Conflict resolution

Waiting for the P4. 9am.

Man, it was a dusty day! And hot. Tempers were fraying all over my neighbourhood, no more so than outside the local GP surgery, by the bus stop dedicated to the P4 (my favourite bus route, but that’s another story). I was leaning against a wall, sucking on a Ribena, when I observed a man carrying a load of heavy Morrisons bags begin to swear at the driver of a silver Peugeot. Apparently the car had backed slightly too quickly into a side street that the man had been walking along – or something; when the heat is trickling down your neck and bothering your hairdo you don’t need much of an excuse to get irate, I guess.

Morrisons Man put down his bags and began to advance on Peugeot Man, who by now had gotten out of his car for some reason. Morrisons Man put his right hand in his back pocket as he advanced, as if to pull out a knife. He had his back to me so I could clearly see that he had no knife, but Peugeot Man couldn’t see that. (It’s a common tactic.) Anyway, the two men puffed out their chests and the swearing reached unpleasant levels. Despite the sluggish weather it looked like things might get out of hand – but then a P4 zoomed around the corner and pulled up alongside us all. Morrisons Man had to make a flash decision: 1. get on the bus and risk wounding his manly pride, or 2. follow through on this altercation and risk his milk going off – the P4 can sometimes take up to 15 minutes to turn up. 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2… 1. He scooped up his bags and leapt onto the bus, still swearing in the direction of Peugeot Man as he was swept away from the scene.

The bus saved the day! Hooray for the bus! Satisfied, I finished my Ribena and carried on with my day.


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