critical mass bike ride

Friday, September 27, 5:30 Meet at Waterfront Park, underneath Burnside Bridge

It's official! Critical Mass bike rides are no longer boring! While these end-of-the-month jaunts are intended to prove the superiority of bikes over noxious car fumes, they've been pretty ho-hum as of late. In fact, most of the fun was had watching hot-headed drivers lay on their horns and spew impotent expletives... yet still... there's been something missing--and that something was ANGRY COPS.

Last month's Critical Mass was a bona fide hoot thanks to a pack of pissed-off motorcycle coppers who encircled and harassed the throng of bicyclists. In fact, Mercury contributor Bill Lascher was tackled and dragged into the street by police, presumably because he was photographing the situation. Why are the cops being such big crappy pants? Who knows? But after the big brou-ha-ha during the Bush visit, the PPD is back in their riot gear and ready to rumble. And that means this week's Critical Mass could be the funnest ever!

However, if you want to successfully annoy The Man, you have to be smart and most of all, prepared. Here are some helpful tips from those in the know!

• Buy a baby doll and paint "Pepper Spray Me" on its stomach, then tie it to the front of your bike. This probably won't stop the cops from macing you, but it will really annoy them--which is the point.

• Bring a megaphone. Again, really annoying, because cops think they're the only ones who get megaphones.

• Carry a wet bandana, safety goggles, and wear long pants and sleeves. Sure, it sounds obvious, but some people still insist on wearing a tube-top and hootchie-mama shorts.

• Take along a disposable camera. Some of the rougher cops purposefully hide their badge numbers during insurrections. Taking pictures will provide good proof of misdeeds later on.

• Wear an umpire chest protector. Hey... if the cops can wear riot gear, why can't you?

• Have the number of a good attorney handy. Local lawyer Alan Graf has a lot of experience dealing with rowdy officers. His number is 228-5222.

• If the police pin you on your stomach, yell as loud as you can, "Hey! Stop trying to put your penis in between my butt cheeks!" Okay. On second thought, don't do that. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY