Saturday, 11 December 2010

Pot Calling The Kettle Black And The School Run Mummies

Beware, it is the mothers silly season.

From a bus drivers' perspective, following a car driven by a stressed mummy on the school run, starts the alarm bells ringing and it is worth leaving an extra gap. They tend to do some silly things. It can only be due to the pressure they must be under with screaming and whining children, the radio turned up high to try and distract the monsters, getting to the school on time and thinking about household chores, husbands, holding down a job and many other things.

But now there is the added equation of Christmas shopping. The rush, having seen the children through the school gates to grab the opportunity of six hours shopping is irresistible. They tend to put the foot down and drive with furrowed brow.

I met one on a tight corner next to a narrow stone bridge. She came hurtling down the hill and at the last moment jammed on the brakes realising that she could not get past. We were stuck. She froze in panic. I inched past and we went on our way, no doubt cursing and muttering ancient biblical mantras.

"Bloody bus - shouldn't be on the road."

"Damned women drivers......shouldn't be on the road." Though I didn't say that at all. I knew the lady well. In fact she was a great friend. I will no doubt 'pull her leg' and embellish the story to it's most unbelievable, when I next see her.

It is a great pleasure I get from being a bus driver. You are often anonymous, particularly if wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. You see many people you know doing the most extraordinary things and driving standards from the excellent to the downright dangerous. They never tend to look up and see who's driving the bus.

I know who pick their nose the most. Who examine themselves in the mirror while driving at speed round a hairpin bend. Those who smile, those who frown. The capable drivers, the lunatics. There is no doubt people's personalities do change when they get behind a wheel. Driving a large vehicle, I'd like to think has helped to calm me down. But I cite myself in earlier days of being impatient and harassed when getting into a car. It's a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Perhaps the conversation I had with my then 3 year old daughter typifies my past attitude:

"Oh my God."

"You can't say that. Oh my goodness would be better."

A long silence ensued before a little voice piped up:

"Daddy. Does that mean I can't say bugger either?"

Daddy froze like a rabbit caught in the headlights. He'd been rumbled. There was no way out.

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