How Baddie got to hold a stranger’s collapsible bike
And that, gentle reader, is not a metaphor. This afternoon, as I rushed to catch the lift (elevator?) after one of my classes which is held in a very strange old building* I almost bumped into a red collapsible bike. “Oh, sorry” said the owner of the thing, who was alone in the moderately-sized lift at the time. As I waited for the doors to shut, he proceeded to make his bike smaller. And smaller. And smaller.
“How small does that thing actually get?” came out of my mouth before I could swallow the words. Whaaaat? I was only supposed to think that. Think, not say it.
“Just about … this small” the stranger replies with a final click, and the bike is now perfectly collapsed. It looks pretty neat.
“And is it heavy?” I follow up. It’s like my tongue has evil powers or is on a five-minute strike from my brain.
“No” the stranger chuckles. I look down in shame. And I notice that he’s extended his bike for me to take hold of. I look at him. I look at the bike. What the heck, it’d be rude not to, now that I’ve been pestering him about it for the last three floors. So I grab the thing under the saddle. It’s heavy.
“Well, I wouldn’t want to lug this around with me, but it’s not too bad” I conclude and hand it back.
He takes the bike and half-covers it with his coat. I glance at him, uneasily.
“I have to make it smaller” he explains. (And hide it? I wonder) “It’s because every time I come down with the elevator and it’s big, the security guard starts shouting at me.”
I picture it and begin to smile. A delinquent collapsible bike. Now that has made my day.
* strange building because it is not 100% rented out / owned by my university; they just have one or two of the floors – the rest are occupied by firms or other organizations so I keep seeing all sorts of interesting people in the lobby; on the upside, it does have a gorgeous wooden staircase.