Sunday, 20 June 2010

Back To Reality In The School Car Park

The child ran off the bus and was sick in the hedgerow. That was before I had even started the engine let alone gone off down the highway. Was my driving so bad that the mere thought of it was enough to send a child running into the ditch? Or could it have been my over zealous use of furniture polish that morning to try and hide all previous noxious odours?

Whichever view you take, it did not bode well for the two hour journey ahead back to the school.

"Oh well, back to reality," said a teacher raising her eyes towards heaven. She was to say it a further five times on the journey and it was a relief to arrive at the destination.

Seeing the parents lined up on the pavement and the cars parked so that the bus could not get anywhere near the school, she gave out one final 'reality check'. It was raining. Hard. The parents looked in no mood to hang around. I leapt off the bus and tried to unload the luggage fast.

Sure enough 'back to reality' smacked me shortly after unloading the last bag, when a mother came up to me, frantically gesticulating and on the verge of hysteria.

"You've gotta help me. I want you to be a witness," she yelled. The teachers who were standing next to me looked skywards, at the ground, pretended they were not there or tried to creep round the corner of the bus. They'd obviously heard all this before and knew what was coming.

"It's him again," she continued. "He's driven off with my boy. He's done it again."

I zipped my lips and tried to creep round the side of the bus myself and only got as far as the emergency exit before the lady buttonholed me. "And you will witness it before I ring Social Services.

As a tabloid journalist might have said, I made my excuses and left. The reality was that you couldn't see me for dust.

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