The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

May 01, 2007


On Saturday, as I rode my bicycle to work, I witnessed another person on a bicycle, as we call it, "descend over the handlebars". I knew this was something that could happen if you applied only the front brakes, but until then I had never actually seen it happen. It was fascinating in a strange way, and slightly frightening. The person did not seem to be very hurt; lucky he was wearing a helmet.

I then encountered one of those motorcyclists on one of those extra large motorbikes on which they are sitting with their legs spread widely in such a way that you don't know whether there's no other way of sitting on these things, or whether it's a kind of covert sexual harassment.

At any rate he was wearing one of those crash helmets that people on such motorbikes usually wear, the kind that looks like a chamber pot without a handle. It also looks somewhat like a Wehrmacht helmet, but really more like a chamber pot without a handle. It also looks as if it could withstand a ricocheting bullet from an assault rifle, but not really the effects of a motorcycle crash. I wonder if those helmets are legal or if the police just don't say anything because they feel threatened by the sexually implicit pose of the rider on the motorbike.

Nothing serious happened until much later, when I closed a window and the glass pane broke right there and then, without any intervention on my part. It cut my left hand, not seriously, but enough to bleed a bit.

Then on my way home my rear tyre got caught in a tramway rail as I was crossing it. No idea why and how this happened, as the angle should have been safe. With an extreme amount of luck I managed to get out of the rail without falling off the bike, only slightly dislocating the seat in the process.

I had had plans to go inline skating later that day, which I postponed because I felt like I had been close to enough near accidents that day.

Yesterday morning I had a strange dream about a minor train accident in which a defective railway carriage became uncoupled from a train, coasted on at some distance after the train from which it had been uncoupled, and then crashed into the train at low speed when the train stopped, causing some, but not much damage, and causing no injuries (this is, by the way, technically impossible, because any carriage becoming uncoupled causes the immediate application of the brakes on both the train and the carriage itself). A few hours later I read in an online newspaper that earlier that day there had been a minor train accident at one of Vienna's railway stations when they had tried to uncouple a defective carriage from a train and collided with a shunting engine in the process.

It would be really helpful if these omens and visions occurred in such a way that it would be easy to determine whether I am a psychic of some sort or whether all of this is just coincidence. As it is, I remain totally clueless.

Posted by Horst on May 1, 2007 08:10 PM to creatures great & small | Tell-a-friend
novala said on May 1, 2007 09:19 PM:

I think you are just in of one of Mig's novels.

dieter said on May 2, 2007 10:00 AM:

@ novala: Why, did he write 23?

Jann said on May 3, 2007 03:19 PM:

Well I hope at least that you wear a helmet, as this is the second bicycle incident that you've told us about recently.

And I think I know what you mean about those "psychic" things that happen, visions or premonitions; they seem to occur in a way that makes interesting conversation but not in a way that does us any good.

Ole said on May 8, 2007 12:29 AM:

"... or if the police just don't say anything because they feel threatened by the sexually implicit pose of the rider on the motorbike." Haha, great.

Concerning those psychic events, I always remember the story told by Dick Feynman in his autobiography. He somehow sits in his room, and somebody shouts for somebody else to come to the telephone. In this moment he suddenly has the vision that his grandmother has died. As it turns out, he is not the one wanted on the phone and nobody's grandmother is dead. Now the conclusion is this: People have strange idead like that all the time. By pure statistics, it is easy to see that some of them must become true. And, of course, every incident where a strange vision became true is memorable and tellable.

So, I almost regret to say, you are just one of the lucky bloggers among the millions of bloggers with strange dreams whose dream became true. Congratulations.

scott lewis said on May 30, 2007 08:41 PM:

Well, I don't know what riding bicycles is like where you live, but here in Melbourne, Australia, some degree of premonition is required just to stay alive. There have been so many times I have come to an intersection, looked at a car and thought "Well, he is not showing any indicators [turn signals] but I do believe he is about to turn". More than once this has saved me from a serious accident. Often I have guessed this due to the "posture" of the care (wheels turned, at a slight angle), but sometimes I have felt I "just knew". Perhaps there is something about the presence of danger that enables us to do a slightly different kind of thinking. One thinks of Jung's essay on the two kinds of thinking, the second being (in translation) "undirected".

I recently had to put my bike in the repair shop for a couple of days, and drove my wife's car around. I was struck by how friendly everyone was to a "fellow" car driver. People waved to me when I let them into traffic, and so forth. On my bike, just about every car driver treats me as at least something annoying, and often as almost "an enemy". I find this surprising as, when you think about it, on my bike I'm far less likely to get in their way or hold them up than when I drive a car.

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