[lit-ideas] Re: 5 Short Stories

  • From: "Judith Evans" <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 01:57:03 +0100

You don't want to know, Julie..

Judy Evans

> -----Original Message-----
> From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of JulieReneB@xxxxxxx
> Sent: 14 May 2004 20:29
> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: 5 Short Stories
> <<bucket shop hernia repair >>
> I just *have* to ask what this means....
> Julie Krueger
> ========Original Message========
> Subj:[lit-ideas] Re: 5 Short Stories
> Date:5/13/2004 11:37:15 PM Central Daylight Time
> From:ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> To:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Sent on:
> on 5/13/04 9:52 AM, Stephen Straker at straker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> > (They read very like the Tales of David Ritchie. How odd.)
> >
> When I was last in England, one of my filial duties was to deliver my
> deceased mother's car to my brother.  Apart from the ancient
> Honda Civic's
> automatic transmission's odd, sticky love of second gear, and my younger
> daughter's interesting way with map instructions, there's
> nothing to report
> to literary and influential folk like yourselves about the journey up.
> To come down from Derby in a car-less manner involves either a
> long walk, or
> the buying of tickets.  I opted for ticket buying, but as the
> fellow in one
> of Stephen Straker's forwarded stories discovers, walking may be simpler.
> Option one, was to fly.  Believe it or not, you can now fly from some
> airport in the Midlands to Gatwick for more or less sixpence.
> All a person
> has to do is book in advance, and then get up at three in the morning and
> line or queue up at the EasyJet counter for umpteen hours of checking in.
> With airport taxes and slick runway fees, the tickets come to, in today's
> dollars, somewhere between the equivalent of a bucket shop
> hernia repair and
> the mental cost of a very severe cold.
> Option two is very cheap; one could take the bus.  I've gone off
> buses.  I
> remember one time when it took me thirty or more hours to go
> from London to
> Kyle of Lochalsh.  This time included hours spent stuck on foggy moors in
> the middle of nowhere, Lowlands-of-Scotland, on a broke coach.
> Option three was to travel by trusty train.  All one (or in our
> case, two)
> needed was a ticket, or tickets.  Like the fellow in the
> Guardian story, I
> tried the internet.  The British have a website called something
> like, Jump
> the Queue dot com, which in grand British tradition offers "discount"
> tickets that are, in fact, marked up.  No joy there.
> Next stop, the trusty local station.  It turns out that the
> ticket office is
> no longer person'd in the middle of the day.  Back again, later.
>  "What does
> a single from Derby to here cost...?"  The man got down a five inch thick
> book and began to leaf through the pages.
> "Have you no computers," I asked.
> "Haven't got round to them."
> This was not some halt near Lord Emsworth's castle.  This was a
> station with
> four platforms, half an hour from central London.  Queen
> Victoria once trod
> its steps.
> The man discovered that I was eligible for a supersaver or a
> daysaver or a
> knowspicker or something like that.  Trouble was, you couldn't
> buy that kind
> of ticket at his station.
> "How much would I save?"
> "Twenty quid."
> "Where do I go?"
> It turned out that Waterloo was, as they say, "my best bet."
> Once there, I
> lined or queued up, got to the front, asked the kind lady for a ticket to
> Derby.
> "Don't sell those here.  You have to queue up at window A."
> I did as I was told.  Well actually there wasn't much queuing to be done.
> As it happened, I was the only person in front of window A.  Problem was,
> there was no one *behind* window A.  I returned to the first
> lady's window.
> "Er, there's no one there."
> She looked five windows down, a distance of about ten feet.
> "I wonder where he's gone."
> "Could you perhaps go and find him?"
> And, you know, she did.  Very helpful.  It turned out that the
> only person
> qualified to sell tickets from London to Derby was in the
> toilet.  When he
> emerged, I bought the tickets.
> The man said that I could get from Derby to London, take the tube across
> London, catch another train at London Bridge and be at my
> father's house in
> three and a half hours.  In the way of things, what with the
> ticket buying
> difficulties and deep knowledge of how trains in Britain run, I was
> sceptical.  But, you know, he was quite right.
> David Ritchie
> Portland, Oregon
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