The big news among the hip alt-commuter types is that an “invisible” bike helmet has been invented. Joe Rose, always first on the scene, writes about it here. Oh, I hear the doubters among those of you who aren’t part of the commuting cognescenti. “It looks like what George Jetson would wear in the head injury ward on Neptune,” you say. “It costs 600 bucks? I bought all three of my kids bikes for that!”
*sigh.* If only you people were cool enough to understand what REAL bikers know – 600 bucks is nothing compared to the paralyzing social cost of wearing a normal helmet. Your hair gets messed up, you sweat in your designer gel, and people don’t get to see what ‘do you selected to top off your wildly-colorful, fully-sponsored bike jersey. For 600 bucks, you get a nifty, one-time-use piece of high-tech gear that will save your brains and look like a bitchin’ hoodie at the same time. What’s not to like?
If I was still a cyclist, I’d go buy a couple dozen of these babies and wreck all the time, just so they’d inflate on my head. Unfortunately, I no longer have a bike. Rather than just sit around sulking in my padded underwear, I’ve decided to take the next natural step, and design an airbag for folks like me – the downtrodden transit commuter. I can envision an entire catalog full of high-tech bus-riding products, and this will be my flagship item. For now, let’s just call it the BusBag, even though it will function just as efficiently on MAX.
“Wait!” you say. “This BusBag sounds so great already, even though I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about! Can I get one? And, more importantly, is it Made in America?”
First, thanks. I’m glad you have recognized the genius of my idea, even though neither of us is really sure what I’m saying here. Sadly, I won’t be making these in America. I’ve contracted with Siemens, the German manufacturing concern that makes trains for TriMet. I figure that if I’m going to sell a product used on TriMet, it only makes sense to dole out a contract to the same company that makes the trains! After all, we know what a success the Type IV MAX has been. And, while TriMet’s MAX cars are mostly manufactured right here in the USA, I’m taking advantage of Germany’s famously-lax child labor laws and having them made in the same Bavarian sweatshops that crank out BMWs and mall pretzels. (Note: to the best of my knowledge, Germany has stringent child labor laws. I am taking advantage of the famously-lax satire laws here in the USA)
The BusBag, simply put, will revolutionize mass transit travel. Before the bag deploys, it is disguised as a simple 50s-era science fiction robot costume. This may be a problem in other markets, but as we know, nobody in Portland would take a second look at someone wearing a robot costume on the bus. You simply don the suit, sit on the bus, and wait for the bag to be deployed. Deployment is a simple process triggered by one of several things – someone sitting too close to you, offensive body odor wafting your way, or a gaggle of teenagers listening to a boombox. Once any of these conditions are met, air is explosively channeled into the bags, and a millisecond later you are surrounded by large pouches the size of a Hefty garbage bag.
You can see the beauty of this. You’re minding your own business, and someone becomes so immersed in their copy of Fifty Shades of Gray that they unknowingly move toward you. BOOM! The bags deploy, your personal space is cleared, and seconds later you’re just the dude in the robot costume who has some damn personal space on transit.
I’ll be taking pre-orders soon. Estimated cost is around $5,000. The suit is good for one use, so you’ll want to order several if you’re on the bus as often as I am. I’ll see you out there!