It has been stinking hot in Geelong the last couple of days which makes it difficult and uncomfortable to sleep. Therefore having to get up at 4.30 and start at 5.30 this week has not been easy.
After a long hot week I was approx. 60 seconds away from finishing my shift today when there was a huge bang from the back of the bus. I looked in the side mirror and saw a big cloud of smoke or dust. It looked and sounded bad whatever it was. A father and son sitting in the back seat hurriedly got up and forward, exclaiming "the engine blew up!"
I pulled over and got out to investigate. Thankfully it wasn't the motor but one of the rear tyres that had blown out. I radioed through to let Dispatch know what had happened and what my position was. Reassuring the passengers that a replacement bus was on the way we waited for help to arrive. What followed was either confusing or farcical depending on your vantage point. A bus appeared in my mirror and I instructed the driver to park in front of us to make it easier for the passengers to switch buses. I duly escorted them onto the new bus and was about to brief the driver when I realised there was no driver!
It turned out to be one of the mechanics who had come to pick up my disabled bus but instead of coming in a car (as expected) was in a bus.
"Sorry passengers, this isn't your new bus, it's still on its way!"
Sure enough it arrived a couple of minutes later but pulled up behind my bus, a considerable distance for the passengers to have to walk along a busy road with no footpath in 43 degree heat!! I ushered the second driver to bring his bus forward. When I next looked up a bus was disappearing into the distance and I was on the radio asking him where he was going! Then I realised that it was the mechanic driving away in my original bus and the changeover driver was still moving his bus into position!! Finally, all the passengers were safely onboard and back on their way, the bus with the flat tyre was on its way back to the depot and I too was driving back to base ready to clock off for the day, about half an hour later than planned!
Talking of buses, how cool is this new advertisement on one of our buses? I've put in a request to be permanently assigned to drive this one! And no, for those looking for bad omens, this was not the bus I got the flat tyre in!
I've recounted a few of my ebay exploits and successes on the blog in the past and am happy to report the latest. A few years ago I bought four small football pennants at a garage sale for a couple of dollars. They are souvenirs of the 1971 and 1972 WAFL Grand Finals played between West Perth and East Perth (71) and East Perth and Claremont (72). On my most recent trip to WA I found them when I was cleaning out the shed and brought three of them home. The fourth, the West Perth one, I gave to one of my mates, Warren, who is not only a West Perth fan but also a repository of all sorts of weird and interesting facts and stats about sport in general and football in particular. Sure enough, he told me he'd been at the 1971 Grand Final, won by his Cardinals, and recalled the crowd figure and the score I think!
I duly put two of the pennants on ebay a couple of weeks ago and they attracted a lot of attention and many "watchers". That's ebay speak for people who have saved a listed item to watch its progress and potentially bid on it. I was at the cricket at the MCG the day the auction ended and I watched the bidding in the final minute intently on my phone. Needless to say I was very pleased when the bids jumped from 20 to 30 to 50 dollars as the seconds ticked down before the final winning bid was lodged: $82.57! More amazing than the price was that the second one which finished a couple of minutes later went for exactly the same price but to a different bidder! I was stoked and gave a whoop of delight which confused the cricket fans around me who were wondering why I was so excited considering no wicket had been taken or boundary hit!
The last pennant, the East Perth Royals one pictured is on ebay at present and finishes on Sunday afternoon. Considering that East Perth stuff sells well, and they were the premiers in 1972 which also adds to the value of footy memorabilia, I'm optimistic that it will match and perhaps surpass the prices of the previous two.
If you're interested you can see how it goes here.