The guy who always points things out

People basically don’t give a shit.

Our apartment was built back in 1873 and there are no individual water meters for the units. So the total water bill gets divvied up and is reflected in the rent. And since no one person’s water usage can make much of an impact on the overall amount, and since you don’t get a monthly water bill there’s no incentive to conserve water unless you’re instinctively a cheap ass, which I am.

Because California is in a mild drought about six months ago I bought a $5 waterproof five-minute hourglass with a little suction thingy that sticks to the shower wall. It’s amazing how quickly five minutes in the shower go by, hardly enough time to scrape the crusty places and rinse the sand out of my ears.

Then one morning I was riding with Geriatric Jedi-in-Training, and we got to talking about saving water. “Well,” said G-JiT, “you oughta try a Navy shower.”

At first I thought he was inviting me to something obscene. “Thanks, man, but I don’t swing that way.”

“No, no,” he said. “It’s where you switch the water on for a few seconds to get wet, switch it off, lather up, rinse, repeat. That way you’re not dumping gallons of hot water on your head just for the fun of it.”

So I tried the Navy shower and now that’s all I do, and lately I’ve not even been using the hot water. So it drives me insane when I get up in the morning at 4:30 and do walking laps around the complex, because that’s when they run the sprinklers and about half of them point out on the sidewalk. The conservation effect of my tiny little 30-second showers are all completely negated for the month in the first minute of a single morning’s sprinkling.

I was telling this story to the guy who always points. It was after this morning’s NPR, where I scored a glorious victory, attacking with two laps to go, shelling the breakawanker who refused to pull and dropping the other one before going on to a solo win. Later, allegations of cheating, course cutting, and general skulduggery were leveled against me, and of course I denied them all.

The guy who always points is the only person in the peloton who always points. You can be whizzing along at 30, teeth grazing the stem, and he will always point out the crack, the pothole, the broken glass, the magnolia seed cone, or the dead body in the road.

“People are selfish and stupid beyond any comprehension,” I said, complaining about my selfish apartment complex management and its wasteful ways.

“Yes,” he agreed. “They are.”

“And they don’t give a shit.”

“No,” he agreed. “They don’t.”

On cue a woman darted out in front of us in her car without bothering to stop at the stop sign I was preparing to blow. Then another woman almost clocked us as she gabbed on her cell phone and sipped coffee.

“What the hell is going on?” I asked. “People are crazy. They don’t care if they kill you, and if they’re like the mob at the Dallas Cowboys game, they do care if they kill you, and then they kill you.”

“Yep,” said the guy who always points. “They sure do.”

“And you can’t change them. For every person who does the right thing, there’s a thousand who text and drive and like the Dallas Cowboys.”

The guy who always points pointed out some glass. I moved over. “But you,” I said, “you’re different. You’re always pointing shit out no matter what.”

“Yep,” he said. “I am.”

“And it’s because of you that about twelve billion idiots have avoided crashing or flats or both.”

“Yep,” he said. “They have.”

“So why do you do it? Other people don’t point shit out, even the ones whose asses you save by pointing shit out.”

“Seth,” he said, as he pointed out a nasty crack that I narrowly avoided. “We’re all in this together.”



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and occasionally read about really decent people. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

26 thoughts on “The guy who always points things out”

  1. You’re 100% correct! Except the part you’re wrong about… your 6 gallon shower DOES make a difference. Without a doubt. True, it ‘pales’ in comparison to the sprinklers and the shower-wankers. Butt… take a few thousand or maybe ten thousand who start taking 10 gallon showers instead of 60 gallom showers, and suddenly tens of thousands of gallons of out most precious resource, crude oil, I mean, water is conserved every single day. Not that you didn’t already know this.

    Water conservation, like so many other social responsibilities, is easy to not give a fark about because my little impropriety doesn’t affect ME and we socialize the cost to society.

  2. One of the best things about moving to America were showers, personally I would put them in my top 10 reasons about, why I live in California, along with the usual reasons sun, freezing at 55 etc. That being said for the last 6 Months I guess I’ve been doing a semi navy shower and turning off the water while I shave my legs. Not only do you save water, it makes shaving easier but most importantly you get that holier than thou feeling that lasts for hours.

  3. We saved 3000 gallons on our last bill. Not like it’s going to matter since we will probably need an Arc by march if the scientists are right.

  4. Too funny. I started doing Navy Showers here in NorCal because I was staying at an Airbnb and didn’t want to negatively effect their water bill. Even though, the money I’m shelling out per night would more than cover it. Anyhow, the positive side effect is now my showers hardly take anytime in the morning. I have no idea was I doing before.

  5. “Seth,” he said, as he pointed out a nasty crack that I narrowly avoided. “We’re all in this together.”

    “Good point”

  6. Who’d have thought the most heartwarming story of the year would begin about a crusty guy taking a Navy shower, proving we are all in it together. You’re Aesop and O’Henry combined, although I recall nothing about Navy showers in anything they wrote.

  7. Please pretty please,any rider at the front of a group is ‘on the point’ and SHALL point out debris etc, else get off.

    2 too cool for school conversationalists on the front caused quite a problem on a sat. ride couple weeks ago.

  8. Develop an arid, dry, limited natural water environment with 40M people plus huge agri-business and then decide there isn’t enough water…priceless.

    Good luck and enjoy a nice hand crafted bottle of Brown water – all together.


  9. I know this is demented, but this reminds me of a line from stand-up Shelly Berman from decades ago. He was playing the part of a child psychologist, and was taking questions from the audience.

    “What if little Johnny wants to know where he REALLY came from?”

    “We’ve had some success with pointing.”

  10. Norris is the most enthusiastic out-pointer I’ve ever had the pleasure to ride behind. It’s worth riding the Wheatgrass just to experience him in full effect on PV North en route to the reservoir hill or PV South toward the church sprint. If Will Ferrell ever did a skit about group rides, he’d be a great Norris. Kinda like more cowbell meets rut/gravel out-pointing, all while wearing some Assos ubershades and a Mugatu outfit.

    As for the Navy shower, I started doing that about a year ago and it’s great. I even put a water bottle in the shower to catch errant water and water the plants in my bathroom… a light-weight bottle, of course.

  11. LOL, your Navy had it easy. In the IDF basic training in the Negev desert, we would line up in front of the showers once a week, after 6 days of hard training with a towel and a bar of soap. You had 30 seconds to get wet, 30 seconds to soap yourself and then 30 seconds to clean it off, and that was your shower for the week. At least the water was warm.

    In the Sinai, once we were in advanced training, and living in a pup tent, we would shower once a week in cold water, but no timer. However, there was limited water, so if you lingered, you’d hear about it. Maybe thats’ why I am the resident Point things out guy here in Vancouver!!!!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: