The Exact Opposite Of Speed

There’s nothing I like more than the crushing feeling that the bus you’re on at eleven o’clock at night on a freezing cold Friday night is about to die on its arse.

It’s bad enough that you wait for the bus and the digital display does the thing I hate more in the world. It changes from a minute by minute account of the bus due time to just the generic timetable time. This usually means that the bus isn’t coming. It always used to be the kiss of death in Leeds, for example, and would see you standing several feet from your place of work up to an hour after you actually left to head home.

In this case, though, I think it was just the first sign of something being wrong. Clearly whatever transmitter is used to send bus information to the bus stop couldn’t draw enough power from the bus. Or maybe it drew too much power and exploded.

Either which was, the bus we ended up with was entirely devoid of any sort of power.

And when these things start, it’s never in a place that’s convenient for you. Like you’ll never find yourself on a bus that breaks down conveniently close to your house. This one was in danger of dying in a place where I’d probably have been lucky to walk through it still possessing my fillings.

I was running through a number of scenarios in my head. None of them were great. There was walking, which was fine but a ball ache. And, you know, scary. There was call a taxi and wait. Again fine and scary.

And then there was the worst possible scenario where I have to ring Carole and get her out of bed to come and get me.

I think it was my overall fear level which helped spur the bus to greatness. Well, not greatness. But a speed that, were the bus an animal, would make you think it should probably be put in a cardboard box until winter is over.