Has anyone else noticed the new phenomenon of junkies on bikes? I’m not talking about motorcycles. I’m talking about bicycles…usually children’s bicycles that no one over 12 or over 4′ 11″ could be comfortably riding. I’m not out to judge here and not trying to step on anyone’s toes. The journalist in me (who is buried deep down because it’s the job that pays the least…usually even below waitressing and cashing in cans) only likes to tell you like it is. Report what I see. It is what it is.

I’m not asking you to judge either. Don’t do that. You should be like Jesus and hang out with hookers and make your own alcohol. But do pay attention next time you’re on the road (especially if you’re anywhere in a place like the hills of West Virginia like me), and see if you see any junkies on bikes. They’re like bears on bikes of the circus variety, but less coordinated and steady than bears. They tremor a lil, and the bike goes everywhere, and between trying to dodge potholes and prostitutes, this new biker junkie is exceeding the limits of what my ADHD brain can successfully avoid while driving.

I almost hit two of them this week because I think the chrome on my Jeep temporarily stuns them, or else maybe they’re drawn to it like moths. At any rate, they come right for me, and that Jeep, being not so aerodynamic, ain’t the easiest vehicle to redirect. It is damn near impossible to redirect the junkies, so my driving path resembles Flight of the Bumblebee trying to get out of these hollers. It is especially disturbing at night when you think you only hit a pothole, come home, walk past the front of your car, and there’s a fucking junkie stuck to the grill.

The bicycle junkie has developed for a couple of reasons…

1. They’ve lost their license due to DUI and are depending on the bike to get around.

Which would be noble if they were on their way to work and trying to do better, but that can’t be the case because these folks are half drunk by noon on a Tuesday. They aren’t in a hurry to get anywhere, and they aren’t in to sharing the road, but you by-god better be because if you hit one of them, it doesn’t matter if they haven’t worked in 15 years (or ever for that matter), they are going to show up with a lawyer because you’ve fucked up their ability to do gainful employment, and they were on their way to do just that when you showed up and rumpled them up with your car.

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2. They had a car but sold it to buy meth-making supplies or pain meds from somebody’s Mawmaw.

These are the diehard junkies who’ve sold a few pills, bought themselves a bike, and taken it out on the open road…of Armstrong Creek or Cabin Creek or Paint Creek or Huges Creek or Campbell’s Creek. This group in the drug dealing hierarchy is more noble than the subgroup who stole Mawmaw’s pills and Little Bubba’s bike and then took out on the open road, though when they are all out on the open road, suffering from the tremors, it can be a little hard to tell one group from the other. Usually you can eventually tell, though, because anybody that pisses off Mawmaw and Baby Bubba is more likely to be having the police follow them.

There’s also a third group: the junkies who don’t even have bikes.

They just walk the roads night and day, day and night. You can go out at the butt-crack of dawn, and they’ll be on the side of the road. You can go up the road at midnight, and the same guy will be meandering around. He ain’t even hitchhiking because he don’t know enough about what direction he’s going in to know how to bum a ride. And between the drugs and all that walkin’, they make starving people in third-world countries look rather thick.

They’re always vibrating too so it’s hard to avoid hitting them, but you goddamn better not. Don’t even stop to offer them a ride because as I mentioned, they aren’t hitchhiking, you may scare them, and they usually have guns and at least one pit-bull on no leash, just wondering around with junkies. And that is how pit-bulls get their bad reputation…because they hang out all the time with a bunch of fucking junkies. Junkies never have poodles or huskies or labs.

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And when are junkies gonna learn that having a mean pit-bull is a red flag that they’re dealing?

I’m not talking about the pits that smile at you with that silly gator grin. I’m talking about the ones who come at you for no apparent reason because they’ve been trained to. If someone approaches me and says, “Just don’t make eye contact with the dog, let him smell your hand, and you can walk past him.” I just want to reply with, “Why don’t you just hang out a shingle that says you’re the fucking community hook up?”

And all of the above are reasons pot should be legal.

You don’t see people smoke pot and then decide to hop on a bike. You don’t see them jimmying all over the four-lane. They aren’t leaving dirty needles everywhere and tossing around Hep C like confetti. They are home, on the couch, eating snacky cakes, and finding beauty in the world (even if that just means staring for long periods of time at a stained glass lampshade). Point being, they aren’t bothering anyone.

And no potrepreneur ever made his own damn house explode or rotted out his teeth or turned himself into a pocked-up monster. If pot was legalized, it could be West Virginia’s new coal. We could all be potrepreneurs with our own little farmacies in our own back yards. We could have a Little Buds program for the 4-H kids and the boy scouts, and teach them real-life survival skills. Pain relief for the potholes of life. Unconditional love and understanding and peace, man.

* Tonight’s opinions are brought to you by Seagram’s Escapes Black Cherry Fizz. Get ya some. It’s the shitz.

* Vocabulary word of the day: Potrepreneur. Pick up the meaning from context. Isn’t it great? Used in a sentence: Once pot is legalized, I’m going to buy me an plow and become a potrepreneur.

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