Well her we were, the busiest day of the year so far, probably the busiest day of the last few years with the Tall Ships 50th have ago do on today. I came down Fleet Street and on to the Strand. Now when you come on to the Strand you have to go all the way along the Strand and round the Clock Tower Roundabout and back to the bus stop. If the road is clear this takes 30 seconds. But on Monday with all the traffic around with the Tall Ships Race and Phil the Greek being in the Bay it took about 5 mins.
When I got to the stop everyone must have know I was about to arrive. Well they must have seen me coming for at least 5 mins. Even when I came round the Clock Tower it wasn’t straight forward. There was this d***head in a four wheel drive with 3 under ten year old children on the back seat who decided that I wasn’t going to get into the bus stop without a struggle. Even though I could have got through no problem he moved over a few feet and prevented me from passing him. When will they realize that it isn’t me they are holding up but the 40 people on the bus. I don’t care how long it takes me to get to where I am going. If I am late the company either pay me the overtime so I get extra for doing the same work or they instruct me to put up Paignton instead of Brixham and I get paid the same for doing less. Any way, I made the stop eventually.
There were about 30 people waiting, at the head was a gentleman and he waved the two ladies behind him onto the bus in front of him. What a mistake to make? They got on, their names were Abigail and Tricia, they were in their forties and the conversation, which I took little part in went like this.”Two please.” Me “Where to?” Abigail to Trica,”Oh. Where are we going Tricia?” 10 second pause. “I don’t know. I thought you had decided.” An other 10 second pause. Abigail to me. “Where does this bus go?” By know the nice gentleman who had waved them on in front of him was having problems with his eyes, they were beginning to roll about a little. Me. “Paignton and Brixham.” “What’s there?” enquired Tricia sweetly. “Shops, pubs and sea.” said I, only slightly less sweetly. (Remembering rule one which states be nice to the passengers at all times.) The eyes were soon to make it out through his ears but the gentleman remained silent. But not for long.
Having decided on Paignton and worked out that a bus every 7 or 8 minutes wasn’t going to mean they would have to walk back to Torquay they asked how much. “£6.20.” It was at this point that nice gentleman’s eyes stopped rolling round in his eye sockets and came out his ears accompanied by what I looked like steam but could have been his brain boiling away. What brought him to this state was the fact that one of the ladies was removing her back pack and was searching through it for the cash to pay for the tickets. The first one hadn’t enough so the second was repeating the procedure with her back pack. He started slowly but soon built up to a roar.” You have been standing here for 20 mins waiting for the bus complaining all the time that it’s late, you watched it come round the island for 5 mins and you haven’t even got your money out. You stupid, moronic, thoughtless…………………….. .”
I did try and write exactly what he said but the keyboard started to melt. By the time he had finished the whole bus queue, which was by know several hundred strong looked like they may burst in to applause, the two ladies demanded to know what I was going to do about this mad man. I told them it appeared to be a private conversation and was nothing to do with me.
I would have been bothered by this delay if I had only been a few mins late but by this time I was over 35 mins late and I would never be able to make that up so I had just sat back and enjoyed my self.
The two ladies then decided to catch the 32 up to St Marychurch, a nice place.