I finished work a whole hour early today. I didn’t ask to finish early, it was offered to me and I’m not one to turn things like that down. So I left work at four and, in my head at least, was pondering what I could do when I got home at about half past four.
At half past four I was still in town. I was, technically, on a bus although the bus was going nowhere because the bus in front of it was also going nowhere and, apparently, you can’t have buses running out of order because it upsets the status quo of the universe (as opposed to upsetting Francis Rossi, although if he’d been on my bus he’d have been a bit cheesed off as well).
My first mistake came in believing that I’d get home as quickly as I’d hoped. Even the merest hint of a neuron generating that idea is enough to upset the apple cart of public transport so, in a way I brought it on myself. I also didn’t help matters by having to nip into Sainsburys first for a couple of pieces of salmon and spend a while staring at their offers trying to make sense of them and then blog about it while sounding like a salmon geek.
Basically, you can buy two salmon fillets for £4, or three packs for a tenner. That’s grand. It’s just normal bog standard salmon, nothing really too special about it. For random prices in the £2-3 pound range you can dip into the Sainsbury’s basics range and get what amounts to a plastic tray filled with salmon mis-shapes. But still, it looks nice and tasty so you can’t really fault it. But then there’s also the Taste The Difference Salmon which normally weighs in at £4.99 for two pieces. But they’re decent size, quite sexy looking pieces. And they were on offer – a pound off. Making them £3.99 – a whole penny less that the no-frills-but-at-least-it-looks-like-it-came-from-a-fish salmon. The problem is, when you come across offers like this you find yourself looking for the catch, the hidden consequence of plumping for the better stuff at a cheaper price than the other stuff you’ll usually buy. All of which served to delay me getting to the bus.
And then the bus came but the driver got off. And no replacement driver came. So we all stood, and waited. Someone in the queue would randomly poke their head out to one side to see if a driver was coming. We were like a line of commuting meerkats, all of us straining to see a lumbering man in a high-vis jacket round the corner of Sainsbury’s. Or, in this case, not.
So, he didn’t come. Then the next bus came. So, as is the usual case in these situations, the entire queue moves to the newly arrived bus. We all get on, some passengers muttering about how the bus in front hasn’t gone, asking the driver when he’ll be setting off and things of a similar nature. All of the time, these people seem to be oblivious to the fact that the bus we’re now on is practically humping the bus in front, leaving no room for it to move out, so we’d be stuck there until the bus in front goes. But the bus in front can’t go because it has no driver.
But wait, he’s just turned up. So that means that the bus in front will be leaving first. A ripple of dissent travels along the bus. All the passengers are outraged. “Why are we all on this bus when the bus in front is going to set off first?” “You are joking me aren’t you, that bus is going to go first?” Seriously. Someone even said “Are you lying to me?” No-one had said anything to him – I assume he was talking to either his eyes or his brain, both of which were relaying information to him about the bus in front which now had a driver and would be setting off first.
So, then everyone piles off the bus they’d all scrambled to get on and shuffles down the pavement as fast as their tracksuit bottoms would allow to get on the bus we were queueing for in the first place which then set off. I was still on the second bus because I couldn’t be arsed with all the fannying around. As it happens we set off about a minute or two later – hardly worth the mass exodus to the other bus.
And it still beat being in work.