Bus Éireann bus, on the Dublin – Ashbourne route (103)

Further to the Dublin Bus driver who tied an elderly person’s shoelace who was unable to do so himself…

Aidan Strangeman writes:

On the bus home, Aisling has her handbag under the seat. The lad behind her takes her wallet out of it, and heads down the stairs to get off at the next stop.

Someone alerts Aisling, and she runs down the stairs after the lad, but by then he’s already briskly walking off down the road as the bus pulls away.

The lad probably thinks he’s getting away with it.

I don’t.

What he doesn’t know is that our bus driver is the maddest of Mad Toms: even on good days his eyes tend to work independently.

Sure enough, the bus stops, the doors burst open and out flies Tom. Even though I’m on the top deck, I can still see that Tom’s head is fully fire engine red with the rage.

He’s bulling.

He’s not having a bit of it.

The lad is a whippet with a headstart. Our Tom is shaped more like a breakfast roll with arms and legs. And yet, he’s still gaining on him with every stride.

The lad – accepting he is beaten, and probably close to emptying his bowels at the sight of Mad Tom steaming towards him – stops, turns, and lobs the wallet high over Tom’s head, which is how he gets to live to rob another day.

When Tom gets back to the bus, he hands the wallet back to a delighted Aisling, and a much-deserved round of applause breaks out.

Later, when I get off at my stop, instead of the usual “thanks”, I say “well done”, but all Tom says is “twas no bother”, as if running down pickpockets like a Mad Tom Terminator T1000 is just something he does from time to time, for the craic.

And it probably is.

*That happened one evening back in 2010, just before I got made redundant. I’m back on the buses this year and there’s no sign of Tom on the route (Bus Eireann route: Dublin – Ashbourne, 103) but if he’s still driving buses, I’d give him all the raises that he wants.

Previously: In Fairness

Pic: Flickr

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33 thoughts on “Cheers, Tom

    1. ahjayzis

      Shurrup you.

      OMGWACA is an Aisling place for Aisling people.

      We don’t take kindly to outsiders, thank you very much now.

  1. Carlos Commuter

    In 13 years travelling on Dublin buses frequently I’ve had numerous positive experiences thanks to great drivers. Not to mention the couple times both my wife and then my Mother-in-Law have accidentally left bags onboard with valuables. Thankfully always recovered thanks to Dispatchers and Drivers being 100% sound.

    Read a nice summary somewhere explaining in quite simple terms why the drivers are striking. The strike sucks, don’t get me wrong – we’re totally reliant on the buses in my family – but their rationale for striking also seems 100% sound. Here’s hoping they get the deal they deserve and we get back to regular bus service.

    I’ll try to find the post and add it here.

    PS. In the interest of complete objectivity, yes, there are the odd few drivers who have been absolute pains-in-the-hole, but that’s life, right? And thankfully they are very few and far between.

      1. Harry Molloy

        you have to record it and upload it to Facebook these days or else your good deed has been completely wasted.

        virtue is no longer its own reward.

        1. martco


          mmmmm…maybe I should offer that very pregnant lady my seat….oh oh hang on best get the phone ready…..


  2. bsteve knievel

    I was “running” for a bus a few weeks ago, the driver stopped the bus before the stop told me ‘looks like your running days are behind you’ and let me board. sound. Im 100% behind the drivers as a worker who has only had pay cuts not raises in the last eight years.

    1. backomebollix

      He only stopped to make you feel old. That you were oblivious to his cruelty doesn’t absolve him, no pay rise for him or you.

    1. Frunobulax

      A nice little vignette after all the barely sentient garbled nonsense (LJG, Frilly, the thirty-comments-a-day lexical semantics mob) that parades above and below the line on this site. Tough task to wade through the badly formed reactionary boule shyt to find a shrewd wit or a reasoned argument in the comments. But it’s still worth it every now and again.

  3. Alex Francis

    I worked as a auld Dublin bus driver for years but I found all the good deeds I did be doing began to interfere with the excellent service I provided for ordinary Joes. I jacked in me job on d’buses (secretly I was sad to see the back of inspector Blakey) and got meself a cape, mask, some thigh length boots and a pair of tight fitting black lacy panties (that’s all I wear. Nothing else). Now I roam the streets of Dublin searching for an elderly gentlemans shoelace to tie or a terror attack to be thwarting.
    So don’t you cry for me tonight… because I’m watching you citizen… waiting… sweating… watching

  4. Robert

    I have a tale of two bus drivers: Ray and Cyril, that both used to drive the buses I used to get to school. None nicer than Ray – always friendly and smiling. One time I left my bus ticket on the bus and he dropped it up to my house. Then there was Cyril, whom I’d typically just refer to as “the bastard” who was just obnoxious. Always giving me stick about my bus ticket. Stopping the bus the odd time to just have a fag. Leaving the station early to beat the level crossing (at sutton), just as the connecting train is coming in. Just like, passing the bus stop the odd time. It’s great to talk about all the good things that bus drivers do. When I’m giving out about them I more often than not fail to remember Ray. Sadly its the Cyrils of this world that people remember more. It’s the likes of Cyril that mean the Rays don’t get the recognition they should. I don’t know who exactly Cyril was angry with, but he shouldn’t have been taking it out on me.

    1. Harry Molloy

      I sometimes think it’s human nature, to only notice the worse of a demographic.

      It’s like when you pass through a new town and think they all look inbred because of the state of a few people you saw on the main street, while forgetting about the other 90% of average joes.

      Or visiting O’Connell street only every once in a while and only seeing the scrotes and junkies.

  5. Joxer

    reading about Dublin bus and their drivers reminded me of a guy i know how was a driver and the mention he made of Scuba Divers (this was in the days when there was a rail in the middle of the entry door)….. says he got into awful trouble due to the amount of scuba divers making his bus late. Says i “Scuba divers? WTF are scuba divers doing on the 17a?” . Tells me that its all the old biddies that are somewhat unsure on their feet that would get off the bus backwards holding onto the rails ala Scuba divers. Near pooed myself laughing when i ran the image in my mind.

    i hope the drivers get their payrise!

  6. Uncle Festering

    I’ve been trying to submit an article about that time a lawyer noticed I’d dropped my wallet and ran after me to give it back but it doesn’t seem to be making it through.

  7. The Lady Vanishes

    Alternately traumatised and befriended by tight-trouser wearing bus drivers during our teenage years. former Dublin schoolchildren find it impossible to view this crisis objectively. Is this story just another example of CIE mind control?

    1. Sibling of Daedalus

      Seat.ie mind control was the pre-teen version. *five year old alter pulls imaginary bobble hat strings tighter round chin*

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