Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hitler's Nephew at the Wheel

On my way back from London, today, I was early for the bus from Victoria Coach Station. I made use of one of the folding, bench seats installed at curbside. The bus ended up being late and there was a growing swarm of restless, potential passengers. Finally, it pulled up. Relief washed over me, like rain from a summer shower. We prospective passengers arranged ourselves in single file, to board the bus. Each person had to buy a ticket from the driver. When it was my turn, I finally experienced a moment I had been dreading since I started riding the bus. The driver was Hitler's Nephew, the hated third housemate in my house.
I knew he drove a bus for the company that runs the buses between Bracknell and London, but I had never seen him during my travels. Suddenly, I was presented with a conundrum. As we aren't speaking to each other, how should I go about specifying my destination, in order to buy a ticket? I hesitated for only a moment, even though it felt like an age. Coldly, I simply stated, "single to Bracknell." His attention was down, towards the dashboard. Suddenly, his head snapped up. Now it was his turn to pause. Would he let me ride for free? He certainly uses my Sky TV subscription a lot, while refusing to pay a share of the cost. A free ride on the bus would be a small gesture to make up for the Sky situation. Come on, this is Hitler's Nephew we are talking about. Of course he didn't let me ride for free. He punched in the relevant information into his machine and it spat out my ticket. I paid the £4 fee and quickly made my way to my seat. I then endured the most unpleasant bus ride from London I have ever had. Simply knowing he was driving, I couldn't relax and enjoy the ride. Every jerk and bump seemed amplified. I couldn't even wish he'd crash, as I was on the bus, too. Eventually, it was over. As I walked home from the bus station, I let the cool air of the approaching dusk wash over me.

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