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Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Atomic Theory

A couple of Sundays ago I decided to get on my bike and go for a beer, it was an ideal day for cycling (no wind) so I kept going a bit further then a bit further and ended up clutching my pint in a comfy armchair in the Glen Avon Hotel in Tomintoul, at least the 42 miles home was mostly downhill. It was while avoiding the main road and riding along the Speyside Way between Ballindalloch and Craigellachie that I remembered 'The Third Policeman' a rather amusing book by Flann O'Brien full of useful facts like the five rules of wisdom:

  1. Ask questions but never answer any.
  2. Turn everything you hear to your own advantage.
  3. Always carry a repair outfit.
  4. Take left turns as much as possible.
  5. Never apply your front brake first.

'If you follow them you will save your soul and you will never get a fall on a slippy road.'

But to get to the point, the 'Atomic Theory' states:

  • 'Everything is composed of small particles of itself and they are flying around in concentric circles and arcs and segments and innumerable other geometrical figures too numerous to mention collectively, never standing still or resting but
    spinning away and darting hither and thither and back again, all the time on the go. These diminutive gentlemen are called atoms. ..what takes place when you strike a bar of iron with a good coal hammer..(is) when the wallop falls, the atoms are bashed away down to the bottom of the bar and compressed and crowded there like eggs under a good clucker. After a while in the course of time they swim around and get back to where they were. But if you keep hitting the bar long enough and hard enough they do not get a chance to do this and ..(if you) ask a blacksmith for the true answer he will tell you that the bar will dissipate itself away by degrees if you persevere with the hard wallops. Some of the atoms of the bar will go into the hammer and the other half into the table or the stone or the particular article that is underneath the bottom of the bar. ..The gross and net result of it is that people who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads ..get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycles 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. ..And you would be flabbergasted at the number of bicycles that are half-human almost half-man, half-partaking of humanity.'

I would have written this earlier but I have only just been able to sit down.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holland has millions and millions of bikes and one million bikes are stolen every year. According to your theory of being half bike, half man I think stealing a bike is actually kidnapping.


October 21, 2007 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Phil said...


If I see your bicycle propped up by the bar this week end, I'll buy it a drink!



October 22, 2007 at 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you see a canalbike in Amsterdam this week end it'll be me !



October 23, 2007 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Ian C. said...

Interesting theory. Personally I'm interested in sub-atomic theory. Sub-atomic particles are the dreams stuff is made of.

Ian C.

October 29, 2007 at 11:03 AM  

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