for the love of tandem
The black plastic-y key for my $14.99 bike lock kept bending slightly until it was nearly T-shaped. This summer, it finally snapped in two when it was inside the lock, leaving me to fish out the bit inside with a safety pin. Luckily I found a second key stashed in one of my many boxes of God-knows-what.
But it too went the way of it’s brother yesterday. I was forced to take a taxi back to work, leaving it locked up to a wrought iron gate next to the Bata Shoe Museum.
Today I returned with a borrowed hacksaw (thanks Deb) to steal my own bike. In case of campus cop brew ha ha, I decided it was best to thieve after my scheduled interview with museum curator Elizabeth Semmelhack (the woman knows high heels) (and p.s. the foot-size-to-penis-size ratio really is just folklore) (I learned that from Semmelhack, not from field research).
As Toronto’s first snow flurries of the winter start coming down I start to saw. The hacksaw quickly works it way through plastic and makes a loud grating noise when it hits three of the six cables surrounding the lock’s metal core. But it’s working.
It’s 1:30 p.m. and streams of students pass by with nary a glance. A responsible cyclist is the only one who stops me: “Excuse me, but can I ask what you’re doing?” I explain and he looks skeptical but leaves after I show him the broken key inside the lock, “Good luck,” he waves cycling away. Yeah, thanks. A professor (and I concluded this because who else would sport a black vest with felt skeletons all over it three days before Hallowe’en) walks over. “Bummer, maybe the maintenance guy has something you can use that would make it faster,” he said and went into the University Women’s Club to check. Five minutes later he appears sipping a fresh cup of coffee, “Sorry,” he shrugs, strolling back inside.
Hot flashes are shooting up my wrist but I’m three quarters in, musn’t stop now. An innocuous blue car pulls up and a student in a baseball cap shouts, “Hey, need some help?”
“Yes! Do you have wire cutters?”
“No, but my buddy’s really good with a saw.”
And with that, they pull over and he and his buddy step out of his car. Buddy smiles at me, takes the saw and gives ‘er. Sparks almost fly he’s sawing so fast. As he leans over, I admire the white do-rag peeking out from under his ball cap. He bends and twists the cable and it breaks — the job is done. “Thanks so much!” I say, wanting to hug the kid.
“Sure, we saw this girl with a saw, and we were like, what the… so we stopped,” he said.
“Well, I really needed the help, thank you.”
“No problem, just do me one favour,” he said. “Next time you see someone who needs help, stop.”
unrelated endnote: for my facebook “friends” who laugh and think, “what a loser, who posts long notes about stealing bikes on facebook?” I would like to defend myself. These “notes” are actually streamed from my blog – www.thriftygirl.wordpress.com – and blogging is the very definition of cool.
unrelated endnote II: It’s been five months since my last blog post. This probably isn’t even a blog anymore, I will now refer to it as a AsIC (Another sporadic Internet Confession).