As ever, buses remain a constant source of entertainment and material to me. There is something about the encapsulated of forty or so people contained within a vehicle that makes the magic happen…
I have three little gems to present to you. The other week I was on the bus into town to meet Alex, who had come over from Loughborough for a few days. Downstairs was packed with pushchairs and pensioners, so I decided to climb the stairs to the upper deck, ticket clenched firmly in teeth Errol Flynn style at his swashbuckling finest, shopping bag gripped tightly in fist, I swung nimbly up the stairs and collapsed into the first available seat.
(“Nimbly?” O.K. maybe “with panic” would be better as these drivers never wait until you’re seated before driving away… one of these days I just know I’ll come rolling back down the stairs like an armadillo to lie at the feet of an unsuspecting O.A.P…”Whatcha doin’ down there luv…bit of a fall?” Anyway, I digress…)
I settled myself, had a mouthful of water, spilling most of it down my front and sat back to gaze out of the window and tune in…
“… yes, but my dentist isn’t very pleased with me – said the fuel rots my gums…”
Bingo! I homed in on that snippet.
“Yes, because when you do fire-eating – I taught myself by the way – you have to hold the petrol in your mouth. I’ve done a few Light Nights (I’ll just bet you have!!) but obviously I can’t make fire-eating the whole act because of Health and Safety, so I do yo-yo tricks, juggling…”
A loud, strident voice breaks in:
“… but I only removed her from the group chat! I didn’t say anything bad about her – just put a laughing face emoji – and now I’m being called in for bullying her! You have to tell them I’m not a bully – she just read the post wrong…”
The bus pulled up at the changeover point where drivers swap routes, and the shift changes.
“Are you all right then?”
“Yeah, not too bad. Yourself?”
“Oh these bloody new buses! I can’t reach the pedals!”
“Someone else said that the other day – who makes these things? Do you want me to pull the seat forward for you?”
“Yeah, I’m only 5’6”,” said the driver, a small, frail-looking chap.
“Not a problem for me,” said the other driver, a strapping bloke, who proudly declared:
Gentlemen – size really doesn’t matter as long as you reach your destination…!