Easy As Falling Off a Bike pt 3187

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The Daily Dormouse.
(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Part 3187
by Angharad

Copyright© 2017 Angharad


This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.

While browsing an ecology textbook about temperature conditions for a lecture I was probably going to have to do, I came across the wonderful line, ‘an individual need only be killed once.’ It was relating to saguaro cactus and their distribution which is to an extent controlled by temperature. Apparently, they can survive where temperatures drop to freezing providing they thaw to above freezing at some point in the day, and as we all know deserts can become extremely cold at night, which is why any travelogue programme on TV shows these altar like structures which are actually used by Bedouin for sleeping on being several degrees warmer than the ground.

I was also reminded that the areas above the equator actually become hotter than the equator; apparently pretty well everywhere in the US has reached temperatures above 38 Celsius but places like Panama have never got hotter than 35 degrees(doubt this applies to Alaska). Will that change with global climate change—nah—Trump will issue a presidential decree making it illegal.

Goodness, all the goodies this book was reminding me of—Allen’s Rule—the warmer the average climate the bigger the appendages of warm blooded animals eg, ears, legs and wings compared to those in colder climates; Bergman’s Rule—the colder the climate the larger a warm blooded animal becomes compared to similar species in warmer climes. Then there’s Gloger’s rule, which like the previous two is ecogeographical and suggests that in drier areas animals become lighter coloured and darker in more moist areas. It isn’t entirely correct but has obvious connotations regarding camouflage for protection or predation. It certainly doesn’t apply to panthers or black panthers as they are sometimes called, this is just a genetic anomaly of leopards in Africa and Asia and jaguars in South America, although there is all sorts of mythology attached to each and like most myths is nonsense when examined by science.

I thought about the night before and wondered if Simon had. He’d left home before I woke—a not unusual occurrence and I suspect because he had his wicked way last night, he won’t think anything more about it apart from when he can do the same again. He’d be mortified if I told him I got nothing from our athletics apart from seeing him happy, though he knows I take more effort to share the ecstasy possibly than biological women because I lack the cervix and vaginal tissue they have. Bits of mine are sensitive to encouraging climax while others are sensitive because it gets uncomfortable—so even when it’s successful for me, sex is often a bitter-sweet experience.

Reflecting upon why I had surgery, initially it was to make me feel more in line with my internal imagery, my body and mind would feel complete; then I fell in love and wanted to experience the full event—to feel him inside me, making me his woman. There’s still a bit of that there but, I suppose as I grow as person, I’ve moved on—sort of done that—what’s next?

Recalling how I used to dwell on my imperfections and my concerns about not being able to bear children, and thus not being a real woman, I now have too many everyday worries to have time to think about them. Ninety nine per cent of the time, it matters not one jot as to whether I can bear children but how I care for those who call me their mother and appear to see me as such. I can still go on the ‘woe is me because I’m imperfect’ trip, or I can stop the solipsism and get on with life which is about how we relate to others not meander around in our own heads indulging in all sorts of imagined crises, which only happen because we precipitate them. Yeah, we can all have a bad day but how we deal with it separates the women from the wannabes.

“Oh great leader,” guess who’d entered my office? “We have a crisis.”

“Another one?”

“We had one earlier? I must have missed that one.”

“Probably, so what’s happened this time, minion?”


“Yeah, it’s like onion but less useful.”

“Oh right—hang on, you’re insulting my subordination to you.”

“Yeah so?”

“Just thought I’d let you know I’d noticed.”

“Good, we can tick that box then, so what’s new in the crisis department? Someone been bitten by a water flea, or have the dormice turned carnivorous?”

“No it’s...fleas can’t live in water can they?”

“Not if it’s boiling, no, or that’s my experience with cat fleas—the trick is teaching the cat to boil the kettle...”

“But the water fleas?”

“They’re not real fleas. Fleas are insects, water fleas are crustaceans of the genus Daphnia and their females burst when they release their young.”

“Do they die?”

“Of course they do—wouldn’t you if you burst?”

“I don’t know do I, you’re the great know-it-all of Portsmouth.”

“That makes me sound like an encyclopaedia with an ego problem.”

“I couldn’t possibly comment.”

“Not if you wish to remain gainfully employed, I suppose not. So what brings you in here disturbing my ego preening and encyclopaedia reading?”

“That’s not an encyclopaedia, it’s just a text book.”

“Yeah, it becomes part of the encyclopaedia when I absorb its useful information and add it to the rest of my data base.”

“Sounds painful.”

“Only when someone disturbs me during the uploading part.”


“Don’t go all Frog on me, you know I can’t swear at you in French.”

“Oh, okay, Dr Simpkins has phoned in sick—again.”

“I thought having babies was a natural process not a disease?”

“It is, but as you know some women get very sick with it.”

“So you are suggesting I do her ecology lecture in the morning?”

“Only our great and powerful leader can make such suggestions.”

“Do you have to lay the sarcasm on with a trowel?”

She smirked.

“What’s in the diary?”

“A meeting with the vice chancellor.”

“Better see if we can reschedule that then, if not I’ll set them some reading to do.”

“It says here that skunks can empty a whole building if they eject their perfume near the air conditioning.”

“My friend in the States says it doesn’t need that help, it can be truly awful by itself.”

“I wonder if I could biochem to synthesise some, just to show that you haven’t got to be the biggest or fiercest predator to have other things leave you alone, you just need an effective defence system, which it appears skunks have.”

“You’re not planning on releasing it indoors are you?”

“Releasing what—oh the skunk juice? I doubt they could synthesise it anyway or they’d be using it to disperse crowds or on the battlefield.”

“It really wouldn’t be a good idea.”

“Okay, I heard you—now go and see if you can postpone my meeting with my dad.”

“I keep forgetting he’s your dad, couldn’t you do it at home—the meeting I mean.”

“We don’t talk shop at home—too busy with myriad children.”


“Means ten thousand, or used to, like everything else it’s been dumbed down—except our current first year intake.”

“They’re good are they?”

“No, they’re so dumb to start with they couldn’t sink any lower.”

“Isn’t that who Dr Simpkins is supposed to be teaching tomorrow?”

She isn’t wrong.


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