As usual, when drivers get together, they start to talk about the good old days. A buddy of mine was a coach driver in a previous job, where he drove an overnight coach from Glasgow to London. Most of the stories that he told were funny, but one story got me to thinking, what kind of people are we sharing this planet with?
The coach was sitting in London almost full. It was due to leave at eleven o’clock that night, and there weren’t many seats left to fill. A man, with two small girls in tow, came on the bus. The driver estimated the girls to be about seven or eight years of age. The driver looked at the ticket, and said, “This is for two.” “That’s correct,” said the man, “the two girls are going to Glasgow, where they’ll be met when they get off the bus.” When the man spoke, the driver realised that he’d had a good bit of drink that night, so he said, “I’m sorry, but the girls can’t travel alone.” The drunk then walked up the bus aisle, asking the assembled passengers if there were any paedophiles on the coach! He didn’t want to know about the two rest stops that the bus would make on the eight hour journey to Glasgow. All he wanted was to get the two small girls off of his hands. The driver solved the problem by telling the man that he was going to phone his depot to get a ruling on the situation. He left the bus and used the phone, but he called the cops instead. The cops then came and took the drunk, and the girls, off the bus.
After I heard that story, I read another bus related piece in the newspaper.
A twenty two year old student had been out for drinks with her friends, and got on a late night bus to go home. Unfortunately, she was twenty pence short for the fare. The driver refused to let her board the bus, and no one on the bus would give her the money that she needed to get home. The driver put her off the bus and left her in the centre of Nottingham with no way to get home. She phoned her mother, who said that she’d come to pick her up. Before her mother got there, she was attacked by a nineteen year old guy high on drink and drugs. He’d recently been released from a young offenders institution, after serving only half of his eight month sentence for burglary. The poor student was savagely raped, and beaten so badly that her mother almost didn’t recognise her, all for the sake of twenty pence. What was wrong with that driver? And, why did those other passengers ignore the young woman? Twenty pence is nothing. School janitors will tell you pupils won’t even bend down to pick up a 20 pence piece from the playground.
These two tales are a sad indication of the uncaring, selfish attitude that our fellow human beings exhibit, I would like to think that my home town of Glasgow would be different, and that somebody would have given that young girl the money she needed. But now, I just can’t be sure.
Colin Black is a 62 year old truck driver (and has been for over 40 years), and author from Bellshill, Bonnie Scotland.