Thank You, Driver, For Getting Me Here

3 Nov

If you’re like me, you probably grew up admiring lion tamers. Like Superman, lion tamers’ incredible talents, fantastic costumes and determination to do good for humanity are inspirational and sexually intriguing. Unfortunately, we all learn as we age that neither Superman nor lion tamers exist in the real world.

However, there are stylish, altruistic hard workers who walk among us. We see them everyday but rarely do we take a moment to either notice or appreciate them. They are bus drivers.

Hey, hey, hey now, Agatha (I hear you saying). Hay is for horses (I hear my elocution tutor saying). Please hear me out.

Often you’ll see in the editorial pages of the tabloids complaints about the buses: the stink of piss, the teenagers’ noise, the slight delays that on occasion may occur. These are simply hooey. Take it from a frequent rider (yes, I ride the bus, what of it?)—our public transport system is champion and it is due primarily to the humble and skilful bus driver.

Every single day in England, men (and I’ll admit a few women) risk their lives for our safety. Plenty of people bitch (excuse my French) but how many of you can manoeuvre that much steel and human cargo through the dangerous streets of our country? Let’s not forget that the average English street is barely wider than the average English bus. Once when I was on the Number 41 into the city, our bus driver managed to squeeze by an illegally parked Vauxhall Nova, passing the wing mirror with literally just an inch to spare. He neither blinked nor broke a sweat. That’s power.

Bus drivers must maintain this cool through other stresses, very often from the passengers they devote their lives to. We might be frustrated with other riders’ noise, confusion or lack of correct change, but these poor chaps have to deal with it for hours on end and they’re not allowed to slap or swear at any of them. They are also our guardians while we ride: I remember so clearly the day a fight broke out over the front seat on the Shopper Hopper and within seconds, the driver jumped from his seat, disarmed the attacker and quickly citizen-arrested him. Not impressive enough for you? I should add that during that same trip, our driver also performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on an old dear, led us all in a sing-song and still managed to get us to the Supercentre right on time.

There are very few heroes left in the world today, but for me, bus drivers come closest to being modern day lion tamers. I just wish more wore hats. And carried whips.

One Response to “Thank You, Driver, For Getting Me Here”

  1. marymungoandmidge Monday, 7 November 2011 at 14:27 #

    Well said Agatha. Being a Londoner I too have often sat in awe as I sit in the front seat on the top deck of a double decker and watched through the cinematic front window mouth agog as the driver negotiates the bus down some extremely narrow streets (Fleet Street is a notable example) and almost wince as various street lights or corners of Georgian buildings seem to be coming straight at me, only to swerve past my view at the vital moment as the driver expertly steers the huge vehicle along and away whilst simultaneously dodging hairbrained cyclists and dumb kamikaze road-straying pedestrians with such supreme skill…indeed like Superman…or as you so picaresquely describe as a lion tamer…with such heroic consummate ease. Bravo to them (and you of course for your lovely musings on a great English service).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: