Monday, April 26, 2010

The rigmarole of Pint Vader

Pint Vader believed he wasn't paid to smile. Not that he didn't smile, nor that he didn't want to, but he would want people to figure out that his was a job where smiling was a rare luxury.

He was always a man in a hurry. No, let me correct that. He was a man in a hurry to be in a hurry. Whether he would win the race was not the question. Whether he would be the first to reach the stadium to start the race ..that was his concern.

While Pint is entitled to his concerns, would being first at the stadium, ever help him? There would be several others who wouldn't bother where the stadia are, but would end up winning all the races. Pint Vader, would have run the long race, all alone, and when he would reach the end, inevitably dead tired, there would be the bozos of BeerDam ..with their faux cheering. Those smartly dressed, smooth operators, kidding him for being late as usual. "What", they would ask in seeming amusement - didn't you know this was a relay, and we are the same team ? Come on, hand me the baton. It's my turn now. See how I will win the race for us, even though you dear Pint are late.

Pint, while still catching his breath, would try to offer explanations. The train started late, he would begin. And then you guys asked for some unscheduled stops on the way. There wasn’t even enough fuel, and I had to manage. But, the smooth operators turned the deaf ear. And Pint knew exactly what that meant. He was condemned to run the race all over again. And again. And again.

Man, did he love to drive the train? It was his life, or even a bit more. He was "to the engine born". But "to the manor born" ? Well, don't you ask difficult questions unless you want to hear lies.

Coming back to the train journeys..every summer, he would rise and look at the horizon. His mind filled with the anticipation of the race. The exhilaration of cutting through wind at high speeds, the momentum generated by the huge number of speeding wagons, the boyish thrill of looking at those stupid cars, waiting at the the railway gates waving him along. Yes, he told himself, I love this job. I couldn't care if others won the race by taking the plane. I will drive the train. This is my model, the "V"ader model of life.

And so, every year, year after year, her herded a bunch of delinquent wagons from their prairies to the platform. He would line them up, with no real help from the line masters. Then he would go about buying fuel from BeerDam. This was no mean task, since the Bozos of BeerDam always played cheap. Each year, they would charge him more than the previous year while giving him less and less. "Faster, better cheaper - that is what you need to be" they told him. "Yes, just like those Asians; from the (fake) lion country", they added for emphasis. "Goodbye Pint, hope you do a better job next time" the head bozo would commiserate, and then they would all get up and leave and go to the coffee shop for their regular fix.

Pint, teetotaler that he was, consoled himself. Coffee was not his cuppa. No, coffee is sour, he told himself. And that bought a chuckle to his usual freckled face. He was, after all, a fox!

Tired, but never defeated, he walked back alone. Not the one to succumb to anger, he preferred to look at the brighter side. The coming race would be great fun, he told himself. So many more delinquents to pull-in, so much of learning to apply, so much of glory if we make the race. Yes, this time, I will claim the glory before the smooth operators come to the party. Heck, if it is up to me, I will not even invite them for a party. For sure there will be no coffee.

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