I was late, and cold, as I flew on my bike down Heartbreak Hill.
I was thankful for the warmth of the wool mittens The Missus had knitted for me many years ago. (More on that tomorrow.)
I was cruising adjacent to Little G’s elementary school when I saw a pair of parents park their car en route to the school. Parking around the school is miserable; people park every which way when there’s a school event, and we’re thankful we can actually walk.
There was no event today, just a mom and dad with an impromptu meeting about Junior.
The couple did not see me, and, considering the 20 degree temps, certainly did not expect someone on a bike to go cruising by. They were walking in the middle of Broad, gradually listing right to cross the street.
I saw them from a hundred feet away. When I got within earshot, I said, “On your right.”
The man yelped with surprise. He reacted as if I’d buzzed the tower, even though I’d slowed down and left, oh, six feet between us. But it was the surprise element that caused his squeal. It wasn’t a masculine squeal. We were both embarrassed by the utterance.
I won’t get technical about rules of the road and all that. But if I did, I’d probably mention the right of way going to the guy on the wheels using the street the way it’s meant to be used, not the couple blindly crossing the street 50 feet from the crosswalk at a weird angle. But I won’t.
As I made the intersection of Memorial and Broad (by the way, a crossing guard in a car? Really? How effective can that be?), I heard the yelper’s wife yell at my wake:
“You gotta make some noyee-eeaze!”
Noyee-eeaze. The most wonderful Noo Yawk accent, elongating and extrapolating the word into, count ’em, three syllables.
You gotta make some noyee-eeaze!
She sounded like a bar mitzvah DJ, hands clapping over her head, before slipping the needle onto “Brick House” and imploring the horrified mitzvah kid to come to the floor to strut his stuff.
The image warmed my heart on an otherwise frigid morning.