Friday 19 October 2012

Helping a driver with a flat tyre on a Brompton

I pride myself on being a gentleman - well at least most of the time. Today on my daily commute, early this morning in light drizzle I saw a car with the hazard warning lights on and a chap about my height trying valiantly to push the car to the side of the road. Seeing that it was on a slight incline and wanting to do the gentlemanly thing, I got off my beloved Orange Brompton and offered my help.

Perhaps a note of what I was wearing might help you picture the scene. I was wearing a shirt, tie, suite trousers and a rather fine pair of loafers in a fetching shade of burgundy. Over all of this I was wearing my Altura Nightvision jacket and over trousers.

I folded my Brompton up completely and left it in front of the car so that I could see it. I asked if the owner - a young lady of about 18-19 had a spare wheel as I could attempt to change it when we had pushed the car to the side. It had none. So, we began the task of pushing. The gentleman pushing was in fact the ladies boyfriend.

We pushed and nothing happened. I pushed again and nothing happened. At this point the rear screen wiper (on a Ford Ka by the way) impeded my grip and because it came on so suddenly and without warning I let out an 'ahhhh!' and jumped. This caused the boyfriend to jump as well. We pushed again. Nothing. Putting a concerted effort in, my hands were positioned on the bumper and I was almost horizontal to the ground. It looks so easy on 'Worlds Strongest Man.' At this point my loafers, which have a hand stitched leather sole decided that they had done their bit and the little grip they had seemed to get less and less.

I started to become amused by the situation I had found myself in and my total uselessness. I started to laugh, still trying to push the car. The boyfriends suggestion that his girlfriend start the car and gently drive it to the curb had me laughing out loud. As we continued to hold on to the rear of the car and guide it to the curb, as it was driven slowly, tears streamed down my face (masked by the light drizzle). I had now reached the point of no return and upon seeing that the boyfriends jeans - the type that hang halfway down ones backside - had slid down to his mid thigh, I was gone. I stood doubled up and openly pointed and laughed as the curb was reached.

I got on my beloved Brompton and pedalled off giggling to myself for rest of my commute. I don't know what the poor people in the car made of it all but I hope I left them with a good impression of us Bromptonians.

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