Ask the Rat King

Dear Rat King:
I’m in the market for a new bicycle. I’ve heard that it’s not a good idea to purchase one from a chain-store because in many cases the bikes are not assembled by professionals. I want a quality bike, but I’m also on a budget and the big stores offer greater savings. What should I do?
N.C. from Little Rock, AR

Dear N.C.:
Not only is it not a good idea to buy your bike at a chain-store, but it is also unacceptable to buy your bike at a smaller locally-owned bike store. How did that new bike get to the store? You can be pretty sure it wasn’t transported by bicycle: It was transported using fossil fuels. Yes, FOSSIL FUELS, the very thing that is polluting our planet and killing us all. If you are not taking part in the solution, then you are part of the problem.

Dear Rat King:
I recently relocated to a new city which is very much less bike friendly than my hometown. In Seattle there were bike racks on the buses which makes commuting long distances more manageable. I would like to become more active in bike advocacy, but as I’m new here, I don’t know where to begin. Any advice?
W.S. from Fort Worth, TX

Dear W.S.:
It is a well known fact that recent increases in road-rage directly correlate with increases in bus-ridership. Is it any wonder? There’s definitely something unhealthy about being trapped in a metal box with all that negative energy. Is it any wonder that the subverted negative energy manifests itself in random outbursts of violence on our streets? The bus actually has a magnifying and focusing effect on the stresses and frustrations of the bus riders within. Their negativity is transformed into a pea-green aura of pure hate emanating from the very walls and windows of the city omnibus. Until this problem is dealt with and eliminated I recommend giving buses a wide berth for the sake of your own psychic health.

Dear Rat King:
The winters are long in this part of the country and I have to admit that I’m a bit hesitant to ride in the snow. Instead, I’ve found walking a rewarding alternative. I like the slower pace which is more in step with the rhythm of the season. Anyway, my question is this: What kind of maintenance should I do to my bike before I store it away for a few months?
S.D. from Duluth, MN

Dear S.D.:
“Rewarding alternative?” We’re dealing with serious issues here and you try to turn this into a touchy-feely love fest. This is not about your “self-actualization” or whatever. Your bike is a political weapon to fight for a better world. Lay it down now and your cowardice will allow the capitalist status quo to continue. If you are content to sit back and watch as the motorists, public transportation enablers and pedestrians bring this nation to it’s knees then that is your prerogative, but don’t ask me to help you in your apathy.

Dear Rat King:
I am a consumptive hemophiliac and many day-to-day tasks are a struggle for me. If it weren’t for my helper-monkey I would never be able to live safely on my own. It is quite expensive to train and keep a helper-monkey. I would never be able to afford the cost of freedom if not for the heroism of the many bike-riding saviors who ride each year to raise money for research and treatment of Consumptive Hemophilia Syndrome. Thank the Lord for the selfless sacrifice of these supermen and superwomen. I just want to express my gratitude to all the modern day heroes out there.
R.B. from Mundelein, IL

Dear R.B.:
You, my friend, are suffering from more than just consumptive hemophilia. You’ve got a raging case of ignorance. If you think those bikers give a flying flip about you or your disease you are sorely mistaken. These “heroes” aren’t riding for your benefit. They merely want the ego stroke provided by a carefully manufactured experience of manipulated emotions, created by slick corporate sponsors and their advertising agency cronies. The only hero in your life is that poor monkey that slaves away under a pathetic and delusional master. Stay strong Bobo!

Send your question to the Rat King

back next