Although I have not lived in the city long, I am not as redneck as you might think. Just recently on my way home from work on one of Lincoln's bike trails a fat boy of 14 or 15 years was walking toward me. I gave him the usual smile and nod down. (Nod down for strangers, nod up for friends.) See Man Law Code # 19.
The boy gives me no reaction. Sure, where I come from, the typical greeting is raising one index finger off the steering wheel when passing, and if they are recognized as a friend you also hold up your beer as if you were toasting... but here in the big city, culture is vastly different! So, I'm not surprised to be snubbed by the pudgy lad... that is, until the last second, when we are just about to cross paths on the trail, at that moment he quickly looks me in the eye while holding his left hand in a loose fist and his right arm flies up across his neck and lands his right hand above his left shoulder, his index and naughty finger make a "V" with his palm out.This is me showing what the thug looked like:
It's too late for me to react, by the time I register what I had just seen I'm way past him on the trail. But I am citified enough by now to know, that I have just been flashed my first GANG SIGN!
I contemplated calling the cops, but feared retaliation, worried that the boy might find me on the trail again, and sit on me, or whatever fat gangsters do when their mad at a snitch.
As I continued to flee the scene I started to breakdown what I had witnessed. The "V" he was making obviously wasn't a peace sign, it was clearly a "V". Must be a location I thought... Like a "W" for Westside. Vorth, Vouth, Vast, Vest... Nope, by-golly, it can't be a direction.
The only logical explanation is "Velo" it's the gang sign for the new Lincoln bicycle gang!
And the loose fisted left hand surly emulates holding handlebar ends on a flat bar bike.
Hmmm. Well, I generally wouldn't associate with thugs, but I'd sure like to be in a cool bicycle gang. I've been a member of other groups... not really gangs... but similar I think. I was in 4-H and FFA and while we didn't tie handkerchiefs around our biceps we did wear the blue corduroy jackets with our names embroidered on the front, so I think I have the jest of this gang thing.
Maybe I'd have to do some tricks as part of the initiation? I guess I'd better get to practising.
The Lincoln Police Dept. did a report back in 2008 on gangs, but should probably update it to include the new Velo gang. I would think the Velo's would want to be 'representin'. So, until I become an official card carrying member of the Velo gang I'll continue to nod and smile. But if one day you pass me on the trail and I have a big gut and ear to ear frown and am flashing you the "V" you'd better stay outta my way!