way. You’re part of the traffic and the laws apply to you as well. Stay off the goddamn sidewalks and ride with traffic. Oh and P.S. to the dude who thought it was cool to pathetically grab at my ladybits, I’m going to find you. And I will fucking end you. Zooey, out. 

Arielle Mullen