Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

05 November 2018

When The Princess Becomes A Washerwoman

When I was a literature student, I learned about something called the "closet drama".

Now, dear reader, could you forgive me for believing, at first, that it was a play written by someone who hadn't admitted his or her "love that dare not speak its name."  Of course, I was in a closet myself--one from which I wouldn't emerge for a few more decades--and doing everything I could to convince myself that it was really my home.

Anyway, a "closet drama" is something its writer does not intend for performance.  Perhaps it seems silly to write a play that you don't want produced--why not write a novel instead?, you might ask.  Well, as I understand it, the play allows for certain kinds of plot and character development that are difficult, if not impossible, in other genres of writing.  I say "as I understand it" because I've never tried to write a play.

I would later learn about architects' "closet plans".  A number of renowned architects designed edifices they never intended to be built.  There are, I learned, even architects who've designed dozens, even hundreds, of buildings without having a single one built.  Most such architects, not surprisingly, are professors:  They design such buildings for instructional purposes or as academic exercises.

Such an architect might be behind this bicycle:

Of course, it began its life as a bicycle--a Pashley, the "Princess" model, to be exact.  But the Arcade Bicycle Basin not intended for you to ride to school or the park or simply to be seen looking fashionable while riding a bike--even though it retains everything the Princess normally comes with, save for the Brooks saddle, if you buy it in your local shop.

Instead of the seat, the designers installed a shelf, which mounts to the wall and supports a vitreous china washbasin.  Interestingly, the bike retains the wicker basket that's normally supplied with it. Not surprisingly, it comes in handy for hand towels and the like.

I guess I can understand integrating a bicycle into one's daily ablutions.  I wonder, though, whether anyone has tried to turn a washroom unit into a rideable bicycle.

One thing I know:  That basin wouldn't be nearly as comfortable as a broken-in Brooks saddle.  Not for me, anyway!