Other (Vaguely) Cycling Related News

Larry the Lucky Lobster

For the past few weeks the office I work at has been undergoing a major refurbishment. This has meant everybody is being squeezed into half the previous office space whilst the other half of the building is gutted.  The upshot is that there is no room in the office for my bike.  Rather than being forced onto the bus I arranged with a contact to leave my bike at their workshop.  This adds a mile walk each way to my cycle commute but I prefer that to the evils of the bus.  [This is a deep psychological scar left from having to travel by bus to school for 1 1/2 hours a day for 7 years when I suffered badly from travel sickness.  I’m sure I’ll get over it some when but it has only been 30 years since the trauma, so early days yet.].
Larry at the Harbour

My walking route from the workshop to the office passes an oriental supermarket on a little used back street.  As I walked by the other morning I couldn’t help but notice a lobster sat on the pavement outside looking a little confused.  The sun was just cresting the buildings to the east, washing him with bright, warm light.  Very pleasant but probably not ideal conditions for a lobster.  Indeed, his efforts to get my attention by waving his rubber band bound claws at me was rather pathetically and I guessed he was already suffering.

Kneeling down I looked him in the eyes.  They were small, beady, black and strangely intelligent.  By some process of crustaceous telepathy he informed me that his name was Larry and unravelled an unlikely tale.  He had been falsely accused of a crime and incarcerated in the local jail.  Whilst awaiting trial the whole jail had been hauled out of the sea and he had been rudely dragged out and dumped in a basket by a stinky human (no offence intended).  Than a whole load of stuff that he didn’t understand had happened until he finally managed to struggle to the edge of the basket and jump for freedom.

Sadly, he didn’t splash into the sea as he had expected but had landed with a crunch on this hard black stuff.  He was now feeling tired and just a bit dried out.  He wanted to get back to the sea so that he could clear his name and return to his family.

Well, the oriental supermarket was closed and I had to walk right by the harbour so I said I would be happy to give him a ride, as long as he didn’t mind just hanging loose in my hand because my bag was full.  He wasn’t too keen on the hanging bit but with no one else with better transport prospects in sight he reluctantly agreed.

Walking to the harbour I got a few odd looks but no more than usual.  The locals haven’t become accustomed to seeing a lycra clad, middle aged bloke wandering along their mean streets yet.  In a few more weeks they’ll take no notice.  They’ll probably get bored of sniggering and making snarky remarks as well.  And their egg supply must be running low by now.

We made it to the harbour without incident and I carefully released Larry’s claws from the bands that bound them.  We had only been together for 5 minutes but I felt some bond had grown between us.  It was a sad moment as I bid him farewell and good luck in his mission to clear his name.  As I lowered him into the water he gave me a final salute as he drifted to the bottom.

He just sort of sat there for a long time.  A very long time.  In the end I had to head on to the office and  hope that he was going to be okay.

I worried about Larry all day but when I passed by on my return journey that evening he was gone.  I can only assume he had taken a while to recover and had then made his way out through the harbour to home, wherever that might be.  

I hope he’s got his sat nav with him!

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