Friday, 11 January 2013

Shtow in the Dishtance

Quick tip: don't get on the wrong bus if your mouth is completely numb.

This nugget of wisdom comes from an easily-guessed experience I suffered through today. For one, I got a filling – my first ever filling. (That's going straight on my CV.)

(Awesomely, it's not actually “my fault” that I needed a filling. Apparently I got a hairline crack in one of my teeth, and that's a “cavity waiting to happen”. I love not having to accept responsibility.)

Anyway, I had convinced myself I would sneeze during the procedure, thereby causing the dentist to drill a hole in my tongue or chin or eye or hand, depending on the power of the sneeze. But that didn't happen.

What didn't occur to me was that I'd get a hundred gallons of anaesthetic needled into my face, which means that when I left the dentist, I was too numb to be able to speak.

It wasn't a problem. I had a Galashiels to Stow return ticket, and was able to dumbly hand it to the bus driver when I caught the bus home just in the nick of time.

After a while, I realised we were not heading to Stow. But I had handed the bus driver a Stow ticket, so this must've been a detour. It looked like we were going to Selkirk. So maybe we were going to Stow via Selkirk.

We did not. Instead, the bus meandered happily onwards through the frosty green hills, eventually giving me enough evidence to realise that the bus would not simply “end up” in Stow.

Remembering painfully that I was barely capable of speech, I headed to the front of the bus, which stopped accordingly.

Me: “Are you going to Shtow?”
Driver: “To where?”
Me: “Shtow”.
Driver: “Where?”
Me: “Shtow. SHTOW”.
Driver: “Stow? No darlin', you're headed in the wrong direction”.
Me: “... but you let me on with a ticket to Shtow...”
Driver: “I know I did”.
(Long silence)

Then I got off the bus.

I found myself in the middle of the countryside, with no money, no credit on my phone, and no people around. And even if there were people around, I couldn't really shpeak. And when I did, I looked a bit like how I imagine Andrew Marr is looking right now. (OOH. A current yet tasteless joke. You're welcome.)

After waiting a while at a middle-of-nowhere bus stop, wondering mildly if the nearby smell was dog crap or dog corpse, a bus arrived.

“How did you get all the way out here?!” said the bus driver. It was the same bus driver who took me to Galashiels from Stow. He recognised me.

Luckily (given that I had no money), he let me use the already-punched return ticket. He appraised said ticket with a furrowed brow.

Driver: “Okay. You've done two things wrong here”.
Me: “Yesh?”
Driver: “One: you bought a return ticket when you should've got a zone ticket. And two: you got on the wrong bus. That's how you made it all the way past Selkirk”.
Me: “Yesh. Shanksh”.

I took my seat shame-facedly.

This turned out to be quite a communicative bus driver, by the way. Every time an old lady got on, he said “hello love, I'll give you a second tae get seated”. Psh, like the bus wasn't late enough as it is. There's nothing wrong with a good, healthy stumble; even at the age of 80.

Anyway, over an hour and a half after leaving the dentist's office, I looked out the bus window to see... the dentist's office.


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