Thursday, July 23, 2015

Billy Bob, a raccoon, a BBQ and the Niagara Falls GO bus gong show that was Saturday, July 18th

Special to This Crazy Train

Hidy ho, Ms. Cindy!

Billy Bob here in St. Catharines.  I got a bit of a favour to ask of you.  Well, truth be told, it’s my missus, Daisy May, who’s askin’.

You see, Daisy May planned this big family do at our place last Saturday.  Relatives (mostly hers) was comin’ from all over.  Now, Daisy May does these affairs up right – spends days and nights plannin’ and preppin’.  So, folks was arrivin’ in the afternoon, and the fresh road kill raccoon (a 20 pounder!) had about another 45 minutes on the BBQ rotisserie, when Daisy Mae turned to me and said, “You better head over to the bus stop and pick up Aunt Winnie; she’s comin’ in on the GO bus from The Falls.

I got to the bus stop at about 4:40, just before the bus was supposed to pull in, but like you know, Ms. Cindy, them schedules ain’t gospel.  Well, by 5:00 that bus weren’t there, so I called Daisy May to let her know.  She said hang tight, but to call back when the bus arrived, so she could synch the final food preparations for when I got back to the house with Winnie.

At 5:20 my cell phone rang; it was Daisy May.  “Where’s that [expletive deleted] bus?!  The coon is lookin’ mighty charred on the BBQ, and you ain’t started grillin’ them skewered baby bullfrogs yet!!!”

“Let me check,” was all I could mumble as the line went dead.  My heart was sinkin’ faster than the Titanic.  That tone of voice was all too familiar like.

I headed over to the platform, where a lot of unhappy folks was checkin’ the time on their phones.  I asked a couple of ‘em if they knew what was up with the bus from The Falls.  One fella told me he’d heard from some dude who’d hired a taxi to take him to The Falls that things was real messed up cuz GO was supposed to be runnin’ shuttle buses between here and Niagara, except their plan weren’t workin’ out.

When I asked why, he said somethin’ about a parade happenin’ on the streets GO travels in The Falls, so the buses had to follow a alternate route, but the double-decker buses can’t travel on ‘em cuz of somethin’ called “geo-fencing”, so spare drivers out of other garages was assigned to drive to The Falls with them regular buses, except “Operations” dispatched ‘em to sit in Burlington, and then some other spare driver drove to the garage in The Falls and hit the road to St. Catharines with the last available double decker bus, but then “Operations” realized that was a mistake, so they sent them westward down the QEW, and then after the parade was done and things should have been getting back to normal, one of them deckers broke down, and somethin’, somethin’, blah, blah, blah.  The bottom line was nothin’ was GOin’ into or out of Niagara Falls for a while.

I thought the fella musta been a little daft or affected by the heat and humidity standin’ and out in the sun too long.  No bus company messes up that big.  But Aunt Winnie was still missin’.  I know what yer thinkin’.  Why not just call her and see where she’s at?  Winnie don’t own a mobile phone – never has.

Pullin’ at straws, I fired up that Twitter app on my phone.  I figured someone musta tweeted about this mess.  It didn’t take long to hit pay dirt.  That “GO Voyageur” person shared the Niagara Falls alert from days before about a Indian Defense League of America parade, and asked why GO Transit thought it were a good idea to tell their customers a hour after the parade started!  Then he and that “@crash8668” fella tag-teamed @GOtransit by tellin’ ‘em their info was wrong – there’s no Robert St. in The Falls and Roberts St. was renamed Falls Ave. years ago.  But there weren’t one bit of news ‘bout where Aunt Winnie’s bus was at.

Well, the bus rolled in around 6:00 with Winnie gushin’ how nice the driver was.  We got back to our place real fast.  As we came through the door, my missus was fumin’ and lookin’ at me madder than Nancy and Karen on LSE Platform 27.  But Winnie was real upbeat and helped Daisy May pull things together, and soon everyone was havin’ a great time.

As I’m writtin’ this, I went back to Twitter and looked at what else was said that I mighta missed.  What was real interestin’ was the followin’ tweet from that spokesperson at Metrolinx:

I don’t get why Ms. Aikins thought she oughta say somethin’ about a CN freight train wreck in your neck of the woods, Ms. Cindy, but she didn’t say peep about her customers stranded on Route 12.  Nope!  The best we got out of her was “No impact on GO Transit trains”.  Kinda shows you what them Metrolinx brass thinks ‘bout us bus folk, eh.

After all the fuss was over and done with, that “GO Voyageur” person summed it up:

And that brings me back to the favour Daisy May wants to ask.  You see, she saw how Aunt Winnie came in and helped us save the family do by gettin’ us all workin’ together like.  So, she’s wonderin’ if you can play this little ditty by Canned Heat for them folks at GO Transit up there in Hogtown.

Thank you right kindly, Ms. Cindy.  If you’re down this way, be sure to drop in.  There’s lots of BBQ’d raccoon left in the freezer!

Best wishes,

Billy Bob

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