Friday, July 21, 2006

The Bus Driver Just Took Off Day!

It's the risk you take when you decide not to spring for Amtrak or regional rail. If you ride a bus, at some point the bus driver might pull over to the side of the road, climb down to the street and just kind of start running away. A few of them might be folks who are reacting to an epiphany by dropping out and running into the woods to disappear for a while, but for most of the time it's because the bus driver just got a cell phone call warning him that State police are waiting at his destination to make him answer for a warrant.

A half hour ago, your bus driver got a cell phone call, but not to warn him about any warrant. His boss called to tell him that a full-grown man who says he's the bus driver's son is waiting at the station for him. The bus driver knew that the kid either wanted revenge against his dad for running out, or reconciliation, which would require that the bus driver be a Daddy to his boy. Neither option appealed to the bus driver, so he parked the bus on the shoulder and booked.

Now you and the other passengers are on the grassy shoulder, trying to agree on how to proceed. The majority thinks you all should wait until the bus company sends a replacement driver (which they informed you over the radio that they plan to do). You're going to have to impress upon them that waiting is not an option.

'The man I love is about to give up on me,' tell them. 'I did wrong by him and if I don't get home by dinnertime he's gonna pack his car and take off forever.'

The other passengers won't know how exactly to respond, until one of them, a red headed man, finally speaks for the group.

'What'd you do?' the passenger will ask.

'I got scared,' say. Explain that you're supposed to get married in a week, and you kind of freaked out about that particular appointment, so you called up an old boyfriend who wants you back and you got him to invite you over for the weekend. This didn't make your fianc' very happy, and he threatened to pack up and split. You begged him to give you a chance to explain, and he agreed to listen. 'Pry yourself off of his dick and get back here by dinnertime. If you're a minute late, I'm gone and you won't never be able to find me,' he said.

Another of the passengers will speak up. 'So you're really gonna try to hang onto him?'

Nod yes. 'With all of your help. Yes.'

Another will say, 'Seriously? You really think this marriage has a chance in hell of working after this?'

Say, 'It won't have any chance if my fellow passengers don't help me.'

At that, all of the other passengers will throw their hands in the air and release a groan in unison.

'You're gonna try to blame this on us?' the red-head will say. 'Please, baby. That ship has sailed. Accept this as a sign.'

Try to hold back your tears. 'I have to try,' say.

'Can't you just call him and tell him the bus driver made a run for it?' another passenger will ask.

'Would you believe me if I gave you that excuse after all I've done? I mean that only happens on one out of every hundred bus rides, but it just happened to happen on mine?'

The passengers will turn their backs on you and you'll feel that you're pretty much sunk. Then the passenger who has been quietly sitting on his Igloo cooler will speak up.

'Actually, I didn't want to be a nuisance, but I'm in a bit of a hurry as well.'

'Oh yeah?' the red-head will say. 'What's your big rush?'

The passenger will slap the side of his cooler and say, 'Kidney delivery. Kid's not gonna make it through the night unless this baby gets transplanted before dawn.'

The other passengers will all shout, 'Eww!' Then they'll all pile onto the bus and speed down the highway to get that kidney to its destination.'

At the bus station, you'll stop the man with the cooler to thank him. 'I know you had your own responsibilities, but I'm just really glad you spoke up. Now I still have the chance to hang onto the one I love.'

The man with the cooler will say, 'Everyone deserves a chance at love, little lady.' Then he'll open the cooler and pull out a bottle of Michelob. 'You care for one?' he'll ask.

'You mean'You're not'?'

He'll crack open the bottle and take a big swig. 'Everyone deserves a chance at love, little lady,' he'll say. 'Good luck, and don't screw up no more.'

You'll watch the man with the cooler walk across the bus station to where a smiling woman and a little girl will greet him with open arms. You'll wish you could thank him again, but you have a fianc' to catch.

Happy The Bus Driver Just Took Off Day!