Friday, 4 March 2016

Reindeer Gains

The journey has been beset by delays ever since we set off. A plane crash in Krakow caused chaos on the roads, and we’re running almost three hours late. I’m starting to sweat it; I’ve several million dollars’ worth of contraband stashed aboard this coach, and if we don’t make it to the rendezvous point in time I’ll be in a world of shit. I gaze out the window as we cross the snowy mountains, a sinking feeling in my gut.

The driver has been off his face on crack ever since we left Budapest. He’s way too brain fried to realise the bus load of passengers he’s carrying is actually a whole load of cleverly disguised illegal shit, bound for the border. The guy sitting up front in a fedora and raincoat is really a stolen Swiss cuckoo clock. The overweight mother nursing two babies is in fact a thousand packs of rolling tobacco wrapped in a flowery dress. I’m smuggling anything and everything – booze, cigarettes, drugs, guns, exotic species. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.

Finally, we’re starting to make some good progress, coming down from the high pass to join the Autobahn. If the driver puts his foot down there’s half a chance we might make it in time. My fingers are crossed and my breath is baited. That’s when I realise we’re slowing down. God damn it, what now?

I sprint to the front of the bus and berate the driver. “Why the hell are we stopping?”

“Regulations.” He grins lopsided, his teeth black and rotten. I get it now – he’s run out of drugs and wants more in exchange for his complicity. Son of a bitch.

There’s two hundred thousand dollars’ worth of crack cocaine, disguised as a group of irate Manchester United fans, half way up the right hand side of second class. I break off yet another kilo and fling it at the driver. “Here, put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

“Merci, monsieur.” He cackles as he imbibes, and his eyes glaze over.

“Can we get moving now?”

He shifts into first gear, and we’re about to pull away when there’s a banging on the door. Outside in the snow, a group of scantily clad ladies are demanding to be let on board.

“Ignore them, just get going,” I yell, but it’s too late. The doors are open and the women are trooping inside. Shit – this is going from bad to worse. They head straight to the back, laughing and squawking. There are six of them, all decked out in tiaras and tutus with L plates hung around their necks. A hen party is my guess – I only hope they’ll mind their own business and not give me any trouble. 

Finally we’re underway. I look at my watch and see the wasted seconds and minutes pouring down the drain. Fuck it – I retake my seat and pour a large rum. It’s in the lap of the Gods now.

Drinking while on a mission is never a good idea, and before long I’m grinning back over my shoulder at the gaggle of lovelies, leering at their nubile flesh and imagining what it would be like to have a seven way. By ear-wigging their raucous conversation I determine they’re almost out of alcohol. Here’s my in; I’ll pop back there with a couple of bottle of vintage champagne, which are currently disguised as former world darts champion Eric Bristow, and save the day. I’ll be their knight in shining armour.

All my best chat up lines are ready to go. I straighten my hair and comb my moustache in preparation for seduction, but then all of a sudden the girls are hollering and squealing and the driver jams the brakes on.

“Stop!” the redhead with the massive bazookas is yelling. “There’s a reindeer in the road – we have to rescue it.”

I get a bad feeling, and hope the driver will ignore her. But he’s clearly clocked those massive bazookas of hers and will do anything to get in her good books. He pulls in at the side of the road and opens the doors.

“What the hell are you doing?” I grab the redhead by the arm. “You can’t bring a reindeer on board."

She pouts. “But what if it’s one of Santa’s reindeer? What if it’s Rudolph?”

“Fuck Rudolph. We have a schedule to keep.”

“I don’t care what you think. I’m going to rescue him.” She goes tottering off in her eight inch heels, and I begin the countdown to pandemonium.

The minute she brings the reindeer on board, everything goes apeshit. See, that guy who looks like Tom Selleck three seats behind me is actually another reindeer I’m smuggling, bound for a private zoo in the South of France. Two male reindeer in an enclosed space was never going to be pretty, but to make matters worse, it’s mating season.

My reindeer emits a high pitch snort and leaps to its feet, shrugging off the Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses and fake moustache. The new reindeer snorts in reply, and after a brief bout of foot stamping the pair of them are rutting, taking suicidal runs up the centre aisle and smashing one another with their antlers. Contraband is flying everywhere – fake Picassos, jewellery, hardcore porn and weapons grade plutonium. The hen party girls are screaming and trying to climb out the window. Even the crack addled driver is noticeably perturbed.

I don’t know what the hell else to do; I wait for the bus to stop, get off and abandon the whole shit storm for someone else to tidy up. Guess I’ll have to head south until the smoke clears.

1 comment:

  1. Im sure I was on that bus, cunningly disguised as an air-con unit with tourettes.