Thursday, January 26, 2006

At Last, a UFO Sighting of My Very Own

Like most spaceships, it was round and flat, it had landed in a seemingly random spot, and it was blinking. The size was what threw me off. Sure, I knew they could be small sometimes, but not this small. Good Night, not the size of a kiwi fruit!

I approached it cautiously on foot, crouching down gradually, trying to decipher in the dark through the glare of the blinking whether the hatch was open, its occupants spilling out onto the sidewalk. But no visible sign of organic life met my straining eyes. Should I call out? Make a friendly gesture? ( always risky, cross-culturally)

But wait! Could those be WORDS on its surface? Headlight beams from passing cars streamed by too quickly to help me see if the markings might be construed as some kind of alphabet. Not daring to take my eyes away from the diminutive craft lest it disappear and reduce me to a hallucinating lunatic, I leapt over to my bike abandoned hastily ten feet away where I’d screeched to halt, and in one deft motion slid my Planet Bike headlight out of its bracket.

But here, at the risk of wrecking the flow of the story, I must pause for attributions. Please, a round of applause for my trusty Planet Bike brand headlight, which when I got it a few months ago, carried me to a whole new level (a higher one) of the cycling experience. Especially the cycling-in-the-dark experience. Up till then I was using a generator light which, though it had the ingratiating feature of not consuming batteries, had also the annoying feature of extinguishing itself the minute my power-generating wheels stopped turning, with the perilous result that my entire person would vanish whenever I rolled to a stop. Besides, it didn’t light up my way very well. This new light could illuminate a street sign or stop sign from a full block away. No detail, far or near, ever escaped its merciless beam.

And so, when I stooped down and shone it directly onto the top of the space ship, I knew I could believe my eyes when I saw the words written there that shocked and thrilled and disappointed me. Disappointed me because clearly it was not a space ship after all; thrilled me because I now had in my possession a brand new rear bike light; and shocked me because of the two unlikely coinkidinks of the situation.

Number one: This, my friends, was the exact intersection, the very same, where I was crunched by an unruly driver just months before (see October 5th archive for: Rain Soup and Bike Sandwich), after which a passing street person approached me as I was picking myself up and handed me my still blinking helmet light!

And number two: The words written on the top of the spaceship were none other than: Planet Bike!

And to that I can only say: Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!


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