How to ride a bike – the exam

Sure, you could share the road and stay safe. But how is that even a workout?

Hello, and welcome to Rules Of The Road For Cyclists. I’m Dr. Eva-Belle Ringer, Ph.D, and I would like you all to call me “doctor” because after fourteen years of teaching driver’s ed, and then being laid off and replaced by an app, I really need a boost.

In this class, we will learn how to properly ride a bicycle in public so that motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians all remain safe. This is my 33rd class this week because, evidently, following the rules of the road is as difficult as pulling on stockings over just-lotioned legs. I should know — I attempted to do that this morning, which is why I’m 50 minutes late.

But enough about my morning routine. If you’d like to forgo this week-long course in favor of testing out by taking this quick final exam, then go nuts. I get paid regardless. But remember, you must get every question right or the fine folks at the DMV will send a representative to your place of residence, chain your bike to a flatbed truck, and throw both truck and bike into an enormous furnace. Typically, this representative is myself, wearing a skull cap and dungarees, and I get paid for that regardless too. Ready? Here goes:

Where can you ride your bike?

  1. On the street.
  2. On the sidewalk, going 24 miles per hour amongst the baby strollers that are probably clocking 0.0001 miles per hour, the little babies.

At night, while riding your bike, what colors and type of clothing are appropriate?

  1. Bright colors and any clothing that is reflective.
  2. Anything from your Goth phase or a black deep-sea diving suit.

Do you make a right turn in front of a moving vehicle?

  1. No.
  2. Yes, because nothing can hurt me when I’m “in the zone” — not even a half-ton tow truck.

A stop sign and a red light both mean what?

  1. Stop.
  2. Keep going, enter traffic, and plow headfirst into a city bus.

Should you alert pedestrians and vehicles of your presence by ringing a bell?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. I prefer to blindside both pedestrians and vehicles. It goes without saying, I love lengthy hospital stays, months of physical therapy, and filing lawsuits. (I get paid regar- … you know what? You passed. See you at the bike rack.)

MELINA SAINT THUNDERDOME is a graduate of Second City’s Sketch Comedy Writing program. @melinasaintthunderdome

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Got a tattoo that’s now generic? Here’s how to tszuj it up

It’s pretty obvious that tattoos are commonplace. Doctors have tattoos, teachers have tattoos, probably hipster babies have tattoos of Frida Kahlo on their little baby forearms. So you decided to get one, too. But not just any run-of-the-mill tattoo. Your tattoo design was clever, unique, your idea and yours alone. And like any proud tattooee, you showed it off everywhere. All your friends ooooh-ed and aaaah-ed, complimenting your utterly original masterpiece.

Next thing you knew, a total stranger standing next to you at Riot Fest had your tattoo. “No big deal,” you thought, “It’s only one other person.” But the following weekend at Costco, it happened again: the cheese sample lady had your EXACT SAME TATTOO. And so, it turns out, does the neighbor’s hipster baby!

It’s time to face a harsh truth: most tattoo designs and images become a fad, and you now belong to a growing body of tattooees with the word RESPECT written across your neck. Well, don’t worry. There’s an easy remedy for tszujing up your tattoo so that, once again, it is as unique as you. Just identify it as a radically different piece, and watch as confusion works its magic. Here are ways to re-brand your tattoo:


Old answer: “It’s the flag of my hometown.”

New answer: “It’s the movie poster of my favorite art film, ‘Boise: City of Trees.’”


Old answer: “It’s a set of angel wings on my back.”

New answer: “It’s an homage to my spirit animal, the horseless unicorn.”


Old answer: “It’s a set of eyes.”

New answer: “It’s easy to see why you’d mistake them for eyeballs. In fact, they’re just my daily allergy tests.”


Old answer: “It’s a star.”

New answer: “I’m the sheriff.”


Old answer: “It’s my last name.”

New answer: “This is my tribute to the alphabet.”


Old answer: “It’s a full sleeve and/or pant leg tattoo of…disordered images.”

New answer: “Oh, this ole thing? It’s just ornate gangrene.”


Old answer: “It’s an anchor.”

New answer: “I can’t expect someone your age to know what it is. It’s a pre-historic Segway.”


Old answer: “It’s Frida Kahlo.”

New answer: “I know it’s a bit of a cliche now. I got it when I was a baby.”

Melina Saint Thunderdome is a graduate of Second Citys Sketch Comedy Writing program, but she enjoys writing humorous pieces of all sorts. Her influences are pretty varied: Laurel & Hardy, the Warner Bros. cartoons, RuPaul, Girlfriends,and The Tickare a few. Visit her Medium page for more!


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