Wednesday 1 December 2010

The Case of the Obliterated Omnibus

Caledonian Confusion ?

My dear Watson, you are well aware of my celebrated monograph entitled "understanding incomprehensible omnibus timetables", a slim but instructive volume.  Sadly, often worthy of consultation.

Indeed, Holmes, but this one has me totally flummoxed, don't y' know!

Elementary, my dear Watson; those fiendish chappies at Traveline Scotland appear to have merged three days' worth of data into one timetable; so, as you might expect, it is perilously easy to confuse Monday to Friday with Saturday or even Sunday times.  And you will note that the Saturday service, enigmatically, appears to follow a different route from the other six days that the Good Lord gave us.

Via Calderglen Country Park, no less; with excellent opportunities to hone my shooting skills on the local vermin of the non-human kind.   But that is not the problem...  Lookee here, Holmes.  I have nobly and diligently searched elsewhere on Mr Henderson's most excellent electronic enquiry facility; that worthy gentleman being the purveyor of the aforementioned service 13. And what a web of mystery it weaves!   A baffling sight if ever there was one.

Watson, pray share your  anxiety whilst enjoying a slice of Mrs Hudson's superb Simnel cake and a delicate infusion of Lapsang Souchong.

Mr Henderson's service 13 runs only between Strathaven and Hamilton in the fair country of Scotland.   So where is the rest of the timetable?  What of the omnibuses between Strathaven and Kilbride of the East?  Mayhap Mr Henderson no longer plies his trade between those two settlements?

Allow me to peruse, my good friend.   A simple one pipe problem!   You will doubtless soon admit to being astounded by my perspicacity, Watson.   You will observe that the timetable style from the good Mr Henderson's undertaking is clearly that of one-eyed, one legged, 71 year old schedules officer Archie McSporran.  I would know his work anywhere.   I suggest that you look for service 71!

Holmes, I am astounded by your perspicacity.   The omnibuses between Strathaven and East Kilbride are numbered 71 and not 13.   The mystery is solved!

Not so fast, Watson.   This dastardly deed of obfuscation can only be the work of my arch-enemy Moriarty.   We shall take the noon train to Motherwell, thence a brougham to Strathaven and unmask the devilish plot.   Is your service pistol to hand?

Ready and loaded, Holmes.

Then call me a cab, Watson!

You're a cab, Holmes!

Thank you, good friend; come, let us set off at once to the land of whisky and Mr Mackintosh's magnificent waterproof toffee.

Ready at your side, as ever, Holmes.

Aha, Watson! The game's afoot!

In fact the 13 timetable on Traveline Scotland is actually correct - if mind-blowingly confusing.   The incorrect version is on a website headed "Henderson Timetables" on Google.   Sadly this information appears to be astoundingly WRONG!  Another Henderson site gives the correct version but without the "timetables" heading.   Moriarty is deucedly cunning!

The 71 still runs, but on a different route from the 13.   But the service 71 shown on the "wrong" web site - wait for it - is actually the "missing" part of service 13.   The mind boggles.

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