Look at the bicycle in this photograph. Study its lines, its geometry.
Okay, now imagine that you see this bicycle chained to a post outside a pharmacy. You go into the pharmacy and see two people in line, waiting to pick up prescription refills. One of them, the second in line, is holding a bicycle helmet. You don't know him, he doesn't know you. You walk up to him and say "Think you ought to lose some weight?"
Did that make any sense to you?
Right. It didn't to me, either, when it happened a couple of days ago. I had ridden a bicycle identical to the one in the photo above (except for the color and additional saddlebags) to my local pharmacy to pick up a prescription. I was standing behind another person, waiting my turn, when this guy got into line behind me and said to me "Think you ought to lose some weight?" I starred at him for a moment, wondering what the hell his problem was. Then he kind of gestured at the bicycle helmet under my arm, and said "That your bicycle out there?" Still not grasping what he was getting at, I nodded. "Looks like you're so heavy you've bent the seat post way out of line!" he continued.
By this point, I had mentally classified this guy as (a) an idiot, and (b) obnoxious, and proceeded to ignore him. And his subsequent conversation with another person sitting in a chair nearby confirmed my observations, especially (a). He started talking to this other person about my bicycle. "Lookit that seat post! Look how it's bent way back! Like somebody really heavy's been sittin' on it!"
Now, I think anyone of at least average intelligence can look at the photo of my bike and realize that THAT IS THE WAY IT IS MADE. It does not look exactly like a standard bicycle in the geometry of its frame, because it is not a standard bicycle. It is a slightly different type of bicycle called a "crank forward", for the fact that the crank, with the pedals, is positioned about a foot forward of where it usually is on most bikes. But take a look at those beefy frame tubes, and the fact that they are also doubly triangulated, and imagine the kind of weight, the sheer force it would take to even slightly deform them. I may have a few pounds that I should drop, but I am far from being heavy enough to even remotely come close to what would be necessary to bend those tubes. And that should be obvious to everyone except the incredibly dense.
Fortunately, I was able to get my prescription and exit without having to listen to much more of this guy's ridiculous utterances. But it stayed with me as I rode away. I kept trying to figure out what would possess someone to address someone you don't know at all in such a manner.
After mulling it over, I realized that he was trying to make a joke… but it was one of the lamest, most strained attempts at humor that I have ever mad the misfortune to be subjected to. And the social ineptitude necessary to try to build on that shaky joke's foundation by telling a total stranger, out of the blue, that you think he needs to lose weight, is just --
Well, I was going to say "mind-boggling", but it isn't, really. I'll save that description for something that deserves it. This was just really stupid and sad. -- PL