The Ryan Report – Episode 208 "Kill The Messenger" Ryan's Bio
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There's a stereotype out there that cops are thrill-seekers, mercurial rogues who live on the knife's edge of danger, crazed anti-heroes risking life and limbs. And that can be true – Esposito and I chanced it all by going to the midnight release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for Xbox360 on Monday and playing it right up until we had to go to work. You haven't courted danger until you've drunk fifteen cups of coffee and still found yourself trying to sneak a nap while Beckett's on an investigative tear.
But as fearless as we NYPD detectives are, I have to admit we've got nothing on bike messengers. Those guys are the most go-for-broke-then-break-it-again maniacs I've ever seen – and I used to work Vice. I've heard tell that bike messenger services require their messengers to prepare a will before starting work and, y'know, that actually makes a lot of sense. We're talking about a line of work that puts so many of them in the ER that their nickname in the medical community is "Organ Donors".
When your daily grind involves racing down city streets at breakneck speeds, all the while dodging cars, pedestrians, and inanimate objects, you've clearly got an appetite for destruction. It takes a certain kind of person to not only endure that sort of thing, but embrace it. I'm thinking combat veterans, adrenaline junkies, and sociopaths.
These are the sorts of people who, for fun, organize "Alleycat" competitions – races that feature several checkpoints around the city that competitors must speed through. Oh, and at some of these checkpoints they have to complete "tasks." As in, they have to do a shot of whiskey or run down the street in their underwear or recite all the Beatles albums in reverse chronological order (Let It Be, Abbey Road, uh…). All while trying to beat out a whole field of other racers. So, sort of like an after-dinner game, but with a little less booze and much higher speeds. And what are they trying to win? Nothing but the respect of their similarly insane brethren!
I mean, it's fair to say Espo and I have our moments of craziness. That night he attempted to win the karaoke competition by singing Rush's "Tom Sawyer," the week I tried to bring sweater vests back… oh, and the fact that our job is hunting down killers on a daily basis. But hey, hurtling our bodies down the manic streets of Manhattan for minimum wage? I'd say that we're a little more stable than that. No, I didn't say boring, I said stable! Stable is not boring, okay?
But, if they made it a videogame? We'd be there opening day, probably end up waiting in line overnight to get it. What can I say, I have a taste for danger as long as it's on my terms.