My first lesson in the pursuit of truly idiotic arguments came at the hands of Linda Dean. She was a spitfire of a girl, and not someone to be brooked in matters of opinion regarding the nature of felines. Cats were her thing. After more than half a century, I still remember the thrashing she gave me for taking exception to the notion that “pussy cats do ride bicycles”.

Linda and my-own-self, shortly before my humiliating defeat at the hands of a ….girrrl!

One cannot expect to triumpth in every ill conceived spat that comes along, but I must admit, I was utterly unprepared for the level of ferocity she was about to unleash. As I remember, it was a hot summer’s day and Linda had been quite insistent all morning that Pussy Cats could ride bicycles. She had seen it on the telly just the night before.

Ever equipped with my steel bladed, trap of a mind, I had opposed her on every point. Yes, they might be able to fit in the basket, but no, they were not at all suited to pedaling. Yes, cat’s had good balance, but riding a bicycle required hands to grip the handle bars didn’t it? But she had seen it with her own eyes, and on the BBC too. As far as she was concerned, that was an end to it.

Would that I had heeded.

Now it so happened, that on the day in question, Linda was in possession of a plastic lemon. The kind that holds juice concentrate, and was the envy of every post war English kid in need of a small, reliable water pistol to stuff in his pocket. Somewhere in the middle of my most earnest exposition on how felines were constitutionally unsuited to pedaling, my young companion exploded into a fit of screaming rage. I can still see that vivid flash of yellow as her cudgel smashed into my precious, upturned nose. My world was, for a moment, nothing but plastic lemon. … Funny how I can still recall the little dimples in its surface.

And then came the blood. Blood all over me, blood all over her, and perhaps what I remember most, blood dripping down the sides of all that curved yellow plastic. At first I was too stunned to wail, or make a fuss. But that didn’t last long. I booed, she ran, and I guess that was an end to it. Other than the shame. That stung for a quite a few days.

It wasn’t until later that I realized two things. Girls that smack you in the chops often steal your heart. And if they drop their little, yellow, plastic lemons, that is one rearmament program it is best to keep hidden for awhile.

One Response to “Pussy cats do ride bicycles…”


  1. sarah says:

    The sweetest pain. A really lovely photo.

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