Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Thanks Big Fella Or Big Fella Thanks - A Liverpool Conundrum

Ever heard of M.A.Winkleby? No?

D.R.Ragland? Nope?

J.M.Fisher? No, he's not a character from Beatrix Potter.

Or S.L.Syme? No? Never heard of them? Well nor had I, until I read their report they wrote in June 1988 at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, entitled:

'Excess risk of sickness and disease in bus drivers: a review and synthesis of epidemiological studies'

The be-all and end-all is that bus drivers, surprise surprise are more at risk from nearly all diseases. I thought about this as I felt sorry about my assortment of ailments - my sinuses were causing discomfort, a wart had recently appeared on my thumb, where I gripped the steering wheel and my muscles and back were sore from too much sitting.

To make matters worse, all the passengers sitting behind me had many sniffles, coughs and sore throats. Poor old bus driver will catch them in the next forty-eight hours. But the humour of the children makes up for it. I am near Liverpool. Always interesting and their quick wit is as good as ever.

"I've been on holiday," said a little voice behind. "I'll give you a clue where you think I've been. It's an island, surrounded by water within two hours of Liverpool."

"The Wirral?" said another boy's voice.

The teachers were getting excited as it was a big weekend for Liverpool. The Grand National was due to be run this Saturday. "We've been given a tip - we're going to be backing Big Fella Thanks."

An omen maybe? It is one of the phrases I hear often when I drive buses. "Thanks big fella," people often say - so this could not be just mere coincidence. But then again, the quickest way to lose friends is to tip horses, so no rude comments on Monday morning please, if you lose your shirt.

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