The Wheels Go Round (Mug of Coffee and Donuts)
as related by my husband who drove a city bus for 25 years.
I hated morning runs and when I worked the board (never the same route two days in a row) I worked my share of them. I was never a morning person and my German Shepherd lay in the corner and cowered until I had downed two mugs of coffee and whistled him over. So needless to say, I was a grumpy soul when I had to turn in before 6 a.m.
I had two rules on days that I drove that early. No. 1: Carry my stainless steel thermos full of coffee; and No. 2: Buy a dozen donuts on my way out of the garage at the bakery around the corner. The box of donuts sat in the wheel well and the thermos hung off the hook by my left leg.
If I lucked out and my trip started at a far terminus I could drink my coffee and eat a couple of donuts before I had to see any passengers for the day. That way my disposition sweetened up and I could be the jovial bus driver they were used to seeing.
But, when I started at the garage and straight into town on a local run, things got hairy. I was a safe driver and I had it down to a system when I would pour my coffee into my covered mug that sat on the dash or maybe the middle of the steering wheel when I had a flat one. I would swallow coffee as my passengers came up the stairs onto the bus and deposited their fares. Now the donuts were a different story. I preferred the cake ones and could eat them whole and would just pop them into my mouth. Of course, this was in the day before they started making donut holes which would have been more convenient.
Normally my habit of coffee and donuts didn’t interest my passengers and I could just go my way eating, drinking and driving them to town. There was just one grumpy soul who hated to see me happy. I was forever getting called into the boss’ office for something I had supposedly done wrong in front of this passenger and they mostly ignored her complaints. She even called me in for kissing my wife goodbye as she got off the bus. I was asked nicely to not do that anymore.
I guess they couldn’t ignore the fact that she called my driving unsafe when I was eating and drinking while I drove. So, once again I was called into the Superintendent’s office and taken to task. After he went through his speel about my unsafe conduct and asked me for an explanation, my answer was, “Does she know just how unsafe it would be for her if I didn’t have my coffee and donuts?” His reply, “Get out of here!!!!!”
© 2011 Laura L Scotty
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