Monday, 23 May 2011

Wrong Number And The Valentine's Day Vandalism

It was another usually strange day on the Vallium Run.

The signs were there from the beginning. When an overweight pony was rubbing its backside against the bus shelter, I should have known. Sure enough by the time I reached the town, the plastic Police No Waiting bollards were on top of the railings and the billboard outside the paper shop was warning of an attack on the public toilets by vandals.

'Not as bad as what happened in February,' said a passenger.

'Oh yeah, you mean the Valentine's Day attack?' said another, 'when someone sprayed pink paint all over.'

'Yeah, it was an outpouring of love.'

I went into the Gents later on. There was no pink paint. It was crowded with fluorescent jacketed council workers who had been cleaning up.

'Shit job,' one of them greeted me with as we passed through the main door, going in opposite directions.

Back on the bus a couple got on. Holidaymakers. They stuck out a mile, dressed in pristine clothes, neatly and well equipped with the newest backpacks, thermoses and boots.

'Can you drop us off at the camp, please,' said the man politely.

'Which camp?' came a grumbly voice from down the back.

'Ooh err, I don't know.'

'Do you want the holiday camp or the prisoner of war camp?'

There was silence as the holidaymakers seemed stunned. They were rescued by another passenger who told them about the grumpy passenger and that there used to be a POW camp during the war.
They relaxed a little.

Another regular got on and was even more animated than usual.

'I didn't know what to do,' she said in a panicked voice.

'I had to ring this man yesterday.It was engaged. So I rang again. It was still engaged. I must have rung 100 times. Everytime it was engaged. I got cross. I thought selfish bugger, what's he on about?'

All the passengers had gathered around, expecting a terrible outcome. Some awful trouble must have befallen her.

But no.

She simply said, 'I then looked at the phone and found out it was the wrong number I had been dialling. It was my own number. I had been ringing myself.'

The passengers laughed and looked out the window, with a look which said - 'go and have another drink.' The bus carried on regardless.

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