The Sensitive Londoner

Photo by: Al Forbes

George had difficulty transitioning to London. Chief among his troubles were the red double-decker buses.

They had no driver on the top.

The last time he rode on the top level, he curled into a ball, possessed by a fit of hysterics. An accountant from Notting Hill tried to soothe his fears, but George would have none of it. He howled, “But no one’s controlling the top! We’re gonna crash!”

The other passengers, otherwise calm and collected, stared at him with a mix of disdain and pity.

George spent a lot of money on cabs, and his feet were developing blisters.

Then one day, the extraordinary happened. A double-decker bus pulled to the curb. George could clearly see a driver on the top level. He climbed to the top, relaxed at last. He wasn’t spending mounds of quid and his aching feet got a rest. Feeling chipper, he struck up a conversation with the chatty upper-driver.

“So what’s the difference between a Striker and a Sweeper?” asked George.

The driver, was a long-time football fan and he began a detailed explanation. George’s belief that the upper-level needed a driver was so strong, and the driver’s fascination with football so complete, that something rather curious happened.

The driver wasn’t paying attention to where he was, and he made a wrong turn.

The top became disconnected from the bottom.

No screeching metal marked the departure from reality. The two bits simply followed different directions. The top level floated above the street, passing over cars. Three auto wrecks followed and people on the walks stared on in horror. George’s fellow passengers began screaming. Several curled up into balls, howling hysterically.

George, sitting nearby the upper-level driver was completely unaffected. “What’s wrong with them?” He nodded to his fellow passengers.

“Oh they probably just saw the score of the Liverpool/Newcastle match,” soothed the driver.

“Overly sensitive types, I’d say,” muttered George.

“Londoners have occasionally experienced sensitivity,” noted the driver.

The driver worked feverishly, all the while maintaining a conversation about fish & chips with George. Eventually, he located the bottom of the bus, surrounded by head-scratching London Police. Expertly, he steered the top back onto the bottom where they rejoined seamlessly.

A policeman fainted. A cyclist rode into the Thames. Onlookers in a pub, all ordered another pint.

George exited the bus and wondered what all the fuss was about. He muscled his way through the babbling onlookers. Arriving home, George started another article for the New Yorker about life in London entitled: The Sensitive Londoner.
Happy Easter! Written for the weekly Sunday Photo Fiction writing challenge. Look here for the original prompt and a blue link to many more of this week’s stories:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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24 Responses to The Sensitive Londoner

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    As opposed to The Oblivious Londoner — what a character that George is!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ceayr says:

    Gently whimsical

    Liked by 1 person

  3. luckyjc007 says:

    George may see a lot of people walking like he did if they were there to see the bus do that! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Lol. That would be interesting, the top and bottom of a double-decker separating. I’m impressed the upper driver maintained control while reassuring George and distracting him. Seems he was none-the-wiser, he would have probably died of a heart attack!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, the driver was certainly able to think fast. I mean he never expected to be actually steering anything on that run. He ought to get a medal for coolness under pressure. It is lucky George was so oblivious. His worst nightmare finally came true and he missed the whole thing! 😉 Thanks kindly Mandibelle! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lyn says:

    LOL priceless! i just love the tone of this story. Although I’m rather surprised that the London Bobby fainted. They are normally made of much tougher stuff and are often heard to mutter, “ullo, ullo, ullo, what’s going on ‘ere then?” I can just see it happening–the driver quite unruffled, keeping calm and carrying on 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      That’s the British “stiff upper lip” you know. “The world’s ending, but not to worry, I’ve secured a case of Guinness.” 😀 You’re spot on about the Bobby’s. I think this one who fainted wasn’t a beat cop who’d seen it all. He was probably new to the job. I think the driver will get his picture in The Sun, right before the page 3 girl. 😉 Thanks so much, Lyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hah! Cool tale. I am reminded of that scene in ‘Live and Let Die’ with a double decker losing the upper deck, rather violently. I like your take on the idea way better. What would George have said when he got home? British stiff upper lip and all that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! I was just mentioning “stiff upper lip” in another comment. When he got home he probably said to his wife, “Another boring day, Ducks. Did I mention Potsworth’s retiring?” 😉 😀 Thanks much, Matthew! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s something dream-like about this! Love it.

    ‘If only….’ a very short story

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LOL! Oh my gosh, too funny! Hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. athling2001 says:

    Funny and quite dream-like there with the floating bus.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hilarious, Eric. That driver deserves the first Nobel Prize for driving when they give them out. Well done. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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