After noticing my perspiration, I pulled off the side of the road and was taken by the sight of a narrow path along a quiet canal filled with empty rowboats. I got off my Pashley and walked with it until I found a patch of dry grass. I laid the Pashley onto its side and lay down next to it. As I began to drift off I heard a man's voice which startled me at first.
"Excuse me. Where did you get that Pashley?"
I opened my eyes, and at first couldn't see the face of the man gazing at me because of the sun's bright glare.
He continued, while admiring my Pashley, "It's quite dashing. I had one just like it when I was about fifteen years old."
Before he finished his sentence I realized it was Jeremy Irons, the actor, or at least I thought so. If he wasn't, he certainly was the spitting image of the English icon.
"May I ride it?" he asked.
"Sure," I said. "Just don't steal it. It belongs to my bed & breakfast."
He chuckled and with that he got on my Pashley and circled around me. "I'd forgotten how much I love bicycles like these."
I couldn't resist asking. I had to. "Are you the actor, Jeremy Irons?"
But he ignored me completely. He was in his own little world. "In fact, my brother and sister had bikes like this too," he said.
I got dizzy as I watched "Jeremy" continue to circle me and it was then that he did the unthinkable.
"Do you mind if I take it down this path?" he asked.
"No..." I said rather hesitantly.
I watched him and my Pashley get smaller and smaller before they quickly disappeared. I felt like I was in a Fellini film. In the middle of nowhere, with no one to be seen, while some man who may have been Jeremy Irons had taken my Pashley, well, Pickwicks' Pashley.
I waited. I stood there and waited at least twenty minutes. "Sir Jeremy" never returned.
Oh well, at least I had a story for Pickwicks, whether or not they'd believe it.