Cancelle – Goddess of Public Transport

Cancelle watches over all those who chose to take their spiritual journey in close communion with others from all walks of life. She is appealed to by those who wait in the rain or stand in the aisles. Some say that worship of Cancelle is the preserve of the less financially fortunate. However, she also has affluent devotees who believe following her way has benefits for the whole planet. The way of Cancelle is considered by many to be the most environmentally friendly method of getting to the afterlife. Devotees of Cancelle believe that, when they die, they will travel to the next world on a brand new, clean Omnichariot. (The Omnichariot is a high occupancy vehicle which will always move twice as fast when you are trying to catch it as when you are in it). The scriptures say that (for the righteous) it will arrive on time and will be of the correct operating company to accept the Day-Mega-Soul-Saver ticket you purchased earlier. If one has lived an especially devout life, one will travel to the afterlife without having to share a seat or hold a conversation with a fruitcake.

In antiquity her temples used to be known as “Stations”. However, in the 21st Century they have been trendily rebranded as “Interchanges”. They are cavernous halls filled with the aromas of the traditional diesel fume and urine scented incense. The readings and sermon are delivered in an ethereal echoic voice through a crackly P.A. system. Although delivered at great volume and in Received Pronunciation, it is impossible to decipher any useful information. As a back-up, the key points of the homily and scriptures are displayed on electronic screens (when they are working). The service will begin with a cry of “Hold tight please” and will end with the ringing of a small bell. There is almost always inadequate seating in the temples, to ease this issue one should move to the back of the temple on entering. In getting to the back of the temple one can fall over 50 feet with only minor injuries. You should not attempt to sit in one of the “priority seats” at the front unless you have genuine need of them. They are reserved for the elderly and infirm of the congregation. Transgressors of this rule will be condemned to die the “Death of a Thousand Walking Sticks”.

There are some strict rules you must abide by if you wish to visit one of Cancelle’s houses of worship. Unlike many other faiths, consumption of alcohol is forbidden within the temple. Also loud music, skateboarding and keep your feet off the seats. Worshippers are constantly reminded not to leave baggage unattended and are advised to report suspicious packages. So it’s advised not to wear budgie smugglers when visiting. The largest and most famous of Cancelle’s temples is located in Hull. It is considered to be the Paragon of temples. In order to visit one will need to purchase a ticket to Hull and back. If you are in need of refreshment during your visit, most of her temples feature a café serving tea and coffee, the price of which is inversely proportional to the quality. They also serve the customary holy trinity of foods; the Pious Pasty, the Sacred Sausage Roll and the Transcendental Teacake. They do try to keep the temples maintained. If a statue of Cancelle gets broken, they have a replacement bust service.

The High Priest of each temple is known as the “Driver”, and they are assisted by their deputy, known the “Conductor”. (In the higher Maglev Temples, this post is called the “Superconductor”.) As one leaves the temple after your visit, one must express one’s thanks to the priest or be considered a mannerless oaf by all other worshippers. In the south-west the traditional expression of gratitude is “Cheers Drive!” but this varies from region to region. Smaller shrines and chapels are known as “Stops” or “Halts” and may consist of little more than a holy sign on a chewing gum encrusted pole. These are often situated in bleak and isolated places, serving the homesteads of a few remote faithful.

The scriptures of Cancelle are revised at least once annually, changing the number and timings of services, in order to maintain the mystery of the faith. However, the tradition of having a long period of inactivity at some point in the day followed by three services back to back, is always preserved. The days on which the new scriptures are adopted are invariably days of chaos. Cancelle appears in numerous pantheons around the world and is also sometimes known as Schedula, Tramantha and in Wales as Bend-Y-Bus. She is also the Goddess of Monorails, but I couldn’t think of any one-liners about that.

Cancelle was suggested by Nigel Harper whilst on the 135 to Sheffield.

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