When my bike was stolen last week, I was truly heartbroken. I thought to myself then, that even when you think you are already a broken man, something can come along that breaks you down even more.
Today, I am getting on with things. It would be wonderful if the police could recover my bike, with all its bits, but the chances of that happening are less than that of the thief coming along and saying,
"Here mate, thanks for lending me your bike, I've brought it back for you and here's £5,000 for the bother. Can I buy you a drink?".
Such is the joy of fantasy. No, the reality is that not having had insurance for the bike, it will take me a few weeks of careful shopping to find one that was just as cheap and perfect for all my needs. It was a cheap bike, but it was perfect for my needs. A quick look around on the Internet was not greatly encouraging. The bicycle industry has been chopping and changing its bike models every year for the last decade, it seems, and they don't even make things that they sold off the shelf 3 years ago. I don't like new-fangled things unless they are elegantly simple and functional. Any accountant or economist would immediately deduce, that there needs to be an extra cost added to the actual Purchase Price: the Cost of Buying something Perfect for your Needs.
So the total cost of purchase should include not just the Purchase Price that you will hand over to the seller, but also the Cost of Buying something perfect for your needs.
Reality is no fun, is it? It's too much like the life of a proper accountant, not even the thieving Enron-type of accountant (Arthur Andersen were their accountants, and Accenture has also been in the news lately for their questionable practices?).
So here's the rest of the fantasy:
"Well mate, if I didn't get to borrow your bike, I wouldn't have been able to nip down to my boat in time to catch the tide and sail across to France. It was a lifesaver, because I managed to catch the horse show in Normandy, and I got to see some beauties there. You like horses? Well, one of the factories I own, you see, makes horse carriages and carts. You like that? Well tomorrow I will send a pony trap to collect you and take you down to the factory, and you can pick whatever job you fancy doing. Now let's get another pint down, and then go downtown and get some grub! Here we go! Cheers!".
Oh fantasy. Oh god. Oh get real.