I remember exactly where I was on 9/11; waiting to get an 84 to D2 to pick up my P45. I was 30 years old wearing 9 carat gold, looking forward to playing some 4 to the floor on my 1210s 24/7. There was a guy in the seat in front of me with his walkman set to 1 louder. 808 State’s remix of UB40’s 1 in 10 blasted back towards me. I moved to the back of the bus and tried to read my book, Catch 22. But I couldn’t concentrate. I had to do a number 2. I looked out the window but couldn’t see much. The window was clean, but my eyes were beginning to fail me. I’d been to the optician last week but his eye machine was 1/2 broken; he told me I had a 50/50 chance of 20/20 vision. I remember that day well, the optician was on level 42 but the elevator was out of service and there were 39 steps on every floor! I had to run all the way as my holiday started that day. I was going on a cruise to sail the 7 seas for 40 days and 40 nights, and then back again. Yep, around the world in 80 days.
The driver was doing 90 down the N11 in a 60 zone. I thought I could feel the bus slipping a bit, it was an icy day. Just as I was trying to convince myself that he knew what he was doing, the bus went into a big skid and did a 360, knocking some guy on a honda 50 a whole 9 yards into a girl on a 3 wheeler. 10 white knuckles gripped the seat in front of me. I no longer needed to do a number 2. I ran down the stairs. The driver was on his walkie talkie “One two. One two. This is car 54. We got a 10-42. And I’m injured. They got me bad. I repeat we’ve got a 10-42…….. 10-20 Good buddy Roger that……… hey I heard that Jimmy you 2 faced prick, 2 fast 2 furious me arse… could have happened to anyone… “.
The downstairs of the bus was full of unhappy campers, 1/2 of them thrown from their seats and sprawled on the floor. There were 12 Angry men, 2 fat ladies, 3 men and a baby. All screaming at the driver, who was the image of Desmond Tutu. He got out of his box and held his palms up towards the passengers trying to calm them. “Please forgive me” he said “and lest we not forget Luke 22:14, Set your spirit free, it’s the only way to be. I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha“. A rivulet of blood appeared on his forehead, trickled quickly down his face and he collapsed. “He’s gone to 7th heaven” muttered one of the ladies. “On Cloud 9 if you ask me” said one of the men. I got my mobile out and rang 999, heard a satanic voice and realised I had my phone up-side-down. I rang again and got put on hold. I couldn’t believe it. I had to listen to Beethoven’s 9th symphony on an emergency line. And some 90210 ritch bitch was yelling into her mobile “I SAID I WAS, LIKE, IN A CRASH!”. I told her to shut up and knelt beside the driver to feel his pulse, the fat lady was right. I closed his eyes and muttered under my breath, “Your number’s up mate, your number’s up”.