It was Ernie’s first time driving a bus. He’d wanted to be a bus driver for as long as he could remember, and now here he was in the driving seat behind the wheel of a bus. And what a bus it was. He had been pleased that his first journey was on a double decker, as those were his favourite type of bus – and incidentally also his favourite chocolate bar. Now he was the proud driver of the number 7 bus, headed for Birmingham City Centre. Ernie hoped that soon he would be able to drive the 907 bus, as this was – for no logical reason – his favourite number. But for now he was happy.
He smiled to himself as he turned the wheel, a Queen song playing through his headphones to drown out the noise from the hostages. He reasoned that if he was a proper bus driver, he would need to stop to collect more passengers, so, to the relief of his current passengers, he made his first stop of the day. The majority of the people on the bus left in rather a hurry, with only one or two having the manners to thank him as they departed. One little old lady 4 rows back stayed on the bus. She was in full possession of all her faculties and knew exactly what was going on, but aside from the weekly bingo night with the senile seniors that her daughter insisted she make friends with, she didn’t get much adventure in her life, and so she was excited by the current situation. A few more gullible passengers, unheeded by the warnings from the recently freed hostages, boarded the bus and paid their fare. Ernie set off again. They were only a few stops from town now and his first ersatz shift was almost over.
Ernie saw no harm in what he was doing. The driver taking over from the previous driver had not showed up, and he felt it his duty to step in, with little to no experience, and ensure the people of Birmingham were able to visit their City Centre. The fact that he he’d had to render the previous driver unconscious in order to do so was not something that weighed heavily on his conscience. At the next stop, Ernie learned that the authorities had been notified of his heroic act and were waiting at the stop to award him with a pair of handcuffs. Unfortunately, Ernie had not been on the course about driving wearing handcuffs, so he had to finish his shift earlier than expected. The policemen advised him that he may want to answer a few questions down at the station. Ernie had nothing else planned for the afternoon so he took them up on their offer. He offered to drive the all to the station on the number 7 bus, but the policemen insisted they had their own transport.
The following day, the little old lady from the number 7 bus told her fellow pensioners about her adventure the day before and how the nice man who stole the bus was now in prison for several months.
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