As someone who likes to be prepared for any eventuality, I like to carry a pump in amongst the gear I drag back and forth with me to work every day. Today, however, I didn't. So guess what happened? Yes indeed, a flat tire, about half way along the journey.
Initially I thought it would be no trouble just to walk the rest of the way to the school, but that notion failed to take into account the fact that walking is remarkably slower than cycling. Remarkably. I am not capable of calculating the percentage difference in the respective rates, but suffice it to say I would not have been able to make it on time on foot. (Fun fact: did you know that bicycles were once the fastest form of human transport? I thought of that as I trudged along.)
My next idea was to stop at a gas station and use their air. I had everything I needed to change the tire, after all, except the pump. Unfortunately, gas stations are not what they once were, and no longer provide inflation to customers: both places I managed to reach on foot had the pumps up there on an outside wall, but in both cases they were out of order. You know, what I call gas stations used to be known as service stations... and this isn't the first time were I've felt I know the reason for the change in terminology.
In any case, out of options for getting myself out of my predicament in time for work, I called, first, my wife—not home—and then my mother. The latter very kindly agreed to come and pick me up and bring me and my bike to work, and then even more kindly stopped by the school to drop of my pump, enabling me later to get home under my own power. So. I learned my lesson, and will never leave home without the pump again. Only problem is, I'm now out of spare inner tubes and the bike store doesn't open until after I start work tomorrow. I might leave an hour early tomorrow, just in case lightning strikes twice.