No, I am not making this up. The Daily Telegraph report begins:
A man has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after being caught trying to have sex with a bicycle…
Fans of Flann O’Brien will not be in the least surprised by this. Bicycles loom large in his novel The Third Policeman, largely because of O’Brien’s curious take on the atomic theory of matter.
The gross and net result of it is that people who spend 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.
Postmen and policemen were particularly suspect in this regard, on account of the bicycle serving as their main mode of conveyance in those days (the 1930s). One sure way of telling if someone was more than 50% bicycle was to see if they tended to lean against walls and doorposts while stationary. And of course anyone seen sniffing bicycle seats was automatically suspect.
Having said all that, I can’t see why the chap reported in the Torygraph was hauled up before the beak. As one of the paper’s bloggers puts it,
He was in his hostel room at the time, behind locked doors (staff went in when they got no response from him). It was between him and the bicycle.
Quite. There’s a guy in Cambridge, by the way, who regularly rides around, stark naked, on his bike. Perhaps he’s a Professor of Divinity? Or of Natural Philosophy? You never can tell with academics.
Fact: I am myself only 4% bicycle.
Update: Several readers have commented on the ambiguity of the headline on this post. Nothing to do with me, guv: I just copied the Telegraph‘s lead!