There's an old joke Charlie taught me. You get someone to say "pots" four times, real fast. You get them to spell it. Then you get them to repeat it again. You do this for some time—"Pots, pots, pots, pots. P-O-T-S. Pots, pots, pots, pots." Then you say," Quick! What do you do when you come to a green light."
Nine times out of ten, they say, "Stop!"
They think you're trying to get them to say "pots," and they're so busy avoiding that mistake, that they don't notice that a green light means "go".
Jonesy and Al were so busy wondering where I could have gone to, that it didn't occur to them that maybe I didn't go anywhere. I had just rounded the front of the bus, walked right by the open door, and squatted behind the bench at the bus stop.
The bus fumes almost did me in.
I use the word "just" to mean "simply", not "easily". It was actually pretty difficult, considering my sudden problem with my leg.
It was even harder getting up. Once the ambulance had followed the bus, I grabbed the top of the bench with both hands, and, using only my good leg, managed to haul myself to my feet.
There was an old lady and a younger one, sitting on the bench. They looked vaguely familiar. The older one peered up at me from under her purple hat, and poked the younger one in the ribs.
"This is the man who helped me across the street the other night. Remember, dear? He knows how to treat a lady."
She winked at me.
The younger one, her daughter, was not pleased to see me. She gave me a social smile.
"We're eternally grateful."
She turned to look for the bus. It was just a coincidence it put her back to me. The old lady poked at her again.
"You could learn a thing or two from him."