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BRITISH ROAD SERVICES ©

Tom Barker
Joondalup, Australia

After the strife of World War Two,
my services were no longer required.
So I left the Army and at the labor exchange,
I tremulously inquired.

"Can I have a job, any old job,
that will earn me an honest quid?".
To which a bloke with a broken nose,
Said, "Wid ye like to go fishing for squid"

Then shoving me a bit of paper,
beneath the metal grill
Said, "sign the line and wait just a while"
and I sat there like a pickled dill.

The bloke soon came back grinning,
and asked, "Can you drive a truck".
I replied, "I drive my missus balmy"
he replied, "Don't push your luck"

So I wandered down to the depot,
and saw standing there in red paint
A ruddy great five cylinder Gardner,
next to a little old office so quaint.

I knocked and a voice bid me enter,
so I entered with a bit of a slouch.
The boss was sitting at his table,
and his secretary was laid on the couch.

She smiled and with a simper,
motioned for me to sit down.
But as I raced toward the couch
the Boss looked up with a frown

She began writing as he dictated,
and glanced as I walked like a crim
Then she put down her paper and pencil,
and said, "I'm Vera, meet my hubby, Jim"

The boss was really so cordial,
but said with nod and a cough
"ere, sit next tu me at table,
afore she 'as all yu clothes ripped off."

He lit a fag and drew on it
And asked, "'es thee driven 'afore?"
I said, "sorry I don't play golf "
"but in the desert I did chase a Moor".

"Aye 'av 'eerd all aboot t' desert,"
Rommil an' all that bunch.
Ah 'ed all me money on you lads,
'cos ah knew when it came t' crunch.

So he told me to take the big Gardner,
go down the red brickyard road
There to load it high with bricks,
then return to my humble abode.

"Take them up to Whimpy's,
they're building a big new estate.
And if straightway can't unload you,
then you'll just have ti sit theer an' wait".

"Gerroff intu pictures,
or inta a café an' 'ave stew.
But don't let me ever catch yu drivin'
if yu've just 'ad a big frothy brew".

So I set off next morning early,
when frost was still on the ground.
Everybody else was in their bed,
but woke up to the sound.

Of that big diesel engine roaring,
and as the gearbox ground.
with a parting rooty toot
I departed the motor pound.

The sun came up so glaring,
soon that rime and hoary frost.
Was gone from my front windscreen,
and in the scenery soon I was lost.

Big trees by the road side,
would loom and then whip past.
Telegraph poles like music staves,
and the engine noise unsurpassed.

Like a gigantic opera,
with the clouds way up on high.
Rays of sunshine gleaming.
Stabbing down through the sky.

Lines of birds like maize seeds,
threaded and stretched out on a wire.
Into the far distance,
never seeming to expire.

And along that black ribbon of road,
the red monster lurched and roared.
And at a hill the lid would lift,
as smoke to the heavens poured.

Through hamlet and village steady down,
we are not at the races.
And notice all the folk you pass,
they glance up with such pale faces.

This noisy monster lumbering past,
the young lady with a pram.
Who waves a pathetic fist,
but the monster doesn't give a damn.

Mile upon mile is gobbled up,
till the hot sun is overhead.
Then easing into old Thirsk town,
find a café to get fed.

Bacon an egg and strong tea,
then enjoy the favorite fag.
Don't have time to hang about,
being late becomes a drag.

Once again we both set off,
and with a quick look behind.
But would you believe it,
could fate be so unkind.

A slick looking police car,
tucked in so unobtrusive
I don't think I need elaborate,
these people can get quiet abusive.

"Can I see your licence sir?"
they ask when we are stopped.
I never gave them an excuse to say,
"your overloaded and you're copped."

They always act so superior,
and with a couple of quick knees bent
They hand you back your license,
as on your way you're sent

Arriving at the work site,
all the bricks to unload.
Then go to B.R.S.depot
hopefully to get a return load.

The watchman is a canny Scot,
and shows me where to park.
"Awa an' git yer heed doon'
an' be up wi' the lark."

" Ye cannie set aff this evenin'
the B.R.S. depot is shut.
Besides tha' ye dinny wander,
'cos they hae tied up a big scabby mutt."

"Gleaming white teeth an' black ass'ole
so dinnae juist staun' there an' poot.
He'll juist chew yu up intae wash rags,
an' juist as casually spit ye oot."

So I went to the digs and got settled,
then to the flicks a quick roam.
Next morning picked up my return load,
and headed swiftly for home.

Arriving back at the depot,
Saturday morning was spent.
Washing down the transport,
and knocking out the odd dent.

Suddenly there was a ruckus,
'cos a bloke had delivered a new truck.
It was an enormous Leyland,
and in the gateway it had got stuck.

A great big truck with a trailer,
with a place to stash all the junk.
Looked like it was from outer space.
It even had a built in bunk.

They tried moving it wi' levers,
and someone ventured a twist.
"Why dun't some silly sod start t' engine,
it on'y needs a flick o' the wrist."

One clever bloke said, "I'll shift it."
and jumped into the big leather seat..
Then whu whu whu whu, whu whu,
and the engine was running a treat.

It sat there and purred like a big tiger,
if that accelerator was budged just a bit.
And the pale faced bloke gripping the wheel,
said, Aah think ah'm gonna spit."

He saw a bit of string so he pulled it,
there was a sound like a big angry bull.
With its nuts caught on some barbed wire,
and didn't know whether to push or to pull.

Then he let go a lever,
as compressed air left the brakes,
With a sudden tsshheeeeeeeeeeeeee,
and the cab began to get the shakes.

So putting his foot on the gas pedal,
he let out the clutch a wee bit.
The cab began to dance like a dervisher
and one wheel threw up some grit

But it gradually began to free itself,
then with a bit of a lurch.
It demolished the office real neat.
and finished up down near the church.

Bricks and mortar were falling,
and as swear words rent the air.
The boss was holding his missus,
both were in the same chair.

Her cheeks were all red and rosy,
well I suppose she did feel a bit daft.
Just when boss were just gettin' cosy,
having a change from his usual graft.

They had to build a new office.
and widen the gate just a bit.
Boss bought missus a new skirt,
the old one accidentally got split.

Next day they got a new driver,
he polished that truck till it gleamed.
Then we all had a giggle,
as into the rear view mirrors he preened.

The new bloke put his foot on't step,
and climbed up into the cab.
Gunned the engine a little bit,
but the clutch made a sudden grab.

What happened next was a cat's after me,
'cos the big truck took it into it's head.
And scraped all along one wall,
Leaving a long trail of red.

The whole ruddy lot shot backwards,
through Mrs Hudson's sweet shop.
Mrs Hudson cried out in despair,
"Won't somebody call me a cop?"

Just then a window opened overhead,
and a strident voice proclaimed.
"If I don't get me ruddy sleep in,
some bugger's gonna get maimed!"

Mrs Hudson moved her wee sweet shop,
she also used to sell fags.
But all that is left of her old shop,
Is a coat hanger and two empty bags.

App'n one day they'll rebuild it,
but they will have to get rid first,
Of that ruddy B.R.S. depot,
and the skirt that's ready to burst.

'Cos every day a new driver,
as through the office window peers.
And spots the boss's missus,
with her skirt up round her ears.

Forgets that a truck he is driving,
and goes to change gears slick.
He reaches down and with a frown,
and grabs hold of the wrong stick..

Some Brit coppers are still looking,
for British Road Services Tam.
But he's now in Australia,
pounding the keys into R.A.M.

So I will leave all you nice people,
with a kindly thought,
Should misfortune strike you,
the system don't try to rort

Sometimes it can't be avoided,
and I hope it never comes true.
'Cos 'app'n once it is reported,
the victim might just be you.


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