Today, in my town and neighborhood, there are hundreds of students, young and old, climbing into the familiar yellow school buses. It’s a new school year! And, so, in honor of the first day of school, I shall now expose myself fully. Happy first day of school, everyone!!
The restaurant was full, the fajitas were sizzling, and I was enjoying some great conversation with my neighbors, Scott and Beverly.
I had a hankering for Mexican food and they had a discount coupon…Score.
Over the chips and salsa, we got to talking about funny…no, stupid…things we did when we were younger. You know, high school and college shenanigans?
While laughing with them, I recalled two incidents of stupidity on my part while in high school.
Both incidents included school buses.
Or, yellow-dogs as I fondly call them.
Not fancy, chartered buses; our school was way too small to charter buses.
I learned, the hard way, during my formative years, that a bus–ANY bus–is not to be trifled with.
(Me, in high school, on the left, sort of, with very pretty hair, I might add…:)
I can’t remember how old I was, if it was on a trip to One-Act Play competition, an away football game, or even the State Fair for which we rode the bus away from school. The details surrounding the incident are sketchy, at most.
BUT, I do remember the moment I came face to face with my mortality…and the bus:
I was in a hurry to get out of said bus. Can’t remember why.
I did a no-no: I ran down the aisle of the bus. And, if I recall, I ran pretty fast. What I was running to, I have no idea. All I know is, I was getting off that bus, by golly!
As I picked up speed, I came around the corner to the open bus door.
In that microsecond of turning the corner to exit the bus, my brain disconnected itself from the rest of my body. My feet and legs took over. They decided, with all their leg and foot astuteness, that my body would get off the bus much quicker if it jumped, rather than walk down the steps.
I mustered as much authority and power as I could and leapt as far and as high as I could. For all I know, I could have been competing for the gold medal in the long jump; I was that magnificent.
I believe I can fly…
I believe I can touch the sky…
I think about it every night and day…
Spread my wings and fly away…
I believe I can soar…
I see me running through that open door…
I believe I can fly…
I believe I can fly…
I believe- (THUMP!)
Let me let you in on a little secret:
One cannot safely jump from the top step of a bus.
Did you know that?
…If one jumps from the top step of the bus, one finds oneself smashing her forehead into the upper doorframe of said bus.
Just take a moment and visualize…
All that was missing were the sound effects of my forehead WHACKING the inside of the door frame, the moment of silence as I slid off the door frame, and the loud CRASH! of my body onto the ground.
As I recall, I lay there, in a crumpled mess for a moment. Or two. Or three.
It was not pretty.
I can tell you this: I walked away…
Completely mortified and embarrassed, but unscathed, nevertheless.
That, unfortunately, was just one bus incident.
You’d think it was enough for one person in his or her lifetime.
The marching band was invited to march at the State Fair of Texas. We went every year in October.
It was always an exciting day for the band. We’d board the school bus, make the two hour drive to Dallas, march in the morning parade, then spend the day running around eating and playing at the Fair.
The buzz from the day took an entire weekend to wear off.
This particular year’s trip was no different from previous years.
At some point, in the day, though, I needed to go back to the bus for something, possibly a jacket, since it had been raining that day. So, I ran onto the bus, got what I needed, than quickly ran off the bus. (Obviously, I had not learned my lesson to not run on a bus. BUT, I did not jump off the top step! That much I did learn…)
It was still a quick exit.
I ran down the steps and took a hard left, toward the front of the bus; the Tilt-a-Whirl or the Photo Booth must have been that way. Plus, my friends were waiting.
In my rush, I did not see the HUGE side mirror sticking out a good foot or so from the bus….
I ran smackdab into the thing.
That Yellowdog sunk its teeth into me and bit down hard.
Let’s all picture it in slow mo, shall we?
Let’s even join in with a loud, slow mo, “Nooooooooooooooo……..”
She exits the bus: SMASH. Her face glues itself to the mirror: Ouch. She grabs her face: Blood.
Injured, once again, by a school bus.
I even have proof:
I’m happy to report, through much intense therapy, hypnosis and acupuncture, my fear and hatred for school buses has now been down-graded to merely Dislike.