It was definitely something else going on a coach trip. Most of the people were elderly. It was funny to see them showing the behavior of young children once in a while. And they would all act in the same way. If one started fumbling with the button for air circulation, the others would follow. If one bought a newspaper, the others wanted to have one too. This sometimes would lead to old ladies excusing themselves to the driver and speeding to a shop to buy one. One lady would always be very late because of that. But the champion of being late was Philip.
Philip was a man in his late sixties. His walking was a bit difficult and to help him with that he had the most peculiar walking stick I've ever seen. The top end resembled a dowsing rod. It was not very smart that he and his wife had seats at the rear of the coach. When he got on, he always had to catch his breath halfway. And then he would smile that naughty, boyish smile of his, while his wife was calling him names from her seat.
He seemed to escape from her all the time. On the first days of the trip she would search for him and together they would get in. But later she seemed to give up on this.
One day the company went shopping in the center of a city. The weather was quite bad, the driver had problems parking and so he dropped us on the pavement in the middle of a street where loads of shops were situated. He told us we had to be back on the same spot at 3pm sharp. There would be no time for waiting because of the traffic in that street. Cars were honking behind the coach to demonstrate that. We all promised to do such.
But of course: when it was near 3pm we were all gathered waiting for our transport, except Philip.
So when the coach came, we all hopped in and the driver drove out of the street. Everybody was laughing, except the wife of Philip. She was furious!
We drove a few blocks and then everybody shouted: "There he is!"
The driver stopped and our lost sheep got in and even before he could sit, the coach started to move.
Philip blamed everybody for being late except himself. This caused his wife to start cursing and the driver to threaten that the next time he would just drive back to the hotel and would leave Philip to find his own solution to get back to the hotel.
He even made us synchronize our watches; for Philip!
The next day the weather was bad again, so the trip again went to shops. This time to a shopping mall in another city. Again the time to get back on the bus was put on 3pm .
At that time a miracle happened: Philip was on time, on his own and showing a big grin. He looked like being proud of his own achievement.
Time went on, but his wife was still missing. Finally at ten past three she appeared and got on.
"You're late Honey! I was already here ages ago!" Philip shouted, while laughing.
"You fool! Shut up! I have been searching for you all over the bloody mall! And why don't you answer your bloody phone?"
She took her seat and started telling stories about Philip's bad behavior to the people near her until we reached the hotel. Philip was silent and sulking the rest of the trip.