It’s important in life to make good decisions, but every so often it can be quite refreshing to make stupendously imbecilic ones too. History is littered with people who, for one reason or another, made the most impeccably poor decisions and have managed to advance humanity as a result. Louis Pasture’s slovenly life choices led to the discovery of penicillin, while Christopher Columbus’ plan to get to India by sailing west led to the “discovery” of America. Then again, there are those profoundly stupid decisions that led to profoundly stupid results, such as the Light Brigade’s experiment to see if horses were cannon proof. For my own part, most of my decisions have fallen into the second category, but over the last six months I’ve endeavoured to improve. However, man cannot live on correct life choices alone, sometimes you need to spice things up by being the dumbest you can be. It was because of this, and many other reasons that I will explain, that I found myself early on Sunday morning waiting amongst the miriad of drunks for the night bus in Nürnberg.
The initial mistake I made was going back. Everyone knows that generally, in any situation, one should never go back. That goes for relationships, jobs, fireworks and crab claws served at any cut price all you can eat buffet. Up until the point of that fatal judgement, things had been going fairly well. My evening had been civilised, I had gone to some fashionable bars where they serve drinks in fancy glasses and everyone sits on awkwardly arranged furniture. We had returned home at a sensible hour, but I felt like I wasn’t ready for the night to end. With this in mind, I put my coat back on and headed back towards the U-bahn.
I really should have sensed something was amiss when I exited the train station ten minutes later. For a start it had suddenly become unreasonably cold. What once was a light breeze was now a clenched fist of frozen wind, but with the thoughts of beer and a quick game of pool dancing in my mind I headed to the pub. As I greeted the bar staff and ordered a drink, I heard someone mention the chances of snow. I dismissed this talk confidently, arguing it couldn’t possibly snow as my free weather app had told me so. If anyone disbelieved my obvious meteorological expertise, they could have a look at the facts themselves.
Another indicator that the night was taking a turn for the worse welcomed me as I walked to the pool table. Just ahead of me I could make out the unmistakable sight of a man in a kilt. “Of course”, I thought to myself, “it’s Burns Night”. This in itself is generally a gargantuan red flag. Drinking with Scotsmen is at it’s best precarious, but on a sacred night like that it can be nigh on close to a death sentence. Plus, it must be remembered that when in the company of drunk kilt wearing Scotsmen, at some point you will come face to face with various assortments of male genitalia. It’s unavoidable.
So it transpired. As I was unceremoniously ejected from the pool table for a third time, I sat down dejectedly. As I went over my poor pool skills in my head a random be-kilted jock proceeded to introduce me to parts of his anatomy that should generally only be seen by parents, doctors, and significant others. There is no worse ignominy than being thrashed at pool and then being flashed by man in a skirt. At that point I should have gone home. I did consider it, but as I headed back towards the bar I noticed that it was snowing. Nothing says “get the beers in” like torrential snow storms.
Fast forward a couple more hours and I was being accosted by a Viking like barmen. He was demanding I pay my tap. I, in turn, was demanding an apology for all the damage his Scandinavian brothers had done during the dark ages. I was fighting an uphill battle. As I finally relented and paid the nominal sum of ten Euros, I stared bleary eyed at the Deutsche Bahn app on my phone. From what I could make out I could get a night bus from just around the corner. It was surely cheaper than a taxi. I wrestled myself into my coat and headed into the Arctic tundra.
Arriving at the bus station was reminiscent of the Mos Eisley Cantina. At one end of the bus stop I could see someone being sick into a bin. To my left a group of three friends were attempting to force feed a fourth what appeared to be yellow snow. Sheltering in a vacant phone box were two girls who had obviously downloaded the same weather app as myself. A bald bloke, who suspiciously resembled what I can only describe as a low rent hitman, stood glaring at the snow as if it was his next target. On all the benches that dotted the bus terminal were casualties of the evening. I pulled up my collar, affixed an angry scowl to put off any possible human interaction and waited for the bus.
Several buses came and went, and finally mine arrived. Well it said something on it’s badly lit sign that looked like it might be mine, I was so cold I didn’t bother asking. As I boarded the bus, the heady odours of vodka, Lynx Africa and kebab sauce caught my nostrils. The bus moved off and I was heartened to see we were heading the right way as I stared blankly through the steamed up windows. My confidence was short lived as we suddenly jerked quickly to to the left. This was not the way home and this was not a night for long walks home. I went through the various causes of action available to me: get off now, stay on, ask one of these nutters I was standing next to. I looked at the hipster passed out on a seat near me. Asking was not an option. As the bus continued in the wrong direction, I began to panic. Suddenly we shifted right and we were back on track.
Arriving at my destination, I alighted and began to walk in the general direction of home. Having failed to heed the warnings of my girlfriend I had chosen to wear trainers. FYI trainers are practically useless in fresh snow, unless you intended to slip walk your way home. This is what I proceed to do, and to keep warm I thought of elaborate excuses to explain my tardiness to my girlfriend. Having created a suitable confection of half truths, I reached my front door and jiggled the key into the lock. As I took of my now sodden trainers in the hall way, I heard a voice from the bedroom.
“What the hell happened to you?” the voice inquired.
As I put my head around the door, my carefully orchestrated story melted like the snow that was at that moment stuck to my jeans.
“I made a mistake, I don’t think I should be allowed to make decisions any more” I whimpered.