Brighton is celebrated for the theatre of its street life.
By the pier there is a replica of Darth Vader and other street actors and other characters happy to pose for some silver in their hat.
However there is also theatrical life in a different way… on the buses.
A few years ago I was impressed by the concern of a bus driver – and every passenger – for a disabled person who got her angles wrong and became stuck.
She was soon freed with “left hand, hard down!” instructions – no one became restless or criticised her for a delayed journey.
Things were not so agreeable on two trips I made last Thursday.
I was running late but thought by only a few minutes.
The buses have hydraulic brakes which, when applied, caused standing passengers to stumble or – in this case – the lady behind me on the 7 bus I was on to spill her coffee.
Aided by an American strong on ‘ealth & safety’, she and the other passenger asked the driver to mop it up.
I challenged this demand on the grounds that we were the only passengers left and there were only a couple of stops before the terminus would be reached, where the bus could be washed down properly but the poor driver was now on all fours, swabbing the decks.
I was 20 minutes late for my appointment.
Worse was yet to come on the return journey.
Seeing a bus advertised as going to my destination, I duly alighted.
It took – as they say – “the scenic route” up hill and down dale via the Racecourse.
The bus was full and, because of the brakes, there was mayhem.
Isn’t there a horror film with a bomb on board that is driven at full speed? If so I was on it …