Today marked the…oh, I don’t know, millionth time I’ve tried to restrain myself from getting into an argument via Facebook thread. Today also marked the first time that I failed. I’m not one of those people who enjoys smacking people down in the comments, nor do I obsessively visit the places where those people lurk. But Facebook tells me when someone comments after me, and I do have an e-mail, and I do read it, so….
It’s so dumb. One friend of mine wrote that she hated people who ride bikes. Well, okay. That’s her thing. Didn’t bother me, but then 2 of her friends wrote that they wanted to run bicyclists over. Because, I don’t know, I guess the 2 or 3 bicycles they come upon per week are so slow that they fuck up their commutes entirely and for the rest of their lives.
So I wrote something that was all “calm down, psychopaths,” and “it’s a greener form of transport” and “don’t get an assault charge on you for nothing.” Absolutely NOTHING militant or confrontational. The psychopaths part was totally cool, I swear.
Not five minutes later, this friend’s mother (or someone, I have no idea other than she shares her last name) writes:
“Well then maybe they need to pay personal property taxes on their bicycles and get a license plate too!!!!!!”
Does she sound worked up? I think she sounds worked up. I also think she sounds like an ignorant, lazy asshole. Let’s see, I ride my bike on the roads and I paid about $400 for it. To start, you’re not supposed to ride a bike on a sidewalk. No. No you are not. It’s a pedestrian safety issue and a kid riding a bike on the sidewalk is a far cry from an adult commuting on a bike on the sidewalk. Second, do you pay personal property taxes on everything you paid more than $400 for? Do you license it, as well? I bet you don’t. See how that works?
But she wouldn’t, and I knew that. I KNEW THAT. Even though I know I shouldn’t have, and that it was useless, and that I was just as much of an asshole as she was for saying anything at all back to her, I did it, anyway. Goddamn you, self.
As shitty as I feel for getting into a Facebook argument (REAL shitty), I console myself with knowing that at least I did it with smarts and humor, and at least without exclamation points. Don’t believe me? I said:
“Hm. I paid about $400 for my bike, so my personal property tax would come out to around 40 cents. Motor vehicle licenses are restricted to vehicles with motors, which excludes bicycles. I happen to stop for red lights, stop signs, etc. when I’m on my bike, but I still don’t advocate murdering those who don’t. Just give them the finger like any reasonable person.”
I refuse to check out any other comments to the thread. Internet arguing is a slippery slope, and I’m trying to work with what little dignity I have left. But I am so giving that woman the finger.