Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Stolen Bike Story

I've never driven a car for more than ten minutes in my entire life. My phobia of getting behind the wheel of an automobile has made life very difficult for me, and has made me dependent on either public transportation or biking to get where I need to be. This has instilled a love of riding bikes in me that wasn't there before, and I try to get out and ride as often as possible, just for fun.

Such was the case early last January. Returning to my dad's apartment complex after riding around the area and listening to music for a little while, I rode past a tall, thuggish-looking black guy that said something to me as I coasted past him.

Being the naive idiot I sometimes am, I stopped, took my headphones off, and had the following conversation with him (code-named "John"):

Me: "What?"

John: "Man, that's a nice bike. Where you get it?"

Me: "Uh. Wal-Mart."

John: "How much it cost?"

Me: "Around $100, I think. I don't know."

At this point, there was a second guy walking up behind the first. Latino but equally as thuggish-looking, he joined our conversation (code-named "Ralph"). At this point, I was growing uncomfortable as they stood on either side of me, preventing me from going anywhere.

Ralph: You smoke weed?

Aside #1: I've decided that this is the fucking craziest way anyone has ever introduced themselves to me.

Me: Uh. Sometimes, yeah.

Ralph: You need some?

Me: No, I have plenty, thanks.

John: You got that kush? That kush is dope. Sheeeeeyut.

Aside #2: Yes, he seriously said that.

Me: ...yeah. Dope.

Ralph: You do bars? Bars are the fuckin' shit.

John: Yeah, fuckin' bars man, try 'em.

Aside #3: Bars are Xanax, for those of you not well-versed in drug lingo.

Me: No thanks, I don't mess with pills.

At this point, I put my headphones back on and turned around to ride away. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Ralph punches me in the temple, disorienting me and knocking my glasses off.

Aside #4: "Beat the hell out of anyone that doesn't buy from you" is a pretty flawless drug-selling technique, I have to admit.

Still standing and holding onto my bike, the following was said:

Me: Fucking owwwwwww!

Ralph: You best get off that bike! I'm gonna hit you again!

Me: Fuck off.

So he hit me on the side of the head again. And again. And again. Until I finally let go of my bike. John then stepped in and pulled it away, getting on it and doing what I can only describe as a small victory lap around Ralph and I as we continued to tussle.

He was in the middle of trying to rip my bag away from me, when I decided to yell for help as loud as I possibly could. No one in the dozens of apartments surrounding us did anything, but it successfully scared them into running away.

Still in a daze, I half-ran back to my dad's apartment to tell him what had happened. We immediately jumped into his truck and drove around the complex to try and find them, but were unable to. A theft report was then filed with the police along with descriptions of both of them, with promises to keep an eye on local pawn shops to see if they would try and sell it.

The story should end there. But the next morning, my dad stepped outside to get the newspaper only to find my bike sitting in a parking space across the street from his apartment, as if someone had known it was mine and had left it there for me to find. Aside from missing a few screws and the chain guard, it was in the same condition I'd left it in.

Here's the kicker, though: I don't know anyone in this apartment complex or the surrounding area, the guys that stole it didn't see where I lived (or even the area of the complex that I lived in), and the police assured me that they hadn't put it there. To this day, I still have no idea how it happened. I just take it as affirmation that superheroes do exist.

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