Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Bicycle Basket Thief

Saturday around ten in the morning, two months after the September 11th tragedy, my husband and I stepped out onto Saint James Place to head for breakfast. I turned to check on my bicycle chained to a post in front of the old Jewish cemetary.

Another bicycle was parked next to mine on the sidewalk. A skinny shaved-head white man in black loose clothes bent busy over the handlebar of my bicycle, wire cutters in hand.

“Hey! This bicycle is mine!” I shouted. Daryl and I walked toward the suspicious man who turned red, but didn’t run from us.

“What're you doing?” I asked seriously.

“Nothing,” he said.

“You’re stealing my wife’s bicycle basket, ass wipe, that’s what you’re doing!”

“Are you stealing the basket of my bicycle?” I asked, squinting in disbelief.

“Look, I need a basket. I’ve been watching this abandoned bicycle since eight this morning. This is the third time I came to take the basket. The first time, I didn’t have any tools. The second time, I had the wrong tool, and all that time nobody came to claim they owned the bicycle,” he said with a Spanish accent.

“We're the owners. This isn’t an abandoned bicycle, and if you need a bicycle basket, buy one, asswipe,” my husband said.

“Yes, I paid only five dollars for this basket at K-Mart for pity’s sake,” I said, not understanding the absurdity of the theft.

“Hey, word to the wise! Keep your eyes on your belongings. This is New York City,” the burglar said sarcastically, perched on his bicycle next to mine, then made his splendid and furious getaway.

“Idiot! Loser! You failed three times to steal a bicycle basket,” Daryl yelled and unlocked my bicycle to carry it upstairs.

“Unbelievable, we engaged in conversation with the failed burglar of our bicycle basket!” I said. “I tell you, amore, his advice isn’t bad.”

“He's a low thief! Idiot!” Daryl said and carried my bicycle upstairs. "Look! The basket is still attached! He cut the wrong wires!"

©2009 Regina Edelman

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