The newcomer family are on Halifax Commons, lounging in the warm friendly sun. It is Saturday afternoon, and they have just picnicked on Indian takeaway (butter chicken, tandoori chicken). The excellent combination of hot curry and warm sun brings peace and serenity. The newcomer father is lying on his back, dozing, while the newcomer children play idly in the bright green grass.
A ring ring of bicycle bells and cries and coos breaks the quiet. I glance up, and see a crowd of cyclists cycling down the street by the Commons. I notice they seem to be dressed quite oddly- they seem to be… “Naked!” I suddenly scream. “The cyclists are naked!”
The newcomer father moves with a speed and agility I had never witnessed before during the billion years of marriage. ‘Where?” he cries, sitting up straight. “What? Where? ”
It’s true. The cyclists notice the newcomer father bear, mother bear, and two children bears staring at them with open jaws -incidentally, it was the first time in my life that I felt my “jaw dropping” in real life- and begin waving and smiling at us. Their boubs and bums jiggle at us with the motion of the cycles. Some of them have painted their bodies in bright colours, some of them are wearing underwear, a couple who are undoubtedly the fatemeh-zahra of the bunch are wearing bikinis, while others are stark naked. They are not carrying any placards – we don’t have a clue if they are protesting something (wearing clothes in summer?), or if it is a publicity stunt, or what. None of the newcomer family, not even the golden boy, smile or wave back at them. They are too deep in shock. Why? Why do we have to see these real-life cycling naked bodies- on top of a curry?
The golden boy, despite his interest in body functions, was the least impressed by the cyclists, recovering from coma fastest, going back to playing with his car without a comment once the parade has passed. The others chattered excitedly -why?
-They probably just want people to look at them, you know. Just wanted the attention.
There are two ways to get attention, as my father says. One is to work hard at something and become known for it. The other is to wear your coat inside-out and walk down the street. The naked cyclists were definitely in the inside-out-coat-wearing camp.