Mood: on fire
Topic: "All Aboard"
Frodo has faced bouts of despair and uncertainty over recent days, and is now looking for the appropriate angle to bring himself out of it. After all, if Sauron is going to be defeated it will take all of the strength that he can muster. For Frodo, nothing revives the spirit like laughter, and the following story, rendered into Hobbit versification, is offered to you, dear reader, for the same purpose.
Lumumba, the namesake of a charismatic nationalist on the African continent, is a bus driver in Zambia for the National Hospital. His duties include escorting groups of patients from various wards within the Hospital grounds on visits to local cultural, athletic, commercial, or social events. On Mondays, he may drive and accompany patients from the children's ward, for example, to a petting zoo. This particular Friday, Lumumba was escorting patients on a shopping excursion into the Capital City. The patients were all from the ward that houses those with non-violent mental disorders.
Lumumba had had a difficult week, and he was looking forward to Friday night, and the weekend off from work. He was very, very tired. After driving his 20 wards to the local market, he sat down on a bench while the patients milled about. It was a sunny afternoon when Lumumba closed his eyes for just a minute, and fell sound asleep.
Waking with a start, Lumumba looked around and recognized no one. In a mild panic he set about a frantic search for the now widely-scattered patients from the mental ward. Sadly, he found none, and no one in the market had noticed anything which would give him any hope of finding any of the missing. He was very frightened, and mostly for his own job.
Sitting in the driver's seat of the empty bus he was suddenly struck with an idea. He closed the door of the bus and drove into the center of the city to a crowded street corner.
"Free bus ride," he shouted, "free bus ride to the first 20 people who get on board." In no time at all he counted 20 people on board the bus, and he closed the door.
"Where dis bus ride go to man?," asked one of the elated riders to Lumumba.
"Free ride out to a park in the country," he answered. With that, Lumumba headed back to the National Hospital keeping almost perfectly to his scheduled time for arrival.
At the entrance to the Hospital grounds Lumumba drove directly in front of the Mental Ward, parked the bus, stepped off and told the Orderlies, "Here be your crazies mon, they're all yours." He jumped in his own motorcar and headed straight for home.
The orderlies wondered why the usually docile patients were so reluctant to return to the barred windows of the Mental Ward. It also puzzled them as to why there appeared to be complete confusion about the need to change back into hospital gowns.
"Hey Mon, what da hell you tryin' to put me in dere for, I ain't crazy," screamed one confused rider. "Yeah sure old man, let me guess, you just visitin', right?," said one of the orderlies disgustedly, as if he hadn't heard these arguments before.
Frodo has learned that, since it was a weekend, most of the Administrative management of the Hospital would not return until Monday. The orderlies noted that it was a particularly vociferous group of patients in the Mental Ward throughout the weekend.
Lumumba's house was vacant when the National Hospital Administrator visited on Tuesday.
Frodo bets that Lumumba looks a lot like George W. Bush, with a tan.