Sunday, February 20, 2011


Most of the winter my bike has been locked to a pole at the end of my building. I see it there almost everyday and think "I should ride that bike" or "I should move the bike inside." I am not used to having a bike so I half-forget I have one. I sometimes marvalled that the bike wasn't stolen.

In other words I take for granted that the bike is there. But not today, today the bike was not there. Not only was the bike gone, the pole was gone! Big metal street pole - vanished! And I looked around dumbly as if I had forgotten where I parked my car and that maybe I was remembering incorrectly. I walked to the spot where I thought the pole had been looking for telltale signs that it had existed. I could see the spot where it had been.

Blankly I stared up the street and what should I see? My bike locked to another pole! It made no sense. Some parallel reality was playing itself out in a spectacularly mundane way. Bait and switch. As I get closer I can see the lock is still on but it is only locked to itself and is leaning against the new pole and has been affixed with a thin twist tie. A metal string.

In order to have removed the bike they would have to unthread it from the pole, carried it down the street (wheels were locked) and wired it to a new pole. Anyone in the world could have taken that bike, but I guess they only wanted the pole.

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