Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sir Lancelot, A Latin Test And The Double Decker

'Stop pussyfooting around, boy!'

I was nine years old once again and standing in front of my teacher. I had been caught staring out the window and daydreaming. The whole class had just sung: "Ave caesar! Morituri te salutamus." (or Hail Caesar! We who are about to die salute thee) to the tune of Z Cars, as we always did before a Latin test. Now the test was completed and we had to wait in agony for the results, knowing that minus marks would lead us directly to the Headmaster's office and either a loss of tuck or possibly the cane or Jacari Bat (a stubby table tennis like bat but heavier).

I'm jolted back to reality and 2011 by the sound of a bus horn. I am sitting in the driver's seat of the Flying Pig once again, and during my dream my elbow must have slipped and pressed the horn button. Directly in front of me was a large double decker, parked and silent. It needed moving or the school run would be late.

I'd driven the decker before. The first time had been OK. The second nearly OK. The third I had driven into the rollerdoors and nearly put the top deck window out.

"Tool," one of the bosses had said.

"I'd just like you to know," the other had said, "that you are the first driver to hit all three sides of the door....."

I hid in the Flying Pig and hoped the double decker would just go away. It did. Hiram B. Birdbath appeared through the mist on his motorcycle like Sir Lancelot seeking to rescue Guinevere. He drove the bus out of the depot narrowly avoiding the steel pillars. I drove off on the school run.

It was a satisfactory outcome.

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