Monday evening, I was a little late getting out of work, as I’d had to finish a last-minute rush job. I usually have about ten minutes wait at the bus stop, so I still thought I had time to nip across the road to the Co-op and pick up some bread and a pint of milk. And I would have, except that I got stuck in the queue to pay, behind an elderly gentleman arguing about his paper bill. As I got to the door, the bus was starting to pull away from the stop.
Now the traffic on Mount Pleasant Road was at a near standstill, as it often is in the evening, so I thought I might make it to the next stop ahead of the bus. I was really a bit too tired to want to make the effort, but I got across the road and down to the roundabout by the Steam Wagon, ready to cross Lancaster Road and make my dash.
The bus was inching across the roundabout, stopping and starting, when there was a very loud, very sudden bang. I no longer needed to run to catch the bus because a car had already caught it. Just a little ding on the back corner, and the car appeared virtually unscathed, but the bus had to stop and the bus driver had to go out and get the car driver’s details and take photos of the (very minor) damage.
I wasn’t sure of the etiquette of getting onto a stationary bus in the middle of a roundabout while the driver was out of the vehicle, but I didn’t hesitate long, and he seemed happy enough about it – especially as I was the only person (now) on the bus who had seen what happened. He took my details.
The car driver seemed remarkably casual about it all — put his head around the door, saw a passenger he knew and chirped “I hit the bus!” as if it was a great joke. The bus driver, on the other hand, was very shaken, and nervous. I did my best to be a Calming Influence. After a long delay, we got going. The driver said he was going to call into the bus garage on the way to town to report the damage, but I think he sensed that the passengers were getting restive, and changed his mind.
I was very relieved when I finally got to my front door. And very glad I’d already bought the milk, as Marks and Spencer, my usual last-minute shopping place, was now closed for the night.
No moral to this story, except that public transport often lends a little extra colour to my day. I wonder what this morning’s journey to work will bring?