The heroic driver of the 188 school bus during the 1990s is set to be awarded a Victoria Cross for gallantry ‘in the face of despicable adolescence’, it has emerged.
The former Translink employee will be presented with the military decoration by Queen Elizabeth II, as the Red Arrows perform an aerobatic display overhead in his honour.
Alex Dennis, 64, had the enviable duty of transporting a carriage full of unruly spotty little bastards to neighbouring high schools every morning for the better part of a decade.
When Mr Dennis was informed about the news at his home in Gilnahirk, a tear of pride fell from his eye that wasn’t permanently damaged by laser pens.
The retired bus driver then recounted some of the harrowing journeys he made through the suburbs of East Belfast two decades ago.
He said, ‘I remember the day I was told I’d be driving the 188 bus. My hands trembled as I looked at that route which started in Ballybeen Square’.
He continued, ‘I then had to navigate my way past Tullycarnet and then onto the Braniel. It was almost as if someone hand-picked the most mental places in East Belfast for a laugh’.
‘Stop after stop, hordes of these acne-riddled boys with curtain haircuts got on. They were putting all sorts of body fluids onto crumpled up pages and throwing them at each other’.
‘A combination of bad breath and body heat meant that the windows were steamed up to the point I was literally driving blind through housing estates’.
‘Being stabbed in neck with a compass or struck full force in the temple with a rubber was pretty distracting too’.
‘Occasionally, someone would draw a large spunking penis on the window. I could just about see through the outline and managed to get to the Castlereagh Road where I’d unload the fuckers’.
Despite the horrible experiences, Alex considers himself one of the lucky ones.
He told us, ‘At least I got the morning shift when most of them were still half asleep or hungover. My mate Dessie got the 3.20pm slot. He couldn’t live with what he’d witnessed and threw himself under his own bus four years ago’.