(To be fair, I don't know if it was you the first time as well, but I have my suspicions. I imagine the intersection of the Venn diagram with the circles: Bike thieves, Tandem thieves, Residents of the Mission, and People not in prison -- is a small number of people. Plus I guess that if it was you the first time, and you got away with the crime scot free, this may have emboldened you to make a second attempt last night).
Well, whether it was you the first time or not, I am still mad at you. Really mad! Grrrrr!!! If I saw you on the street and you were carrying a bunch of papers, and you dropped them, and they started blowing everywhere in the wind, you should know that I would not help you pick them up. Also, if we were talking about cricket, and you had a really obnoxious piece of food stuck in your teeth or in your beard (if you even have a beard), I would not even tell you about it. And then everyone would snigger to themselves when they saw you -- until you next looked in a mirror or saw one of your bike-stealing friends who might be more generous than me.
But here's my first question -- "Who steals a tandem?". Tandems are such a joyful contraption man (or woman)! Our tandem filled us with so much joy that we wrote a song about riding it. It went like this:
"Riding our bicycle,
Riding in parallel,
Singing our song.
Riding up the hill,
Riding in harmony,
Riding in love."
When we used to ride our tandem along in the Mission (e.g. before you stole it! Grrrrr!!!), several times frattish bros shouted "TANDEM! TANDEM!" to each other, and to us. And this one time, as we were cycling past an elderly lady, we heard her humming the tune to the song "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do". From young bros to old ladies, our tandem made people happy. And it made us happy. I am so mad at you right now, that as you are riding our tandem to the place where stolen bikes are resold, I hope that nobody sings nice songs to you, or points at you and shouts "TANDEM! TANDEM!". I hope your brief spell riding our tandem is met with stony silence, and cold stares.
And OK, we hadn't ridden it for several months. And sure, we can get another one on Amazon for about $74. Like we did the last time you stole it (if it was you the first time...which again, I strongly suspect -- see the small intersection of the Venn diagram above). But nevertheless, I think you should know that you are a joy rustler; even a joy snatcher! Shame on you!
While we are on the subject, the very cheap price of our particular model of tandem on Amazon, leads me to my second question -- "Of all the bikes in our garage, why would you steal our tandem?". In this question, I am not challenging your morals, but rather your intelligence, or your criminalistic ROI.
Let's imagine there are three cars in a garage: A Ferrari, an old beat-up limo, and a Bugatti Veyron:
Well man (or woman), you just stole the middle car! Seriously -- there were some nice bikes in our garage. And I'm not just talking about the monetary value of the bikes either. What if you had gotten in some sort of high-speed bike chase with the police in the immediate aftermath of your theft? I'm imagining you trying to negotiate the turns of Lombard Street on the tandem, and this (amazing, on so many levels) video is what's going through my mind. Maybe we could help you by putting some comparatory labels on the different bikes in our garage to help you with your next robbery? For example:
Bike: Hipstomatic 3000
- Likely Craigslist resale priceL $850
- Top speed: 27 mph
- Maneuverability: 8/10
- "Should I steal this bike?": Heck, Yes!
Bike: Old Tandem
- Likely Craigslist resale price: $27
- Top speed: You have to walk it up any kind of hill
- Maneuverability: No
- "Should I steal this bike?": NO! JOY KILLING AND LOW CRIMINALISTIC ROI
Finally, my third question is this: "Please can we have it back?". For the next 98 hours, I am offering a complete amnesty on all stolen tandem bikes. In fact, you can even bring the first one back, from a couple of years ago, and I will say "Cheers mate, no hard feelings guv'nor". I will go so far as to offer that if you ride either / both of the stolen tandems back to our house to hand them over in a magnificent act of humanity and remorse, I will even hope that a nice old lady sings the "Daisy, Daisy" song to you to lift your spirits, strengthen your resolve, and give you a brief taste of that joy that your theft has (albeit temporarily) crushed.
So that's it. Thanks for taking the time to read my letter to you. (Actually quite impressed that you made it this far -- appreciate you hearing me out).
P.S. This blog post is a birthday present for Laura Turner. Happy belated Birthday Laura! (Unless it was you that stole our tandem -- in which case birthday wishes immediately rescinded).
P.P.S. I wonder if me and Ali now hold the world record for "most number of tandem bikes stolen". Has anyone else had any more than two tandem bikes stolen from them? If not, then this major accomplishment would at least help soften the blow of the theft.