I guess I'll be seeing my picture on the walls of post offices pretty soon. The bicycle messengers of River City have declared me Journalistic Enemy Number One.

"You have given us an undeserved black eye," wrote a messenger named Jocko. "You have summarily executed all the messengers in this city without a trial -- without even plea bargaining," said a fellow who called himself Hector.

Even my old buddy Deep Stroke got into the act. "Really, Bob," wrote this long-serving and long-suffering messenger, who normally sees things with dead-solid 20-20, "we are not responsible for everything wrong with this city."

Hey, Stroke, and the rest of you guys, who said you were? All I did was to recount a stunt pulled by one of your less subtle tribeswomen. She whipped out a Magic Marker while riding in a packed elevator at the National Press Building and scrawled IMPEACH REAGAN! on the wall, in full view of about a dozen astonished people.

I said then -- and think now -- that this was unconscionable vandalism. I said then -- and think now -- that Ms. Magic Marker should have been fired.

What I didn't say then -- and think now -- is that messengers in this town have a pretty large collection of thin skins.

We're talking about one messenger, gang, not all of you. She did something extremely unusual (at least I hope so!). The very fact that it was unusual means that most messengers wouldn't do the same. So how was I indicting the entire Pedaling Package Pickup Profession?

By the way, a spy tells me there's a new slogan on the wall of the press building elevator. It reads:


To whoever delivered him- or herself of that sentiment (it just might have been a messenger):

You probably think I'm upset.

Actually, I'm thankful.

At least you spelled it right.