I’ve seen a lot of threads discussing the ‘witty’ remarks you always hear while riding in public. Lately, I’ve been struggling with a slightly different version of that problem.
Ninety percent of the people in my town are passive and shy. As such, they tend to mumble their comments and all I hear is “mrph hrmml hrmmml slippery mrph hrml” as I spin by. Since I don’t hear enough to judge the intent behind the comment, I don’t know whether to smile and say ‘thanks’ or to reply with something snide.
Until recently, I’d just been garbling my responses in a similar way: “hrrff mrph mrrf mrrf Thursday hrf mrph!” It let the other person interpret my response however they wanted, but it didn’t feel like the best solution.
Last weekend I hit on the answer: whenever I ride, I wear my bright yellow “Charlie Brown” t-shirt. People see me, feel the need to say something, and then get the funniest look of panic on their faces when they realize I’ll be gone before they can come up with a comment. Forcing them to choose between the unicycle, the t-shirt, or both as the target of their remark seems to be too much for most people to handle.
There’s a side benefit, too. When people do stop me and ask about the unicycle, they are more likely to ask interesting questions instead of just “is that hard?” and “how do you get on it?”
Just an oddly effective solution, submitted for your amusement,