Thursday, 19 May 2011

Mothballs Or Muffins, Witches And Near Misses

'Why do you like mothballs for breakfast?' I asked one of the school children, in response to his strange answer.

'NO NOT mothballs,' he shouted in alarm. ' I said MUFFINS.'

It was the Flying Pig's fault. It is so noisy that it is hard to hear what anyone is saying. Quite useful when there is an awkward passenger and you nod in blissful oblivion to what the person is actually saying. Not so good for schoolchildren, who speak so fast and in muffled slang, that it is difficult enough to understand them when the bus is motionless.

It was a difficult morning. It had begun with the children being suspicious and worried. Another driver had left early, the day before and all the children had missed the bus. Another bus had to be sent to scoop up the stragglers.

'I am a victim of my own success,' said the driver unwisely. 'I am always so punctual that I leave the depot early. How was I to know the times had changed.' He was right. They had changed. About three years ago. These limp excuses will be the brunt of many weeks of leg pulling.

The children had not been in the mood for jokes - one girl boarded the bus with a new hair arrangement. You know, the one where all is tied back except for a few strands which are positioned downwards over the nose.

'New hairdo?' said another child. 'Or has the wind caught it?'

The girl scowled.

Two near misses happened on a blind corner. A lamb who had escaped from a field was wandering aimlessly around the road. At the sight of me and the Flying Pig, it took off, did a flying somersault over the wall and landed in a field, in a heap. I had to stop on this dangerous corner to pick up a child. A delivery truck came hairing up behind, round the corner, screeching as he jammed his brakes on. He stopped at the last minute. The children on the back seat were unphased. They looked back, shouted 'Yoooo-hoooo,' at the surprised driver and waved.

The next child who boarded the bus was carrying a cauldron.

'Why?' I asked.

'It's magic day at school,' she replied.

'Yeah and she's going to boil up a potion and make Mrs Honkey-Tonk disappear,' a voice came from the back.

'Aye,'came another. 'Hubble bubble toil and trouble.'

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