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Bicycle turning into brick

Sunday, 18 August, 2013

Brick and bike

‘The Atomic Theory,’ I sallied, ‘is a thing that is not clear to me at all.’
‘Michael Gilhaney,’ said the Sergeant, ‘is an example of a man that is nearly banjaxed from the principle of the Atomic Theory. Would it astonish you to hear that he is nearly half a bicycle?’
‘It would surprise me unconditionally,’ I said.
‘Michael Gilhaney,’ said the Sergeant, ‘is nearly sixty years of age by plain computation and if he is itself, he has spent no less than thirty five years riding his bicycle over the rocky roadsteads and up and down the hills and into the deep ditches when the road goes astray in the strain of winter. He is always going to a particular destination or other on his bicycle at every hour of the day or coming back from there at every other hour. If it wasn’t that his bicycle was stolen ever Monday he would be sure to be more than half-way now.’
‘Half-way to where?’
‘Half-way to being a bicycle himself,’ said the Sergeant’…

‘The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who nearly are half people and half bicycles.’
I let go a gasp of astonishment that made a sound in the air like a bad puncture.

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien


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