Monday, February 28, 2005

Pether Returns!

I don't know if you are familiar with the Monty Python episode entitled "The Cycling Tour". Unlike all their other shows, this was one continuous story featuring Mr. Pether. Whilst on a cycling tour of the West Country he falls off his bike several times, meets a man who markets self-ejecting tomatos, has curious encounters with Chinese diplomats in the British Consulate in Smolensk and ends up facing a firing squad in a Russian prison. Throughout his travails, Pether, (played by Michael Palin in his finest nerdy, round-glasses and bobble hat mode) is always cheerful and positive no matter how much surface impaction his crunchie bar may suffer.

This morning I was amused to find the only ticket-operated gate leading into Ruislip Station blocked by a gentleman frantically pulling at an obstruction. It was his bicycle. He could not push it past the gates. He could not pull it back. The alarm was ringing but none of the station staff could be bothered to attend. People used the emergency gate to reach the platform while Pether huffed and puffed, and pulled and pushed.

My amusement did not last very long. There were no Piccadilly trains ("signal failure at Arnos Grove" got its regular airing) so I came to work the long way round via Baker Street and was half an hour late. I wonder how Mr Pether got on.

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