Still one of my all-time favorite lists; "toast crumbs on butter, skin on pudding, mushy bananas, dried catsup on the bottle rim," and on and on. Then Hobbs chimes in; "how about excessively negative people?" "Yeah!" Calvin agrees. Now, as inspirational as that Sunday morning newspaper exchange between two childhood heroes may have been, while I don't consider myself an "excessively negative" individual in the least, there are certainly quick-and-dirty things which get under my skin, and they don't all pertain to Calvin's aforementioned "peeves of necessity" list. My own containing such frivolities as cream cheese (bagels not having it), toilet paper (running out of it), or laundry (needing quarters to do it). However, the following is not such - it is instead a massive peeve of social proportions, indirectly addressed to a number of certain folk from a number of elevator rides, with whom I've had actual conversations:
Dear Super Self-Important Lawyer Person,
Rather than indulging my nerdy side and asking about my tracko's crank lengths, or gear ratio and how they pertain to respective climbing capabilities or skid patches, I suppose you could also ask me something totally shallow and numbskulled - like how much my bike cost (presumably so you could just hop down to the LBS and try to purchase an identical one-of-a-kind off the shelf). Or something completely predictable like how far I ride in a day (anywhere between 10, and 10 billion miles, actually). Or even worse - something unabashedly morbid, like how many times I've been hit by a vehicle. With the dizzying plethora of asinine topics one could hypothetically choose to ask someone whom you may or may not be genuinely curious about in the 45 seconds it takes to travel 20 stories up in an elevator, why is this the one I hear the most? Not to turn the question back at you, but how many bikers have you hit in the past three months? Dent still in your driver's side quarterpanel from when you turned right on red without looking? Still reeling from that nasty settlement that cost you more than the text messages you deemed more important than paying attention at the wheel? Obviously you couldn't be arsed to draw an analogous connection to the two, because no one is paying you to do so.
Sure, there are plenty of other high-risk professions, and I understand your need to live vicariously through others to escape the suffocating constraints of the beige pantsuit and/or desk you're chained to, but I don't personally feel like I would spend my time in an elevator asking a window-washer how many times he's fallen six stories without a lead rope, or a police officer how many times he's been shot at a routine traffic stop. Why? Because it's as infantile as it is idiotic. Our guardian angels are already cranking out enough overtime hours, ensuring our worst fears never find reality, without you and your types nosing around and dicking with our karma bank. And how convenient that you always manage to corner me in an elevator without wood paneling on which to knock.
As if the world really needed any more proof that an attorney's six figure salary buys everything but a modicum of social decency. Oh, and I have 15 patches, you smarmy bastard.