Noon hour, corner of Ashland and Second Street, Santa Monica. Two middle-aged males stand with their bikes. One is black, one is white with a gray-blond ponytail trailing out of his helmet.

Black guy: "It's because they have low self-esteem."

Blondie, jabbing an index finger into the air: "You bet they have low self-esteem. And you wanna know why? I'll tell you why ..."

Eavesdropper, curious to know who has low self-esteem and why but reluctant to seem pervy, walks on by.

More by Ellen Alperstein:
He ain't heavy, he's my dog
Meeting of the mind
These finders don't want to be keepers
The Sterling enablers
Previous Native Intelligence story: Coyotes sing with Garrison Keillor and 'Prairie Home Companion' in LA

Next Native Intelligence story: What makes a good NBA head coach?

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