In one way, I'm glad it happened. It proved that Old Swivel-Hips Levey, the former breakaway threat of the Southern Chicago Touch Football and Ale-Swigging Society, can still dodge oncoming menaces with the best of them.
But the touch football glory days were nearly 25 years ago. The game one day last week was Dodge the Bicycle Messenger. I almost didn't.
I was walking west in the 1800 block of K Street NW, at the heart of lunch hour. The messenger was coming right at me, and he wasn't dawdling.
I feinted right. He veered the same way. I counterfeinted left. He did the same. Finally, digging deeply into the treasure trove of former highlight-film moves, I trotted out my Stutter-Step Left -- and just in time. I felt him whiz past my left thigh. He missed it by about an inch.
What is with these maniacs? Do they think they're too good for the roadway? Do they think those form-fitting costumes give them the right to play chicken with pedestrians all over downtown? Do they think?
Just two blocks away, at almost the same time, a D.C. government ticket-writer was proving that the awfulness game isn't limited to sidewalk cyclists.
A woman who's married to a sidewalk vendor parked for a few minutes in a no-no space to help him set up. As she finished and turned to go, there was a familiar little blue-and-white car -- and in it, a driver who was scribbling on a familiar form.
The woman got into her car, just as the ticket-writer was finishing her stenography. The latter handed the former a ticket, which the former reached inside and placed on the passenger's seat, without a word.
Then, for absolutely no reason, the ticket-writer called the woman a name that isn't very nice.
The word rhymed with "rich" -- and it wasn't "witch."
The woman says she'll press charges. But she shouldn't have to. As soon as this case comes before the ticket-writer's superiors, she should be fired. Taking out your frustrations on a citizen is way, way out of bounds.
Metro scam: Kathy Messina says that every night, as she boards the subway at Rosslyn, she notices several fellow riders obtaining more than one bus transfer from the dispenser.
These scammists ride to the Pentagon, where they get off to board buses. While in the bus lines, they slip a spare transfer to a buddy, so the buddy can ride the bus without paying (or without paying as much).
Time for some Metro cops to patrol the Pentagon bus lines to stop the "handoffs?"
Metro me-firsters: Brian Fisher writes that he was aboard a Red Line train the other day. At Union Station, two troops of Boy Scouts got on. They "immediately commandeered all the remaining seats."
At the next stop, several more commuters got on -- including several senior citizens.
Not a single scout budged -- not even the Scoutmaster.
Brian suggested that maybe they'd already done their good deed for the day.
George F. Warner II says he "called a place called the Disk Connection to inquire about some computer materials.
"When the phone rang, the computerized voice came on and told me you guessed it that the number had been 'disk-connected.' "
About two years ago, a man named Tony E. Paschal bought a cassette tape player from an electronics shop on 11th Street NW. He wrote a check for the purchase. But two days afterward, he was hospitalized with a serious illness.
Tony was not released for a year and a half. During that time, "I lost practically everything, including my car, because I was unable to work and had no means of support," he says.
Tony's checking account was quick to run dry. So his check to the electronics company bounced. The company tried to collect on it several times, but finally gave up.
The other day, two years after the purchase, Tony mailed the store a $175 money order.
"Since I am back on my feet," his cover letter said, "I would like to make restitution." Tony also offered to send more money if he still owes court costs or mailing fees.
You could have knocked the sales staff over with a feather. They would like to thank Tony, publicly and loudly. Hereby done, gang -- and I second the motion.