By Jackson Hale
(3:26) Uhhh… I will try to think of something.
(3:26) Oh! My neighbors stole my bike. How about that?
(3:26) Also, I want to be anonymous.
(3:27) No bike revenge.
Hello, Bikeless. Thank you for your question!
But first, let me say, “Welcome, dear readers!” Many of you may be wondering, “What exactly is Forward All Questions?” Is it an advice column? Is it an interpersonal conflict resolution paper courtroom? Is it a how-to-tell-all?
Sure, why not?
Anyways, that’s enough from you, dear reader. This is a public conversation between me and Bikeless.
Hello, Bikeless, sorry to keep you waiting. So your question is, “(3:26) How about that,” in referrence to the whole of the concept of your neighbor stealing your bike.
First impressions: I do not like it. Concerning the concept of bike theft, I feel for you. Theft is one of the most heinous crimes when it comes to bicycles. It is doubly heinous considering that you are under the impression it was a theft perpetrated by a number of “neighbors,” rather than just one.
I hate to break it to you, but if there is a neighborhood bike theft ring run by your neighbors, it might just be the cost of living in your neighborhood. If they stole your bike, perhaps you should consider that the theft of your bike saved some mom’s bike. In which case, the general sense I get from this bike theft is that it is as much selfless as it is senseless.
Think about it this way: it was another opportunity for a JET to give back to the community. You just paid the bike tax, and unless you buy another bike, you are set for the rest of your time here.
But perhaps you would like to retrieve your bike, anonymously and without retribution. I cannot condone such behavior! Let’s consider the mind of the lowly bike gangster. To the thief, what would be the likely end result of his original bike theft? He either still has the bike, or he doesn’t have the bike.
If he currently has your bike, perhaps the nature of his obtaining it is lost on him. He could have forgotten that he stole it from some embarrassing foreigner. Your stealing it back would push him to think he was stolen from. To which he would then feel justified in his sins, and continue the cycle of theft to steal again. And again some mom would wake up one morning with her bike pilfered in the night. And I would blame you.
On the other hand, perhaps he rides around town on your bike laughing about what an embarrassing foreigner you are. Then he likely has no qualms about stealing again. And so in the same way, your silent anonymous non-retribution theft would make some poor soul suffer a little more. SHAME!
However, it could be the case he may not currently have your bike. He has left it in some alley, and some handsome heathen has adopted it as his own. He pays for touch ups, oil, a cool bell that you would never even have thought of but would give mad props to, sight unseen. And in this case, it is not your bike anymore!
Your right of ownership would be forfeit. In territorial disputes, international law grants precedence to countries that actively perform upkeep on the territory in good faith. Even if this hypothetical street urchin in possession of your bike had taken no steps to perform upkeep, if he uses it under the assumption that it’s his, he has a better claim to it than you.
I cannot imagine there being an outcome in these many possibilities where you can be justified in taking back your bike.
So I suggest you don’t spend any more time looking into that abyss. The bike is gone. Don’t dive into the mouth of madness, especially anonymously. The people in the past should be left in the past.
But, if I may so reccomend, you should really think about punishing future people. They don’t exist yet (outside of your imagination), so as far as I am concerned they are free game.
Here is one way of getting at them which should get you through the rest of your life.
- Buy a new bike.
- Buy the “connectedcycle.com” GPS pedals and install onto bike and smartphone.
- Wait for theft.
- After theft, open up your application and follow GPS signal.
- Play the most dangerous (while still being non-lethal: VERY IMPORTANT!) game with most likely a middle schooler.
- Forever live with this type of fear masquerading as justice.
If you have any questions, send them to Goodmorning.firstname.lastname@example.org