Andrew Sullivan, I thought you were displaying poor judgment when I saw you trucking up the Rock Creek Trail, letting your freak dome fly. Guy we put on the cover, I thought you were the ass clown. And while I’ll never come over to your side on the bike-helmet debate, I offer you an excellent argument against their use:

SCENE: Rock Creek Park, about 20 minutes ago. I feel something clunk into my helmet, then I feel something fall through the vent onto my very bald head.

Then I feel stinging. Not like the unpleasant tingle you feel after brushing past nettles, I’m talking SWEET MOTHER OF GOD stuff here.

Pull over. Unbuckle. THIS IS TAKING FOREVER! Yank off the helmet. A bee is cuddling up to one of the head guards. Head throbs. I catch my breath, feel the welt, take a sip of water.

Then in what’s either a sign of my dedication to avoiding brain damage or a good argument that there’s nothing to protect anyway, I knock the bee out, remount the helmet, and ride to work, every bump sandwiching my sting between skull and foam.