Friday, February 23, 2024

Patrick Smith, pilot of Porter Square, in an image from his website, askthepilot.com.

Airline pilot, salon.com contributor and askthepilot.com guru Patrick Smith revealed himself Friday to be at least a part-time Porter Square resident — and one with a classically weird Porter Square story to tell.

The episode, described as a “Seinfeld” moment, starts when Smith is leaving the Shaw’s supermarket plaza on his bicycle and stops before hitting another rider at a bike rack.

My brakes squeal, but it’s obvious we won’t collide. When I come to a stop, we’re abeam each other, about three feet apart. No harm done. “Hey, shoot, I’m sorry,” I say to him.

What happens next I don’t understand:

“Nice!” he says. The guy is around 50, I’d guess. My height, bigger at the waist, with glasses. He looks like any normal, middle-aged person you’d see in Porter Square. Professional, but sort of crunchy around the edges. He’s wearing a helmet and reflective vest. “Didn’t you open your eyes when you got out of bed this morning?”

The way he says this — there’s something in his tone that leads me to think he’s making light of the whole thing. So I joke back to him. “Damn sidewalk riders!” I say.

“F— YOU!” he screams at me. Just like that. Then he pedals away.

It gets worse from there, meaning the anger and weirdness merely increases — to the extent the reader has to wonder if Smith was inadvertently wearing a T-shirt with a swastika on it, or some other coincidental provocation.

Probably not. Universally, people can get livid over the strangest, most harmless of things, and those are the sane ones; Porter Square isn’t exempt from crazy. This post makes it sound as though Smith met up with a smidgen of that crazy but at least avoided getting his ear bitten off.

The complete post is here.