You know those spokey things on bikes
that rattle when the wheels are spinning,
that are coloured and plastic
and cool for little girls ....
Inventoria has them on her bike. My bike
is the same except I don't have the spokies
and I don't have suspension. I have
an anti mining sticker and a picture of a wave
around the frame.
They are good bikes for us.
Chained to themselves or each other, occasionally oiled,
slowly rusting and resting out the front of our
apartment block on a small verandah. There is no room
inside, so out the front they remain like
Inventoria, as a brief aside, has an acute sense
of smell. So acute in fact that I wonder
if her acute imagination is not ruling her nose.
"I can smell tobacco coming from outside"
she would comment at 5 am in her most enthusiastic detective voice
"you know that one that all the crims smoke ... ox or something"
"mmm ... that's nice dear I would mutter ... I mean oh ... I can't
.....white ox you mean"
and this would go on for some weeks ... my nose none the wiser
Our apartment at this juncture was in a fairly quiet part
of town ... in fact one where tres early walkers
would more likely to be carrying small dogs in tow
or personal trainers ... not puffing on an early morning ox.
On this particular morning, the air was still and warm.
Half sleeping Inventoria's senses begin
to come to life. I only inches away dream on snoringly.
..... and like a panther inventoria leaps
Out the bedroom door, left toward the front door ...that
opens onto our little verandah with the bikes
and other odd assortments.
As she leaps stark naked ... I turn startled to see
her bottom whiz around the corner as she yells
.... the fucker!!!
I'm all aglaze. Did I hear something in my half sleep ...
a rattling, a familiar sound? Yes I did.
The clickety click of those spokies
Now I'm up too, naked and dangling about. The front door
is open and there on the footpath is Inventoria's bike
with wheel spinning, it's naked owner cursing some
fleeing and unsuccessful theif.
You see the spokies alerted Inventoria and her cat like
reflexes saved the day ..... "not entirely the noise" she said
with a deserved sense of triumph....
"I could smell him coming"
And as we stood in the early morning light
naked with hearts thumping, a bike strewn and tangled
on the footpath, spokies still spinning slowly ... I took a deep breath,
and yes ....... there it was,
I smelt it with my own nose
the faint and somewhat ominous smell of
white ox ....
The moral of the story is that if you are going
to rip off a bike from the front
of someones house ... put out your fag first.