Thursday, 4 September 2008

Free Nelson Bundela

I so wanted her to shut up, the fair-haired, power-suited young woman opposite me on the train. Two phones. Too loud. Too much.

Over the course of several calls my fellow passengers and I piece together the sheer awfulness of her day - her second day in her first job after university, working for a big-name international firm of accountants.

In brief: I'm based in Edinburgh. I flew to Birmingham this morning for an appointment in Coventry. I was supposed to fly back to Edinburgh this evening. But I missed my train connection to the airport because of a taxi driver with a dodgy tom-tom.

(Er, tom-tom? Techno-savvy readers will have grasped, unlike moi, that a Tom-tom is a type of satellite navigation device.)

This is a bad thing because I have to join a bunch of new colleagues at Edinburgh Airport early tomorrow morning so that we can all fly down to London for a high-level conference at Windsor. It's an accountant thing.

But now I'm heading south, not north, to High Wycombe, where my kind grandfather will meet me so that I can stay the night with him and Granny, prior to one of them driving me to Windsor tomorrow.

This is good because I'll have a bed. But also bad because I'll be up half the night washing and drying my clothes. All I have is what I'm wearing right now.

Further bad thing: my boss has resigned and skidaddled without giving me names or conatct info of any of the people who'll be at the airport tomorrow morning wondering why I'm not there. Can things get worse? Oh, yes.

There's Nelson.

Nelson is in my flat in Edinburgh, awaiting my return tonight. Without me, he may die. So I have to phone a friend, and my letting agent. Friend will kindly collect flat key and go and check that Nelson is OK, ensuring that he is fed and watered.

I've enough stress in my life without having the death of a six-month-old rabbit on my conscience.

And it's not as if Nelson's short life has been angst-free.

Until four weeks ago Nelson was Tilly. My boyfriend returned from South Africa, took one look at the bunny and - whoosh - instant gender re-assignment, with a nod to the great Mandela in the re-naming.

I'm SO unlucky - and, yes, I really was born on Friday the thirteenth.


Unlucky? With kind grandparents on hand to ferry and accommodate? With a chum to rescue Nelson? With a flat in Edinburgh's New Town? With a boyfriend who can sex a rabbit at ten paces?


By this stage the train is nearing my destination and, to my surprise, irritation has long since morphed into rapt attention. I SO don't want her to stop.

Something to do with the power of story, perhaps?

What started as merely an irritating voice has become a real young woman who's in a bit of a pickle - and a bunny with gender issues.

Fellow-passengers are offering advice and suggestions. Could you call your head office? Call the airport to page your colleagues? Call the conference venue?

Leaving the train at LS, I murmur: 'Goodbye. I hope everything works out for you and Nelson.'

Later I find myself saying a wee prayer for them.


brett jordan said...

aww... bless!

Mr Gnome said...

One's sentiment, precisely!