Dear Mrs or Mr or Master or Miss. Bus Driver
I – Clinton Pipsqueak-Smith OBE – am writing to offer my sincere thanks, admiration and congratulation with regards to the completion of our unarranged journey together recently.
You didn’t know I was going to wave you down at the Western Pighampton Plaza bus station – there’s no way you could have predicted that precise event. But you stopped anyway. I am sure you wanted more than anything to be getting on to your next destination without dither or delay. Yet when you saw my outstretched arm, you slowed down, turned on your indicators and pulled up right in front of me. You even had the grace and decorum to allow several other audacious opportunists – who had simply been sitting idly at the Western Pighampton Plaza bus station benches – to also board the bus for just the price of a standard ticket.
At this point I thought my appreciation of your character and talents might end. But no. Not only did you selflessly pull up and allow me plus a number of other less polite passengers board your lovely big bus for just the standard price of a ticket on your service. You stopped at every red light, every tortoise-paced Zimmerframe and every unlikely conga-line of road-crossing ducks. We suffered 0 collisions – I was counting carefully. You could have wilfully implicated yourself and us lowly passengers in multiple traffic accidents, O.A.P murder cases and pedestrian duck crushings. But you didn’t. You were patient, caring and vigilant.
After eight minutes of locomotion – during which you graciously delayed your schedule to allow yet more random people gathered at two more roadside bus stops to board for just the standard ticket price – I saw the Central Pighampton Shopping Centre bus station about fifty-or-so metres away. I pressed the big red button with the word ‘STOP’ on it. To my great surprise, glee and fascination, the vehicle began to slow.
I had tears in my eyes. You had driven me directly to the Central Pighampton Shopping Centre – exactly the destination I had planned to reach. Exactly the place I had mentioned I needed to go to when I boarded the bus and paid for my ticket just eight-or-so minutes ago. Our journey had taken no longer than outlined on your service’s bus schedule. I had not suffered a traffic accident at your precious hands.
As I approached your driver’s booth on my way out of the bus, I stopped dead in my tracks, hoping to express to you – through tearful gasps – my burning gratitude. To my dismay, I was quickly shoved forwards and off the bus by the other passengers before I could clear the lump from my throat and utter anything at all. As I looked up once again, the doors closed and you drove away – no doubt to exude yet more kindness upon the world.
Gradually I composed myself. I strolled around Pighampton that day with a fresh sense of optimism and wonder – all thanks to you.
So thank you, dear Mrs or Mr or Master or Miss. Bus Driver. Thank you very much indeed.
Clinton Pipsqueak-Smith, OBE