China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

Dear Sleeping Bicycle Guard

Dear Sleeping Bicycle Guard,

Finally, we have caught you, after so many undocumented sightings. There is no denying it now – sleeping on the job! Ha! So, as yet another lucky pawner makes off with his lunch resting in some over-worked high schooler’s handlebar basket, we will address the great mystery of your constant catnapping.

What is it about your surroundings that is so lulling and peaceful that allows you to so often drift off like a toddler in a carriage? Is it the four lanes of roaring, shifting buses and impatient cars and the incessant stream of ancient, never-been-oiled bicycles grinding past, all blending to create the steady trickling white noise of a mountain creek? Or the rhythm of the electric gate that accordions in and out every two minutes to allow the passage of chattering teens (who have entrusted their bikes to your keen watch) to and from campus? Or is it – perhaps most preposterous of all – the wretched sound that leaks from your portable radio all day long: the glass-shatteringly high-frequency aria and madhouse metal bashing of your precious, prized, and much-heralded Beijing opera?

While you may not be protecting the Forbidden City, or the house of Premier Wen, or even the entrance to a museum, you do have duties, and there are hundreds of people counting on your vigilance. What will you say to the student or teacher who comes to retrieve their transport home, weary from the day’s work or study, only to find it has been purloined right under your snoring nose?

May that question haunt your midday dreams.

Still you sleep! Would it help if I told you that the other guards play tricks on you while you nap; that they call you names and snap pictures of themselves posing aside your slack face; that they pull that elfish purple cap from your head and free their gas into it before placing it carefully back over your skull? Probably not. Such is the shame of the sleeping guard – for what is truly lost (along with a great deal of two-wheelers) during your failed surveillance is your own unguarded dignity. Not that you seem to care.


This Ridiculous World

One Response to “Dear Sleeping Bicycle Guard”

  1. Matthew says:

    Did anyone set off firecrackers under his feet during Spring Festival?

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