Saturday, January 29, 2011

A bus padiddle

My wife and I play padiddle sometimes. We used to play more often, when it was just the two of us before the kids came along. When either of us saw a vehicle without a working headlight, we would call out "padiddle!" and if we did it first, the other person had to give a kiss. We very rarely saw a bus padiddle. This week I may have figured out why.

On my return bike/bus commute, I arrived at the Tukwila Park & Ride a minute before my bus arrived to ferry me to downtown Seattle, but there was a maintenance truck parked in the bus pullout just ahead of where the bus would normally stop.

A man was standing there and told me "hang loose, I have to change a headlight".

"How long will that take?" I asked, wondering why he 'd told me that.

"A couple minutes," he replied.

Then the bus arrived with only one headlight working, and as the maintenance guy pulled down the bike rack, I realized why he'd asked me to hang loose … mounting my bike on the rack would put it partially in between him and the headlight he was replacing.

There wasn't very much light for him to work by, so I leaned my bike against the rack out of his way and took my bike headlight off my handlebar to illuminate his work area for him.

The bus driver came out after a minute. Maybe he was concerned about me standing close by the maintenance guy -- I understand that the biggest concern bus drivers have with their job is their safety with passengers they usually know nothing about, at least in some other parts of the world -- but neither of them said anything.

It only took him a couple minutes to unscrew the frame, replace the headlight, and put everything back the way it was, as advertised, and he wished me a good night.

Pretty cool to have a headlight changed while en route, I must say, and no wonder it's been so rare for me to see a bus padiddle.

No comments: