digital dump

the virtual vent of a lateral thinker

Archive for April 2008

The life and death of running for the bus

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The Routemaster Bus hit the streets of the Big Smoke in 1956, but just missed surviving for half a century when it was retired from service on grounds of safety in 2005. Its spirit lives on, however, as a London design icon. The Routemaster’s particular appeal, for me, was its hop-on hop-off rear platform: where else in the modern urban environment (where Health and Safety rules) could one place life and limb in such thrilling peril? Before work, having spent five minutes too long in bed, I leave my house and catch sight
of the Number 19 as it pulls out of the garage and trundles up to oh-so-distant stop. “To run, or not to run?” The numb early morning brain is still able to direct a surge of adrenaline to the legs. I tear along in hot pursuit of the towering machine, bag bouncing off fellow pedestrians, and earbuds streaming out behind
me. From behind the steamy windows of the bus, the passengers lower their newspapers and turn their heads to watch me. They look on with impartial malevolence — a casual audience expecting this anti-hero to fail, to fall flat on his face. I reach out, grab the handle, my legs pumping as the bus accelerates. Made it! Ha! The conductor shakes his head in officious disapproval. As I take my seat, the passengers return to their reading, irritated by a risk and a feat beyond the ambit of their own morning routine.

running for the bus

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Written by harrypayne

April 21, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized