Monday, September 17, 2007

Two Slices of Humble Pie, a la mode

Since flying off my bike at 18 mph and sliding across the concrete of the George Washington Parkway yesterday, I've been pretty hungry. I guess that growing new skin and realigning joints is calorie-burning work. And what better to feed that hunger and rebuild myself than some pie? And what tastier, more filling pie is there than humble pie?

Here at the Bradstein Household, we like our humble pie served the same as any other pie--nice big slices with a scoop of ice cream on the side. Because I'm in a generous mood, I thought that I'd share these two slices with you.

Slice 1: It's All Right Ma, I'm Only Bleeding
I recently took drivers to task for some of the stupid things they do, and while karma wasn't instant this time, it was pretty thorough. I'm loath to withdraw any of my earlier criticisms because they're all still true--if you don't believe me, ask my brother--but let me add this note:

To all the drivers who stopped after seeing my crash on the GW Parkway just north of Mount Vernon yesterday to see if I was OK, especially the man who got out of his car and came over to check on me: thank you.

In answer to your questions:
  • I'm OK. I've got a hitch in my giddyap and one hip that's definitely one or two sizes larger than the other, I'm missing the skin on the inside of one elbow--how the hell does that happen?, and I've got some scrapes on my hands--but you should see my gloves, shredded tights, a shredded jersey front, and a bruised ego, but that's it.
  • I don't believe that it was caused by my riding over the unbelievably dangerous sewer grate that I had just passed--one of scores on the GW Parkway--but by my wheel hitting the slot between the grate and the concrete at about 18 mph.
  • Yes, I had a phone, but no, I didn't need to call anyone. My bike was fine and I was happier riding home so my hip didn't stiffen up. Besides, it let me blow off some of my anger for not swinging wider around that grate. It was a stupid mistake. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And I got lucky when I made it. What if a car had been right behind me? Why didn't I remember that I have a wife and a son and a dog to come home to and swing wider?
A few questions for you:
  • Did I really slide on my belly? The shredded front of my jersey and tights indicate that I did, but I really don't recall that part of the ride.
  • Did you ever think I was going to regain control of the bike? I did, right up until the wheels lost all traction and I started a Raggedy Andy luge run down the road. Without the sled part. On concrete.
  • Did your heart restart after watching that? I certainly hope so. While I'm sure that it looked spectacular from your perspective, it wasn't so bad from mine, just stupid. The whole time I was going down and sliding I was cursing myself for being so stupid.

Slice 2: Mea Flippin' Culpa
To Arabella Santiago, who I slammed awhile ago for spamming me: mea culpa. Arabella explained herself in a comment on that post and in an apology that she sent directly to me. Although I'm still not keen on getting spammed, the difference here is in Arabella's reaction.

I admire her humility in admitting her mistake, and I understand her embarrassment at the mistake being made public--even if hers didn't leave her sprawled across a lane of the GW Parkway in shredded lycra.

I also understand that, as someone who makes her living online, it's got to be irksome to have a simple mistake follow her in the form of a blog post that comes up in results lists for searches on her name. We all make mistakes; we don't all need to be crucified for each one of them.

In fact, Mama asked me why I wrote that post. Didn't I think Arabella Santiago was a real person? Honestly, I get enough spam with misleading links, company names, and personal information that I presumed that the name was false personalization. As a result, I didn't believe that I was addressing a person until I got Arabella's e-mail. I meant my post as a shout back at spammers, not an attack on a person.

I was particularly sad to hear from Arabella that she recently had to take down her personal blog. As someone who enjoys blogging, I certainly hope that my post had nothing to do with that. I certainly don't want to forget that there is a person behind the computer screen, as she correctly says happens too often. I have always appreciate the personal support of you, my six loyal readers, and I hope that Arabella will be able to feel the same support and compassion in her future online endeavors that I have here.

At the same time, there are people out there who I do hope stop sending out their personal missives and who I believe couldn't redeem themselves with an apology. People like Ruben Campoy.

Uh oh. Did I just order up another slice of humble pie? Oh, I can't right now--I'm too full.

Subscribe to the Bradstein feed--Vorsprung durch Technik!

Better by design
Or get new posts via email . . . Enter your email address:


  1. 1. I'm so sorry about your accident!
    2. I do thinks that piss people off on my blog apparently, and although I don't make a living at it...I would hate to be without it. So, I don't apologize for those things...I simply call them douchebags & move on.

  2. Get well soon!

    ...grow elbow skin, grow! (or as Gage would call it, your "arm-knee")

  3. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Holy yeowch batman!

    I don't think I'd feel that bad about the Arabella thing. 1. your post was truthful and 2. her comment was snippy.

  4. I hope you're recuperating well. And have renewed faith in mankind!

    Wow. This is a reminder to me that there are human beings behind all interactions, at least somewhere behind things. I try to be at least civil to telemarketers because I know they're just trying to earn a living with a horrible job. And I've been in telephone customer service, so I can empathize. But spammers just don't call up that kind of empathy -- I guess it's the distancing effect of no face, no voice, just screens.

    Ruben Campoy still deserves your scorn, however.

  5. Anonymous11:32 AM

    That sounds so painful, but your description of Raggedy Andy/luge/without the sled had me cracking up. I'll have to tell you about my stupid bike accident sometime. You'll just love it!

    I'm surprised to see that there isn't a third humble pie slice in there in the form of fantasy football. We both SUCK SO BADLY right now and we have to play each other next week!!! AHHH!!! Think we can arrange to tie so neither of us achieves bottom-feeder position? I won't even bother to tell you that you're going down. Clearly, you already have once this week, so it will be my turn on Sunday. ;-)

    Hope you feel better!

  6. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Nice ridin Tex. Ouch, I think it would have killed me if I was sober.

    As for the feeling bad about some random spammer?? Screw them.It sure looks like her blog is working fine to me. This is a whole new world full of things that look real on the web yet are not. If I dont know you and you send me crap out of the blue, your a spammer.If your really a legit biz then you dont send a empty form letter. If your a real biz that targets daddy bloggers then you would know the name of the person your spamming.She said google her name? OK I did and its all over the place. Which one is she?

    TCB on screwing spammers.

  7. L-P: Such language--I'm shocked. Shocked. But, good for you.

    Christy: If I was Batman, I would have flown or used my cape to protect myself or landed on Robin or something.

    Henitsirk: Yes, these online communities and relationships are odd things, aren't they? I find myself split on telemarketers--on the one hand, I feel for them, on the other hand, I feel that the profession has advanced so far that there's no excuse for bad service, poor demographics, or technical glitches. I try to give the people the benefit of the doubt, but give the companies behind them no quarter.

    BBM: With or without your pity, I'm taking you down on Sunday. I think that you're just tossing out that white flag early to cover your ass when it gets ugly and you have to admit defeat at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon.

    King: I love you, man.

  8. I think of you often when I see my son at play, 12 feet up the pole that holds up the spiral slide, climbing from the pole to the slide then climbing the rest of the way up the slide. And Mama said she hoped 3B would be "just like you?" Be careful out there boys.

    I am glad you are healing. It kind of gives you a new focus.

  9. And now you know why I'm comfortably sitting on my couch, soft and squishy.

    Hope you heal quickly. We need someone out there exercising for us.

  10. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Ouch. Been there done that (last November, in fact, but I was going 65) so I truly feel your pain.

    Pie works. Beer works better.

  11. Sounds ouchful. At least you were moving along when you did it. My most humiliating spill lately was when I almost wasn't moving at all. Took a low-speed U turn just a tiny hair too tight and couldn't pop my foot out of the clip fast enough to get it to the ground. Carried around a bruise on my hip and a tear in my shorts (where my camera bit asphalt) for a week or more, but the bruise on the ego took longer to get over.

    I was glad I didn't have anyone around to see me drop. Condolences to you. Hope it all gets better soon!