29 August 2010
The cream of cricket: What a mess at Lord's
Sooner or later, every pannier I have ends up smelling of sour milk.
Because sooner or later, despite the lessons of history, I'm tempted to transport a pot of cream. And sooner or later, trapped under something heavy - a bottle of water, say, or a folder full of job rejections - said container explodes, transforming the pannier in a white-out instant into a milky Chernobyl. Ortlieb becomes Prypiat.
My lactose-emulsive cataclysm came yesterday, cycling to see the final England-Pakistan test at Lord's. (No cycle parking at all, but some handy hire-bike docking stations.)
Possibly under the weight of my picnic lunch, possibly following an over-enthusiastic baggage search, the tub of Tesco's double lavishly self-destructed.
'Suitable for pouring, whipping and cooking', it says on the tub. It should add 'unsuitable for carting around in over-stuffed bike panniers'.
I spent the first hour of play mopping up fugitive lagoons of cream from me, from the concrete floor, from fellow spectators. It was like a bomb in a Dulux factory, a new shade in the Exxon Valdez range, snowdrift with a hint of stale Camembert.
I flushed out the pannier in the gents with an OCD rigour but it still reeks, inevitably, of baby sick.
What a terrible, sad, needless, sticky mess; a mess that can never be properly cleaned up; a day that will be grimly remembered by all those involved. And that's just Pakistan's batting.
Remember, when transporting hazardous foodstuffs by bicycle, there is a line you shouldn't cross, a mark you shouldn't overstep. Same goes for Pakistan's bowling.