Back in the early days of the Roman Empire, mad emperor Caligula decided to declare war upon Neptune God of the sea after Caligula’s failed expedition to Germany and Britannica. He summoned several of the legions to the waters of the English Channel not far from Calais and compelled them to hack at the waves with their swords while Caligula stalked up and down the beach while gnashing his teeth and hissing. I cannot verify the accuracy of my description but it sounds like something he might have done. In more contemporary times the modern day equivalent to Caligula, the highly overrated film critic(publicist!) of the New York Post has launched a Caligula like offensive against the bicycle riding citizens of New York. Bad enough that he passes himself off as a film critic(he wouldn’t know a good movie from a good slice of pizza) but now he has taken to slighting the hard working members of the bike messenger and food delivery community without which his very mediocre film reviews not to mention his take out Chinese food would never get delivered. Making jest of this much maligned and marginalized community is always fair game for the Post. Remember the front page story about the inebriated pedicab driver? This vicious criminal on three wheels had the audacity to drive two of his bar friends over the Williamsburg bridge drunk (so were the passengers) and had a little spill on the other side of the bridge that required stitches and an ambulance ride for the passengers. Horror of Horrors. I guess Mr. Smith failed to notice the white ghost bike placed near the intrepid for Dr. Carl Nacht, run over by a garbage truck in 2005. Or maybe he missed the other ghost bike down near Tribeca, also on the Hudson, placed for James Ng who was run over by a drunk driver who mistakenly thought he was on the west side highway. The attitude here I guess is that we shouldn’t be allowed to ride bikes anywhere. Kinda like what Mayor Koch had in mind back in the mid eighties when he wanted to ban bicycles in midtown. Perhaps Mr. Smith might have seen the white ghost bike placed near the bottom of the Williamsburg bridge for my friend Jon Neese who was killed in 2006 by a limo driver right near that spot. But then again I’m sure Mr. Smith is too busy riding around in his own limo to pay attention to such things.
Hence the expression: Mere bag of shells?