Saturday, September 19, 2009

Courtesy Wave Gone the Way of the Courtesy Flush?

A little background:

In the last couple of years I moved from, arguably, Canada's cycling and triathlon Mecca of Victoria to the Nation's frigid capital of Ottawa. Weather has not been the only difference.

While doing training rides throughout the Victoria area, cyclists acknowledge one another. Pros and fat old bastards like myself lift our hand, if only for a moment, or nod our heads ever so slightly to acknowledge the fact we were both out there doing our thing. Part of a community within a community.

Ottawa has been different. Pro looking cyclists (albeit unlikely pros) refuse to acknowledge a lowly citizen. Especially a citizen riding with aerobars. I believe it is probably akin to laying down on the job to them. Unfortunately it cannot chalked up to elitism of the euro-wannabe. For while out on rides there are those riding a triple ring low end road bikes with basketball shorts and a sweat shirt that somehow, while over sized, still proclaims its limited elasticity with a soft white underbelly squeezing its way into the world, glistening in the sun (cause these are fair weather riders only) and yet refusing to acknowledge a wave given by a fellow cyclist.

They stare right you, or maybe right through you. Who knows the thoughts going through their minds. The poseur will offer no wave for you are clearly not as good as they are. Sure they struggle to place their awkward cleat tipped carbon platforms at every stop light but somehow with their unlimited budgets they are unable to nod. Perhaps this is due to keeping their brow higher than everyone that their neck muscles have become so pronounced that the nod is akin to a Ferigno /Hulk run. Maybe its my fault and I cannot see it.

So this brings us to the title. Once upon a time if one had to conduct number two in a public restroom, you would offer a courtesy flush to alleviate those lingering nearby of your processed scent. But nowadays this is almost impossible. On one point you could be possibly branded as an environmental terrorist for having wasted precious resources. Flushing twice will likely kill a baby seal or eliminate a patch of old growth forest. For those not worried about the double flush affects on the ecosystem, the makers of our fine faux marble mall and restaurant thrones have offered the obese, lazy North American graffiti artists the ability to concentrate on the churning and/or awkward burning at hand with an automatic flusher.

Is this where all of our courtesy has gone? An obese population so fixated on the easy way that all courtesy is gone. So ask all of you, cyclists and shitters alike: Show some courtesy. Throw up a wave, a flush, allow a car in front of you, open a door for someone and generally become a little less fat and a little bit nicer.


cdnhollywood said...

Amen!!! This really is true 9 times out of 10 here. I just don't get it. And it's not just cyclists - it's runners too. I wave to nearly every runner I pass and I'm lucky to get more than 20% of them returned.

Lighten up people, and drop the ego!

Brian said...

Good to see I am not crazy and there are others :)