Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Flapper

I've just seen a 'Flapper'.

No not a male version of a slapper, but someone who reacts in a certain way when they have missed the bus. On this particular occasion, I was the bus missed him. In fact it shot by the stop and him.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion. I was parked in the same stop picking up some other children on the school bus. He was waiting for the service bus to the railway station. I saw him coming in my mirror.

The Flapper also saw him coming. He put his hand out. The bus kept going. He walked out to the edge of the pavement. The bus kept going and as the realisation dawned on him that it was not going to stop, he quickened his stride. In rising panic this was supplemented by frantic arm waving and hand movements. He had a limp, so the trot turned into an ungainly gallop. The bus kept going, accelerated and passed him.

The Flapper's arms were moving so fast as he chased after the bus that he resembled one of those early pilots in 'Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines' and looked as if he might take off. Finally he knew he was beat, came to a halt in the middle of the road, through his briefcase down on to the tarmac with force and let out a howl mixed with a North Pennines swear word.

He soon realised that a busload of children were watching him. He picked up his briefcase and straightened his tie in an attempt to restore his dignity, before marching off towards the telephone box.

I felt a telephone call coming on. There would be a directive from the boss to all drivers when they return to the depot. Good news though. It put the schoolchildren in a good mood. They would not be unpicking the stitching of their seats or trying to dismantle the plastic 'Fasten Your Seatbelts' signs that morning.

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