Be careful what you wish for...

...because the scumbag genie is just gonna screw it up; and probably on purpose.

I've read more than enough fairy tales and fables to know that you can't trust genies as far as you can throw them. In case you don't know what I'm referring to, take everything you know about Disney's Aladdin and toss it out the window. From The Monkey's Paw to the fable of King Midas and even Glinda, the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz ("You had the power within you, all along!"), anyone with magical powers is a scumbag. Don't accept their offer.

"Why?" you ask, as if you've never had your order completely botched up by a hapless fast food worker, before. Except, in the stories I've read, the wish granter goes out of their way to completely screw you over. You wish for a million dollars? Great, your wish is granted -- a bag with a million dollars worth of stolen money drops into your lap and the cops are banging down your door. Should've been more specific, right? Wrong. It doesn't matter. The moral of the story is always, "you can't get something for nothing," and wishing is about as good as spitting in the wind. So what's with all the bitter cynicism? Read on.

There's a section of road that intersects with 940 in Hazleton with a short bridge that crosses a small creek. I'm not sure what the name of the road is, but it's the bridge next to the Churchill Mall, for locals who know the area. The pavement is a little uneven where the road meets the bridge, and I always get a stiff bump when I hit it. I usually have to slow down, which isn't preferable as I have to go up an incline immediately after. I found myself wishing the department of transportation (or whoever is responsible for this stuff) would fill in the gap a bit, just to make it a little smoother. Well, I guess the scumbag genie heard my request, because roadwork began a few weeks ago. And then it never ended.

They did this:

It was an incredibly rough surface to ride on -- I'm still searching for some of my teeth -- but it was quickly repaved and painted about 48 hours later. Woo-hoo! That is, except for a large section where the road meets the bridge and again up at the light, which are about as rough as the surface in the photo. In fact, the deep gap you see along the road in the photo is still there. In other words, it's much worse, now. Thanks a lot, guys! You took a minor inconvenience (for me, on a bicycle) and turned it into a big problem for everyone -- even people who drive have to stop before hitting these gaps. Weeks have gone by, and it's still there. Are you ever coming back to finish the job, or is this how the scumbag genie fulfills this wish? Thanks, but I liked it better before.

Well Said, Cheryl. Pointless, confused and flat out wrong, but well said!
Here's a radical idea -- if you really want to stick it to the man, sell your car and ride a bike. No more road tax! No more high gas prices! A feeling of smugness that cannot be denied! Much more effective than letters to the editor...

I honestly wish there were a version of that applied to the United States, but I doubt it would help much. Actually, I just wish the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would refrain from publishing stuff like this, but there I go, wishing again. Wish in one hand... you know what in the other.

Carnegie Science Center is teaming up with The Bicycle Museum of AmericaBicycle Heaven, and others to offer a diverse collection of historic, rare, peculiar, and all-around amazing bikes! Visitors will enjoy science demonstrations and hands-on exhibits that explore energy, forces and motion, engineering, and material science:
  • Explore the evolution of the modern bicycle
  • Check out uniquely customized bikes
  • Learn about the latest technologies for sporting bikes
  • See bikes you know from popular culture
On Saturdays through September, we'll spotlight a special bike-related outdoor activity along the riverfront trail. Activities are free with general admission.
Motha'. Effin'. Bicycles.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and although I haven't lived there in about 14 years, I still have friends and family I like to see when I'm out that way. Well, mostly, I just go to spend a day at Kennywood and visit places like the Carnegie Science Center. But now, seeing as how the CSC is putting on a big exhibit about bicycles, I almost have an obligation to be there! I mean, they're going to have Pee-Wee Herman's Schwinn DX as seen in the movie "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." You really think I'd miss that? Hells naw, man.

In light of this revelation, I'm getting these big, crazy ideas about making a bike trip to Pittsburgh -- all 269 miles of it. That's not impossible. I just... I don't know. It's crazy. I think I'm crazy, and the more I think about it, the more I think I wasted my wish on lousy road construction. Come to think of it, if I want to get that road fixed, maybe I should write a letter to the Post-Gazette. Apparently, they'll print anything. Crazy.


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