Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Journey to Nowhere

All cars have a peculiar tendency to break down at the moment their owners need them the most. Hans found this to be particularly true of hire, and after trying numerous different arrangements of attempting to fit five people on a motorbike, they gave up and headed for the bus station.
Avysmere bus station was akin to any neglected rural bus station. It had several flimsily constructed bus shelters, with complimentary leaking roofing, and a mostly boarded up fast food shop that sold nothing a strange grey under-cooked meat-like product served in something which could be inaccurately described as bread. Rumour had it that a major chain was coming to take the place over, the only difference would be that when you placed an order they’d ask you if you wanted chips with that several times over, even if you said yes.
It was over an hour before three shiny new buses rolled into the bus station straight after each other, all heading in completely the opposite direction to the one they wanted. They all felt as if some arrogant god was taunting them and as if to rub it in, rain began tumbling down (real rain this time though).
Finally, their bus arrived. It was a rundown thing, engine spluttering as it pulled up, full of tattly upholstered seating and sporting a gaping hole halfway up the walkway. The driver waved them their fares, he was glad of actually having someone on the bus for a change. The service wasn’t actually designed to have any customers; the company just ran the service for the sake of the million pound payout for providing a ‘rural service’.
Once they’d set off, the driver attempted to give them a guided tour of the route, including every last detail to the last minutiae. Needless to say, they soon drifted of into an inharmonious chorus of deep throated snores, which was only halted by them breaking down in the middle of nowhere. By the time they realised their predicament, the driver had already gone outside and had the engine cover up, muttering something along the lines of, “this is the third time I’ve broken down in this particular spot, now if you look to your left…”
“Can you not do something about this, Mervin?” pleaded Hans, desperately. Time was of the essence, not only did they have a madman to stop, but Hans was sick of hearing how many sheep usually populated a certain field, and how many times various cattle grids had been replaced.
”Aye, should be easy enough,” replied Mervin as he brought his wand out of his jacket and uttered, “I canne wait all day.” The driver looked up at the sky, then back at the engine bemused, but deep down glad that he might actually get home on time for a change. He boarded the bus, and continued pointing out the least interesting features of the surrounding landscape.
Hans looked at Mervin with both an expression of gratitude for fixing the bus, and also one of annoyance for not doing anything about the car earlier. Indeed all of them did, but it took Ted to ask the obvious question. Mervin pondered this for a moment and then answered clearly, “Well yeh dinne ask, did yeh!”