So it all started three days ago when I biked over to the library. I jammed my bike key into the lock and twisted it. The key twisted in response, but there was something different. Upon closer examination, I realized that the key had twisted, but the lock had not. I gently but firmly untwisted the key, careful not to break it off. Then I more carefully pressured the key deeper into the lock and successfully removed the chain. I experienced a momentary satisfaction knowing that MacGuyver (my European adapt-to-every-situation pseudo personality) had done it again. The euphoria of this moment of triumph was tempered by the fact that I had come to expect this type of "saves the day" behavior from myself. (Don-don-DOOOON, music in the background, clouds roll in--literally, there are many signs of bad news upon the horizon).
So yesterday, I go to unlock my bike to head to a lecture. Like on every other day, I stick my partially bent key into the lock and twist firmly but not forcefully to the right. I feel the "click" as my bike key (which is about as sturdy as a Lisa Frank diary key--see previous) snaps in half. This is bad news. For starters, I never made a spare (despite earnest suggestions. My rationale was that if I lost my bike key, I would also lose my house key and my fop and the bike would be he least of my worries. True, but probably not good rationale.). Furthermore, even if I had made a spare, it wouldn't have mattered (aha! I am vindicated) because there is half a key stuck in the lock. So, I trudged off to lecture in the rain. It would be raining.
At this point in the story, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the maintenance department in the college will cut off bike locks for you. The bad news is that the maintenance department in college will cut off bike locks for you. When I told the guy that I had broken my lock, his response was "Oh, really?" or some other version of playful banter that I just didn't understand. After much banter (which I didn't understand), he grabbed a small handsaw and followed me out onto the street. He then proceeded to joke, "Which one would you like?" When I pointed to my bike, he countered that there might be a nicer one that I would prefer to have. After being offended (not really) that he had slammed my bike, I was slightly disturbed by the situation. He didn't take my name and I didn't have to show any id. We didn't even look at the sticker that has my identification number on it. Nor did we get out a UV light and look for signs of ownership (see much, MUCH earlier post).
So, if you are ever in Oxford, just pop into a college and find the guy with the buzzsaw.
Oh, and then today, I ripped the seam out of my pants on my bike. It's like a sign that accompanies these types of days (which always seem to be filled with rainy weather).