Update: My finger has returned to normal size after a few days of on and off icing and antihistamine. I believe it is time for me to accept the fact that I may be slightly allergic to bees. ANYWAY… a tale from the Southland, as the weathercasters say.
I’m in the bike lane at a stoplight on Pacific Coast Highway (not the part that is on fire) when in what seems like a freak accident of probability, two Ferrari convertibles, identical models but different colors (one white, one off-white…I know, diversity) pull up to the same stoplight. You’d think they’d just rolled out of the same dealership, but they don’t appear to caravaning, if such a word can be used to describe Ferraris. While this is nonetheless a coincidence, it is no probabilistic anomaly: I’m riding by an affluent neighborhood and Kobe Bryant’s address would prove it. One stoplight, two Ferraris. It’s not Monaco, but it is Newport Coast.
In the white car is a likewise white-haired gentleman and his visored and sunglassed little wife. Behind the wheel of the off-white car, a few lanes over, I can just make out a polo shirt, big, expensive shades, and a luminous spray tan. Every other driver must be staring at them (I sure am) as they acknowledge each other with sauve, rich guy nods. Spray Tan breaks the silence with an inevitable rev of his engine/manhood.
“Can you take off?” Spray Tan hollers devilishly across several lanes of poor blokes in regular cars between engine revs.
“What?” yells White Hair, either because he is hard of hearing or because Spray Tan cannot restrain his fervent revving.
“CAN YOU TAKE OFF?” He yells again, this time like he means it. White Hair, I’m sure, gets the message, but he’s smarter than that and as such, he plays dumb.
“Oh, take off? I’m not sure…” he waves one hand in the air to demonstrate his uncertainty. “I’m not sure what that means, take off,” says the man behind the wheel of a sports car that costs more than the average house. Riiiiiight.
But it’s too late: the light changes and White Hair accelerates evenly forward like a regular car. Spray Tan, not to be outdone by safety and good sense, is hot on the gas. His Ferrari roars forward with a great acceleration (Aha! “take off!”), weaving between regular cars to the front of the pack until nothing but the blue sky and open road lie before him.
Until of course, the next stoplight, half a mile down the road.