So oBike has arrived. SooooooooooooooBike has arrived. It has. I seen it. Yesterday. Saw them. The fleet. Flung somewhat carelessly around the edges of the pavement near where I work. In a way that had me looking for a sales rep with a clipboard, but a healthy looking one, walking towards me with a broad grin, a shit-eating grin, you know, a good one, probably wearing a somewhat tight Fred Perryesque polo shirt, a black one, and breathable, you know, and also not made by Fred Perry. But tucked in all the same. And this guy looks blond and young and healthy, even though he doesn’t exist, and he’s telling me how buying this thing, this thing that I am never going to buy and that isn’t even actually for sale, is going to make me a better person, even though I know and he knows and you know that I don’t need to be a better person and that, anyway, nobody sells like that anymore, do they? I don’t know. But the point is that he wasn’t there. It was just the bikes and a few other sleepy-headed passers by who, while passing by and being sleepy-headed, were woken from their morning slumber by a sight they hadn’t seed before. The aliens had landed.
I parked my bike and took a moment, a precious five or so seconds from my morning routine, to survey the alien fleet, moving in a wide arch around them, leaning in to read the laminated sign that adorned each one, just close enough to make out some vague and yet precise instructions that pointed me firstly in the direction of an app and secondly and thirdly in the direction of something else. But, no. Oh no. An app. No. No, no. I wouldn’t be downloading an app. And so I moved away, not wanting to touch one, especially not wanting to touch one, and continued on my morning routine. Suddenly feeling unjustifiably smug. Walking now with the pompous air of a man who knows better, who refuses to yield, piteous of those lost souls who are destined to concede. But with an unmistakable injection of pace. A pace that can only be put down to one thing: the fearful sense of the future – oafish and behemoth-like – stalking close behind. Don’t worry, I thought. They’ll be gone by nightfall.
But when I neared the end of the road as that evening arrived, as I peered through the glass of the shop on the corner, they were still there. The dastardly yellow and grey platoon, refusing to yield, knowing less and yet infinitely more. Than me. And all my imaginary comrades. They have won the battle, I thought. They might just win the war.