Ninja On Wheels

Graham just ordered a new bike. I don’t know much about it, other than (according to him), it’s a fixed gear, flat black, and was deeply discounted. He also said something about fork width but I can’t be expected to pay attention to everything he says.

It’s hard for me to understand how Graham’s brain works. On one hand, he’s brilliant at math and looks at me like I’m retarded when I can’t break down complicated fractions in seconds. On the other hand, he frequently gets “distracted” while doing things like vacuuming, only it’s not like he gets sidetracked by something on TV for a few minutes, it’s more like he actually falls asleep for like an hour in the middle of cleaning the couch. He also has this savant-like ability to pick one thing and focus so intently on it that right now, he could make an incredible living selling bikes to people. That’s how much he knows, and how much he annoys me with specs when all I’m trying to do is have a few beers and a pizza after work (Riley’s, I heart your Monday night half price pizza).

The other night, Graham called me as he was riding home from work. It’s obvious that car people hate bike people, but bike people hate pedestrians. Hate them. It has something to do with right-of-way, but it’s another part of the Bike Talk that I mostly ignore. So he calls to tell me that some jerkoff kids threw rocks at him as he rode past, and Graham opines that he would like a sword.

“A sword,” I repeated.

“Wouldn’t that be great?” he asked. “I could just ride by and slice people.”


“Babe?” he asks.

“Graham. A sword. Do you realize how ridiculous and illegal that would be?”

“Yeah, but I could ride around with it strapped to my back. I’d be the guy with a sword!”

“You’d be the guy getting arrested.”

There were a few more words exchanged about the validity of a sword strapped to one’s back (him) and the complete uselessness of a sword in real life (me). Then he got tired of waiting for the cops to show up and bust the rock-throwing kids, so he continued riding home.

Last night, we were eating pizza at the aforementioned Riley’s when he told me several times that he was so excited about his bike.

“Mm-hm,” I said as I took a drink of Smithwick’s.

“And I’m excited about my sword,” he said.

“What did you say?”

“My sword,” he repeated. “I ordered a sword, and it’s coming tomorrow with my bike.”

“You’re joking.”

“No, it was only $25!”

“A sword.”


“A sword.”


“Graham. You’re just…you’re an idiot. You know that? You’re an idiot with a sword.”

“What are you talking about? A sword is cool.”

“No, a sword is stupid. And you’re an idiot for paying for a sword over the Internet.”

“If you don’t stop calling me an idiot, I’m breaking up with you,” he threatened.

“I’ll stop calling you an idiot when you stop buying swords.”

Turns out he was kidding about the sword. Graham’s version of kidding is different from everyone else’s, because he’ll continue doing it until you’re ready to kick his ass. I was totally convinced that he’d purchased a sword on eBay and was planning on riding his bike up South Grand, slicing at the drunk hipsters spilling out of CBGB. Not a bad idea, really, but still illegal and not a karmically wise situation.

We’d finished the beer and pizza when he said, “I could be a bike ninja with a sword.”

“Or you could be an idiot without either of those things.”

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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