Monday, 24 January 2011

Nettle Cheese, Flatulence And Ways To Outwit A Policeman And A Parking Warden

'Cut the cheese' is an expression you may or may not have heard of. It is an old American expression which means flatulence. It should have no relevance on my bus, early on a Monday morning.

It does, unfortunately.

I am doing the usual school run with the Flying Pig. Today it is different. There is another bus driver who has hitched a lift. We will drive on to the company's second depot in Tyneside, where he will pick up another bus. In effect it is a cheap taxi ride.

"Pardon me," said the driver as he sat down on the front seat and emitted a sound which I initially mistook for the Flying Pig's exhaust backfiring. "It was the nettle cheese. I think it's upset my stomach."

"Not half as upset as we are," muttered a passenger, whose appalled look was similar to someone who had eaten a lemon. When we arrived at the destination, there was a rush for the doors and when they met the fresh air, there was visible relief.

The Flying Pig rattled and vibrated down the dual carriageway. This was unfamiliar territory as it had been a very long time since she had ventured off her usual route. Anything over 50 m.p.h caused turbulent noises and rattling, so it was a leisurely drive.

The banter between the drivers of the two depots was lively. There was always plenty to catch up on, as it was rare that we all met up. We made the most of it. We always did. Having a late breakfast picked up from one of the North East's finest butty vans - the Scran Van in Throckley. The depot was transformed as the diesel fumes and grease smells were permeated with sausage, bacon, egg, black pudding and onion aromas.

"I bought these.......," said one driver.

"Bought? You? Bought - how do you spell that - P...I...N...C...H?" said the other.

"Similar to the last time you went to church," continued the first driver. "You went in a truck."

"A truck?"

"Yes a truck - so you could take the lead away."

"Ha ha, very funny."

"I got a parking ticket the other day in the snow," the third driver chipped in."I said to him, you can't ticket me when the yellow lines are covered by the snow. It's illegal."

"Did you get away with it?"

"Of course. I used to be a parking warden. Right nasty sod I was too. I know the law though. That warden took the ticket and ran to the far side of the car park as fast as he could."

"Aye I know the feeling," said the fourth driver. "I know what to do when I am stopped by a policeman. It has to be a single policeman, mind. Two are no good. And I was pulled over in the bus late the other night for hoofing it down the motorway. After he had questioned me and taken down all the details word for word he asked:

'Is there anything else you want to say in evidence?'

'Yes, ah says - is that alcohol I can smell on your breath?' He looked at me, ripped up the ticket, said 'you bastard', got back into his car and drove off. Aye, it would not have sounded so good if he had had to read that out in court."

"Aye my friend's a parking warden and he put this ticket on a car for having out of date tax disc. Now the traffic wardens and the police share an office and there was a knock at the door, and a policeman was standing at the door. 'Did you put a ticket on a white car?' He said. 'It was my wife's. Well tell her to buy some tax, ah said. He laughed, but I was sure he'd be waiting round the corner to give me a ticket, so I left by the back door.

It went on and on. But I had to be back for the afternoon school run.

The children were back on the football chants. "Toot! Toot! Black and White Army" was louder and more atonal than ever. I thought again of the German officers sticking cheese into their ears to ease the pain of Edith's singing in Allo Allo. But following this morning's unpleasantness, it is perhaps better to stay off the topic of cheese altogether, nettle cheese or otherwise.

G K Chesterton said 'the poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese'. It is a pity some of my passengers cannot be as silent. The boy in the third row is doing backfiring exhaust impressions.

Open the window.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...