Wednesday, November 5, 2008

death on wheels

Allow me to take this opportunity to discuss one of the biggest plagues on New York City.

Oh, you mean rats, Kevin? It’s a big city, what do you expect?


You mean cockroaches? The cockroaches are pretty big.

No no, not that.

Oh, you must mean the garbage piled on the sidewalks. There are no alleys in New York, you know.

That’s not what I’m talking about.

Is it the crazy cab drivers?

It’s not the cab drivers. Shut up and I’ll tell you.

I’m talking about bicycle delivery men. And I don't mean the scabby, sinewy hipster-types who deliver blueprints and storyboards in snazzy Chrome messenger bags fastened with seatbelt clasps.

I’m talking about the food delivery guys here in New York who speak zero English, obey zero traffic laws, and think airplanes are angry flying gods.

I’m talking about the guys who wear no helmets, yield for nobody, and Miss Gulch their way through the manic streets and sidewalks of Manhattan with a chow mein wrecking ball dangling from each handlebar of their undersized, brakeless, spoke-free, 1993 Toys R Us Huffy.

I’m not kidding about this. It’s a serious problem. For the most part, New York is a well-tuned, well-oiled transit machine. Sure, things seem fast and crazy, but there’s a method to the madness. A controlled chaos, if you will. With these guys, it’s as if you entered a jalopy into the Indy 500.

Every one of these rolling liabilities rides with the efficiency of a yard sale on wheels. I can’t believe restaurants aren’t getting sued by the thousands on account of their delivery guys mowing down women and children in the street. I personally have almost been killed no less than four times.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG. I am in love with this city. After a month and change of living here, I still walk around gawking starry-eyed at the sheer size of everything. I love the frenzied activity, the personality, and the architectural beauty of the only world capital I'll probably ever live in.

I'm just saying. If I get killed on account of some lazy slob wanting his jumbo burrito 30 seconds faster, I'm gonna be pissed.

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