After Eights are better than After Nine.

I mentioned how last night I had drinks and dinner with Nicki and Kathryn – and then nearly got attacked by a Maned Wolf outside my flat (though I begin to suspect Kathryn made the whole thing up just to mess with me).

In my excited rush to blog about the fox on stilts incident I forgot to blog about what I originally wanted to.

As we gave Nicki a lift back to her car, Kathryn said “Tell Amanda about the time you got in some random man’s car!”

It turned out that Nicki had once got lost on her way to work, and all in a fluster at possibly missing a nine o clock meeting,had flagged down a passing car and demanded a lift from, as Kathryn put it, a completely random man.

This was made funnier because a lad from work had been driving the car behind, so had seen her flag a car down and jump into it, only to be driven 50 yards down the street to where we all work, where she hopped out again and scampered off.

This reminded me of a tale back when I was enduring the last few days at my old job (the one where they made me do maths). It had got to the point where I knew it was pretty much over, and had already sorted out another job to go to (sans maths) but I still wanted to make a good impression on my last day and had got up extra early. I drove Ian to work as usual, stopped next to the bus stop outside and let him out. He ran across the road, and just before I could pull away, an old man got in my car.

“I’ve missed the bus,” he told me. apologetically. “Can you give me a lift to Hythe?”

Utterly baffled, and not seeing an alternative, I nodded. I do like to help people where I can, but I have to be honest, at that moment I wasn’t feeling at my most charitable.

“Great!” he said, motioning for a similarly baffled looking woman to get in as well. She sat in the back, and off we went. To Hythe.

There was an awkward silence. I looked at the woman in my rear view mirror, and she looked at me. She shrugged helplessly.

“We… missed the bus. I mean, he did, and I did too. I don’t know him.”

“We don’t know each other,” the old man confirmed. “But we both missed the bus.”

We carried on to Hythe, where I let the woman out at Waitrose, and waited for the old man to get out my car.

He did not.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Er… up to the Lympne turning…” I told him.

“That’s fine, if you could take me there, that would be great,” he said.

I drove off, and we made small talk. Soon we were at the Lympne turning, and my work. 8.45 isn’t bad, I thought. Not as early as I’d planned, but it’ll do.

I pulled over and looked at him expectantly.

“Actually, my stop is a bit further,” he told me.

I sighed, and drove away from work. We drove for about three miles before he found a bus stop he liked, and then he gave me £3 and a box of After Eights. Unfortunately, by then it was After Nine.

That day I learnt that if you get into work late and tell them it’s because an old man got in your car and made you give him a lift to his bus stop, they don’t believe you, and they also think you’re really bad at making up excuses.

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