Smart driver

There's a driver of the 41 bus whom I sometimes see when I happen to leave work early. He looks like a retired fisherman with a fine arts degree who has somehow wound up driving a bus. He has an infuriating habit of driving overly carefully, almost as though he's taking the bus driver's test, but he makes me laugh with how he addresses us. Today I stood near the front and watched as he keyed in a few commands into the little console with which the bus presumably controls its announcements about stops and so on. The public address system said, "For your safety, please hold on while the bus is in motion."

"What was that?" the driver mocked the machine.

"For your safety," the system said again, "please hold on while the bus is in motion."

"Say that again," the driver said.

The PA system played the message a third time. The driver took his microphone and addressed the bus.

"Just to be clear, folks," he said, "when we ask you to hold on, we mean to a part of the bus. Holding on with the small of you back doesn't work. Holding on to your cell phone doesn't count."

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