…and that’s why I stole Lady Sybil’s new frock.

Last night I had a dream that invovled a wicked fairy’s spell, a dark forest, and a secret chamber full of rubies, crystals, and sapphires. Basically a weird mash-up of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Brothers Grimm. Not really sure why my brain conjured that, but it was interesting because it was the first time in forever that I actually got to the end of a dream before someone woke me up. It actually said “The End”, like it was a movie.


So yesterday, Dodge and I were riding our bikes around the ‘hood, or rather, the outer rim of it. We took the backward route past the library– well, we meant to. We came down the main road, through a bunch of sidestreets, past the two schools… and then just as we were passing the huge field in front of lots of people, my skirt got caught in my bike chain. Halfway home. Of course, it couldn’t have happened on our block, where I could have just carried the bike home and then had help extracting my clothes from it. No, it had to happen right there, too far to carry it home, too far to walk really slowly while still attatched to the bike, or any other such solution.

Dodge and I tried pedaling the bike backward, but that’s the brake, so plan A failed.

Me: “Crap. Crapcrapcrap.”
Dodge: “No capes.”
Me: “I know. Fine. I’ll sacrifice it.” I took out my pocket knife and, cringing, went to cut off the part of my skirt that was stuck in the bike. The knife pocked through the cloth, but it wouldn’t really cut, and besides, we would still have to walk because the chain was still messed up. 
Dodge: “Just call Mom. Have her come with the van and take us home.”
So I did. And it took her a long time to get there, meanwhile I’m doing my best to nonchalantly lean on my bike, pretending that we’re just stopping to take in the scenery (of a disused school– sure, right) and not because I’m stuck to my bike.
Me: “This is so embarassing.”
Dodge: “Tell me about it.”
Me: “Gee, thanks a lot.”
Dodge: “Well, if you would just…”
Me: “Shut up. Don’t even say–”
Dodge: “…wear shorts when you’re riding your bike…”
Me: “Never!”

Mom finally arrived, and then realized that we had actually tried pedaling backward. I guess I should have told her to bring some tools, or a plan, or Dad, or something. But anyway. Some guy was randomly walking by, and he stopped to help. He explained that we needed to disconnect the brake with a screwdriver, then pedal backward to free me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a screwdriver, or any coins, keys, or library cards that would suffice, so our next idea was to fold up the van’s back seats so both the bike and I would fit, and go home. But my bike is rather large, the country old-fashioned style type, which makes for comfortable riding but very difficult into-car maneuvering. Finally I got in, and got home (Dad: “No capes”) and was freed in time to dash off to choir– I mean, Spirit Ensemble. Which is totally cooler than choir, by the way.

I mention Spirit Ensemble because it leads me to:
a) Katie Cooper convinced me to compete in music at the Feis, too. She loaned me her “Irish music Bible”, and I’m actually kind of excited even though I’ve never played my flute in competition. Or anywhere, really, except church and even that makes me kind of nervous. Strange, because I never get stage fright when I perform other things, like dances and plays and poems.
and speaking of poems, b) Katie knows all about The Lady of Shalott. Random, but also really cool.


PS: the title is a reference to Downton Abbey, when Lady Sybil wears the skirt/pants thing… I need one of those! People would probably look at me with the same shocked expression as they did to her, but for totally different reasons.


5 thoughts on “…and that’s why I stole Lady Sybil’s new frock.

      1. Brenda

        YOU DIDN’T TRY VERY HARD?! I suspected so, but I thought, no, my daughter was trapped, stranded, practically DEVOURED by the bicycle chain and gears! Surely, she would have given her all to extricate herself! Hmmm…perhaps next time the rescue squad will not come so quickly–teehee!!

  1. crescendocroise

    This is too too funny, Pen! I can imagine Dodge’s face… it must have been very funny to behold… Brenda, you made me laugh! This really was a big adventure!

  2. Sharron Walsh

    I sent the link for this ‘tale’ to my granddaughter. She’s trying to convince her mom and dad that she needs a cell phone. Glad you had one with you. What a tale!!!

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