Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Being Munsoned In the Middle of Nowhere

Last night, I rode home wearing a black woolie and black tights. It was an exceptionally dreary night: dark, wet and cold. In many ways, it reminded me of one of my favorite albums, Smell the Glove. It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.

But wait, there's more: my tail light's battery was dead. It was like I was riding in a vacuum.

I stopped at the Quick Shop at 38th and Leavenworth to replace the tail light's batteries. Unfortunately, as I removed the light from the seat-tube, I snapped it off its plastic mount. Crap!

Let's recap: I was wearing black, it was extremely dark, cold and rainy and now I was without a tail light. I suddenly realized that I was Munsoned in the middle of nowhere.

A lesser man would have called for a ride home; a foolish one would have ridden in the dark and taken his chances with the Grim Reaper. But faced with adversity, I did what Munson would do and unmunsoned my way out of a mitmon.

Others have already written plenty about Munson. But while it's easy to chip away at his character, one thing that I really appreciate about this fella is his gritty resourcefulness. You see, Munson has embraced his inner-Munsoness. Like a kung-fu master, he has turned what would normally be perceived as a weakness into a strength. And in doing so, he's become quite able at turning a bad situation into a good one (and on the cheap). For instance, when Old Yeller's original RSX shifters blew up, it was Munson who duct-taped it back together.

So I feared not, for Munson's can-do attitude was with me on that dreadful night. Resolutely, I pushed open the Quickie Mart door (and after the fog cleared from my glasses) grabbed a pack of triple-A batteries and clear packing tape. With steady hands, I ripped and taped until that blinker was fixed to a highly visible place on the back of my Giro. Shoot, I now had more visibility than ever.

Thanks, Munson. For a moment there, things looked bleak. Then I realized that I too could become a Munson in the middle of nowhere.


  1. Congrats on turning the sour situation to your favor. Too bad the convenience store didn't have clear duct tape. That would be classic.

    I understand the rest of your Monday evening wasn't so fun, as it lasted well into Tuesday dealing with unfortunate work unpleasantness.

    The Redd-Shift way? Similar to the Apache way... two rear light configured in a redundant, active-active failover system. Plus extra batteries in the pannier.

    Brady, even with the light, you might consider something bright and reflective to wear during these dark winter evening commutes. Maybe a vest or reflective Sam Brown style sash and belt.

  2. Good work B.

    In a pinch, you can always hit an auto parts store, too. Lots of good parts, lighting systems, etc., that you could piece together in a pinch. If you start to looking around on your commute, I'm thinking you might see a few on the way.

    As for lighting systems, I'm still looking at this 500-Lumen DIY LED light. Clearly obnoxious.

    A crisp $5 to anyone who builds it, wears it into your local grocery store in full cycling gear (tights), and walks around with it on during your shopping experience.

  3. Channelling the voice of Joanie: Brady! Shame on you!!! Joanie voice stops here.

    Saftey Johnny sez have a vest for any commute. I bot a new blinkie for my helmet along w/one on my seatpost or pannier. I also spent muchito burritoles on a NiteRider Tri-newt. in morning I put on flash mode, @ night the beam can melt the eyeshadow off a soccer-mom talking on her cellphone whilst drinking a nonfat decaf mocha latte.

    of course if you would have really channelled your inner Nigel Tufnel, you'd have has a cigarette lighter, cigarettes and the spontaneously combusted flare from the late J oe-Mama-Besser flashing from your soul.

  4. Excellent choice there, Brady. Unfortunately, I probably would have taken the more difficult route of buying thread or some type of bungee or rubber bands to figure out a way to attach it to the helmet. Clear tape just makes too much sense. Glad my ghetto-ness could be an inspiration to you. I am actually kicking myself for not having duct taped the rainfly down on my tent to have made my life easier on our Great Wabash Adventure. You would have faired better than I.

  5. I just would have ridden in the dark. Like a ninja.

  6. Scott, I must admit that I like your approach of the redundant, active-active failover system + backup batteries. Now that's putting your experience to work for you. In fact, I made a point of inspecting the fine detail work of your DIY mount for your redundant getup. Impressive!

    Brendan: a crisp fiver, huh? Looks like a viable project. I'd probably cuss like a sailor putting it together, though. How 'bout I pay you $5 to put one together for me?

    Murphini: There is already a giant green shamrock painted on 38th and Leavenworth, so having another green spicule on that street wouldn't be very effective way to remember me. Anyway, I'm actively trying to restrain my anger and prevent going nuclear/self combusting. Hence, avoiding cussing by paying Brendan $5 to assemble a 500 lumen light for me.

    Munson: You're my hero. What else can I say but write an entire blog on being Munson in the Middle of Nowhere?

    Bryan: Don't feel bad, Bryan. You're also my hero.