I went to the city’s bike planning meeting last week, and I was really excited about the possibility of Cincinnati giving me a chance to ride to work without having a Biggie-sized Coke thrown against my back every day. Everything seemed legit at first — they had a slideshow and maps and stuff — but then Jeff Berding showed up and I was like, “WTF! That guy is a total dickbag!” I know there are City Council elections coming up, but I don’t want to see that dude anymore and if he’s going to start cruising around on a fixie I’m going to boycott every bar in Northside, plus Grammer’s. Where can I hang out/creep on girls who don’t wear bras without this guy ruining it?
— Biking and Bummed in Downtown
Let me be honest here, I’m not really that political. I don’t donate my Facebook status to causes (I already have health insurance) and I just read our Porkopolis column for the first time a couple of weeks ago. So when you started talking about Jeff Berding, I was like, “Who the eff is that?” He’s not a local celebrity like John Matarese or that news anchor who got really skinny, and I’m pretty sure his last name is spelled wrong. It should be “Bearding.” But then I was informed that Be(a)rding is a rich d-bag on City Council, and I understood your problem, especially the part about fixies. Rich posers who hang out in “cool” bars in gentrified neighborhoods suck. (We can tell you don’t really like PBR.) But bikes without brakes that you can’t stop pedaling suck even worse.
What kind of sicko with a Sisyphus complex even invented these things? Pedaling is the worst part of biking, second only to the fear of bodily harm. And no brakes takes the whole “no hands” movement to a new level. How do you even stop? Complex velocity algorithms? Not to mention, on top of all this, that whole balancing on your bike at a stop light thing makes you look like an asshole.
Jack is back,
I’m a little bit stressed out about what kind of Halloween candy to give out this year because I just moved into a new neighborhood and my neighbors seem somewhat excessive (the homeowner’s association leaves the giant fountain in the main drive on all winter because people like how the ice builds up and looks like a giant bowl). I’ve always given out a decent candy — generally one fun-sized chocolate bar for each kid, not some candy corn or Skittles. Now, I’m positive my husband will get mad if he finds out I bought 200 regular-sized Snickers to give away, but do you think he’ll be any more upset if I spring for the king-sized bars because I really want to make my new neighbors look like cheapskates?
— Worried in Wyoming
Listen, Worried, have you read The New York Times lately? There’s too much real stuff going on in the world to worry about Halloween candy. People are winning the Nobel Peace Prize for no reason, climate change is causing fault lines to erupt in massive earthquakes, we tried to blow up the freaking moon and the Swiss are about to turn on their particle collider, effectively sucking all of humanity into a black hole. Your king-sized candy bars, the homeowner’s association and that idiot fountain are all about to be antimatter. We’re on the cusp of 2012, the year the Mayans (and probably Dan Brown) predicted the world was going to end, and you’re wasting my time asking me questions about how to impress your neighbors? How about asking me how to properly prepare them for dinner once this shit goes down? (Human flesh is hard to cook. I suggest a spice rub.) So what should you give the kids this year for Halloween besides a warning? How about apples with razor blades in them? Or some cloned lunchmeat? Do your part and kill them now before they have a chance to learn what real suffering is. Your neighbors will thank you for it eventually.
I’m probably getting those Nestle fun-sized
bags with Butterfingers in them,
DEAR MAIJA TIP LINE: firstname.lastname@example.org