Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Day Trip To The Scottish Seaside: 3. It's Nae Easy
I should have taken the warning when I passed a Scottish truck with: 'It's Nae Easy' written on the trailer. Because three minutes later a car started driving erratically around the bus.
'What's he up to?' said one of the ladies. 'I think he is drunk.' He drew alongside, unwound his window ann yelled:
I pulled over and sure enough one of the tyres had lost all its air. I unloaded all the kladies onto the hard shoulder. They lay on the grass and milled around. It looked like a picnic on a hot summer's evening.
'More like one sandwich short of a picnic,' said one person, bringing it back to reality with a jolt. Here we were stuck on a motorway, 24 ladies and 2 men, with trucks thundering past at 55 miles per hour. After urgent consultations with the boss, it was deemed better to try and limp off the motorway at the next exit. Limping at 20 m.p.h is not exactly much fun.
The ladies remained cheerful. 'Don't worry,' one said. 'It could have been worse. We could all be dead.'
We made it. 'What do I do now, while we wait for help to come?'
'Oh you'll think of something,' replied the boss. 'Tell them to sing some Karaoke songs, read them a story or ... or ... or ...I'll leave it up to you. You'll be very good at thinking of something ... tell them I will give them a free trip ... no on second thoughts tell them they can have you free but they will have to pay for the bus.
It took nearly two hours for help to come and put a new tyre onto the wheel. The recovery guy was great he worked fast and received a warm round of applause from the ladies when the had finished. the ladies were amazing. they never complained at the boredom of sitting on the bus.
'In all the years, we have been coming on these trips,' said one lady, 'this is the first time something like this has happened.
Some slept, some chatted, some had a cigarette break outside the bus on the verge. One major help was when one lady, who had obviously bought a job lot of nail varnish from a shop in Ayr, started offering a service for the others. It was not long before half the bus had shiny purple finger and toenails. The upside was that the air on the bus was heady with the lingering aroma of nail varnish, that it seemed to go straight to people's heads and most were in a happy mood.
Every cloud has a silver lining and as we set off again, there was a sunset which you only ever usually see descending across somewhere like the Masai Mara.
'You see,' I teased. 'If we hadn't had that puncture, you would never have seen this sunset.'
'Hummpf,' came one response.
'Shall we go home now?' I asked.
'No, no,' replied one lady. 'Can we keep going until the diesel runs out.'
'Hummpf,' said the others.