THREATDOWN: Natalie Ramsland

People often mistake me as being shorter, smaller, and more vegetarian than I actually am. My countenance isn’t exactly meanacing. But truth be told, I am an official security risk.

On a rainy fall day many years ago, I was a bike messenger delivering a super rush to the courthouse. The various parties involved in the scene that ensued will tell you different stories.  This is mine:

My bike shoes always set off the metal detector, and I got in the habit of taking them off and running them through the machine in order to save time and conversation. On this particular day, that metal detector was crammed with umbrellas and coats and the line was full of soggy citizens fumbling with keys and belts. I cleared security in my pink striped socks. I had a filing for the circuit court and two minutes to get it there. “There” was the second floor, so close, yet so far. My shoes were making a slow journey through security. I assessed my options: wait for the shoes and possibly miss the deadline, or deliver the package and let the circuit court enjoy my pink striped socks.  

I left the shoes and went for it.

Bounding up the stairs in my socks, I heard a voice shout out “WAIT!” It was the security guard holding up my soggy bike shoes. I waved the file urgently, the guard nodded his assent and I was off again. I made it no further than the marble landing before I was tackled by two armed guards. They had only heard “WAIT!” and saw me continue.  

As the sheriff issued my 90 day suspension from the courthouse and snapped my picture for their files, the guard with my shoes came to my defense and urged me to clear this up with an appeal to the judge.  I was then cleard to drop off my filing upstairs.

A week later the judge ruled. The official story from the guards was that I was swearing and belligerent, so the suspension held. What had they seen in me? A zealous messenger in pink striped socks, or something a bit darker? I like to think that in a Polaroid buried deep in Multnomah County records, my eyes reveal the truth to the camera.

All I can say is that I eat bacon, and I am bigger than I look.

From → Bike Messenger Love, Don't Try This at Home, How To, P-Town


  1. This is brilliant.

  2. The number one threat to America:
    BEARS that wear pink striped socks

  3. go you! great story.

  4. that is funny. silly sweet cx bike, too, Nat!

  5. It actually took a little while before this was funny to me – I guess the first armed guard tackle is always the hardest, I suppose.

  6. jj

    i’m amazed they found you threatening enough that TWO armed guards took you down. i mean, i know you’re hardcore and all, but come on…and pink striped socks are the best.

  7. Ok, next tell the story about how you pulled the guy out of his car by his shirt, brandishing your U-lock like a prestige class weapon in melee. Doesn’t make you look so innocent, now does it?

    This story totally rules and you rule and I’m willing to turn a blind eye to your bacon consumption to preserve my tiny, perfect image of you. Let’s run on Monday! xo

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