When the bus reached Gulph Mills station this evening the driver, for reasons of his own, got out. I was busy cocking-up a Sudoku and didn’t notice, so it was only when the shouting started that I looked up. As we were driving away, evidently we’d left someone off the bus because many passengers were standing up and pointing out of the window. Once I’d realised that it was the driver who we’d left behind and that the bus was driving itself down towards the steep hill and the oncoming traffic (headed-up with a beautifully cinematic School-bus) I allowed a gentle panic to take over. People had rushed towards the front of the bus to try and stop it, using whatever pedal, button, or lever it is that stops a bus.
By now the driver had acknowledged the situation and ran back like the proverbial clappers. He leaped on, there was some yelping, and the bus violently jolted to a halt.
I later found out that the yelper was a woman he had knocked over and that rather than being stopped by his ninja-style lunge at the brake, the bus actually stopped because it hit a pole.
There was a load of faffing about for around half an hour while we filled in incident reports and the poor sod of a driver held his head in his hands whimpering. Most of the bus seemed to be on his side and tried to comfort him.
Septa, to their credit, had a new bus and a supervisor on the scene rapidly and we continued on our way while the supervisor did her best to upset the driver even further.
Oddly, I didn’t get freaked out by this experience at all. In fact my heart remained calm; much calmer than it has been in moments during the days at work recently.
Meanwhile, 3000 miles away, I know there are a bunch of geeks who are all dangerously close to heart attacks; Rapidswitch, the ISP where my server is hosted (together with my email, websites and everything else) is down. When I say the ISP is down, I mean it literally. The entire ISP is unavailable to the Internet! Even their nameservers are offline!
As a result of this I thought I’d discovered a legitimate use for Twitter; searching for #rapidswitch yielded a bunch of disgruntled people bitching about it. But, it was a false alarm because I found that far more useful information was available via Google, which had up-to-date links to people discussing the issue on bulletin-boards.
So, for the first time since being in the US, I’m writing this in dear-old vi.