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Are you sure you can drive this thing?

posted Nov 20, 2016, 2:53 PM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Nov 20, 2016, 2:53 PM ]
When someone asks the question, `are you sure you can drive this thing?' they typically address a barely competent driver, or someone who has never driven the vehicle in which they are traveling. The answers to this question range from `yes' and `no' to `I'm not sure' and a wide eyed stare. Yet the very first time someone asked this question, the answer came in the form of an oink.

In the year 1911, Con County's very first bus service came into operation. It ran as a tourist service between Greenwell and Desert Rock. On its third journey, during the return leg from Desert Rock to Greenwell, the bus driver suffered a heart attack half way to the destination. Passengers panicked from the thought of having to walk home until a farmer named Buford Stower walked up to the driver's booth with his pig Bertha in tow. He urged the pig to get into the driver's seat and figure out the controls.

The remaining passengers stared at the scene and expressed their doubt in the wisdom of allowing a pig to drive the bus, while Buford Stower argued that Bertha was very intelligent, and that the road to Greenwell lay along flat ground and it was therefore perfectly safe to let the pig drive. Two hours later the pig still sat in the driver's seat yet the bus was not in motion. One of the passengers then walked up to Bertha and asked the now infamous question, `are you sure you can drive this thing?' The pig oinked and inclined its head. Another hour later the bus was still stationary, and the passengers decided to get off the vehicle and proceeded to walk towards Greenwell. Buford Stower insisted that his pig would figure out the controls soon enough, and remained on the bus.

Interested tourists may come across the rusting hulk of the now derelict tourist bus on the side of the road between Desert Rock and Greenwell, and even find the skeletal remains of Buford Stower inside, who died of dehydration three days after the bus broke down. Bertha's remains on the other hand are missing from the bus. According to the memoirs of the widow of Buford Stower, the pig came home one day, skin and bones but very much alive, to their farm in the outskirts of Greenwell, thus proving that Bertha had indeed been a very intelligent animal, at least in comparison to the late Buford Stower.