On Friday I looked out my office window and noticed a bank of dark clouds rolling in over the hills. Seeing as I'd ridden my bike that day, I thought I might sneak off at 4.45 to try and get to my car before the rain came (note of explanation, most days of the week I drive to a quiet street near the city and ride my bike the rest of the way, saving parking fees and giving me at least a modicum of exercise). I trudged downstairs with my backpack and two heavy bags of market shopping, which I placed as carefully as I could on each handlebar. Then I set off on a slightly wobbly journey to my car, about fifteen minutes away. I could smell the rain by that stage, and the light was fading fast, but I was pretty confident I'd get to the car in time.
I was *sort of* right. As I turned the corner the first drops came. No matter, in seconds I would have the bike thrown in the back of the old laser, and I'd be driving off, listening to the rain flick specks of rust off the roof.
Problem was, there was no car. Just a damp piece of road where I parked that morning.
There's nothing quite like that sick feeling. Strangely, I found myself riding in a loop around the local streets, thinking I might have parked in a different spot without realising it. In the end I had to admit the sorry truth. Somebody had actually been silly enough to steal the laser. It had finally happened.
At this point the deluge hit. I found myself wobbling up the main road, sheets of rain making halos around the headlights in front, water dripping from my shopping, my helmet and my nose. I tried to ring Pip but she must have been away from her phone, and I didn't want to keep trying because the phone got very wet very quickly, and I thought this probably wouldn't do it a lot of good.
Finally I got through to her, and she picked me up from a nearby shopping centre. After reporting it to the police we went home and I checked the insurance. Thankfully it was covered for theft.
As a kind of creepy afterthought - this morning when I came into work I had one of those spam emails where the subject line is generated by a computer. It came from the UK, and it said "Your car's under arrest".
*twilight zone music*