The Great Bus Mystery by Richard Dawkins

Dawkins has been channeling the spirit of Wodehouse. For all of us who like Wodehouse, a great piece by another of my favorite authors, Richard Dawkins. The Great Bus Mystery. (H/t — Nihar.) The first bit below the fold.

The Great Bus Mystery by Richard Dawkins

Contribution to The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas (in press, 2009).

I was hoofing it down Regent Street, admiring the Christmas decorations, when I saw the bus. One of those bendy buses that mayors keep threatening with the old heave-ho. As it drove by, I looked up and got the message square in the monocle. You could have knocked me down with the proverbial. Another of the blighters nearly did knock me down as I set a course for the Dregs Club, where it was my purpose to inhale a festive snifter, and I saw the same thing on the side. There are some pretty deep thinkers to be found at the Dregs, as my regular readers know, but none of them could make a dent on the vexed question of the buses when I bowled it their way. Not even Swotty Postlethwaite, the club’s tame intellectual. So I decided to put my trust in a higher power.

“Jarvis”, I sang out, as I latchkeyed self into the old headquarters, shedding hat and stick on my way through the hall to consult the oracle. “I say Jarvis, what about these buses?”


“You know, Jarvis, the buses, the ‘What is this that roareth thus?’ brigade, the bendy buses, the conveyances with the kink amidships. What’s going on, Jarvis? What price the bendy bus campaign?”

“Well sir, I understand that, while flexibility is often considered a virtue, these particular omnibuses have not given uniform satisfaction. Mayor Johnson . . .”

“Never mind Mayor Johnson, Jarvis. Consign Boris to the back burner and bend the bean to the buses. I’m not referring to their bendiness per se, if that is the right expression.”

“Perfectly correct, sir. The Latin phrase might be literally construed . . .”

“That’ll do for the Latin phrase Jarvis. Never mind their bendiness. Fix the attention on the slogan on the side. The orange and pink apparition that flashes by before you have a chance to read it properly. Something like ‘There’s no bally God, so put a sock in it and have a gargle with the lads.’ That was the gist of it, anyway, although I may have foozled the fine print.”

“Oh yes sir, I am familiar with the admonition: ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

4 thoughts on “The Great Bus Mystery by Richard Dawkins

  1. 🙂

    But seriously, reading Dawkins is a trouble because he compels you to take a stand on this bally god question. I am remaining true to my honest, rational self by procrastinating.


  2. Enjoyed it!!! A delight for Wodehouse fans.

    “Symbolic, Jarvis? Symbolic? But the whips weren’t symbolic. The nails in the cross weren’t symbolic. If, Jarvis, when I was bending over that chair in the Rev Aubrey’s study, I had protested that my misdemeanour, or malfeasance if you prefer, had been merely symbolic, what do you think he would have said?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s