A formal rejection letter of your request to bicycle past me on the sidewalk

To whom it may concern.
(Shutterstock /

To whom it may concern,

I wish presently to address your inquiry regarding the matter of whether you may bicycle past me on this sidewalk.

I will deliver my response momentarily, but first a recap of the events leading up to this note may be in order.

You will recall that your request was first delivered to me via the rather polite ringing of a bell, situated on your left handlebar. I thank you for that delivering your message in such a manner.

You'll note, however, that I did not acknowledge it.

Second, you shouted, "Excuse me!?" Again, fairly polite, all things considered.

To this I gave a slight turn backward (I did not slow my walk), and raised a single eyebrow.

I believe this to have been a suitable response for the occasion.

Twice rebuffed, you then made your final bid.

In earnest, you offered a heartfelt, "YO GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY HURRY UP!"

I stopped in place, considered the merits of the entreaty that had been volleyed in my direction, then continued on once again.

I did not assent to even this last fervent request, you see, despite its clarity of intention and obvious urgency. And I am writing you at this time, in this letter that I will throw back over my shoulder toward you at its completion, to tell you that I will never move out of the way, not ever, and so it would be in your best interest and mine for you to now cease and desist in your attempts.

Should you need a reason why, I will now provide one.

It is because you don't bicycle on the sidewalk. I walk on the sidewalk.

You'll notice that I don't walk on the street. That's where you bicycle. (Or so I thought; imagine my surprise.)

The arising of a situation in which you are asking to bicycle past me should, then, be technically impossible.

But, dear sir, you've managed it.

I should say, by the way, that I believe in fairness. You would be equally well within your rights to deny my request to pass you, should I ever somehow be running on the street at more than 20 miles per hour.

But you'll agree, dear sir, that this is a scenario unlikely to occur.

First of all, I don't run. Not for any reason.

Second, and most important, if I do it will be on a track, or perhaps a patch of grass, or even a sidewalk.

It will not be on the street.

That's where you go.

Please do go there now, and enjoy the rest of your day. I will try to enjoy mine as well.

No return address.

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About the Author

Jeremy Woodcock

Jeremy has been a staff writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, performed stand-up comedy at the Just For Laughs and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals, and co-created/stars in the popular video series The Urbane Explorer/Finding Bessarion. A 3x Canadian Comedy Award–winner and published humour columnist, he also wrote your favourite joke, the one about the fish trying to get a job at a bank.