Will it ever end with Lothian Buses? God forbid any of their current batch of drivers should end up driving the trams when they arrive, or nothing much of anything will change. Today’s tale comes straight out of the Sid James book of Carry On Laughter, and I present it for your astonishment.
At 07:10 I arrived at the bus stop to catch the 07:20. At that time of the morning the buses are generally on time as they’ve only been running an hour or so and have nothing to stop them. The only discomfort was the Arctic wind blowing in from the North Sea; for me liveable, but for the woman with baby, toddler and pram, not so good.
The bus pulled up with a couple of minutes to spare and sat at the stop in front of about the dozen or so of us who were waiting. The lights and engine went off, and the driver proceeded to sit and stare into space. I watched him and thought to myself: “what a dick.”
The driver eventually moved and I saw that he was huge – really huge – his belly was almost touching his knees, and through the (still closed) doors of the bus I could hear him wheezing as he squeezed out of his cabin. My immediate thought was: “can this guy get us up Leith Walk before he has a cholesterol-induced heart attack?”
Then the driver started playing around with the number display on the front of the bus – it took him a full five minutes to figure out what a number 12 looks like in reverse – then he got back into his cabin, opened the doors and sat there staring out at me, his flabby jowls swinging in the wind. Eventually he says: “Well … are you getting on, or not?”
I strolled up and as I flashed him my pass, said: “I thought you’d never ask.”
So the bus left almost ten minutes late, but I was happy I expressed my dissatisfaction. Only, he got the last laugh, when five bus stops later he pulled in, turned off the engine, and announced to the passengers: “This bus isnae goin’ anywhere. You’ll all need tae get aff.”
Cue profanities from several passengers.
I helped the woman with the kids and pram off the bus and jumped on the next bus up the road, which thankfully was right behind. Twenty five minutes later than intended I made it to York Place, which is more time than it normally takes me to do the entire journey at that time of the morning.
Talk about a stinking attitude? After he duped us I watched him walking around his bus, wheezing and shaking his head, his trousers sagging dangerously close to his fat arse, but I couldn’t figure out if he was so bitter was because he hates his job, or because he hates passengers more.
A busy day at work was followed by a pain in the evening. During the afternoon there had been a “coffee and mince pie gathering” in work, and while munching away on one of Mr. Kipling’s finest I got a seed jammed between two teeth. One of those teeth had been giving me jip for a while and was quite sore with this particular foreign object in it. Most annoying.
As I sat down to eat my evening dinner I took my fork and attempted to remove said foreign object. There came a moment of relief as I felt the fork wedge behind the little seed, and then horror, when after a short bend of the fork and a loud ping, half my tooth removed itself from my mouth and launched across the living room.
It wasn’t sore – just annoying that I had to eat with one side of my mouth. Hot drinks are fine – water makes it buzz.
Anyhoo, I saw the following in Ian Rankin’s recent newsletter and decided to do my own. Here’s my awards for 2008:
Album of the Year – The Hawk is Howling by Mogwai. Honourable mention to Fortress Round My Heart by Ida Maria.
Theatrical Event of the Year -Hello Dolly, Kings Theatre, Glasgow. Honourable mention to Swan Lake, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.
Film of the Year – Quantum of Solace. (Shows how little I go to the cinema these days).
Gig of the Year – The Prodigy at Glasgow Academy. Honourable mentions to Australian Pink Floyd (Playhouse), Queen (SECC).
Biggest Gig Disappointment – Paul Weller, Glasgow SECC.
Discovery of the Year – Mogwai. Honourable mention to Ida Maria.
Best Book Read This Year – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Honourable mentions to The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster and The Bridge by Ian Banks.