Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Bendy Bus And A Giraffe With Hydraulics

"Why did you stop on that corner?" asked the experienced driver who had been driving for 35 years, and knew the road like the back of his hand.

"Because there was a car coming," I replied tamely, "and I have had a dent before." I wasn't going to argue, I am a mere novice with only fourteen years experience, and most of that was as a part-timer.

He wasn't impressed.

"Well the company nearly had a new bendy bus in the fleet. I nearly went slap bang into the back of you. It would have concertina'd, but at least we would have been conjoined and turned into an articulated bus."

We had been taking a school trip back to Yorkshire. It had been a happy trip. A brilliantly behaved school. Tidy in the extreme, I picked up more sweetie papers that I had discarded on the control panel to the side of my drivers seat, than they had left on the floor of the bus. They were vibrant children. Funny too.

"What's the difference between a tractor and a giraffe?" said one girl.

The excitement grew when I obviously had no idea. They controlled their enthusiasm for fully twenty seconds before blurting out in unison, "well, you see a tractor has hydraulics and a giraffe has high boll........."

"Errrrr children, we'd better put a dvd on," said a teacher in haste, rescuing the situation.

The journey on the way back was not quite so smooth. A near miss with an overtaking car, a slow service bus trundling up the valley road at 25 m.p.h and refusing to let anyone past, icy roads causing the back wheels to spin more than you would like at the bends and spending too long filling up the bus at the depot so that the first signs of frostbite showed in black and red fingers.

But, it's only January. There's February, March and part of April to go before winter turns to spring.

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