I have this theory about “The System.” Over several moments in your life you get screwed by the system, but it’s a give and take system, similar to a bank account where you make deposits (getting screwed by the system) or you make a withdrawal (reaping the benefits of the system, or what I like to call “screwing the system”).
Take, for example, my bike riding incident from my freshman year at Arizona State University (ASU). I used to park in Lot 59 at ASU which is hella long from my first class, so I would either ride the FLASH bus, a horrible but free ride to class, or walk fifteen minutes to class. Of course I would often ride the bus, but it would take a long time for the bus to show up, and by the time it did, I would have to stand cramped next to people with hangovers and yesterday’s pants.
Based on the logistics of riding the bus, I pulled my dad’s bike out of the side yard, brushed off the spider webs, WD40′d the chain, and pumped up the tires. The next day I hauled the bike down to ASU in my truck (I used to commute 45 miles to school) and planned to ride it to my first class. I pulled it out of the back of my truck, rode past all the sorry saps waiting for the bus, and I swear I rode it 50 yards before the tire fell off. I flew over the front handlebars in the middle of an intersection and right in front of the bus stop full of people. This is what I would define as getting “Screwed by the System.” Mind you, the system doesn’t only specialize in catastrophic bike failure, but this is one of the many ways.
By definition, the ASU bike incident was a large deposit into my system bank account, so I was bound to make a withdrawal within the next few days (or perhaps even over my lifetime). Wouldn’t you know it that three days later I see a girl ride her bike into a muddy flower garden and fall over much to my delight? A couple weeks later I saw a skateboarder cruisin’ at full speed and hit a rock. He quickly turned into a human sled. I chuckled because I knew that I deserved to see that. I paid the system, this was my payoff.
So, regardless of the past, if you know me, you know I daily get screwed by the FLASH bus system. I don’t know how many times I’ve ran beside the bus waving my arms yelling, “Hey pick me up, bus driver.” Or how the buses are supposed to run every 10 minutes, but more often than not, when I need the bus to show up on time, it’s running every 20 minutes because they don’t time the buses properly. Or how they now run a “FLASH express” that doesn’t pick up, it only drops off. I need to get picked up. Well, today I got my payoff on the FLASH bus screw me bank account. I saw someone who reminded me of myself. This guy spotted the FLASH at a bus stop and was bookin’ it trying to catch it. The bus was stopped, and he was running full speed at the doors. He made ‘the jump’ into the bus, but as he jumped the doors closed and he slammed into them. The emergency open door function was activated so he slumped into the bus while rubbing his head. I laughed and I thanked the system for paying me off for all those days I was screwed.