Thursday, 29 May 2008

The non-loneliness of the short-distance cyclist

It seems to have been one of those days where strangers want to talk to me or tell me things. I don't see this as anything to do with a boost in my charisma mind you.

It began when I was walking through town to work - a man some twenty yards away raised his hand, smiled and shouted, how you doing? I looked behind me to see who he was talking to, only to find that there was nobody there. He continued with other words of greeting as we got closer. This seemed to me to be leading towards the territory of him asking me for money - it does happen with some regularity around this part of town - but whether or not this was the case, his attempts at disarming me with his warmth were met with a curt Morning! and I walked on.

Later in the day, as I was walking along a suburban street to a work appointment, a boy of about twelve held up a £10 note and asked if I would go in the off-licence to get some alcohol for him. He responded to my refusal with but I've got the money, which led me to wonder if he'd ever tried to ask a stranger to actually provide the funds as well.

On the bus on the way home a chap with an inane grin got on and promptly addressed the driver with a strangely satisfied-sounding Waaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhh! as he showed him his day ticket. He then walked down the bus, giving me a big thumbs-up and saying a barely-coherent Alright? as he passed me by. He spent the rest of the journey sat at the back, occasionally making loud utterances along the lines of HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAAAAARRRRRRGGHHHH!

Back home I wasted little time in making the most of the change in the weather, and went cycling for an hour and a half. As I neared home, I slowed my pace a little as I went up a hill (I must be losing my touch since I was recently boasting about gaining speed uphill), and noticed a thin-looking man with an intense, slightly haunted expression on his face, his eyes sunken but startlingly wide. He was staring at me as I rode by, and said with some certainty, your back wheel has fallen off.

I tacitly thanked myself for trusting what grasp I have of the laws of physics rather than looking behind to where the back wheel should be. It certainly felt like it was still there, and that was good enough for me. I must admit to making a quick check once I'd arrived back home though.

15 comments:

Charlotte said...

Perhaps you've been wearing some special aftershave today, Herr Trousers? Whatever it is, you're doing something for your local nutters.

Merkin said...

I would stay in bed for a few days.
There is a Friday the Thirteenth feel about your posting.
Don't take a chance.

trousers said...

Charlotte! Nice to see you. Aftershave? Can't remember the last time I wore aftershave. So, I've had all this uninvited attention, for whatever reason, but most of the people I was actually supposed to see today weren't there. Sod's law.

I only wish I had that option merk, unfortunately it's a chance I have little choice but to take. If you don't hear from me for a while though, just refer to this post and allow your imagination to do the rest...

Merkin said...

Please don't gooooooooo......

nmj said...

hey trews, i came here several hours ago to comment and a friend i haven't spoken to for ten yeras called me out of the blue, so i got a bit distracted!

anyway, this post is actually very understated and very funny, it warmed me up x

nmj said...

years, i mean, of course.

(word ver: gwelnxis - sounds like sth you might use to repair your bike when the wheel does fall off.)

Anonymous said...

I know it is absurd
I know it is wonderful
This kind of freedom.
......
BTW Trousers : Loved it I did.

trousers said...

Oh it'll be their fault not mine merk, I've no intentions of going anywhere...

nmj, I quite like yeras, but then if you'd done the same with hours it would have been horus...but I digress! I'm glad you enjoyed this, and I hope your conversation with your friend was good too. I liked the word ver - though they're getting much more complicated these days (I think) aren't they?

anonymous - freedom? I wish. Glad you liked it though :)

DJ Kirkby said...

Hmmm days like that scare me...I don't like meeting people who manage to be even odder than I am.

trousers said...

It's ok just bumping into one or two people like that, dj, but when it's several in one day (there were a couple of other less notable encounters on the day in question) it's a bit much, definitely.

Jay said...

Where the heck do you live, to run into so many weirdos in one day? LOL! Funny post!

trousers said...

Hi Jay and welcome. I live in a big city, which I think is what it comes down to. That, and it being "one of those days." Glad you enjoyed reading it :)

Jennyta said...

sorry, but I'm still stuck on the bit about cycling uphill. You mean it is actually possible? How does one ever get to that state of fitness then? Tips will be greatly appreciated. :)

trousers said...

Hello and welcome jemmyta - when I first went cycling the uphills were what I absolutely hated, and I would be constantly cursing whenever I was negotiating one....I think it's just a case of persistence - it's taken a while :)

trousers said...

Oh bugger - I mispelled your name - jennyta not jemmyta - my apologies!