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Slow Rolls and 5Ks and Protests, Oh My!

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“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank.

Let me start by saying I love being in and around Detroit.  I do.  I love hanging around downtown.  I love it when we do our events downtown and people show up, especially those who don’t come downtown that often so that we can show them how fun it can be.  I love that we do our weekly broadcast from a studio downtown, and that we hang out down there before our show each and every week, because again, we get our guests to come where they might not ordinarily be, and we get to open their eyes a little bit.

So…that’s your starting point.  I love downtown.

For our regular podcast listeners, you should be playing the Godfather theme starting…

newgrindnow.

That doesn’t mean that I love everything about downtown…in fact, there are some things about downtown that I hate with my entire essence of being, and they simply must be stopped before I start liking downtown less.

Let’s start with the Slow Roll, shall we?

For those not in “the know”, people ride their little Schwinn bikes around the city and try not to get hit by cars because they don’t obey the traffic signals, then they stop at a bar, overwhelm the place to no end, leave abruptly, and then ride their bikes around some more. And then they take selfies and scream “Weeeeee!” while they ring their bike bells and impede traffic.

Nancy Kerrigan was just overheard yelling…

That’s not even the worst part.  You know why I really hate slow roll?  Because it’s turning me into a hipster, that’s why.  Every god damned Monday night as I’m rolling up to Third Street to hang out before our show and the eight cars in front of me on the road have bike racks I’m all “GOD DAMMIT YOU SCHWINN RIDING FREAKS, STOP TAKING UP MY GOD DAMNED PARKING SPACES!  LIFE WAS BETTER BEFORE YOU!”

I get riding bikes. I get drinking at bars. I get disobeying Detroit traffic laws. I do. But why in the world do people think it’s better if you put your bike on your truck, drive down to Detroit, and then unhitch your bike and ride with 1,000 people is beyond me.   Isn’t that kind of like driving around the parking lot at the gym to find the best parking space so that you don’t have to walk so far?  RIDE YOUR BIKE WHERE YOU ARE, AND WE DON’T HAVE THESE PROBLEMS.  Stop stopping in the middle of Woodward for no reason other than to snap a selfie, and I won’t feel the urge to run you down.

Which leads me to 5Ks.

benjaminI get running.  I don’t DO it, but I get it.

I get giving money to charities.  I do a lot with charities.  There are lots of good causes for people that need help.  All about it.

I get t-shirts.  I have lots of t-shirts.  Every vendor from every trade show that I’ve ever gone to in my sales professional life…t-shirts.  I could clothe a third world nation if I emptied my closets.  So I get it.

But why in the world you have to do all three at the same time at 6AM on a weekend boggles my mind.

And then, of course, you have to take a selfie, “WE DID IT! WEEEEEEE!” showing off your new t-shirt…that, let’s be honest, you will never wear again.  And your “running buddy” friends…in their shirts…that they will never wear again.

Maybe part of the problem is that I’m 40 now, and I just don’t feel up to developing new “running buddy” friends, but every time I am invited to one of these, I simply ask, “Where can I send a check?”.  I can then sleep in, not run 2.6 miles, and eat breakfast and enjoy my life.

notprotestAnd on the topic of enjoying my life, that brings us to the last thing that has been grinding my gears in Detroit – the protests.

It’s close, but my favorite so far have been the “Stop upholding the laws on Belle Isle” and “How dare you shut off my water if I don’t pay my bills” protests.

So before I pop a blood vessel, let me get this straight. “You won’t let me disobey the law anymore, so I am going to protest and hope that you let me again…”  You’re honestly protesting because people are getting pulled over for speeding and ticketed, and then arrested when it’s discovered that those people have active warrants out for their arrest.

I want you to stop for a moment and think this through.  You’re not protesting against police brutality.  You’re not protesting against racial profiling.  You’re not protesting against unfair treatment.

You’re protesting…against the police…simply…doing…their…job.

…and don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, “I haven’t been paying my bills for 5 years, so how dare you stop providing me with this service!” people.  Sure, water can be free – grab a bucket and head on over to the local river, stream or lake and go for it.  But if you want it piped to your house or in a bottle, you’re going to have to pay for it.

But we’re in the Entitlement Mentality Era, and so everyone gets together with their little signs, during business hours, and yells “Give us stuff for free!” and “Let us break the law still!” while they pose for photo ops and take selfies with their smartphones that are somehow paid for while their water bills aren’t…

Which leads me to the conclusion that these things are all intertwined. To stop the Slow Rolls and 5Ks and protests…we must stop the end product of it all…

selfies

That’s all for this time.

Go read something else.

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