I burst a tyre today. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Not any old fool can do it. You have to be a very special kind of fool to get it right. You have to pick exactly the right kind of curb and then jab your wheel in at exactly the right angle. You don’t have to be going very fast. It’s the angle that counts. And the style of curb. A normal curb won’t do the trick, you need to pick one that is made of stone with impossibly sharp edges.
A bergie sauntered up and offered help. Not so much mechanical help as moral support. ‘I’ll be over there if you need me’ she said, pointing to the very, very far end of the park.
I’ve never had to change a tyre all on my own before and I was quite looking forward to it. Well, not so much doing it as boasting about it later. How easy it all was and that I’m obviously a natural. Bugger the whole breast-feeding in a power-suit; we all know that what truly proves your mettle as a modern woman is changing a tyre on your own.
Feigning annoyance (actually amped to use that winding thing) I set to work. As I’d been on my way for a walk, I was comfortably dressed in my short-leggings (phew, Wheelchairboy not in sight). Leggings, you’ll be interested to know, are the perfect attire for tyre changing. It’s all about stretch folks. With my arse on the tar and my legs spread-eagled I thought it would be helpful to keep calm by humming Gwen Stefani’s “Wind it up”. At least I saw the funny side.
Not very far into my humming and winding (oh please, for the love of God, why is winding and winding spelt the same?!?!?) I hear a voice above my head.
‘I read somewhere once that when you come upon something like this, you’re supposed to help’. What could I say? I was hardly going to chase this helpful soul away. Besides, the winding business was taking much, much longer than I’d expected due to me not quite getting the whole motion down pat.
It was my turn to stand around unhelpfully, offering unhelpful moral support whilst HelpfulSoul changed the tyre for me.
Just about to go for a run, he asked? (I look like a runner? That’s a first.)
No, I said. Just a walk, but there’s no point now. Would this count as exercise?
Maybe. No. Not really. So, do you work from home? (How could he tell? Do I have that home-worker look about me?)
Yes. How about you?
Yup, working on a new venture. More stressful than being a salaryman. Do you live close by? (Friendly smile).
Just over the hill. Over that saddle over there. You? (Goofy smile).
Oh, close by. Just up there.
Had I been a single, leggy blonde, half my age, with a French accent, the whole exchange would have been a perfect movie moment as HelpfulSoul was no slouch in the looks department. What sealed the non-movie moment deal however, was that I was wearing my special Einstein-hairdo (which had gotten progressively worse with all that winding), my back-up Far-Side style sunnies (because bad hair is not enough) and my cycling leggings (in which I look exactly like a Russian hammer thrower - male.)
‘Gee, thanks so much – er, sorry, I didn’t get your name. You totally saved the day.’ (Paging Captain Corny. WTF?!?!)
‘No problem, I’m Bruce. And you are?’
He looks at me funny then says ‘Bruce (points to him) Lee (points to me). What are the chances?’ I couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe there was a bit of a movie moment after all.