Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Maybe you know the feeling.

Something minor transpires. A fly, say, lands on your ear, or a motorist flings a fast food wrapper from a car window. Suddenly you are insane with anger. Inside your head, it's exactly like that Clint Eastwood western where he runs out of bullets but keeps shooting at the outlaw anyway, click, click, click, repeatedly dry-killing him with anger.

Riding a bicycle around the city can make a person feel this way often, as it puts a person almost constantly at risk. Drivers are always at risk, too, but it's easy to forget about in a car. For example, last evening my wife and I were riding home from a barbeque and came to a stop at a light. An SUV... well, here's a picture.

Presumably, she was trying to beat the light by burning through a gas station parking lot, and when she failed and had to pass us a second time, it really hacked her off, which she communicated via the pitch of her engine running at 9000 rpm.

Needless to say, dangerous and confusing traffic incidents abound when you bike in the city, and it doesn't take long until your brain gets stuck going click, click, click regardless of whether you're getting  pulled out in front of or enjoying a mint julep in the early Sunday afternoon shade.

A very nice person recently told me, while my head was going click, click, click for no reason, that caffeine can aversely affect the nervous system and substantially raise stress and anxiety levels. It sounded like a pretty good idea. Dry-killing too many innocent people depletes the dry-killer's vitality and any hope he might have for humanity, and cutting out (or at least down on) caffeine seemed a fair trade for a little internal tranquility. I would give up coffee.

Then I realized I was being an idiot. I immediately went next door to Denver's best coffee joint for three espressos. The day I start blaming my mood on a beverage is the day I stop taking responsibility for my mistakes.

Speaking of mistakes (and bad drivers):

And if I can't control myself under the influence of coffee, obviously the answer is to counteract caffeine with beer.

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