The bus driver…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s quotation is from the Vladimir Nabokov novel King, Queen, Knave (1928), which I am currently re-reading:
While looking sideways out of the window she yawned; he (Franz) glimpsed the swell of her tense tongue in the red penumbra of her mouth and the flash of her teeth before her hand shot up to her mouth to stop her soul from escaping; whereupon she blinked, dispersing a tickling tear with a beat of her eyelashes.

It was about a twenty minute bus ride.
This post is about a twenty minute bus ride.
It was a normal single-decker Stagecoach Dulltown bus – I got my ticket and sat in the seat at the front across from the driver’s compartment. The driver was a middle-aged ordinary looking sort of chap.
As soon as we set off and started to negotiate the twists and turns of the Interchange exit road the driver suddenly started singing in a confident, but slightly shaky voice. His choice of song was Seasons in the Sun (By Terry Jacks 1974).
He continued singing as we trundled through the traffic, but he broke off and cheerily welcomed new passengers aboard at each stop with witty quips and cheeky observations. People were smiling as they took their tickets or flashed their phones.
After a while he moved on to popular Beatles’ songs, Hey Jude, being one that I recall, I was half expecting the passengers to join in with the ‘Na, na na, nanna na-naa’ at the end, but we didn’t get to end, as after a short pause for breath, a new song was started. Next up were some Country & Western ones, which I’m afraid were unfamiliar to me.
At one point as we picked up speed on the outskirts of town, without turning his head, he addressed us, the dozen or more passengers, ‘How do you like my singing?’ he called out.
This was greeted with a buzz of comments ranging from, ‘Very nice’ to ‘Out of tune!’
He responded with, ‘I’ll put you off the bus if you say things like that!’ Much laughter and more comments ensued.
He added, ‘I always sing when I’ve had a drink or two!’
More laughter. Someone said, ‘How about a round of applause for the driver?’ A few people responded. Someone else said, ‘I wish all the bus drivers were like this!’
Someone added, ‘Most of ’em are miserable buggers!’ Cheers from the throng.
As I got off and thanked him for the ride, I added, ‘That was the best bus trip I’ve had in years!’
He looked surprised for a moment, and then he grinned.
I wonder if he managed to keep it up for his whole shift – I hope so.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in books, drama, Dulltown, existentialism, Hull.UK., humour, jobs, music, observations, people, reading, serendipity, sex, smiling, words, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The bus driver…

  1. memadtwo says:

    There used to be a subway driver who always announced each station with a little bit of information about the area. It always made the ride more pleasant. It doesn’t take much to amuse us…(and why don’t more people try I wonder?) (K)

  2. On a recent train trip fro Pittsburgh to Philadelphia we were running 3 hrs late due to signal problems. At one point we sat on the tracks motionless for about one hour. The conductor joked with us especially one group of women on the way to NYC for a week and then we sang Sinatra songs. No one complaining and everyone laughing.

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