Posted tagged ‘buses’

Buses: Heads and Tails

October 13, 2013

There are two types of people in this world : those that run for the bus and those that don’t run for the bus.

Put me in the latter category. The possibility of chasing a bus and not catching it would be too embarrassing for words. I’ve a friend who disagrees. He maintains that if you don’t run for the bus you won’t catch it but running for it gives you a chance. And the embarrassment angle, he says, is not as bad as you think. Sure, there will be bystanders that will be laughing inwardly as you are left eating the gravel the bus has left in its wake but as embarrassments go it’s near the bottom of the Beamer scale. In fact, he says, it’s so fleeting you soon forget about it just like you instantly can’t recall the pain of childbirth!

Armed with his ideals I went out looking for a bus to catch. I stared with an easy one. A bus was at a stop and lots of passengers were embarking, I ran the thirty yards and joined the queue. It felt good catching the bus even though I had no idea where it was going. Nonetheless I paid my fare and took my seat.

I got off God knows where and scanned the horizon. The road had a few shops with some people milling about. Then I heard the unmistakable drone of a bus getting closer. I searched for the nearest bus stop. It was one hundred yards away. With the Chariots of Fire theme tune in my head I bolted like Usain. The scene that panned out seemed to be shot in slow motion. The bus and I were moving through our respective flight paths and the vehicle was gaining on me. It was closing in on the next stop. I had a look over my shoulder. No one was getting off. The bus accelerated. Using the last of my energy I pushed for the line and threw my hand out. The bus braked, stopped and opened its doors.

Not having a clue where I was going again, I paid my fare. As I strode down the gangway I could feel an admiration emitting from the other passengers. They were exchanging looks that said “this man raced for the bus and he caught it”. Women were staring at me with love and lust in their eyes. A man said “respect, brother”. My chest was puffed out with pride. Now I know how the guy that wins the Krypton Factor assault course feels.

And then the bus broke down.

We all had to get off and wait for the next one. All my bus fans had turned grumpy as they complained about their lot in life. My exploits were forgotten. I was about to join them in their sorrowful ring of surliness when I saw a bus coming in the other direction on the other side of the street. It was time for shock and awe tactics.

The bus stop was fifty yards away. Firstly, I crossed the street then began to run. My chest must have been puffed out from the last race. I was moving at half-pace. This chase was over too soon. The bus overtook me and disappeared into the distance. I was left eating its gravel. Across the road my old buddies were doubled-up with laughter. All manner of insults were thrown my way. What happened to the inward laughing? This was top of the range Beamer scale embarrassment. The old dictum that you are only as good as your last bus race ran true.

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