New York

Woman Berates Me On The Street! I Silence Her With Vicious Wit!


The most annoying thing people screech at me when they spot me on my bike is that old standby, “Michael, where’s your helmet?”

I know they probably mean well–maybe–but it always galls me because:

(A) It’s not illegal to not wear a helmet.

(B) I’ve been bike riding for decades and know what I’m doing, with some very good reasons for not wearing a helmet (not the least of them being the awful helmet hair it leaves you with.)

(C) What effing business is it of yours?

When this happens, I usually just smile and pretend I didn’t hear what they said, but the other day, when a woman shouted “Michael, where’s your helmet?” I couldn’t resist zapping her back.

“Where’s your diaphragm?” I replied, very pleased with myself.

After all, while it’s not illegal to not wear a diaphragm, I’m concerned for her–though she’s a complete stranger–and wanted to share that caring in public.

“What?” she said, smiling but looking horrified.

Where’s your diaphragm?” I repeated, more emphatically.

Awkward moment. Weighted pause. I had to go there.

“Um, it’s inside,” she blurted.

I burst out laughing!

I loved that she actually answered me–and more, importantly, that she had suddenly dropped her helmet crusade when put on the spot herself.

“Good answer!” I tittered and rode off into the sunset.

Archive Highlights