An open letter to the guy on the unicycle I almost killed

03Jul07

Dear guy on the unicycle whom I almost killed,

I apologize for the lateness of this apology for almost killing you as you rode your unicycle. Further to that, I also apologize for almost killing you as you rode your unicycle. I should be explicit about that, as that first sentence really only apologizes for the timing of this note. In fact, the main idea here is that I am sorry for almost killing you.

I want you to know that I did my best to dodge out of your path as soon as I saw you pedalling toward me and the mob of people I was walking with and taking up the whole sidewalk. However, I fully acknowledge that had I not been carrying that big bag, you almost certainly wouldn’t have have had to swerve way around me, losing control in the process. You wouldn’t have wiped out as you entered the intersection behind me, crashed hard on the pavement, and almost gotten hit by that car. That big bag was full of fencing equipment, if you were wondering. I know fencing’s kind of a odd sport, but then again, you’re the one riding the unicycle, so who are you to talk, right?

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for that to sound like I was calling riding a unicycle weird or stupid. In fact, I have always held unicyclists in the highest regard. My friend Scott had a unicycle when we were 14, and I always envied his ability to ride it. He could ride a bicycle while sitting backwards on the handlebars too, which was a neat trick. I certainly couldn’t do it. I had enough problems just learning to ride a regular bicycle normally. I had to ride a girl’s bike just so I wouldn’t accidentally fall off and crush my nutsack on the crossbar. With only half as many wheels, a unicycle must be twice as hard to learn to ride as a bicycle. Maybe harder, in fact. Maybe the difficulty gets infinitely harder as the number of wheels approaches zero. I can’t say. I’m not a mathematician. Or a circus acrobat.

I also apologise for not going back to help you as you lay crumpled in the street in front of that car. I did turn to the girl beside me and say, “My God! Did you see that?” So I was not without concern for your welfare. However, she just shrugged and said, “Eh.” At the time, that seemed to close the matter. In retrospect, though, maybe she was just being kind of a heartless bitch. I would have thought you could just kind of jump off the unicycle and land on your feet, but there you were, sprawled out on your belly and face, no doubt with a nasty case of road rash. So I probably should have at least asked if you were okay.

Later, I mentioned this incident to my friend Susan, and she exclaimed that she had seen you before while jogging. “Wow! You almost killed that guy!” she said. So you might appreciate knowing that your presence in the community has been noted and would certainly have been missed if I had in fact succeeded in killing you. You have made a difference in people’s lives, Unicycle Guy. You are in their hearts and minds.

You deserved better from me than to send you swerving out of control into traffic and making you fall on your face, and I let you down. I’m really sorry about that. If you still want to ride your unicycle in my neighborhood, I promise not to almost kill you again. Or to try not to, anyway.

Sincerely,
Peter

P.S. Do you juggle? Just wondering.



One Response to “An open letter to the guy on the unicycle I almost killed”

  1. Great description of the incident! Hopefully the guy is ok but you might even have tought him to ride on the road instead?


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