Commuting Asshattery…

…and the case of the missing bungee.

Paying attention requires a lot of paying attention

The Urban Dictionary defines Asshat as one who has their head so far up their ass, that they wear their ass as a hat. This is the direction this blog post takes.

Commuting on a motorcycle is akin to playing that video game “Frogger”. The idea is to get across the road without getting squished by some pixel-ish truck and avoiding cars that are going faster than they should be all within a few feet of each other.

I often wonder what is going through the minds of these people when they are sitting behind the wheel. Aren’t they aware that they are inside a huge hunk of metal and plastic careening headlong down a stretch of asphalt surrounded by similar asshats? Do they not grasp they are NOT the only ones on the road? Are they aware that auto manufacturers have put specific equipment in their products to act as safety and informational devices to other like-minded asshats? Things like, oh, I don’t know… Turn signals maybe? What is the aversion to using these devices? It takes little, if any, effort at all to use them and yet, they go on ignored. Sad turn signal lever, it’s not your fault. You too are just a victim of Asshattery.

Asshattery comes in all forms and oneself can even fall prey to the condition as well. Case in point would be the second part of the title which points a finger at the missing bungee, another victim of Asshattery, dealt by yours truly.

I love my FirstGear Tank Bag. It’s magnetic and has plenty of room for all the things I need to get me through the day, primarily; My lunch. My usual commuting routine involves me tying my backpack with a huge heavy duty bungee to the pillion seat and backrest. Next would be to place my tank bag on the rear rack as you see in the picture. Sure, I can put the tank bag ON the tank, but that would be stupid right? I do this most times because if on the tank, the bag interferes with my Engine switch. While I have done this anyway, I have trouble getting used to it and if not for the switch, I probably wouldn’t mind or care at all. Since there is a switch, rear rack you go. Since it is magnetic, it nearly binds itself to the rack and holds excessively well. I could conceivably pull my bike over by grabbing the handle on the bag and giving a good tug to one side. I’ll not ever do that. Despite the super-glue like magnetic grip the bag has, I still feel the need to wrap a small blue bungee around the bag to secure it to the rack. My self induced paranoia ensures that the bungee is pulled tight and stretched to its limits as I wrap said bungee around magnetic bag and metal rack at least 432 times. Asshattery in action.

Tank Bag acting as a Tail Bag

Convinced that not even a 400 mile per hour gust of wind or cat 5 tornado could remove the bag from the rack, I begin my Asshat filled 60 minute commute to work on the Garden State Parkway. The GSP, all 172.4 miles of it, has become the conference room of Asshat Incorporated where daily meetings are held at 75 to 85 miles per hour. So, after passing through and paying one of the 73 tolls (totaling $276 one way) I must pay during my commute of Asshattery, I reassure myself that the thinly stretched bungee is doing its job and holding my super-magnetic tank bag to my rear rack, while my backpack containing my $1200 Microsoft Surface Pro 3, is mildly strapped in with a well aged and frayed 4 foot bungee that wraps around the backpack and backrest just twice. More Asshattery in action.

At some point during this magical ride, Asshattery meets with physics to create the ultimate in a would-be Benny Hill routine, had there been cameras on all affected parties. I do not know when it happened, but at some point along the commute, Physics decided that it was its turn to manage the situation. It is at this point that the thinly stretched bungee elected to forgo the need to hang on at both ends and eject itself, at supersonic speed, from its current location. Which direction it chose to go from it’s launch point I do not know, but I do have my imagination running wild with the vision. Under further analysis, it is apparent it could have only gone one of three directions; Left, Right or Up. I couldn’t have gone down, or it would have hung up on the rack as it attempted to depart and where’s the fun in that. The other three options ultimately produce a comical result that I wish I could have seen.

It may have gone like this:

Asshat affixed bungee holding on for dear life while Asshattery happens to the left, right and behind me. The stress point of Asshat affixed bungee reaches the point of failure and lets loose with a scream that sounds like a rubbery snap or the bungee letting out a self satisfying sigh of relief. It is my hope that the Asshat to my right was the recipient of a supersonic rubbery floppy thing that lazily slapped into their drivers side window. Hopefully causing them to pee their pants slightly as they scream “What the Fuck!?!?”. Oh, I can only hope.

If the Asshat affixed bungee launched left, it is likely it would only lazily have slid across some asshats windshield or sailed unobstructed in a high arc over the left lane into the median. Boring and not the desired result. However, had the Asshat affixed bungee shot straight up, well, then you have the makings of a fireworks display of pointing asshats going “Oooo” and “Ahhhh” as our rubbery Asshat affixed bungee attempts escape velocity. Sadly, it is likely it’s trajectory and tumbling non-aerodynamic mass would succumb to gravity and return to an uncertain future among the Asshattery below. With little option, I have to surmise that A: Asshat affixed bungee fell to earth harmlessly between the high speed asshats. B: Asshat affixed bungee fell and strategically entangled itself into the windshield wiper of an unsuspecting asshat somewhere behind me. C: Asshat affixed bungee successfully bounced off several vehicles before falling underneath and hooking itself to the undercarriage of an Asshat’s vehicle. Where it will remain for several months while it produces a slappy-clangy-ping-ping sound forcing aforementioned asshat to bring his vehicle in for service to explain slappy-clangy-ping-ping sound adding “I don’t know, I was driving on the Parkway and everything was normal until I saw this rocket shoot up into the sky. Next thing I know I have this slappy-clangy-ping-ping sound”. All that followed by the replacement of various parts to the tune of $1600.

So if you see a 12″ blue bungee with one hook, maybe two, writhing in pain in the middle northbound lane of the Garden State Parkway somewhere near mile marker 109, know that it fell victim to Asshattery and further Asshattery ensued very shortly thereafter.

Asshattery happens.

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