Friday, February 04, 2005

Special: Bus woe


My sister - who sometimes reads these pages, and is therefore a most wonderful, caring person who never once attempted to drown me in the school swimming pool; or never, ever tried to teach the dog to go for my throat - now has her dream job.

With two degrees in Greek History and Sociology (or something equally worthy gained from an adulthood almost totally devoid of torturing younger brothers), and after a lifetime in unrewarding careers such as roadie to the stars, university Ents Committee big cheese and record shop manager, she now works in the kind of career that you and I can only fantasise about. In fact, she's had it for some time, I've just never got round to mention it.

And what a job!

My sister, who never, ever once went for me with evil, lunging talons, leaving me scarred for life; nor ever wrecked my prize go-kart in a Hulk-like rage of wanton destruction because I wouldn't let her have a go on it*, drives The Special Bus in Warrington, and spends her days shopping in Marks and Spencers, doing jigsaws and drinking gallons of tea with what the council euphemistically refers to as "customers".

For this she gets money for her motorbike habit.

I wish I could do that. One look at the Dorset County Council Special Bus has me convinced I should give up this writing mullarkey and concentrate on the important things in life.

It's bright green, has six wheels and has a big picture of a lion on the side.

I must drive that bus. I must. I would even convert it so that it could fly, or even to go under water. Then it really would be the most special of special buses. Perhaps a couple of cruise missiles launchers, budget permitting.

With my CV at the ready, with all the swearing tippexed out, I could show the council my almost entire blemish-free driving licence; and will promise on my life not to crash their prize possession into anything, praying that unfortunate business with the Mayor and the Town Bridge is forgotten by now. It would be this: aces.

But fear not those of you who cannot drive! Most special buses come with a crew of two - The Special Bus Driver, whose job it is to do the difficult driving stuff, shooting down Germans and making sure that the hovercraft attachment is on "blow" instead of "suck"; and the all-important Wrangler, who is in charge of loading, unloading and singing "The Wheels on the Bus", "We're all going on a Lion Hunt", "Eskimo Nell" and other approved songs. All this while making sure the correct customers are delivered to the right places. It was hell the day they mixed up the ADHD kids and the old grannies' rest home.

It is, then, a job with great responsibility. The ninja of the roads.

So, it came as a huge surprise to see the aftermath of a car crash at the top of our street.

Vegetable soup!

Scary Street runs up a steep hill to a T junction onto a busy road. What you really don't need with this kind of road layout is a convencience store, a Bolockbuster** Video and a chip shop. It's the kind of place where double yellow lines mean nothing to drivers too lazy to use the car park, and the place is often strewn with badly-parked fat peoples' cars. Result: frequent chaos.

So, Friday night, on the way back from dumping the spawn at a school disco. I was proceeding in a westerly direction towards the top of Scary Street, when I espied what appeared to be a collision between two vehicles.

"Ello, ello, ello," says I, "What's going on 'ere then?"

Some idiot had tried to beat the Special Bus at the road junction by roaring away from the lazy bastards' parking place outside Bolockbusters, and instead caught the six wheeled armour-plated monster in the most terrifying sideswipe. His chips were everywhere.

Arriving just seconds later, there were bits of car, glass, blood, brave people everywhere. In fact, the bus passengers seemed to have emerged relatively unscathed, and were wandering around the area, while the bus driver and chief wrangler attended to the dazed car driver who had wrecked their bus.

"You bastard! You wrecked my bus!" they said soothingly, "I bet the laser targetting's knackered now!"

By the time the rozzers turned up the entire area was crawling with confused special people*** staggering about saying "HELLO!" to bystanders and waving. Several had to be dragged out of Bolockbusters; whilst one had spotted an open front door, and was found watching TV in somebody's lounge. It took them ages to round them all up, and I'm certain they may have corralled a few innocent bystanders as well. There was free chips, even.

As I said to Mrs Duck when I arrived home with my exciting tale of woe, "I wonder if they've got any jobs going?" She still thinks I've got a career in that new Domino's Pizza place, but I don't care. They don't have a bus.

* As you can see, I've still got several decades of unresolved issues to contend with, which, by way of therapy, may well surface on these pages unless large sums of money changes hands pretty damn pronto.

** I meant to type Blockbuster, and I'm not going to change it now.

*** Struggling for a word here. "People with Learning Challenges" is just too long, while "tard", "spacker" or "mong", whilst raising a quick laugh, are just juvenile and wrong, wrong, wrong. Stop laughing at the back. See? You're laughing, and that's wrong. You sick bastard.

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