By owning a bike in Berlin you are issued a notarized, stamped (in triplicate) License to Be an Asshole. You and your overpriced, faggy little bicycle are now the King of the Road. Fuck motorists. Fuck pedestrians. Fuck yeah! There are naturally numerous regulations in Germany regarding the rights and behavior of cyclists. Cyclists seem to have all of the former and fuckall of the latter. If there are any rules for cyclists in Berlin I certainly haven’t seen them. They have their own bike lane on most sidewalks. This is the officially designated and holy bike lane reserved only for Bicycle Believers. Heathen infidel pedestrians are not allowed to set foot inside. You must leap over it and pray you aren’t given a shower of “SHEISSE!” screams and shaken fists. You could be struck and killed by a cyclist going 50km an hour and you wouldn’t have a case in German court. Even if the cyclist was out of The Zone and weaving in and out of pedestrians like traffic cones in a racing course. In fact, German law states clearly that the cyclist has the right to urinate on your lifeless body before tying it to his bike and dragging you through the streets of Berlin.
“Case 10439: Jesus H. Christ on a Bike versus Feckless Idiot Pedestrian”
J.H.C.B.: “Your honor, I was minding my own business on my bike when F.I.P. stepped in my way.”
Judge: “Did you ring your faggy little bike bell?”
Judge: “Did you attempt to slow down?”
J.H.C.B.: “Good GOD no!”
Judge: “And after you struck and killed the 80 year old woman, what did you do?”
J.H.C.B.: “Got off my bike and checked for damage. The old bitch’s dentures were stuck on my 1260 EUR racing frame! So I yelled at the body. Then I spit on it. Then I felt the uncontrollable desire to urinate on the corpse.”
Judge: “Did you drop a load of sheisse on the corpse?”
J.H.C.B.: “Good GOD no! I’m a religious man!”
Judge: “Fair enough. The court orders the F.I.P.’s grandchildren to pay for J.H.C.B.’s bicycle damage. Case dismissed.”
Ok, maybe I should graduate from blogging to writing plays. The dialog just flows out of my keyboard like butter on hot Georgia asphalt.
I digress. Assholes. They are a protected bunch of spastic, muscular orifices. Every time I witness a red-faced Deutschbag on a bike screaming at some hapless elderly couple for straying into the Sacred Bikeway to Heaven I can feel them moving up on The List. Right before I eventually leave Berlin permanently I will tally up all of the names on The List and provide you with the name of the Biggest Deutschbag and publish it here. Cyclists are crawling up The List all the time.
Cyclists are heavily protected by law. The city of Berlin rarely bothers to make a separate bike lane between street and sidewalk—a sensible solution embraced by the rest of the world. Instead, recently a fresh splash of red other than the blood of some of the slower pedestrians hit the bike lanes: Corner-to-corner painted lanes all along Schoenhauser Allee. This only encourages the bastards and gives them more balls than their carefully-selected cycling shorts. Today I witnessed a proud, arrogant, sweaty pair of these neue ballchen in action. An installer’s work van had to stop suddenly while turning right on a side street. Another motorist was pulling out of a parking space and the van had no choice but to use the brakes (unlike Berliner cyclists, who pay up to 2000 EUR for bikes with faggy little child’s bike bells and no brakes whatsoever). This unfortunate motorist did not get out and paint a caricature of The Prophet on the side of his van, but his sacrilege was the same: his van sat motionless smack dab in the middle of the newly-painted bicycle crosswalk (fuck, I wish pedestrians had those). A Berliner cyclist blowing along the sidewalk like greased lightning hit that corner at 50 km/h, expecting to see pedestrian and motor vehicle part like the Red Sea before his Mosesian ass. When this didn’t happen, His Royal Mounted Deutschbagishness slammed on his bike brakes (apparently for the first time) and spewed forth the kind of Deutsch screeching that made Hitler famous. The profanity began to fly. The cyclist, who resembled one of those scrawny, nerdly Moby males you see all over Berlin, proceeded to bang on the side of the van with his open hand. In an alternate universe (maybe NYC), the van doors slid open, the workers selected their lead pipes and beat seven shades of sheisse out of the cyclist. Here on Planet Berlin, however, the van simply burned rubber getting out of the way of the nerd on his scrawny metal steed.
I live in the breeder capital of Europe: Prenzlauer Berg. I read that there are nearly 400,000 bicycles on the streets of Berlin. At the same time. And given that P’berg wombs push more screaming little payloads into prams and into streets than half of the Third World combined, you can imagine the inevitable daytime soap opera just waiting to pop: The screaming cyclist meets the waddling mother-and-pram. This is what scientists refer to as “Unstoppable force meets immovable object.” I bear witness to this law of nature. Once I saw a Cyclist vs. Breeder smackdown on the same corner mentioned above. The screams flew from breeder and cyclist alike. Nobody moved. I had time to go up to my flat, pop some corn, butter and salt it, and return to the scene of the drama, which was still in progress.