Allow me to commence this post with a long, loud, ear splitting: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!! And then the swear word of your own personal choosing to garnish.
Other possible beginnings or even titles to this post could be: ‘You’re kidding right?’ Or ‘Fact, much stranger than fiction. Discuss.’. How about, ‘You just can’t make this stuff up’ or indeed ‘Stupid people of Britain, pack it in! It’s not becoming!
Ahem, I apologise. But continue reading and you will understand the causation of my vexation and outrage…
Some of you will know from a past post that I am owed a sum of monies by her Royal Highness’ termagants in the governmental department for Driving, Transportation and Petty Recriminations.
Bad judgement calls were made, lack lustre administration took place, inadequate systems and procedures were half-heartedly followed, complacency and incompetency occurred in abundance.
But I am not one to hold a grudge. No sir. The matter has been resolved with the minimum of swearing, hair loss and ranting on my part. I haven’t put in a formal complaint because I will be happy just to be getting my money back…which I needlessly gave to them in the first place due to an admin cock up on their part. And I did receive said money back a few days ago…in the form of a cheque…two cheques actually. Why two you ask? Because of reasons. The mind boggles…
But to the point – some of my readers will have prior knowledge that I am a humble, rugged, chisel jawed goat boy living on my tod at the fringes of civilization. Now I put it to you: what the Gordon Browns’ bonk stick am I supposed to do with a cheque? Nay, two cheques!
But hold! Fret not readers, you’ll be surprised to hear that this is not in fact a problem for yours truly. I merely employ the powers of my apposable thumbs and the sorcery of a modern day telephonic communications device with Go Ogle capabilities. And lo and behold, after a few minutes research I determined that the nearest village to my dwelling sports something called an ‘Post Office’ where I can deposit my hard gained monies. Huzzah and happy days!
Modern tech, right? Gotta love it, right? And modern services and conveniences, right? Wrong…
So all one should have to do is hike the odd mile to said village with these tatty bits of paper with monetary sums doodled on and have these services exacted upon them by a professional in the know as stated on their interwebs page. It’s almost too easy…
Therefore I braved the searing heat and humidity and stalked confidently across the countryside towards quests’ end. What ho! And this sleepy little village convenience was open at its publicly designated time too! Lady luck is with me today, I chorused. A deuce of hurrah all-round!
Sweaty, exhausted and bedraggled I proudly proffered my pathetic papers to the mysterious, wizened, owlish gentleman hiding behind a counter in a box of glass (not sure what the deal is with the box. At first I thought he was a coin operated vending machine). But anyway, our interaction progressed a little something like this:
‘My good man,’ I chimed, ‘I have reason to believe that if I give you these two slips of paper you’ll somehow transmutate them in to digital money for me!’
‘Of course, Sir’ beamed the mystical Alchemist over his nose-perched seeing apparatus. An aura of benevolence filled the pokey room with his kindly smile and twinkly eyes. He continued, ‘all you will need is one of my special envelopes here and of course your bank paying-in slip…’
The dusky radiance faded somewhat into a sombre gloom. ‘Ahem,’ I began, ‘the what the whom the when now? Your inter nets literature specifically said you could provide me with both pointless bits of paper to accompany both my pointless bits of paper!’
‘Oh no sir, must be a miss-print. Head office deals with what goes on the Inter-Googles and Bing Coms.’
The cosy glow evaporated entirely until there was just the air of a long unvisited cemetery on a misty night.
‘So you don’t actually provide the service advertised then?’
‘No. Not as such, sir.’
That which I specifically needed and have travelled on foot, nay hoof, to acquire? Or you do, it’s just I needed to have visited a bank first…’
‘Correct. Well, I have the envelope?’
‘But what good is that?’
‘Hmmm, indeed. So what services can you offer me?’
‘I could sell you a disposable BBQ or a pack of sparklers?’
‘And let me guess, the disposable BBQ can’t actually be recycled; standard waste receptacles state upon them ‘no hot ashes’, so the thing has to remain on the scorched grass in the park then? So not that disposable really. And I can only assume that the sparklers can only be lit by a children’s’ safety blowtorch, hm?’
Vast and unwieldy swear words occurred.
So a trip into town would seem in order.
Now then, I am most un-fond of British Public Transport. I must check my Moaning Records to see whether I’ve dabbled on this subject previously*. But never mind onwards; on this particular venture it wasn’t just going to be the puke on the seats, the litter in the isles, the Chavs that live there or the simpleton employed to drive the damn thing that irked me. No, in this instance I was feeling more wretched about having to give a government-owned body my money in order for me to reclaim my money back from them in the first place. Bastards!
*Just in case I haven’t yet – it’s pathetic. Laughable even. Ask a German what they think of our system and he will smile and say, ‘didn’t realise you had one’. I once waited at the bus stop in this self-same village for 3 hours for two buses that never materialised. Sigh. I had a good rant about that but I’m not sure I published.
Anyway, so out to the outskirts of the village and toward the bus shelter I meandered. On checking the timetable there in, which hadn’t been updated since 2016 by the way, I finally deduced that there wasn’t to be another bus due any time soon for at least another couple of hours. If it arrived at all!
So what to do to kill the time until then? The public house isn’t open yet, so I suppose I’ll have to wander to the other side of the village and visit the convenience store. Where upon I might procure some rejuvenating caffeinated refreshment and a sustaining sandwich of undiscernible content…
…It was not to be…
There were unmarked police cars and un-uniformed official personnel surrounding the place and barring my way. I spoke to a rather jovial and loose lipped officer who couldn’t help but reveal that this was now the scene of a foiled armed robber and they were going to need a good couple of hours yet to finish faffing around and eating cake.
I laughed the laugh of the exhausted, bemused semi fictional goat person and told him of my trials of the day thus far. He shared a giggle and a consoling word, but never the less I still had to hop it until they’d sorted things out.
So to the butchers? And get some much needed nourishment? No because the only currency I had other than the two naff bits of paper was the bus fare need for my town trip. Dilemma. AAAAGHH!
Bigger, hairier, swearier words.
Deary me this day just keeps on getting better and better doesn’t it…
By now I am a very hungry, very tired and very thirsty goat boy. It’s been hours since second breakfast and my water bottle is hot to the touch. The contents of which taste remarkably similar to the aforementioned container.
But wait, a eureka moment bonked me on the noggin; an old acquaintance lives around hither somewhere (let’s call him Big Brother Billy Goat Gruff), I shall call in. Furthermore I have his back door key upon my person. I’m sure he’ll understand…I can replenish my water supply, take the weight off my hooves and possibly raid his fridge in the process.
Sigh, again it was not to be. The family was all either out at work, or at a disco-tech or something. Furthermore, they’d left a key in the back door…So, a long thirsty wait at the bus shelter then…
Much later than expected I finally alighted the bus, parting with the last of my real monies not quite knowing how I’d be able to get back again. Spin on. 3 fudging hours later…3 funking hours later, and I disgorged an exceptionally angry and exceptionally exhausted goat boy. Someone was going to get a good telling off. Who and for what I didn’t care.
It should have been a twenty minute ride! I was to find out later, by valuable and official sources that all traffic to the nearest town were delayed inevitably because of unforetold and unforeseen road works on the main entry point to the town. On information derived from hastily constructed diversion signs, a hapless and exasperated lorry driver drove his rather tall lorry under a rather short bridge on the other end of the town’s main route. Thereby, effectively grid locking the whole town and shutting it down completely.
Huge, foul words of curse.
But eventually I made it without altercation to my bank branch and relievedly placed my bits of torn, chewed, ratty paper on the counter, wept a little, knocked on another wall of glass and politely asked the teller withinst to do his business. He looked at me with a soft, hope inducing smile, and golden glory shone in his eyes and in a happy, confiding, friendly voice said… ‘No.’
‘N-n-no?…’ I spluttered, lower lip a quiver, hair falling off my head in tufts.
‘Sorry…er, Sir, but we closed half an hour ago. We close early on Wednesdays.’
‘But, but, but…why? Everywhere else is open…’
‘Sorry sir, we leave the doors open so customers can use the machines…’
I bellowed the biggest, hairiest, sweariest string of words I knew to the gods and with righteous fury slammed both fists on the counter. At precisely that moment a kind of gas sprayed me full in the face and a metal curtain replaced the glass wall in front of me with a resounding kerchung! Incredibly loud alarm bells assaulted my keen ears and big red flashy lights circled the roiling fog.
An uncertain amount of time later I awoke on a comfy, blue bank manager’s sofa; very dazed and very confused. I was eventually allowed to leave the premises via the escort of the talkative undercover policemen I had met earlier outside the village convenience. The town and surrounding villages were on high alert after that morning’s ruralized robbery (or bucolic burglary if you will).
Turns out this gentleman was actually in charge of the armed robbery response team of the town’s police force and was now doing the rounds in town. He must have just popped in to the branch after me to get some cash out for evening cake or something. He vouched for me to his heavily armed colleagues and the bank manager telling them he’d spoken to me earlier in the day and knew that I wasn’t an urban terrorist*, I was just a little angry and upset and had had a very long and trying day…
*Apparently and luckily for me angry-ist and terrorist are two totally different things. Not sure how. All the terrorists I’ve ever heard of seem frightfully angry.
…Not only that but he bought me a bucket of Colonel Mc Coronary’s Deep Fried Chicken Buttocks and gave me a lift home in his special under cover car too. Funny old world isn’t it…
But what have I learned from this little escapade? Well put it this way, from what I understand – all you real people have to deal with this type of nonsense every day throughout your rather short lives. Many a rod for you own collective backs. So I’m just glad I’m not one of you. Furthermore, never try and get money out of the government. It’ll always cost you more in the long run.