Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Magpie Sets The Tone For A Trip To The Panto

The magpie flew across the dual carriageway in front of the bus.

One for sorrow.....

I saluted him, doffed my hat and muttered under my breath: "Good morning Mr Magpie. I trust you are well. And I trust your wife is well too. 10..9..8..7.6..5..4..3..2..1..Zero." Depending on your view, it either negates the bad luck or is superstitious claptrap.

I was on my way to Newcastle. You will remember the recent tale of a school trip to the theatre (see Dangerous Don, The Teetering Bus And The Worrying Thought Of A Trip To The Theatre). One which the drivers were dreading as the centre of Newcastle was plunged into chaos as a variety of buses came to collect hundreds of hyperactive children from the pantomime. It was cancelled due to the bad weather. But it has now been rearranged for today.

And it lived up to all expectations.

The screaming children on the way to the panto was headache inducing. The two girls sitting behind me asked in between screams:

"Are the roads safe to drive on, mister?"

I sucked my teeth and held off making a sarcastic remark like; "Please remove and put on the life jackets from under your seat" in favour of a simple "yes they are safe."

Sure enough when it came to picking them up at 4.30pm, Newcastle City Centre was in the grip of rush hour. It was gridlock thanks to the extra twenty buses which had hogged all the bus stops close to the theatre. An old man appeared in the road emerging from between two parked buses. He raised his arm as if to wave. At the last moment two fingers were extended and there was some bad tempered mouthing of "......... off."

The service buses were stuck in the queue too. They grew quickly impatient and blew their horns in frustration. The only manoeuvre possible was to go round the block. I went around three times. Then as if by magic, the roads cleared, the buses vanished and my school party appeared.

There's nothing quite like an afternoon at the panto. Oh no there isn't.

1 comment:

  1. It's a great life ON THE BUSES
    ON THE BUSES fan club
    web site;
    Now in our 11th year
    Nostalgia Never goes out of fashion