Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Great Traffic Jam


It had been last summer when Suzie had seen her first driverless car. It had been taking that kid, Trig to school. Trig’s father had more money than all the other kid’s parents put together. The story was that he’d been kicked out of every private education establishment in the tri-state area and Suzie’s school was the only one left – at least that was the talk .

Over the winter there were more and more of the driverless cars which were soon joined by taxi cabs with no chauffeurs. As Suzie told her brother – “the world has gone mad, Billy. Really, totally mad”.

Billy, her younger brother, wasn’t caring that much, he had his computer games and that was good enough for him. He didn’t like to go outside all the much anyway.  

So, it was on that Spring day, that it all went horribly wrong. Folks said that it was some terrorist group or other who had hacked into the cars’ systems and made them all jam up. 
Billy, to be honest, thought that it was cool idea and wished he’d thought of it. Leastways it would have stopped him having to go to school.

Still others said it was a flare from the Sun which had broken all the world’s electrics and had caused all the traffic to pile-up. Now let me say right here and now, no one was hurt – let’s get that straight – but the jam caused such a problem that people and business probably lost a lot of money. Folks got stuck on the way to hospitals and stuff – so serious things did happen.

What really amazed Suzie was that some of the teachers had made it into school that day, it all started. “They probably sleep there,” said Billy, totally disgusted with those types of teachers. Suzie mother telephoned the school to ask if it was to be a ‘driverless-car-jam-holiday’, and she was told that it wasn’t and that perhaps the kids could just walk to school – like people used to.

“Walk!” Shouted Billy. “Not in my lifetime,” he shouted louder.
That was when their Granddad, Bobby came up from the cellar with another one of his inventions.

“They are called Bobby Pods, and you wear them on your back. Your school is only three blocks away and it will be easy enough to pull yourselves along the walls”.
“Are you crazy?” Shouted Billy, again. “What if a strong wind comes and blows us away?”
“The weather is going to be kind today. I checked it out,” Said Granddad.

So, with a lot of struggle and a bit of shouting, Granddad fitted the balloons (or Bobby Pods) to their backs.

Suzie’s mother wasn’t too sure about the whole thing but trusted her father, a man who usually made things work. Suzie and Billy climbed out of the window and without any nerves threw themselves into the great blue yonder.

Suzie pulled herself along the wall, in the general direction of the school. It was just as they turned the corner that they felt the missile whiz past their heads.  Andy, the school bully, was hanging out his bedroom and firing stones to try to burst their balloons. He reckoned that if those weird kids, Suzie and Billy, made it as far as school, then he’d have to go in as well.

When Andy fired another of his rockets, Billy caught it with his foot and kicked it right back at Andy’s window, accidentally smashing the glass. Andy’s mother came running into his bedroom to see what happened and when he blamed it on a passing kid who was flying with balloons – she felt that maybe her son was even more crazy than she had first thought, and took him to see the doctor. At least he got the morning off school.

Anyway, Billy and Suzie managed to make it into class, even if they did turn up a few wrong alleys on the way. The next day several other kids joined them and by the end of the week, they had a ‘flying train’, led by a teacher (who needed a lot of balloons) and who used her personal battery fan to navigate all the way to school.

bobby stevenson 2017

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