Free Online Stories, Another Funny Short Story From Piddle About A Bacterial Epidemic
This is another one of my free online stories in the Piddle series.
This free online read has been especially written with fun in mind.
If you have read the popular Truth Mushroom story, then you will love this funny bacteria story. If you haven't read the Truth Mushroom, check out the links at the bottom of this story.
So, how do you fancy a slime dunked engine and how did it get there to start with?
All I can say is composition agar, agar gelatina and an outrageous mixture of lab-tech sputum - Gee, we love a short story with a twist! Well, I won't spoil it for you! All I can spoil you with is... dunk, slime and bacteria by a story that causes more chaos in the town of Piddle, near Piddle and not far from Piddle-in-the-Hole!
Enjoy The Piddle Epidemic.
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The Eureka Corporation
The quaint old town of Piddle was overlooked by the offices and research laboratories of 'The Eureka Corporation '. They were built as long ago as 1988, and steeped in the long, and well-established tradition of make-do and muddle-through.
Over the decades, the corporation had developed some very peculiar, and without doubt unusual biological specimens; and on this particular November day, yet another ' first ' was being tested in a small decrepit lab, housed in an outbuilding near the corporation's car park.
Old Sam Badger had been with the corporation ever since leaving a small and completely unknown South American university, clutching a second-class degree nearly twenty-five years ago. He had muddled his way through, content to do what was asked of him, and collect his pay-cheque on the third of every month.
Using the sleeve of his dirt-ingrained overall, he wiped away the remains of the mornings tea break out of his ragged moustache, and returned to the dull routine of classifying strains of bacteria, that festered in a line of agar dishes laid out before him. Before unsealing the dish nearest him, he removed yet another battered Players from it's squashed packet, and lit it from the dog-end that he disengaged from his lower lip. Only when the lab was suitably fog-bound, did he remove the lid from that first fateful dish. Now it is a matter of pure conjecture weather that particular Players was stronger than it's compatriots, or if Sam had simply choked on a piece of the bacon sandwich that he had recently consumed, but the coughing fit that reverberated around the lab, sounded like the death knockings of a very old and decrepit central-heating boiler.
Sam staggered around the lab, trying to regain his breath. His eyes streamed, and his nose disgorged thick green slime into his moustache; and it was only with a tremendous effort that he eventually managed to locate the door, and suck in a huge lung-full of what passed for air, from the car park.
The opened dish containing the as yet, unclassified bacteria, gently slid off the workbench, and deposited it's contents on the lab's not too clean floor; and there the bacteria, more than content in it's sludge of nutritional jelly, happily mingled with the offspring of Sam's nose. This slimy mixture, settled and seeped into the floorboards and joints, and began to multiply as only truly happy and contented bacteria can.
A couple of weeks after this rather small and insignificant incident, the main square of Market Piddle was chock-a-block with cars. It was mid-morning, cold, wet and windy; and the good people of the town scampered in and out of shops and offices, endeavouring to keep themselves warm and dry. The wind had veered round from the west, and was now whipping the rain into sleet, with good old-fashioned northern intensity.
The original bacteria had mated and mutated with the bacteria from Sam's nose, and had long-gone from the warm, and smoke-filled atmosphere of the laboratory. On leaving those warm surroundings, they hitched a lift on the rain-soaked wind, travelling merrily the short distance to Market Piddle, settling without fuss or commotion into the moist and inviting engines of the town's cars.
Now most bacteria would not be in the least interested in anything as simple as a car engine. No, not for your average bacteria the oily sump or battery terminal; far more to their taste the wet and warm lining of Mrs Jones's lungs, or Mr Punter's tonsils, but these bacteria were different; they had their ancestry not only in the common cold, but also in the dreaded disease of all motor cars; rust!
It was hardly noticed at first. A slightly wheezy engine here, a mild cough accompanied by a little blue smoke there. Perhaps Mr Punter's new car did not climb the hill to his house in South Piddle as easily as it normally would, so it was not until late afternoon that anyone began to really notice that things (motor wise) were not as they normally were.
Shoppers loaded down with carrier bags full of Christmas goodies, could not get their cars to move. The screech of protesting starter-motors howled on the air like the dying outcries of a thousand tortured cats. People fumed out of their cars kicking the tyres in frustration, while others threatened the former objects of their affections, with sudden and spontaneous mutilation.
The Bacteria Set Into Mr Fawlty's Car In Piddletown!
All over Market Piddle, cars spluttered to a standstill. Roads became blocked, and lorries, buses and trailers were imprisoned within long lines of stationary Astra’s and Fiesta's.
Right across the town, traffic clogged the streets. No vehicle could enter or leave, and trucks bringing fresh supplies for the townspeople, started to form long queues on all the highways leading into it.
The late afternoon wearied into evening; streetlamps casting a mournful glow onto the sorry crowds of stranded shoppers, and as offices and factories closed, yet more people poured onto the already crowded streets, turning the town centre into one heaving mass of despairing humanity.
Every repair garage remained open. Mechanics cursed and sweated, struggling to coax some life into engines that stubbornly defied their every effort. Police were summoned from the surrounding areas, even from as far afield as Piddle-on-Sea. Eventually some of the main routs were passable enough to allow a few buses to travel one-way out of the town, but it was not until late into the night that most of the streets were clear of people, if not of traffic.
The next day, the epidemic had spread. Piddle-in-the-Hole was free from the usual speeding cars. They remained in garages and forecourts, silent and stationery. Even the police car stationed at West Piddle police station, refused to take Inspector Migraine to the county court at Great Piddle. People had to find a way of living their lives, without the use of the great and good motorcar.
At the bus garage, the buses talked amongst themselves. They had been neglected for years, made to travel greater and greater distances, while servicing had been cut to the chassis. Now they were going to have their revenge!
" If the cars can catch car-flu, we can catch bus-flu," said Diesel Ramsbottom, the big double-decker who stood in the corner, not normally deeming to address himself to the lesser single-deckers.
"He's right", chortled five little microbuses, in unison. "Oh do be silent", chided Sara Coachwork, in her school 'marm' voice. "You micro-buses never stop talking, what possible difference can YOU make anyway, you only carry twelve people". But in spite of the bickering, it was decided that the buses would pretend to be ill, and refuse to go.
Days went by, and the inhabitants of all the Piddles began to get used to the new state of affairs. Old Mrs Legg, who for years had cadged rides from her family, suddenly discovered that she could travel fairly long journeys on her own two feet.
Polly Parcel, who weighed twenty stone, and always delivered the mail in the post-office van, re-discovered the joys of cycling, began to lose pounds of flab, and suddenly found romance with young Jim over in South Piddle.
Paul Punter, who lived with his mother, not far away from young Jim, found he had to walk to his place of work, where he was second clerk in a small building company. He found that the more he walked, the fitter and more self-confident he became; he even plucked up enough courage to apply for the position of first clerk, and much to his amazement got it.
All across the county of Piddlesex, cars, buses, vans and even lorries (who had joined in sympathy with the buses) they still and silent. The bacteria, reared in the height of bacterial luxury, worked their way deep into the engines innermost parts. Vehicles rusted at an alarming rate, shedding whispers of fine brown dust, which collected in little mounds along every street and pavement. The dust filtered into buildings, homes, shops, offices and eventually, the bus garage.
Diesel Ramsbottom, being nearest to the big double doors, was the first bus to sniff the rust-dust. He sneezed, sending more of the wretched stuff into every corner of the old square building, and it was not long before all the other coaches and buses were sneezing too. The buses did not have to fake being ill anymore; they really were!
Back at ' The Erika Corporation ', scientists worked late into the night (they didn’t work much in the day, as double time was paid at night) trying to find an antidote to the mysterious flu, but the good people of Piddlesex grew fitter by the day, and was starting to enjoy their new-found freedom from the cult of mechanical transportation. Doctor’s surgeries began to empty. The staff at the A and E department of the Middle Piddle hospital, now found time to play cards instead of being rushed off their feet by the victims of road accidents. All in all, the loss of public and private road transport, yielded benefits that most people could never have contemplated.
Then those dedicated scientists at ' Erika ' found the antidote ! They were over the moon. They could not believe their good fortune, and it had lain with the very person who had caused all the trouble in the first place; old Sam Badger, or rather the germs on a piece of old and rather smelly sticking-plaster, covering one of poor Sam's corns.
The germs that lay deeply embedded in the plasters gauze, had laid there a goodly time. Time to adapt, time to grow and change. They had learned to enjoy the swamp-like conditions of Sam's decomposing skin, and when given the conditions of light, warmth and good food, such as were provided in a dish of enriched jelly culture, they positively bloomed; and when they were introduced to the bacteria that were rampant in the motor engines, they gobbled them up with a tremendous appetite.
These new super-bugs were given their freedom throughout Piddlesex, where they feasted like kids at a birthday party, till not a germ or microbe of the original infestation remained. All the engines stopped rusting, and those that had caught the infection most recently, quickly recovered.
But the people no longer wanted them. They were fit and healthy. Walking clubs had been set up, and the doctors had improved their fishing no end.
Now dear and patient reader, you may like a happy ending; you may feel that the worthy citizens of Piddlesex would continue in their happier and fitter way of life. But it was not to be; for those germs gleamed from Sam's corn, had become used to that environment. Indeed preferred it to any other, and so tried to return to it.
They found new homes on the soles of those people who had learned to enjoy walking the most. They lurked under beds, and in carpet slippers. They hid inside fell boots and open-toed sandals. They even made their way into the deepest recesses of well-worn trainers. And from these vantage places, they struck.
In East Piddle and West Piddle. North Piddle and South Piddle. From Piddle in the Hole, right across country to Piddle-on-Sea, the people of Piddlesex grew large painful corns. They limped from place to place. They bemoaned walking on what felt like red-hot stones, and very soon there were as many cars and buses on the roads of Piddlesex as there ever had been, and the staff of the A and E department put away their cards and golf clubs, forever.
© This work is covered under Creative Commons License
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