Some stories are just too entertaining to keep to one’s self.
I thought this one might give you a chuckle on a wintry day.
(Should I admit we are in balmy Varadero, Cuba?)
Back in 2010, Glenn and I experienced our own “Comedy of Errors” or what I like to call “Murphy’s Law Gone Haywire.”
It was February and we had just returned from two weeks of visiting my Dad and brothers in Nova Scotia.
As in years previous, we took the day liner train from Cobourg to Montréal and then boarded “The Ocean” for Halifax. We arrived in Halifax about twenty-four hours later, collected our luggage, picked up our rental a car and struck out for Lockeport, about 2 hours southwest of Halifax. The trip from Cobourg to Halifax was uneventful, just the way it should have been.
Unfortunately, the return trip was anything but. It all began on the drive back to Halifax. We left West Head very early in the morning which always spells disaster for me. I identify strongly with Garfield the Cat when it comes to mornings. I just can’t wake up before nine. We took Exit 19 in Liverpool for some much-needed caffeine at Tim Hortons. Once back in the car I promptly fell asleep with a large cup of coffee in my hand. I awoke with a yelp as I dumped the entire cup of coffee over my legs; not too hot, but damp, no; wet, no; but soaked. Glenn had a great laugh. We continued on our way stopping for breakfast at one of my favourite restaurants, “Cora’s”, on Lacewood Drive. By then I was very much awake. In the freezing weather, I rooted around in the trunk for some dry clothes and made a beeline for the restroom. On that particular day, I was truly grateful for the large accessible toilet stall.
I expect people in the regular cubicles wondered what was going on. With all the crashing, slamming and banging, was there an entire family in there? No, just one klutzy woman.
After breakfast, we continued on to the Via Rail Station, returned the rental car and boarded the train. We spent an enjoyable day in the Dome Car before retiring to our room for the night. Several hours later we awoke and noticed everything was in total darkness and eerily quiet, except for the occasional sound that resembled a car engine turning over, but not starting. What we didn’t know was that the train had broken down three hours earlier at the New Brunswick-Québec border on a bitterly cold February night.
Passengers in coach were freezing, but we hadn’t noticed because we were tucked snugly in our bunks. The situation had reached the crisis point and buses had been called in to drive the passengers to Montréal. Thankfully, at the 11th hour, 59th minute and 59th second, the train started and the buses were cancelled. It was very clear that we were NOT travelling on The Little Engine That Could.
By arriving in Montréal three hours late, we had missed our connecting train to Cobourg. Via Rail staff grabbed us and rushed us on to the next train heading west. Nobody noticed that this was an express train which did NOT stop in Cobourg. That meant we had to get off the train at Kingston, well before Cobourg, where we were put in a taxi and driven to Cobourg. It wasn’t at all reassuring when the taxi driver announced that he thought his car, a red Chrysler Intrepid, would make it, but he should pick up a couple of litres of oil, “just in case.”
Eventually the taxi, which had turned into “The Little Intrepid that Could” pulled into the Cobourg Train Station where our ride had been waiting patiently for some time. In keeping with Murphy’s Law Gone Haywire, our luggage was nowhere to be seen. It, too, had been placed on a train that did NOT stop in Cobourg. Via Rail staff took it off the train at the next stop which was Oshawa and put on the first eastbound train back to Cobourg. Both we and our luggage were dizzy from all the activity.
Before we got back home to Bobcaygeon, our daughter had received a call from Via Rail informing her that our luggage would be delivered by taxi from Cobourg to Bobcaygeon. By midnight, our adventure was over and both we and our luggage were safe and sound at home. I have a feeling Via Rail lost its profit for that day just carting us and our luggage around in taxis.
To what did we attribute all of these goings on? Character Development? God? Karma? The Big Ear? Bad Luck? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it was just one of those days. At least, we survived the ordeal, just a little bit worse for the wear, but with a good story to tell.
One of my favourite children’s storybooks, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, sums up the whole situation perfectly.
“Some days are like that……………………………..even in Australia.”