Sunday, 30 November 2014

Goat's head and bri-ia-a-ak

You need to press once at the red spot
 (no need to press until shiok)
and it would go "br-riing".

WAS sitting in a double-decker yesterday, on my way to Orchard Road to soak in the Christmas decorations. For some reason, I recalled what a Pre-U friend recounted. She has encountered a  very conscentious bus conductor who shouted "Br-i-a-a-a-k" (brake!) at every stop, then "goats-head" (go ahead) when all the passengers have alighted.

The driver wasn't so great, she continued, because each time the conductor shouted "br-i-a-a-a-k", he would do an emergency brake and send everyone plunging forward.. My friend finally figured out why this conductor was going on so (after going with the flow up and down the bus aisle a few times) -- the stop bell wasn't working so each time a passenger indicated that he was going to alight, he would do his "br-i-a--a-AK!" thing. The sustained "br-r-r-r" prelude was supposed to give the driver some warning but perhaps not enough. Hence another jerky stop.

Just an aside: Talking about emergency brake, my driving instructor used to tell me that it would only be a good "brake" if all those iron poles he stored behind in the boot (for practising parallel parking), rolled about and "clanged" against each other loudly. Otherwise, I wouldn't have executed a good emergency brake. Of course, I am talking about an era which was quite long ago, I seem to hear that no poles are needed these days for practising parking.

And of course too, stop bells (or rather buttons, as they don't go ding-dong any more) work very well these days. There being no bus conductors today, I can't imagine passengers having to shout "br-i-a-A-AK" for themselves when they want to alight.


streetsing said...

The smarter ones usually knocked on the seat rests or handlebars with their ticket punchers to avoid a sore throat. Passengers like us ended up with hearing lost decades later :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Oh yes, I remember! Such a ruckus, waking people up from their deep slumber...