My daily walk with Moby almost ended in tragedy earlier today thanks to a boneshaker-mounted loon. Judging by the fixed-eyed concentration it was taking to keep his baroque means of locomotion safely progressing the wrong way down the dual-carriageway (four-lane highway for North American motorists), he was almost certainly whacked on Thunderbird, or some such homemade local equivalent. His sloppy beard and Fidel Castro hat added a rakish revolutionary gait to his thrill-seeking antics.
In order to warn speeding automobilists of his imminent rasping of their offside paintwork, the lovable simpleton was insistently honking his horn, or rather, squeaking his toy. Unlike any sound belched before by bicycle-mounted early warning systems, the apparatus he doggedly pumped emitted a sound familiar to all hounds fortunate enough to have been entertained with a collection of chewable novelties in their youth.
A sudden canine flashback, an unexpected lurch and our man from Havana was very nearly another mashed addition to a road traffic accident bar chart. He didn’t seem to mind, though. That’s why I love Brazilians. In Britain I would have been viciously assaulted, both by the cycling Cuban revolutionary and passing vanloads of riotous ruffians, Moby would have been confiscated and destroyed, and the delinquent biker would have been hailed a “have-a-go hero” for lamping me, eventually getting off with 20 hours community service for being drunk in charge of some handlebars.
Oh yes, the so-called Third World has some lessons to teach on tolerance.