Say what you will about me, one thing is certain: I am lucky beyond belief. It’s just how it is. I have had, ever since I can remember, things magically going my way. I’ve never lost both socks in a pair. I’ve never found money in the street when I didn’t need it. I’ve never met a Hollywood superstar when I was having a bad hair day. The glass has always been half full. And what more to convince you of my never ending good karma than this: the company I work for has a free employee shuttle service.
After years and years of exciting early mornings on the London Underground network, this shuttle service thing pretty much closed the deal for me. They could pay me in marmite jars as far as I cared, I’d be traveling to work in style. Take that, TFL! Signal failures, mind-the-gap, please-stand-back-from-the-yellow-line, thanks but no thanks. My time was finally coming and I’d be speeding towards it in a complimentary high class shuttle, sipping pink champagne and laughing my polite sexy laugh among my kind of people. They’d call us the Shuttlers’ Assembly and they’d make TV movies about our amazing wee hours adventures.
Now, for me to reach the shuttle stop in the morning, I have to walk for about 15 minutes through this web of narrow streets where I never run into anyone. You’d think this fits my antisocial inclinations perfectly, and you’d normally be right, except these streets are plain scary. They have trees on both sides and in those trees, you’d assume, there are all kinds of pretty little birds singing their lives away in their pretty little nests. Wrong.
All the birds are dead.
Each morning without fail I stumble upon one or two dead birds on the sidewalk on my way to work. I know, I know, they probably get plastered from all the cider bottles people leave on the side of the road by the pub, then fall from the branches and die their shameful drunken deaths in public, looked down on by the sober segment of the local feathered community. Or it could be a sign that the umpteenth end of the world is coming. Either way, I am terrified, and the only thing keeping me going is the promise of yet another a breathtaking shuttle trip to the office.
I never ever would have imagined it, but I must admit there’s a couple of problems with the marvellous complimentary shuttle. All those dead birds were probably just a sign of more bad things to come.
You’re going to laugh, it’s fine. And I know I’ve probably painted this picture of myself as a super muscular amazon chick kicking my problems away left and right, but reality is that I’m a short skinny 16-year-old-looking person who can’t manage to open the shuttle door by herself every morning. Imagine this: the shuttle pulls over at my stop, then for what seems like forever I yank the door like a maniac, fidgeting with the handle, twitching nervously and making desperate signs through the window at the driver, who I’m sure is the very incarnation of evil, as my ridiculous torment seems to be the highlight of his day.
When he finally deigns to give me a hand with the darn door, I’ll have burnt at least 12000 calories, I’m as red as a beet, and my fellow shuttlers can’t help giggling as I make my way to my seat. Oh, and there’s no pink champagne.