By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — A female bike rider who said she was verbally abused by an apparently inebriated middle-age man out with his wife and young son in Wicker Park has written an open letter on Craigslist to vent her anger over the ugly altercation.
The note is addressed to: “Stranger outside Big Star who told me you hoped I would die on my bike.”
The woman, who described herself as a “diminutive girl with light purple bike, grey helmet” said she shouted at the man, who was standing with a group in the clearly marked bike lane outside the restaurant on North Damen, to step onto the sidewalk.
She said she was jeered by the group, so she stopped and turned around to tell them to finish their conversation on the sidewalk so other bikers wouldn’t have to swerve around them or, even worse, hitting them.
“I said please and thank you. I called you sir,” she wrote. “You called me an ‘entitled bitch’ and told me the world would be a better place without me and people like me.
“Your friends laughed while tears of shame and anger burned in my eyes.
“Your wife smiled and shrugged when you told me you hoped I got hit by a semi and splattered all over the street.
“Your child looked at me with big, round, curious eyes, and began the lifelong process of learning how to treat other humans like garbage.”
She then said that she wished the man woke up in the morning and saw himself the way she did the night before, a father and husband with “brazen lack of empathy.”
“I hope your son clings to your leg, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, and begs you to give him a horsey ride even though now he is getting too big. I hope that you feel a pang of regret, even just a twinge, thinking about his bearing silent witness to your verbal abuse of a stranger.”
The note has sparked a spirited conversation on Reddit, with comments taking both sides.
“That girl is an obnoxious, sensitive, judgmental little bitch and I’m glad she got told off,” one commenter said. “The way she elevates herself in her writing reeks of self-righteousness and inflated self-importance. She started crying because of the words of a stranger? How pathetic.”
Others came to her defense.
“Maybe she shouldn’t have taken it to heart as much as she seems to, but I think a lot of you are missing the point: because she asked to be able to use the right-of-way in the manner that she is legally entitled to, some schmuck wished her dead in front of his laughing buddies, smiling wife, and impressionable young son.
“That’s multiple people who seemingly have no problem with outward and unprovoked cruelty to someone else, and a young child who is slowly learning that treating people like dirt is rewarded with high fives and laughter.
“Whether or not she should get thicker skin, it’s attitudes and wanton cruelty like that make dealing with people in this city such an unbearable fucking chore, sometimes.”