'Yuk,' you probably thought, 'another mutant!' And then gave it not a second thought.
Wrong! I am not a mutant. This is actually another example of both how exercise is bad for you and how Liverpool made me fat.
In my first year at university I lived in a hall of residence that was about 3 miles from the campus. Although there was a bus service and some of the rich students had cars, I often walked in because at least half of the route was alongside green spaces of which Liverpool is fortunate to have several.
I say "green spaces" because although I mainly mean parks, some of it was a massive cemetery. But it had green bits. Quite often I shared the walk with a nerdy architect who quoted Monty Python or 'Derek and Clive' all the way. I know, if I'm calling somebody nerdy they must have had it pretty bad! But he's probably earning a fortune designing eco-houses these days so who's laughing now?
Anyway, after a while I tired of endless reruns of the 'Dead Parrot' sketch and bought myself a bike.
(I actually have no idea what prompted me to buy a bike. It probably wasn't Bob the classic-comedy-quoting architect because I still enjoy a bit of gratuitous quoting, but for the sake of an argument the end result of this story is that architects called Bob also make you ill)
I cycled the same route every day without fail.i probably got a little but fitter.
And then one day I was talking to a guy called P-Ne. (It's pronounced pee-knee) He was a good guy who had impressed me by combining a geeky love of Doctor Who with the ability to snog a girl for twenty minutes non stop ('the security guards had to pull us apart at the end of the night' he said) it is only now, twenty years after he told me this, that I have chosen to wonder if this story was actually true. I mean it isn't like he ever came up with any other lies. ('There was a witch peering in through my bedroom window. She said she would kill me. So, Sian, can I sleep in your bed tonight?')
P-Ne (I'm protecting his identity by not using his real name but we called him this because it was short for Pervy Neil and sounds a tiny bit like the plural of penis) told me that the route I took to get to the campus was longer than a different route and I should try this other route.
As far as his other stories went, this one actually seemed quite sensible. And so one day, after a tiring day of lectures I thought I would give it a go. After all, I was tired and I wanted to get home faster. And what could possibly go wrong trying a new route, at rush hour, on a rainy, windy day, in heavy traffic, when tired?
Seriously, what's the worst that could happen?