The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Monday, 21 September 2009

Well, Well, Wells

Where to start today?  Do I talk about the 143rd Birthday of H.G. Wells or do I talk about the scum-sucking lowlife who stole my bike?

I'm a big fan of H.G. Wells and have been influenced by him in both my reading choices and writing.  I remember reading The First Men on the Moon when I was around 8 or 9.  I thought it was inspired that a rifle club would be the first group to devise a method for getting men on the moon and, as it turns out, it wasn't too far off the mark.  The same guys who designed rocket bombs during WWII were the ones who eventually put men on the moon.   Wells' The Time Machine definitely influenced my own time travel story, The Platinum Ticket.  I remember reading The Invisible Man and thinking how this isn't a science fiction story at all - it was a sociological study all the way.  The Invisible Man talks about what a person would do if they could get away with anything without being seen.  As I recall the main character does all sorts of horrible things including murder and theft.

Speaking of theft, did I mention that my bike - my NEW bike - the one I've grown rather fond of over the summer - was stolen last night?  In the dead of night some lowlife crept into my carport and, using what I must assume were bolt cutters, cut the security cable I kept my bike locked up with.

I went out around noon to get something out of the carport and discovered a big empty space where my bike is supposed to be.  Sitting there on the concrete floor was my severed Raleigh bike lock.  I literally shook my head - I wasn't willing to believe it.  And then I shook with rage.

It's not so much the bike - although I am royally pissed off about the bike, don't get me wrong - but I think what gets me is that whoever this ...cocksucker is the word that I find myself typing - person is, they had no issues with walking into my well-lit carport - destroying my bike lock and then leaving with something that doesn't belong to them.  Earlier today I would have gladly done violence to the thief - visions of smashing his or her face into the concrete floor of my carport danced, sugarplum-like, through my head.

I've calmed.  I am still quite put out, but the red haze at the edge of my vision has subdued.

I reported the bike stolen and had a nice chat with a constable in London, Ontario.  I guess the bike thefts are handled through a central location.  He was glad to hear that I had the serial number but didn't hold out much hope the bike will ever be found.

But hey, Fergus is a small town.  If the thief is stupid enough to ride it around town I may just get it back.  In a way I kind of hope I don't see someone riding it around town - that red haze is only ever seconds away...