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.