I try to lead a quiet life.
Somehow the Gods conspire against this, and keep throwing weird things at me.
Last night, at around half eleven, I was sitting quietly contemplating the sounds of the night and the roar of the buses drag racing up and down the main road.
A bus came roaring along in second gear, and suddenly there was a loud bang, and total silence. It was if someone had pressed the mute button. It was the total silence that unnerved me, because double decker buses don’t just suddenly disappear.
I mosied out to see what had happened and there was the bus, parked in the middle of the road [on a sharp bend]. For about fifty feet behind it, the road was covered in the contents of his engine. There were huge gears, and universal joints. There were shards of broken cast iron. There was a bit of a drive shaft that was the size of a small tree trunk. And there was diesel fuel flowing down the road in a small flood.
There was also a rather bemused looking bus driver, sitting in his cab, pressing buttons and things.
“I don’t think that will do much good,” says I.
“I think you’re right,” says he “there seems to be something up with the engine. All the warning lights are on red”
I asked if there was a warning light to say that his engine and gearbox were missing, and he admitted there wasn’t. So I told him that they were scattered down the road behind him. He got out and looked.
“Fuck” says he.
“That about describes it,” says I.
So we rang the garage and we rang the police, because the road was nearly blocked and the river of diesel was flowing unabated. There was also a huge hole, about fifteen foot deep in the road, that hadn’t been there earlier in the day.
I realised it was probably one of my old tourist-bus traps that I’d forgotten about that had suddenly sprung. I didn’t mention that.
So we waited for the tow truck and the engineers and the police. We got very pally. I learned a lot about buses. Did you know that they removed all the Imp buses because they kept going on fire? Do you know that there are virtually no single deckers left? I bet you didn’t know that every single bus has nine high definition video cameras on board that record everything that goes on?
We had great fun waving down drunken drivers to stop them driving into the hole or skidding on the fuel or hitting any of the debris.
All the diesel fuel nicely poured into an Eircom manhole that was conveniently placed. Next time an Eircom technician opens a junction box down in the village, he is going to be swept away in a flood of diesel.
Eventually, a convoy of tow trucks and buses arrived. It was an hour after we called them. They were out there all night cleaning up the mess.
We’re still waiting on the police.