Friday, April 15, 2011

red light means stop

I cycled to college this morning, as I always do. (The morning cycle is quickly becoming the most exciting part of my day.) Today I ran a red light and then quickly had to hop my bike up onto the pavement to avoid a collision with a Honda Civic. I just happened to land my bike a little too close to the shin of a large bald man with a moustache dressed entirely in leather. He was leaning against a wall holding a can of petrol and a hammer, with a hand saw slung over his shoulder. I know it is wrong of me to assume he was dangerous based solely on his appearance and choice of weapons; but I assumed he was dangerous.

I was wearing my new red sweater which has a picture of a mouse with a pepper pot and a pair of scissors peeking out of one pocket, and a rabbit with a gold tooth and a crayon peeking out of the other. It makes me look like a 1990's children's TV presenter whose personality description includes the words "bubbly" and "enthusiastic". I did not feel the sweater was a good choice in this particular situation.

We had a moment of silence, me and this man, during which I tried to think of something to say and he considered whether or not he would let me live. Then the light turned green and I blurted something like "Sfarrlar" and without getting off the saddle, walked my bike away as quickly as I could, which was in fact quite slowly. The man did not pursue me, I think he was reluctant to cut me up with a hand saw on such a busy stretch of road. As I hobbled away I could have sworn I heard him whisper, "Next time, kid."
I don't know if this was because I ran the red light or because I was wearing annoying clothes. I must stop doing both.

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