Some Bus stops are undesignated and unplanned. The Humorous Short Story contest April 2021
|“I’ve surely seen some peculiar parking in my time, but this beats all…” Constable Carlyle pushed his cap back. “How the hell are we gonna get the little bugger out of there?”
The hapless driver, Wilson, had abruptly stopped his bus overlapping two lanes — bad enough anytime, but at peak hour, with most drivers homeward bound? Weary, fed-up, and eager for their precious weekend to start, they were swiftly in red-hot aggravation mode. A massive pile-up soon ensued because of the stationary bus AND the police cars blocking all three lanes. Even a couple of ambulances and crews stood by in confusion, summoned by bystanders to rescue the injured from what surely must be a serious accident. That’s how it appeared to the swelling crowd of onlookers, especially when the focus of police attention concentrated on the underneath of the bus.
Wilson hadn’t deliberately run a red light. It was mostly a yellow one and only turned red as the back part of my ‘bendy bus’ crossed the intersection, he told himself, and besides, if I’d jammed on the anchors that suddenly, the ‘standers’ would all have toppled over. Although, he had to admit (only to himself), he had forced his way out of the bus stop lane, back into the mounting traffic. Can’t blame a feller for getting ‘antsy’ with all that waiting, he’d thought, and even when he saw the cop car coming alongside with its hazard lights flashing, he kept hoping against hope they were after someone else.
Later he would question his actions from that moment on. Weird — like an unexpected dark side emerged and possessed him as he swerved across the lanes, forcing the cops to brake… hard! Taking advantage of the shock factor, Wilson slammed on both foot AND hand brakes whilst opening the front door; leaped out and slid beneath his low slung bus. He wriggled across the ground until he was near the centre of the bus, well out of reach of questing hands.
Over and over, the police ordered him out to give himself up, to no avail. They tried kindly, understanding tones of voice; bribery; and in frustration, even threats. When Wilson would speak, (which was rarely), he repeated the same words over and over. “NO! I’m NOT coming out. It looks shitty out there. I’m staying Downunder!” The police called up a specialist trauma counsellor, skilled in talking people out of threatening situations, but no luck there either.
In desperation, they called the fire brigade to tow the bus to the parking lane; police hoping for a two-fold benefit — clearing a couple of lanes to move the monumental traffic jam, AND to expose and capture the cause of this chaos. Though the first was achieved successfully, to the officials’ dismay, Wilson crawled along in time with the bus as it moved, and when safely parked, so was he.
Finally, one spectator (of similar slight build as Wilson) volunteered to shimmy under the bus to distract and force him closer to eager hands waiting to grab any part of him they could. Simple logic won the day — and the battle of wills.
Of course, it didn’t end there. In all the confusion and tension and difficulty working out exactly what the charges were, a police officer missed a nought when he dated one fine. Wilson found himself with a debt of nearly $50,000 for parking his bus illegally since the year 216.
After long, careful examination, someone eventually adjusted the fine — that reportedly remains unpaid at present, due to the inability of the prisoner, Wilson, to undertake any meaningful paid work in the mental ward of the State prison.