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I was laughed at on my ride home yesterday evening. Part of my commuting route takes me past a local inner-city high school. On most days I avoid the school during peak traffic hours, and yesterday was no exception. I was riding beyond the “school zone” when I approached a group of upstanding young lads (sarcasm). The shortest and pudgiest of this group (anyone who has ever gone through high school knows one of these kids) stops in the middle of the street as I maneuver around the group, giving them plenty of room since half of them were not paying attention to what was going on in their immediate environment. This kid who stopped points at me and gives this heinous, hyena-esque laugh. As soon as I pass them, he turns and continues on his way.

Now, having the benefit of being an intuitive fellow, I was able to recognize this laugh for what it was: nothingness. But my other cycling brethren may not be so lucky. While I was able to discern that this is simply the standard, malicious sort of behavior exhibited by most males in the 12-15 age range (not to say it doesn’t get better after), and that this sub-sect of the human species is very well capable of getting inside someone’s head with such actions, it did not get to me.

Young boys have the distinct ability to act in such a way that one’s greatest doubts of self-consciousness will come out. I am confident that this kid had no reason for laughing AT me (I wasn’t even wearing my neon yellow windbreaker), but he was simply all “hopped up on pixie sticks” and goofing around like young lads do. Still, this sort of behavior has the tendency to slip inside someone’s head and cause them to seriously doubt every facet of their existence.

OR, maybe he did, in fact, have a reason for laughing so violently at me and now I need to go buy all new cycling gear to make myself look cool. Uh oh…here we go.