Recognized Social Butterfly



The Pedal Impresario

I always marvel when I observe a concert organist’s frenetic virtuoso footwork. Yesterday, I had a front-row bus seat for incomparable high-speed brake and accelerator pedaling. Most bus drivers gradually stop and go between downtown traffic lights. They don’t often change lanes or swerve around cars to gain an edge. My close encounter with a stone-faced bus driver was an exception. From one short bus stop to another, the man effortlessly braked and accelerated at least twenty times. His feet were almost a blur as they flitted along the pedals. He would let nothing get in his way: no obstructions deterred him from expeditiously moving ahead of most of the traffic. Strangely, no matter how much he engaged the brake and gas pedals, the ride was smooth. No whiplash here!

I don’t know how long this bus driver had perfected his well-coordinated craft, but I’d hate to have a rookie at the helm imitating the master. It would be like being at the mercy of the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Now I must admit that there were two unfortunate incidents that occurred after the bus reached a few stops. At one point, a hefty lady trying to barrel through the back door got stuck. She screamed for help. The bus driver nonchalantly fiddled with the control knob until the door fully opened to disgorge the frazzled passenger.

At another stop, as the handicapped ramp was being raised, a disheveled man muttering to himself tried to get on the bus. The driver didn’t caution him to wait until the ramp completely recessed. The man, oblivious to the danger,  severely scraped his leg on one corner of the barely elevated ramp, smartly decided to wait until the ramp had completely closed, hobbled into the bus, ripped off his outer shirt, and pressed it against the bubbling blood coating his injured leg. The bus driver was nonplussed. He never said a word to the poor man.

These two mishaps didn’t affect the bus driver’s concentration on the road. When the bus regained motion, he continued artful and flawless maneuvering through traffic, with his right foot floating along the pedals.

The bus driver may have been impervious to stricken passengers, but he had panache with the pedals.

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