The Community Bus arrives.

I watch from my upstairs vantage point as it pulls up to collect the old folk waiting on the corner.

John Twonil is dressed extremely smartly, and looking ever so enthusiastic in his new role. I can see him scanning my windows, to see if he can catch me unaware, and force me to join him as a Community Bus Driver. I hide behind the curtains as he draws off up the hill with his cargo of senior citizens. I know that he will be looking for fellow new volunteers later in the Village Pub.

“And so then I called the police,” he tells us subsequently, as he grips his pint of Wherry angrily. “And told them that my bus had been stolen.”

We fall about laughing, sympathetically.

“And all I could really think about, was ‘how the hell am I going to get fifteen elderly people back home?'”

There is a short pause. “Anyway,” he continues. “Have you thought about joining me as a volunteer yet?”

I have spoken to the Washing Machine Man. The part has arrived, but they have sent him the wrong part again. I have told him that something needs to be done, as the dirty washing is mounting up in the scullery, and that we need a right part soon. He has offered to find a spare one and put it in temporarily.

13 Comments

  1. First? Anyway, never volunteer for anything. It’s never appreciated.

  2. You have a scullery? How posh.

  3. Now all you need is a maid to put in it, and NO I’m not volunteering for that post.

  4. You are likely the sort that picks the center out of the sandwich and leaves the bread all crumby and battered on the side of the plate. Did you not notice that your community bus story lacked a) how the bus was stolen and b) what happened? Creative Writing 101: Story Arcs.

  5. Yeah I agree.
    What happened to the bus?
    Oh no! Jonny – you didn’t did you?

  6. Are you sure it wasn’t one of the pensioners that stole the bus? They’re a shifty lot, wearing their brown clothing and listening to all that “light classics”. You tend to see them shoplifting in Asda.

    It’s not like that in my day, I can tell you.

  7. A maid in the scullery, Tal? A maid??? What Jonny needs is a sculler, obviously. To, you know, scull and stuff. If sculling means laundering, so much the better.

    Scullery: noun, c.1330, “household department concerned with the care of kitchen utensils,” from O.Fr. escuelerie “office of the servant in charge of plates, etc.,” from escuelier “keeper of the dishes,” from escuelle “dish,” from L. scutella “serving platter, silver”

    Sucks to be you then, Jonny. Back to mooching off the neighbours…

  8. No. It is funnier without the story arc. Story arcs are massively over-rated.

    “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!” has a story arc, and is not funny.

    “Fuck!!! Look out!!!! Bees!!!!!!!!” has no story arc and is very funny. So is “Golly! Some ham!”

    I need to close comments for a little bit to do some messing around with servers. Normal service (etc etc)

  9. It’s a competition isn’t it?
    Whoever comes up with the best ‘how the bus became stolen’ story gets an invite to do the washing.

    I’m not entering until I’ve been assured that there’s a mangle and a mob cap in the scullery.

  10. We had 2 sculleries which – at great expense – had made into one room to be converted into a downstairs bathroom. It never happened and is full of books, chocolate and cardboard boxes, courtesy of MTL.

    Twonil would make a great contributor to the column – it’s not easy to lose a bus – and would get him off your back, since you seem loath to help the elderly. Such a disappointment sometimes Jonny!

  11. Oh yes – sorry – comments now reopened…

  12. I thought you said, in the last sentence, that you that need a part right soon and was all excited, as you had turned into a Proper Norfolker. But I’d misread it.

    My scullery has strawberry and quince jam in it, and marmalade, but no chocolate. However, the washing machine works and there’s a drain in the floor in case it doesn’t properly.

  13. My Dad is a volunteer community bus driver. He often gets confused and drives it wearing his slippers. On more than one occasion he has brought a whole bus load of pensioners home with him, when he went on to ‘auto pilot’. One of the other volunteers notably reversed over the zimmer frame of one of the passengers. It’s not easy, you know, voluntary work!

    It’s the passengers I feel sorry for…

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