Um, hi. Remember me? I’m the Story of the Week Club. I write stories sometimes. Once a week, you’d think, but maybe it’s just a clever name. Anyway, if you pretend it’s May 24th, it’ll be like this story is being written in the correct week.
To celebrate it being May 24th (see how we’re all pretending together? It’s fun), we’re going to have a story about a train that can fly. Because, as everybody knows, May 24th is Flying Train Day. So here you go.
BILL NESBIT AND HIS WONDERFUL FLYING TRAIN
Once there was a man named Bill Nesbit who had a wonderful flying train. Everyone loved Bill and they loved his wonderful flying train, on account of it being so wonderful and all. Years earlier, he had owned a fairly disappointing flying train, but that’s not a very good story, so we’re going to write about his wonderful one.
Bill lived in Quantrellville, USA. On many a fine afternoon, Bill would fly his train down the main street in town, shouting, “hey! Ho! Free rides for all! Come to the train and hear my call! Hey! Ho! Free rides a-plenty! But I won’t turn down a ten or a twenty!” Everybody would laugh and nudge each other and wink and hop on the train and no one would give Bill a ten or a twenty because they were all tightwads. Sometimes the children would give him dimes and quarters, but their parents would usually tell them not to because they could use that money on candy and stuff.
See, everybody loved Bill, but they didn’t treat him very well. They thought his wonderful train was wonderful and that he was very nice for giving everyone rides in a train that flew, but they really kind of took him for granted. Bill was not a young man, and was kind of set in his ways, and his ways were giving rides to people when they wanted it and making people smile and creating implausible things like flying trains. These things made him happy. But they were not entirely profitable, if you follow my drift. So Bill was very poor, but generally pretty happy. He didn’t mind being taken for granted as long as he could make people happy.
But the train was another story. The train was pissed off.
Oh, sure, the train was wonderful. But it was angry, too. The train felt like if Bill wasn’t gonna stand up for himself, maybe someone should do it for him. And the train thought maybe he was the only one to do it. He tried talking to Bill about it one night, but Bill wasn’t having any.
“Man, people are jerks,” the train said after a large crowd of townsfolk had bid Bill a smiling farewell bereft of cash or any type of appreciative gratuity.
“Hey, now,” Bill said (not at all surprised that the train could talk; it was wonderful after all), “that’s no way for a wonderful train like you to talk.”
“But look how they treat you!” the train said. “You give the whole town rides all the time and everyone takes you for granted! You’re nice, they’re mean, and that there’s what’s what.”
“But I don’t do it for money,” said Bill, “I do it to make people happy.”
“Then what’s with the line about tens and twenties?” the train asked.
Bill frowned. “It rhymes,” he said finally.
So the train dropped it. But he stayed angry. And he waited for a time to let the townspeople know how he felt. Finally, one evening, he couldn’t hold it in anymore. Bill flew down Main Street, singing his song and the people lined up for a ride. When everyone was aboard, they took off and headed up, up, up above the roofs of the town. Everyone was laughing. Everyone was happy.
And then train turned upside down.
People flew out of their seats and landed on the ceiling. Babies cried. Mothers screamed. Fathers grunted indignantly. And poor Bill Nesbit hit the roof along with them. “What are you doing?!?” Bill Nesbit cried. “You’re supposed to be wonderful!”
The train immediately regretted his decision, but felt he needed to follow through now that he had started. He was kind of human that way. “All right, listen up!” he shouted, and everyone became very quiet (none of them knew he could talk, see). “My man Bill gives you ungrateful clods rides all the time and you just take him for granted! He doesn’t seem to mind, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. But I’m through carting you dooftopodes through the sky until you start showing Bill some love. And by love I mean FREAKIN’ TENS AND TWENTIES, you salacious ingrates!”
Flipping himself aright, the train descended back to Main Street and instructed everyone to debark, giving Bill large wads of cash as they did so. Bill apologized under his breath as they all got off the train and handed him money. And, fortunately, none of them blamed Bill. But everyone did agree that for such a wonderful train, he was, in the end, fairly disappointing.
Hey, wait. What the– Aw, crap. It looks like I told the wrong story. That actually WAS the story of Bill Nesbit’s Fairly Disappointing Flying Train, not the wonderful one at all.
Hee hee hee. Well, I thought it was funny.
See you soon,