My fly-bike


Cranky Old Fart  #205 

A bum at the bus stop was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a train. I love trains, but under the picture it said, "All aboard the Trump train."

The man inside the shirt was youngish, way more muscular then me, had scabs on his face, holes in his pants. Clearly homeless, but tough-looking, so saying anything to him was probably stupid. But I'm stupid so I said, "Trump, man? He'd have you arrested for looking at him."

The man stopped and looked at me like he was peering through a foggy morning, and I believe he was. "Yeah, fuck Trump," he said after a few seconds, "but it was a free shirt."

We don't have assigned chores, so in six months living here I haven't done any chores at all. Someone else takes out the kitchen trash, the bathroom trash, someone else sweeps and vacuums, and I've never asked who. This morning there was a dead mouse in the trap beside the refrigerator, but I ignored it, and someone else disposed of it. 

Thank you, someone else, and am I a shitty flatmate? Yeah, I guess.

A few times, though, I've sorta-mopped the kitchen or bathroom when there was a big ugly smudge on the floor. Sorta mopped means, I shower with my socks on and then rub my wet feet over the smudge until it's gone.

And I'm picky about what toilet paper I use, and paranoid about running out, so I've become the guy who buys the TP.

And I actually come out of my room to check what's up when the smoke alarm goes off, which is more than Dean does, even though it's usually Dean's forgotten cooking that sets off the alarm. I haven't killed him yet, so I'm the best frickin' flatmate ever.

In a recurring dream I wish would recur more often, I'm riding a power-assist e-bike with wings. It doesn't go fast and it doesn't go high, but it flies.

It looks like an ordinary bicycle, but if I pedal hard and get it moving fast enough, wings unfurl outta nowhere and the fly-bike starts climbing like a mini-Cessna. Keep pedaling hard as I can and it rises only a few feet, but after that I push the power assist button and it stays up in the air with fairly easy pedaling, and it's fabulous. 

Even with the ailerons cranked as 'up' as the fly-bike can go, its max altitude is three or four feet, so I never have to worry about hitting telephone wires or traffic lights. If the power assist ever konks out and it goes down, I'd be bruised but not broken.

Gotta stay on trails or open ground, streets sometimes but only if they're deserted, because the fly-bike needs a block at full speed to get off the ground. Obviously, it can't wait at stop signs or slow down for heavy traffic, because slow is down.  

Flying so low, swerving past anyone walking on the path, rough kids could bat my winged bicycle out of the air and steal it, but so far nobody's made trouble like that. 

In the dream last night, I was zooming above trails in an ocean bluff park in San Francisco, and I wanted to fly higher so I steered off the trail, push-pedaled over a tiny bluff, with a drop of twenty feet to the grass below.

My flying machine didn't like suddenly being that far off the ground,  It was still flying but dropped steeply diagonal above and down the hillside to a roughish landing, wobbled a bit where the wheels touched and bounced off the dirt. Then the fly-bike slowly rose again into the air at 20 miles per hour.

"Stick to the trails, Doug," I silently scolded myself, pedaling furiously as the contraption stabilized itself, just out of yipping distance for the small dog chasing me below, jumping up and snapping at me.

My last memory before waking up, I was zooming along the beach, swerving above and around bikini babes on the sand, and then I turned the fly-bike to the right, over the water, out above the ocean...

This is a puff-piece publicity article from Bloomberg, and it's everything that's wrong with big-time journalism. It emphatically is not newsworthy when a company launches a new website, but this 'coverage' from Bloomberg has been widely syndicated. I found it in my home town newspaper, The Seattle Times, and I've seen it at several other alleged news sites that ought to be embarrassed.

Media caters to big business (and yeah, Goodwill is a big business), and that's not news either.

Having said that, well, Goodwill is the only department store where I can afford to shop, so I've visited the new website they're publicizing, goodwillfinds.com, and it doesn't work. Three times over three days, on four browsers on my two laptops, the site's search box doesn't accept input. Pretty hard to shop on-line at a site without a search function.

Of course, it's Goodwill, so you don't really expect top-notch high-tech, but they've written this site, pumped out a press release touting it, gotten serious publicity for it, and nobody's beta-tested it on a laptop?

I sent the good folks at Goodwill an email politely pointing out the problem, and someone replied two days later: "There was a system-wide issue that has since been fixed. I do hope you'll give us another chance and go into the site today to shop."

Gave the website another chance. It still doesn't work. 

Farmer grows pumpkins with human faces, 1938 

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Americans are getting bigger, because apple pie is yummy. Here's our expanding waistlines, charted.

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An unspecified number of epidemiologists share three rounds in a pub 

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And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not…    

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Federal agents see chargeable tax, gun-purchase case against Hunter Biden 

Cool. Charge the fucker. If he's guilty, lock him up. 

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Biden pardons all federal offenses of simple marijuana possession in first major steps toward decriminalization 

85 years too late, millions of lives ruined, and it'll have no effect in Southern states, but the long walk to sanity starts with baby steps.

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A record share of the nation’s wealth is in the hands of billionaires, who pay a lower tax rate than the average American. This is indefensible. 

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LSD-like molecules counter depression without the trip 

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Toxic air pollution particles found in lungs and brains of unborn babies 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time…

Climate change isn't 'coming', it's underway. It'll kill billions, and we're not doing squat about it. • climateclimateclimateclimateclimate 

All cops are bastards, or they know who the bastard cops are and do nothing about it, which is the same thing. • copscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscops

Republicans are the enemy of common sense, common decency, simple truth, and democracy. • RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans

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Mix tape of my mind
"Rain on Me," by Cyndi Lauper 

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Mystery link
"Like life itself, there's no knowing where you're going" • click 

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The End

Sue Mingus
Kitten Natividad
Meredith Tax

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. I want a flybike real bad.

    1. Well ya can't have mine. It's padlocked.


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