The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

On The Road With Springsteen
by Bill Naylor

I was travelling around Australia. Money was tight, so I decided to take a slow train. The kind of slow, where you can get out of the train, walk backwards on your knees, and still overtake the train. Being informed luggage travelled free on the train. I decided to leave mine, obtain a refund on my ticket, and thumb a lift on the adjacent highway. I’d hardly started hitching when a truck stopped. The passenger door swung open, and a bald headed little guy leaned out of the cab.

“Wheels are faster than boots buddy.”

“You going to Sydney?”

“You bet”

Once inside the truck I realised our driver was out of touch with reality. In fact it was doubtful the two had ever got acquainted.

“Didn’t catch your name.”


“Hi Bill, the names Bruce Springsteen.”

I smiled a wry smile.

“Love your music. I suppose people comment on your name all time.”

He shrugged.

“I’m Bruce Springsteen, comes with the territory. Want some sweeties?”

Bruce offered me a jar of assorted coloured tablets, and kept tossing these back in his throat at regular intervals.

“I’m a health freak. Can’t function without them.”

Considering by the way Bruce kept twitching and rolling his eyes, he couldn’t function properly with them either. He was also under the illusion he’d picked up two people.

“So why do you two want to go to Melbourne?”

“I don’t want to go to Melbourne. I’m going to Sydney!”

“Don’t keep changing the destination guys, I have a schedule; Sydney right?”

“That’s right.”

“Then Sydney it is. The customer is always right. I’m always wrong. Oh look it’s raining; I guess that’s my fault too. Bad weather, just blame old Bruce. Whoa! did you see that.” Bruce suddenly swerved cursing loudly. “What the hell was that guy doing out here on a skateboard? ”

I felt I needed to keep talking, as the conversation Bruce was having with himself was becoming increasingly bizarre.

“We’ll soon have you two in Melbourne.”

“You mean Sydney!”

“You guys still can’t make up your mind. But you’re going to Sydney whether you like it or not. See I trust people, but people don’t trust me. The guy in the diner didn’t trust me.”

“Which guy was that Bruce?”

“The guy who this truck belongs to.”

Suddenly Bruce pulled off the road.

“I feel sea sick. Keep seeing waves. We’ll have to take your car”

“I haven’t got a car, your giving me a lift remember.”

“What about your pal?”

Two police cars drew up in front of the truck.

Guns drawn, just as Bruce started to sing “Born in the USA” they ordered us on our knees. After taking a statement, the police drove me to a bus station. When I arrived at the depot in Sydney to collect my luggage, a surprise awaited me:

While accompanied baggage travelled free on the train, unaccompanied luggage was charged full passenger fare. Another downside to being on the road with Springteen.