THIS isn’t going to be one of those “funny” things that I write. It is just a very bare if complicated explanation of how I happened to be at the wrong bus stop.
I normally get the bus at what I will call Bus Stop A. It is near the corner of a road. Last week I waited on the corner of that road and waited for my bus.
I saw it stop a distance away at what I will call Bus Stop B, so I walked to Bus Stop A, safe in the sure knowledge that soon my bus would arrive and I would be able to do whatever it is I do on the bus.
But when the bus arrived at the corner, instead of turning left towards Bus Stop A, it turned right and tootled off. I can’t adequately describe my feelings at this turn of events, but imagine a big toffee with chunks of confusion, disappointment and seething anger suspended in it.
To avoid more toffee I walked up to Bus Stop B and waited for another bus. When I boarded, the driver explained that there were some Very Big Roadworks on our normal route and the bus was being diverted until next Tuesday.
It appeared the driver was right and on Wednesday this week, I went to Bus Stop A and waited. My bus pulled up at the corner… and turned right.
Toffee. So much toffee.
Yesterday I went to Bus Stop B again. The bus was still being diverted. That bus driver was a liar. He lied to me about the duration of the Very Big Roadworks. He told me everything would be all right from Wednesday, but it was not. I don’t know how he sleeps at night.
But on the way into work, the bus halted at a stop around the corner from my road and a passenger boarded. I didn’t know it could do that. I didn’t know it would stop there. Imagine that. All these years I have been getting buses and I didn’t realise that buses could stop at any bus stop in extremis. Any bus stop in a storm, apparently.
This was amazing. If I left my house and turned left, instead of my usual right, I could virtually fall onto my bus from bed. Yes, I know it would be a temporary treat, but I have to take succour from something in this cold world full of lying bus drivers and people who call me bad words on the internet.
So this morning I left my house. My next-door neighbours were moving out today and there was a group of removal men of the sort who are able to have a conversation with the barber, men with non-ironic tattoos, men who would consider me with my shirt and tie and glasses as some sort of Walter The Softy figure.
In my confusion I accidentally turned right.
“Gah!” I thought, as I realised I had gone the wrong way. “I am going to look a right old spanner to those men who know how to get a wardrobe down the stairs. Just keep walking to Bus Stop B.”
Then I thought, “No, Gary. This is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime bus-related opportunity. You do not have to explain yourself to these men. Man up. Turn around and make your way to what I will call Bus Stop C.”
And so I did. I turned and walked with my head held high past the men, and I walked to Bus Stop C.
And I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.
After 25 minutes I realised that I hadn’t seen any of the several other buses that had been diverted along this route either.
I realised what had happened, and started making my way to Bus Stop A. I can’t say I was happy about the situation.
As Bus Stop A came into sight, so did my bus. It turned left. I watched it disappear into the distance. I started to run because I knew the other bus I can get would arrive soon.
It did. I missed it.
Imagine that toffee made into a big hammer smashing me in the face and saying, “See how you like it.”
So that is how I went to the wrong bus stop. I cannot say I am massively happy with what happened, but none of this was my fault apart from my not doing well at school which prevented me from going to a good university, getting a better job and having more money and, consequently, forced me to get the bus.