October 21, 2008

Chimp uses bad language on a bike

My new routine: bike (1 mile) – train (40 minutes) – bike (4 miles).
I’ve been leaving home earlier to cycle through London as the city wakes up. At this point, you’d expect a cue for a romantic description of God's favourite town, maybe something like: making my way through the chill London fog, I pass through Smithfield meat market as the cockney butchers set up their stalls with a cheery whistle and an “Oi oi guvnor, apples an’ pears chim chimminy me old mucker!”.
The reality ain’t so quaint.
Apart from the fact that I ride the most uncomfortable bike ever created – a folding piece of scrap with baby-small clown wheels – the mental exhaustion trumps the physical every time. I've noticed cute young women smiling at me, which is either because of a) awesome bloke bettering himself and the environment without a hint of vain self-consciousness, or b) trying not to laugh. There's a punchline which goes "Tony Soprano on a diddy bike". The joke that precedes it... it's most probably me.
And then there's the maniac van drivers, buses, and trying to indicate without falling off – they all contribute towards a long panic that only ends with a hot shower at the office.
There’s one tiny, perverse fragment of excitement: the grumpy old bastard that I always seem to encounter around Bloomsbury.
It all started when I jumped the lights.
It’s that split second between one set of lights going red, and your red light turning green. That’s when, if you’re on a bike, you try and sprint off before the taxi behind you tries to make babies with your rear tyre.
Several yards ahead, I braked as a chap in his 60s, with one of those red faces that always looks angry, was crossing the road with his raggety white terrier thing.
“Nuisance those red lights, aren’t they?” he said, almost cheerfully as I politely gave way.
“Er… yes?” was all I could manage, rather pathetically. Setting off, I heard him turn round and shout: “Prat!”. Even more pathetically, I sped off, wondering what his problem was.
Two days later, almost exactly the same scenario. Aha.
Stopping to let him cross, his response: “Wanker!”
Oh for fuck’s sake. Here’s me stopping to let this old fucker and his manky terrier cross, and I’m getting the verbals.
Gentle reader, you are aware that ignoring such remarks and taking them on the chin is the mature, correct means of dealing with this.
Unfortunately, this is me.
“You know your dog’s limping,” I said.
He turned. Yes, actually turned to check.
“Probably cos you’ve just fucked him up the arse!” I shouted as, pedalling off, his distant “Fucking wanker!” made me chuckle.
A day later. I don’t fucking believe it. Old fucker with dog. This time I’m waiting at the lights as he sees me. “Oi, you, you fat wanker on the bike! Why don’t you just fuck off!” Beside me, the driver of a black cab laughs and says to me: “Not letting him get away with that, are you?”
I’m genuinely pissed off now. “Know why I’m so fat?” I shout to the old fucker. “It’s cos every time I fuck your granddaughter she gives me a doughnut!”
Oh shit. Even though taxi driver is cracking up, the old fucker is screaming. “You cunt! You fucker! I’m going to make you eat a shit sandwich!”.
Lights change, I sprint off, relieved.
That was this morning.
Christ knows what tomorrow will bring.


LimitedTimeOffer said...

Fucking hilarious, best think up a "shit sandwich" riposte tonight.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how he will react if you go in a gorilla costume next time.