I guess it was bound to happen; sooner or later I’d cross paths with him again.
“Them” are the ones I really worry about, quite frankly. And “them” are the ones who screeched past me on Old 210 Highway a few days ago. I heard the roar coming up behind me just before the full can of beer hit me in the side, foam spraying everywhere, drenching me. My ribs were already aching even as the hilarity of their laughter faded away to nothing, the black truck barely in control and speeding up and over the hill before me.
Smelling of beer and fuming, I had the presence of mind to unclip before I began to stalk around, waiving my fist at the receding vehicle, and screaming at them like a madman. In my Walter Mitty imagination, I play back those events, two seconds morphing into minutes: in this version of the play back, the idiots hear my yells. They squeal to a stop and throw the truck into reverse, black smoke cascades off of the tires as the Ford roars backwards and stops just shy of me and my bike.
I, of course, don’t flinch. There are three of them, all Bubbas.
Bubba Number One looks at me through bleary eyes. “Whadjou say, bike boy?” Bubbas Number Two and Three simply snicker.
Unfazed, I look him straight in the eye and in my very best Rambo voice I insult his mother. The insult must be an intellectual challenge for him, which pleases me immensely for some perverse reason, because he pauses for a moment to think before responding.
“How’s about I just git out and kick yore ass, Smart Ass?” And with that said, all three Bubbas get out of the truck, me standing my ground, facing them down. Across the fence stands a farmer – funny that I haven’t noticed him in this imaginary reverie until he was needed. He is notably concerned about the situation and asks me if I want him to call the county sheriff’s department.
My voice now sounds like Clint Eastwood for some reason.
No, I say. Not yet. Give me two minutes, then call the cops. Then give me two more and call an ambulance. They’re gonna need one.
The Bubbas snicker again and advance on me. Too bad for them, really – but it was their call, their mistake. My frame pump balanced between my hands, my mind kicks into autopilot and like a computer plots out the sequence of events: who will go down first, next, and finally. I’m a black belt in the little known martial art of Zefal Kung Fu. They have no idea what’s about to happen.
But, of course, none of this happened at all – at least beyond the part where I stood in the road screaming at the truck in the distance. Had they turned around I would’ve had my ass handed to me on a platter. I did not have time to get a license plate number, so I’ve really no recourse whatsoever – other than to remind myself that despite the fact that 99.9% of the drivers in my area tend to be generous to a fault, there are still a few ninnies out there.
My jersey is washed and no longer smells of beer but my ribs still hurt, almost as much as my pride. My anger has simmered. (Somewhat.)
Be watchful. Stay safe out there.
And if you see a truck full of drunken Bubbas, let ‘em know me and my Zefal are watching.