I’m not going to sit here and bullshit you by saying that I make the smartest of decisions 100% of the time. In fact on the contrary you could say that it would be surprising to a lot of people if I turned around one day and made a well thought through sensible decision.
Saturday evening (28/05/16) was not one of those days in which a smart decision was made.
Before I tell you a tale of hardship however, let me send you back in time to 2013.
I had purchased two rats from Pets at Home. ‘Science’ and ‘Marceline’ were their respective names. That day I had learned a valuable lesson that you should pretty much not bother buying animals from Pets at Home because they’re essentially neglected from the moment they’re born to the moment they’re purchased, thus they pretty much freak out when anyone approaches.
Marceline was a timid little thing and spent the majority of her time hiding, Science on the other hand was the living embodiment of Satan in a rat, making sounds I have never heard….Quite frankly any animal make, along with drawing blood more times I can count I decided to give her up for adoption to somebody that could give her the patience that I couldn’t.
A quick search on Gumtree (the first time using the site since the whole ‘grooming’ situation. Read About That Little Moment of Joy Here. ) led me to finding someone who was up for the task, in addition to this I got two adorable baby rats in return (Later named ‘Chi and Lychee’).
The only problem however was this girl lived in Callington. A place I had at this point never heard of in my entire life.
Regardless, I travelled by bus for an hour, with an ever growing angry demon rat in my bag, I met the girl, gave away said rat and two baby rat would be coming back with me. There was just one problem.
The entire town, seemingly just had one bus stop.
Of course, I walk past the bus stop I came into town on, assuming that the other side of the road would be the ‘outer’ bus stop, bus alas there was no alternative bus stop. I walk around looking for a bus stop on the correct side of road. This leads me to a long road with barely a lamp post in sight. (This is winter time so it’s dark at like, 5pm).
On my lost travels, I come across three girls that could have been no older than eleven at the time. I shit you not, this is the jist of the conversation.
Girl one: “Excuse me!”
Girl two: Oh my godddd, Leah don’t!”
Girl one: Can my friend have a piggy back?
Girl one and three: Awww
Me: Anyway, can you gimme a hand? I’ve no clue where to get the bus to Plymouth from.
They lead me back to the very same bus stop in which I arrived at as they made their way, I for some reason don’t bother telling them that this is the wrong bus stop. They go on their way, presumably asking more men in their early twenties for piggy backs.
I set off again looking for the correct bus stop.
A fair few minutes pass, maybe ten to fifteen and I come across the same girls.
“Oh! It’s you again! Why’re you not at the bus stop? The bus is due!”
“Oh, that’s the bus stop I came in from, I need the bus going to Plymouth”
“Yeah, we know. The bus turns around there”
Feeling stupid, I head back to the same bus stop, and notice that the bus from and to Plymouth is due in about ten minutes. Instead of staying put, I decide on going to the co-op quickly to get myself a drink for the hour journey home.
Leaving the shop, I realise the bus is turning down and looking to abandon my bus stop. “Fucking hell”.
In a beautiful plot twist, the exact same group of girls spotted me in the distance and flagged the bus down for me.
“This is the one going to Plymouth!!!” one excitedly shrieked frantically signalling for me to get on.
Three times I encounter them, and three times they saved me from getting lost in Callington, in hindsight I probably owe them that piggy back.
With the baby rats still in my bag for this entire ordeal, I vow to never return.
It’s now a Saturday evening, probably about ten to seven. I’m wearing my Green Kiwi tee-shirt.
A fun tidbit of trivia is that through every one of my travelling ordeals I was wearing the very same shirt. (Blog about that coming soon, I guess)
Hell, the last time I wore it prior to that day was when I endured a four hour coach journey with no Ipod, a phone without data, no company and to top this off my bottle of rum smashed in my rucksack.
I was convinced this kiwi tee was cursed so I legitimately took it off.
Other than waiting at the wrong bus stop for five minutes, the bus journey was hassle free, a lot of weird smelling people, but I did have to take into consideration the fact that I was just visiting Cornwall, these people probably lived there so that would explain the odd smells.
I get off the bus, the same cruel bus stop from nearly three years prior greeted me, even the sunsets rays bouncing off the streets could not lift my disdain for the memories of stupidity.
Instead of calling the person I was meant to meet, I decided to take a quick gander round the area, after all, Cornwall is one of those places that’s utterly fucking awful in the dreariness of winter, but quite beautiful on a quiet summers evening. After a while I decide to ring up for directions on where I was actually going.
“Okay, just follow the road, you’ll find a Tesco. Ring me when you’re outside of it”
My path was set, and it was a relatively easy one. A brief ten minute walk up a gentle slope, I see the large font of Tesco in the distance. I had 8% battery left on my phone, Tesco was no more than two minutes away, the sun was slowly setting, leaving a beautiful pink sky behind my steps.
I figure it’s as good a time as ever to let the natural light act as my filter and take a quick selfie.
I pose, ignoring the confused gazes of the bloke in a cowboy hat nearby, I briefly admire myself before seeing my 8% rapidly turn into a blank screen.
I go into Tesco, thinking about how royally screwed I could possibly be at this point. Buy a milkshake, and sit outside for the best part of five minutes.
I have an iPhone charger in my rucksack, so the plan of action was to scout the area of a bar, or a Costa to use their plug socket. The journey was on.
The journey, in addition to being ‘on’ was a lonesome one. Not a single soul on the road I was walking, keeping a watchful eye out in case I came across the person I was meeting. (I assumed Callington had a population rate of fifteen or something).
I think, give or take I walked for about forty minutes, past a lot of trees and the Ginsters factory. Not a charging port, or a shred of hope in sight.
I turn back to Tesco, the sun now rapidly setting.
I go into the petrol station, and swallow my pride.
This is probably the most stupid thing you’re going to hear all day, but do you have a charging port, handy?”
I could instantly see the judgement in her eyes. She shook her head and that was that, apparently.
“Hahaha (Fakest of laughs to mask the most real of pains) that’s fine. Do you know if there’s a payphone nearby?”
“A payphone?” she looked at me completely bemused. She shouted across the store asking her colleague, which is great because if there’s one thing I wanted it was for more people to be in on this horrific situation.
The lady then rings up the superstore Tesco, and asks if they have a payphone. They did.
It was at this point, walking to the larger Tesco that I realised I don’t even know who I’d ring. To my immediate knowledge I have three numbers that I actually know.
1: My own. Not helpful on the best of days let alone when my phone’s dead.
2: Hastings Direct.
3: My work.
My work was quite literally the go-to number to call, I had a system in which I was going to resort to which included calling up work, and asking whoever was working at the time to go onto Facebook, and message the person in question saying that I’ll be outside Tesco. Then I wait.
Thankfully, it did not resort to this, as salvation, and the person I was meeting was outside!
I was the immediate comic relief of the store, the shame alone is enough to make me question ever going to Cornwall again. There’s a strong chance that I’ll be forever known in Callington as ‘That guy who somehow got lost……….In Callington’
All because of fucking vanity.
The selfie didn’t even save.