The Tragic School Bus

So I don't drive. There is a very good reason for this, namely, it makes me nervous and upset and I end up turning the wrong way down one-way streets and things because I get so damn flustered. Actually, I have no desire to drive, even though my brother Nick keeps pestering me to get my liscense so I can give him rides places, and my mother keeps telling me how failing driver's ed has more to do with my bad attitude towards life than my rotten driving, and using it as a metaphor for other things I'm going to fail at.

I walk everywhere, but I don't mind it that much. The only disadvantage to not having a liscense it that I have to take the school bus. My high school is too far to walk to and my mother usually leaves for work about when I'm getting up (nurses have the worst hours!) so I'm stuck on the big yellow monster.

When I was in elementary school, I hardly ever got to take the bus so I thought it was the bomb whenever I did. When I was in third grade I started going to this gifted education program at another school one day a week, and I rode the bus back to my own school for the last two periods of the day, and I loved it. All the scandalous gossip always circulated on the bus, and since kids from every elementary school in town rode it along with me, it was scandalous gossip from all over. Plus, I could look out the window and see into people's cars. I never saw anything shocking, but I still thought being able to spy on people was pretty neato. Riding the bus was annoying in junior high, but I hardly ever had to, so I was cool with it. At my high school in San Angelo, I didn't ride it once. But here, in North Carolina, I'm stuck riding the motherfucker every single day, and I do not dig it, baby.

The main problem is my bus driver. He's about fifty years old, I would estimate, but he probably has the liver of a ninety-year-old Barney Gumbel. He's usually late, and once after school he just never came to pick us up. If you ever ask him why he didn't come/came an hour late, he says he "had something better to do". Yeah, like get drunk? Everything about him screams "Moonshine addict!" and that includes his driving. Oblivious to the fact that he is, infact, behind the wheel of a big, unwieldy school bus and not the Mach 5, he takes corners at about 60 MPH (usually tilting the bus), barely misses hitting cars, and generally speeds like Rush Limbaugh on the way to an all-you-can-eat buffet. NASCAR fantasies, drunken lunacy, or both? You make the call.

Then there are the other people on the bus. My friend Rocheta used to ride the bus, which was cool. But she got a new house on another bus route and now I'm stuck. The general populace of my bus includes a)dorky alt-rock wannabes, b)dorky freshmen, c)loud girls who compare their pregnancies, and d)people who think I look like Janine on the Ghostbusters cartoon. So I have no one to talk to and I'm generally bored off my arse.

The worst part, however, can be summed up in two words: RAMPANT CARSICKNESS. I can't read, look out the window, or even move around that much thanks to my very weak stomach, and this problem is not helped by the driver's maniacal need for speed. Especially his need for speed around sharp turns.

Next month I'm moving back to San Angelo, where I can extort rides out my dad, my stepmother, and my best friend, so with any luck I'll never have to see (or smell) the inside of a school bus again. I certainly hope this will be the case. Because baby, a hep chick like me needs to be rollin' in suave wheels! And a big yellow school bus sure as hell isn't that.