Dear Person Yelling at Me

Dear Person Yelling Questions at Me from their Car while I am on My Bike Waiting for the Lights to Change,

My face is redder than red because I’ve just left a very intense hour of boxing training where my beloved trainer took me at my word that I wished to work very hard.1 The jacket I’m wearing is not, in fact, making me hot. It is a fine example of modern engineering with multiple vents letting in all the cool air while still keeping Australia’s vicious sun off my delicate, pasty skin. Also, and this may shock you, Yelly Driver Person, when one cycles at speed it can get quite cold what with the cool breeze. Furthermore, the jacket’s bright yellow colour allows cars to see me and thus they can avoid inadvertently clipping me, though sadly, it seems to have attracted your yelling attentions. Sadly, every plus has a minus.2

But why, Yelly Person in Your Car, are you screaming these questions at me? Why must you know if “I’m overheating in my giant coat”? Why would I assume, perched as I am on my bike, waiting for the lights to change that these inane questions are being shouted at me by a total stranger? And once I realise they are, in fact, being shouted at me why on Earth would you presume I would answer you? What business is it of yours what my body temperature is or what I choose to wear when cycling or anything at all really?

Don’t get me wrong, out on my bike, I do communicate with drivers in their cars. We nod at each other. Sometimes we smile. When a driver kindly lets me cross when they don’t have to I say, “thank you” or “ta” and they say “no worries.” Why just the other day a truck driver next to me as we waited for the lights to change asked me to do them the favour of adjusting the side mirror. I did so. Thumbs up were exchanged and the nice truck driver allowed me to go first when the lights changed. It was a beautiful thing. Cyclist and driver helping one another and not a single, shouted inane question. You see, Yelly Driver Person, it can be done.

But not today. You are all incivility and I, once I realise your inanities are addressed to me, am all ignoring you. Had I realised earlier I would have had the pleasure of delivering this speech in person and then seen you watch slack jawed as the wings unfurled from my yellow cycling jacket, yes, the one that so offended you, and I took off into the evening skies keeping pace with the flying foxes and directed them to relieve themselves on your car.

Instead please to enjoy this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Cycling Girl of Extremely Well Regulated Temperature.

  1. Will I ever learn? []
  2. Except for the pluses that have no minuses. I’ll get back to you with a list. []

2 comments

  1. Savannah on #

    Dear Cycling Girl of Extremely Well Mastered Wit and other Rhetoric,

    This is quite likely the most entertaining letter my brain has ever beheld. It was rather like William Carlos Williams’ icebox poem, except with a surplus of sarcasm, a lack of plums, and a completely different tone. Which I suppose means your letter is not like Williams’, aside from the excellence each exudes. The point I am failing to make, however, is that your letter made my day. Thank you for being awesome.

    Yours sincerely,
    A Reading Girl Who Reads Others’ Writing Instead of Writing Her Own

    • Justine on #

      Thank you! Now your comment has made my day. So we’re even. :-)

      PS I had never heard of that poem before I lived in the US and someone had to explain one of its many, many parodies for me. I realised I’d been hearing stuff about iceboxes and plums ever since I first arrived in the US but I had been completely oblivious.

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