Thursday, 30 December 2010

Fallout From The Christmas Party

In the near distant past, i.e. when I was young, the office party would throw up something controversial or bring a hangover where something would come out of the blue which felt like being smacked across each cheek with a pair of wet fish.

I've had a cancelled engagement, a postponed wedding, been involved in a stampede in Trafalgar Square, been hit in the eye by a loosed champagne cork, been one of five men and one hundred women at one office party and had to walk three miles through London rain as all the taxis were taken.

The bus drivers' office party was not like any of this. As described before (The Bus Drivers' Christmas Office Party) it was a tranquil, amusing and fun affair. Nevertheless a strange thing happened.

"You're in the doghouse!" said one of the drivers. The one who I seem to have a jinx on and strange things seem to happen to him when I am around. So strange that he has taken to concealing a crucifix on him, which he produces in the style of Peter Cushing brandishing the crucifix at Dracula.

"What have I done this time?" I was thinking of angry motorist or passenger.

"I know tomorrow night you were meant to go out to a Pizza restaurant in Durham (40 miles away). And I know that you are not going - you cheapskate and that people are miffed you are not going."

When someone who has no connection with a part of your life outlines vividly every item, there is only one way to react. My jaw dropped and I must have gawped for an embarrassing amount of time, even more than was usual.

"How the hell did.........................................?"

I did find out at a later stage. He knew as a result of a chance meeting, in a strange place with someone he had never met before who made a chance remark and two and two and four add four made eighty-four.

The next day, blow me down, it happened again in reverse.

A chance remark with a friend's daughter led to a conversation about a university Geography trip, an evening in a pub and meeting an octogenarian bus driver who amused the students until the early hours of the morning. Of course, from her description there could only be one driver like that in the UK and up until recently he drove for the same company as I did. And it was.

He, too, was at the office party, looking as if he would be out driving a bus tomorrow morning, looking 25 years younger than age - 85 years old. He had kept the boss up until three in the morning, in the same pub that the students had met him with never ending balloon glasses of brandy.

Is it surprising? No, not really. It's a small world after all........

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