One elderly Friend used to cycle sedately to meeting each Sunday along country roads lined with hawthorn and cow parsley to arrive refreshed and exercised and mindful of worship. One morning as he was cycling along, a sports car driven by someone who was probably imagining he was on a racetrack rather than the peace and quiet of a Quaker meeting overtook him. A few seconds later our elderly Friend, pedaling rapidly, sped past the sports car. The driver, feeling irked at the slur on his powerful and sleek machine, put his foot down and sped past the Quaker. A second or two later, the Quaker, pedaling furiously, again passed the sports car. The driver put his foot down even further and sped past the cyclist once more. A few seconds later the elderly Friend, pedaling furiously, smoothly and easily overtook the car. Angry now, the driver floored the accelerator and shot past the red faced and panting Quaker. Seconds later our elderly Quaker, his feet and pedals a mere blur, shot past the sports car, his voice trailing in the speed of his passage, “Friend, Friend” he wailed “thee has my suspenders caught on thy sideview mirror . . .”*
* “Suspenders” and “sideview mirror” have been Americanized from the original [British] of “braces” and “wing mirror.”
Shared on May 20, 2019, on the Facebook page of Association of Bad Friends (Quakers) by Bill Chadkirk.
Published in our Spring 2019 newsletter, News from the HomeFront.