Do you remember the movie “Escape from New York”? I don’t. But I do remember the hero’s name because it was awesome: Snake Pliskin.
Snake had been dropped into New York, which had been turned into a free-range maximum security prison filled with, well, dicks. Very bad dicks. “So, how’s that different from the regular New York?” you may be wondering. Good question!
Anyway, the plot was that Snake had to do something to get something from someone in order for something to happen or not happen to someone important. At the end, he stomped a bunch of dicks and got the whatever and gave it to the somebody except at the last minute he did something that was a surprise.
This was our screenplay for “Return to Dick City,” where the Biker Gang overran the PVE Prison. We recruited the most awful, nasty, violent, badass biker gangsters we could find in the South Bay, like this stone-cold killer:
As if this vicious outlaw weren’t enough to strike fear in the heart of the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch in Dick City, an even tougher contingent was recruited with one goal in mind: Join the traffic at the intersection of Malaga Cove plaza, put our feet down, and show the town’s dicks that as much as they hate us blowing stop signs, they hate us even more when we don’t.
For the first hour we rolled around the square. Traffic backed up to San Francisco and the traffic cops were not happy except for the fact that they all got overtime. Two gangsters were pulled over and cited for “impeding traffic” in a Keystone Kops maneuver where the poor cop didn’t even know the code, and where the “impeding” involved two bikes riding 10 mph in a 10 mph traffic jam.
(Legal note: The biker gangsters are now huddling with their mouthpiece/consigliere to keep ’em out of The Rock on trumped charges of traffic impedance, tax evasion, and seventh-degree murder.)
After the one-hour stop-sign-festival and happy firefly pedal through the plaza, several things became clear: Riding your bike at night with your buddies, all of whom are lit up brightly, at slow speeds, chit-chatting and grinning while the cagers are stuffed up inside the bowels of their inflammable steel boxes is AWESOME! It was the best night ride ever.
How awesome was it? It was so awesome that the biker gangsters declared that evenings when PV Estates City Council schedules its meetings (two Tuesdays per month) are officially designated Dick City Gangster Ride and Free Pizza Night. Bring your bike, and don’t forget to run front and rear lights as well as side reflectors! It was a blast seeing fireflies as part of traffic, cruising through intersections after putting down one foot and slowly getting started again, and enjoying the camaraderie of the evening.
After the Firefly Ride, many of the riders had to go home to dinner, but others did not, and we assembled for the city council meeting. Our plan was simple: We were going to read the city council the entire NIH study that shows with numbers and sciencey stuff and fact thingies how awesome BMUFL signage is.
Since the city council, in voting down the whole five BMUFL signs recommended by the traffic safety committee, outside consultant, and city engineer, demonstrated that it had no fucking idea what it was doing, we decided that we would rally a couple dozen biker gangsters to read them the study in 3-minute increments, the allotment given to speakers. The study had been provided to them as part of their materials in the previous meeting but they hadn’t bothered to read it, preferring instead perhaps the monosyllabic soliloquies of Frank Ponce on NextDoor.
However, the city was well prepared to defend against this onslaught of rational thought and science. When they saw 20+ cyclists in chambers, they approved a motion to move public comment to the end of the meeting. Boom! The thought was that by forcing the flatlander gangsters to sit through hours of the dumbest deliberations known to man, they would give up in despair and go home to their gangster families and do hard drugs cook meth and kill other flatlanders.
At first, the flatlander gangsters were dismayed at the inanity and apparent endlessness of the proceedings, until the council launched into its one-hour presentation of the Resident Satisfaction Survey. After ten minutes the entire city council had thrown out their shoulders from the violent self back-patting that ensued. PVE residents (7 out of 10) rated their community excellent! (Dick City secret police are, even now, rooting out the dissident 30% to have them shipped off to Torrance and other flat lands.)
The city learned fascinating facts such as:
- Members of the golf club enjoy golf.
- Members of the tennis club enjoy tennis.
- Members of the stables enjoy riding horses
But as the council members groaningly tried to get their shoulders back into socket, the flatland biker gangsters were treated to the biggest issue ever to hit Dick City!! The Mystery of the Contaminated Torrance Soil Dump! Apparently nasty Torrance soil had been taken to pure Dick City and dumped there.
Was it contaminated?
Was it loamy?
Who knew what when?
Nasty, nasty Torrance dirt, dirtying up the clean dirt of Dick City! Bad flatland dirt! You are a nasty dirt! Loser!
There was much moaning and groaning and gnashing of teeth and several concerned citizens vowed to get to the bottom of the conspiracy behind the dirty Torrance flatland soil and who killed JFK’s black helicopters. The biker gang phones exploded with hilarity at just about the time that “Trees” Sarkisian launched into a tirade against the city about the illegal planting of a tree 40 years ago.
In one of the most evil conspiracies since the Torrance dirty soil dump, a council member was accused of illegal tree trimming of a tree that had been illegally planted! Horrors! Would Dick City ever be the same? What was next, self-circumcision without a permit?
Three dead cyclists on Hill, rejection of BMUFL signage, and procedural chicanery to silence cyclists were all A-OK in Dick City, but the nasty Torrance soil, the illegal tree, and the water facility security breach deserved top billing … and they got it.
Suddenly, realizing that they were surrounded by idiots with an infinite capacity to talk about pony poop, golf, tennis, and illegal trees, the flatland biker gang bonked. How would they continue? Defeat seemed imminent as the Satisfied Resident Survey consultant was only on his fifth bar graph and we hadn’t even heard about the city manager’s departmental report, replete with his grades from junior high.
Then out of the blue, BAM! Biker gangster Geoff L. arrived with a ginormous tray of gangster sandwiches!
The ravenous flatlander gangsters fell upon the grub with abandon, stuffing themselves full and returning to the sitting fray just in time to hear councilman Rhea wake up and ask if the methodology of the resident survey was scientifically sound. Thankfully, the consultant scientifically said “Yes!” and Councilman Rhea was able to go back to bed, dreaming of ways to ban flatlander soil-carrying biker gangs from Dick City.
Unfortunately for the city’s procedural chicanery, which stuck the flatlander soil-carrying biker gangsters at the end of the dance card, it gave us plenty to time to post to Facegag and the Twitter to encourage others to join us. John K., Joey C., and a host of others begin trickling in after 9:00 PM, and one of those was none other than the meanest, most vicious, killingest cut-throat ever to sail the Spanish Main.
Aye, lads, it was the flatlander from Hell, the scourge of the Royal Navy, the man sailing with a bounty on his head who feared no man, no beast, and certainly no Dick City council.
Armed with a sack of red cannonballs, he showed up with his granny, Ms. WM, who brought two cases of water, a giant bag of mini-Doritos, a giant back of Reese’s and Snickers, as well as the appearance of the 2016 Spouse of the Year Married to a Gangster.
The reinforcements arrived in the nick of time, as the council finally got around to the biker gangster flatlander soil-carrier comments. And they were none too happy when they found out they would be getting hear a one-hour-plus public reading of the study they had been too lazy to read two weeks prior. One by one the speakers read their allotted time, even though the city council sought to reduce the misery by chopping the gangster time from three minutes to two.
Several speakers helpfully advised the council that this was a public service to help them use facts the next time the issue came up, rather than caving to venal petty politics.
By the time the soil-carrying flatlander biker gangsters had read the methodology, background of the NIH, and reviewed the history of signage and the conclusions of the study, the council had wilted like a daisy in a blast furnace. They were plainly angry at having to listen to facts, because it just wasn’t as much fun being admonished with science as it was listening to a paid consultant confirm that 7 out of 10 PVE residents thought the place was excellent and that golf club members liked golf.
Especially stirring speeches were given by G$, Kristie F., and Ms. WM, who admonished the council to “Not be so angry, slow down onna cars ’cause you only living onna one time! Car drivers is crazy!”
We closed it down just shy of midnight, then hung out for a while chatting and enjoying the night-time air.
Was it a success, though?
Well,the city council still hasn’t put BMUFL signs back on the agenda and they’ve made it clear that they are digging in. This is going to take time.
Was it a failure?
Of course not. We got to ride our bikes, advocate peacefully for change, be heard in a public forum, eat sandwiches and Doritos, and laugh at the Great Torrance Soil Contamination Conspiracy with Illegal Tree Add-on.
What are our next steps?
There are no next “steps.” There are, however, next pedal strokes. There will be another Dick City Firefly Pedal and another educational session for the benefit of the council. This next time we’ll have a full complement of free non-alcoholic drinks and pizza and we really will make a party out of it, even more than it already was. Riding bikes with friends, hanging out in the lobby playing with the baby, knitting, cracking jokes and enjoying snack crack was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Hopefully they’ll shove us to the end again, allowing us to boost our numbers even further since so many people don’t get home and finish dinner until 8:00 or 8:30.
Until then, Snake Pliskin and the gang made another daring escape. Can’t wait to go back.
Special thanks to all who showed up to the Firefly Ride, and it was awesome to hear G$ tell the council that he had a 1.5 hour commute back home to Venice (it was already 11:00 PM), but he was excited because he was “gonna be on his bike!”
Super special thanks to all who stuck around for the party and who helped read the NIH study. It was especially special when Mayor King tried to close the meeting and Kim F. and Chuck C. raised holy hell about not having gotten their chance to speak … and they spoke!
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