“It can’t be helped darling, just crack on without me” drone the suits into their Blackberries. The departure boards are blank. There’s been a fatality at Surbiton. There’s even talk of replacement busses. The concourse is now straining with commuters waiting to get home to the ‘burbs.
This isn’t the place to be with a bike. Even the Brompton owners are shaking their heads: normally they’re so smug when presented with a packed carriage, but not this evening. Now, to kill some time until things calm down.
So I’m standing outside Scooter Works, the same café in a Waterloo back street that Jason Bourne scarpers to when he evades an assassination in the Bourne Supremacy. I’ve put my Tesco plastic bag-disguise over my Brooks saddle and I’m about to lock up when I notice something written on the pavement.
“LIGHT THIEF ICI” scratched in capitals. “Thanks mate,” I think as I begin to unscrew my rear light. But why “ici” and not “here”? Jason Bourne would have known. Was it written by the thief, proud of his/her haul? No matter, I just welcome the effort as one who once had my bike relieved of its saddle, seat post and brake blocks by a resourceful sod with an Allen key.
As they say in the intelligence community, “it’s not just what you know, but who you tell it to”. But I couldn’t possibly tell you who told me that.