Bike Thief

I was walking home from work when a stranger who was crouched by a new looking powder yellow bicycle said, “Hey, are you in a rush?”

“No, why?”

“Mind doing me a favor?”

“Depends.”

“Just stand there for a second and shield me from traffic.”

“You’re not serious. Are you stealing that?”

“I know this sounds like bullshit, but I’m only borrowing it.”

“I’m calling the police.”

“If you pull out your phone I’ll smash it with a pry-bar. You didn’t even hear me out. Who ever this bike belongs to, they’re probably going to get it back. All these people have more money than they know what to do with, and they almost always give a hefty reward to get their shit back.”

“Jesus Christ, that’s Fight Club shit man, get a real job.”

“ANnnnnd, got it. Come on. Where you headed?”

“Jesus, who cares, I just want to get home.”

“Well now you’re an accomplice to theft. So, do you want to keep standing there like an asshole? Look, my truck’s parked behind a gas station just two blocks over on Powell. If I can’t convince you that what am doing isn’t wrong or theft, then you can have the bike and do whatever you want with it.”

“Fine. Then after that just leave me alone.”

“Fare enough.”

“So enlighten me, why is it that what you’re doing isn’t wrong?”

“Rich people want you to steal. It’s a byproduct of capitalism. Think about it, you wouldn’t have to steal anything if you could simply make enough money working. There are only three ways to get money: you can earn it, it can be given to you, or you can take it. I’m in the position where earning it isn’t enough to really get by, but just enough to not get much from the government either; I got bills and I need food, and I just happen to be pretty good at this, so I call it creative capitalism.”

“Do you actually make anything doing this?”

“Fuck yeah I do. One year, I only had to do this once a month. Every hit, they offered a grand for their bikes back. That might not be much, but compared to my ‘real job’ it’s more than I make in a month. Even $500 is nice, that’s a steak week. That’s student loans getting paid.”

“You can get another job you know.”

“Jesus, you’re not listening. This is my second job, and it’s great. If the people in charge wanted things any other way then they’d pay us based on real life needs, but they don’t, so what’s actually wrong about what I’m doing?”

“You’re hurting the people you directly steal from, not the system you want to fight.”

“Hurting them! Are you fucking kidding me. I’m inconveniencing them. The massive tax breaks and bonuses those pricks get are actually hurting me, because all that extra money in their wallets is less food in my stomach. So I get that money back, and guess what? I don’t have to worry about making it though winter without heat. And don’t think I steal just any piece of shit on the street. If you don’t know what you’re doing then you shouldn’t be stealing. I’m not some kid trading in junk for heroin money, this is a calculated business, otherwise it’s not worth the risk. I’m right there, want a pop?”

“No.”

“Sure? Want the bike?

“…No”

“So you understand me then?”

“Jesus, I just want to get home, I don’t care either way, but you’re still breaking the law.”

“Whatever. By the way, you utterly reek of weed, and that shit’s illegal too, so fuck you.”

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