Writing exercise 1.15

Just looking through my notes, I found this piece, which I believe was written for an Open University exercise. I know one reader who might remember the event it was loosely based on!

Kids today, they’re so badly behaved. I mean to say, I met a couple of young louts yesterday. At the castle, it was. We had such a lovely day. The flowers were just perfect. Well, most of them, but there was one bed that had been so neglected it was a crying shame. “Look at that, Ethel,” I said to my friend, “such a crying shame.” Of course, Ethel’s garden isn’t much to speak of. How she lives with it, I don’t know. Her arthritis plays her up, I know, but still, you would think… anyway, I was telling you about those appalling louts. We had been in the shop, and then realised we didn’t have much time to get back to the coach before it was due to leave. And that driver can be so miserable! When we had a sing song on that last trip, he was so rude!

Where was I? Oh yes, getting back to the coach. They run what they call a land train, to ferry people between the castle and the car park. Well, when we got there, it was already full, and I thought for one horrible moment we would have to walk all the way, but then I saw these two youths taking up the front seats, looking smug and comfortable. Just fancy, two hulking great lads like that riding, while poor Ethel’s arthritis was playing up!

“Come on boys, we need those seats,” I told them, and do you know, for a minute I actually thought they would sit there and refuse to move! One even had the cheek to claim they’d been queuing for hours, obviously trying to play the sympathy card. I was just about to go and fetch the driver, who I could see was gazing into space instead of doing his job, but one of the boys spoke to the other and they slowly climbed off. I pushed Ethel on, and then climbed on myself, and as the train moved off I saw the boys talking to a woman. I just hope they weren’t going to mug her for her bag! Nasty pieces of work, they were. One even looked as though he was pretending to cry, no doubt trying to distract her while the other grabbed her purse.

That train was terribly slow, I told the driver as we got off that if the coach driver was grumpy all the journey home it would be his fault for making us late. I didn’t hear what he said in answer, but I accepted his apology anyway.



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