My six-year-old is gunning for an iPad to play on the bus. Hahaha! Good one!! I usually pack him colouring books or mazes but “it’s too dark!” He’s lamenting “I’m sooooo bored!” Boo-freaking-hoo, buddy boy!! This morning I told him growing up we were always bored out of our skulls on the bus so my buddy Squeaker and I had to invent our own fun. “When I was a kid we would always be on the look out for this one really smelly, old truck that would come rip roaring out of no where and pass the bus. It was like ‘Where’s Waldo’ but with a smelly truck. We called him Stinky Rubber Tires. Another time we watched a deer run across a field from about 3 miles away. It was coming and coming and the driver never saw it or slowed down. Then BOOM!!! Deer explosion. That’s the kind of thing we did for fun. If we were on iPads we would have missed all that!” The boys looked at me with glassy eyed expression like they had just received confirmation of what they’d always expected – Mom is a stark, raving lunatic. I think my parenting lesson may have missed the mark.
This prompted a cheesewagon reminiscing session with my mid-bro-Mo “You haven’t lived until you’ve shivved another kid with his own orange peeler. Or done the loogie hork out the front window into the back window trick. Or the bloody prison riot-style “playing” we would do with the other kids? We all learned the utility of a swift kick to the nads.” The school bus was an unsupervised Lord of the Flies free-for-all where, for 45 minutes twice per day, we got to experiment with new choke holds, write with pudding on the windows, whisper death threats through clenched teeth and marinate in the comobo of fumes of overripe bananas, eachothers farts and tuna sandwiches.
Good times, good times.
One of my fondest memories from our days on the cheesewagon was the day our Grandpa Gordon rear ended our bus at a stop sign. At the time he was driving a massive boat of a car. The kind of car that got about 0.00000002 miles to the gallon and could comfortably transport 12 people while towing a camper trailer. This car was aptly named The Mad Cow. Granpda had feet of epic proportions that were housed in boots of an even more impressive size. Upon rolling up behind the school bus at a stop sign Granpa’s gigantic foot slipped off the brake and slammed down onto the gas shooting The Mad Cow into the back of the bus at impressive speed. All of us whipper-snappers felt an unholy lurch forward on impact and swivelled our giant melons around to see what had happened. Upon laying eyes on our Grandpa sitting at the helm of The Mad Cow that was now lodged firmly beneath the bus, my siblings and I burst out laughing hysterically. What are the odds!! Some of the other kids on the bus muttered “How embarrassing! I wouldn’t admit it if MY Grandpa hit the bus!” further confirming my suspicions that those twits actually gave two shits what the general population of weenie heads on the cheesewagon thought.
Grandpa switched The Mad Cow into reverse and attempted to pull away. No luck. The car was the perfect height for the hood to be snugly nestled beneath the bus’ undercarriage. Our driver had to put the bus in park, come around back and climb up onto the hood of the car and jump up and down repeatedly while Grandpa attempted to back the car out. Finally the car was dislodged, chuckles all around, slap on the back and we were off on the road again. Those were the good old days, when ones Grandpa could drive a tank of a car into the school bus and everyone could drive away unscathed and no worse for wear.