Bus Stop Blues

August 27, 2008
By Cassandra LeAnn Chalmers, Greenville, OH

Since the beginning of time (Que smoke effect) the back of the bus has been part of a time honored tradition. (Yes, even when your parents and dinosaurs ruled the earth.) On all of the buses I have been aboard, there has always been a way of sitting. Elementary kids in the front. Once you hit the pre-teen/junior high phase you move to the designated area of the middle of the bus. Once you hit high school, grade nine through twelve, then and only then do you get the honor of sitting in the back.

Recently I have switched buses so I could grace the people at work with my glorious presence. (That’s a little self-reassurance.) My time aboard this form of transportation has been quite interesting. Upon boarding, I came to gaze upon the zoo of children, teens and everything in between. Noises of unknown creatures rose up from under the seats along with a teen couple impeding PDA laws to the extreme. Trembling in my shoes I approached the back of the bus, dodging wads of paper shaped like balls. Most of the seats were filled or became filled at the sight of my approach. Just a I dove for an empty seat in the far back I saw the horror that broke tradition. There in the back seat across from mine was a small girl with big blue eyes and pigtails sitting beside a freckled-faced boy.

Taking my seat, I noticed the two bickering and fighting.

“Stop it. Please, Bobby, if you pull my hair one more time I’m gonna tell” cried the small girl as she stuck out her tongue.

“You’ll never tell…You’re too, bock, bock, bock, CHICKEN” teased the freckled-faced boy.

When I looked at the little girl and saw tiny tears I knew something had to be done.

“You know my Mom used to say ‘If a boy teases a girl that means he likes you,’” I said with the most adult voice I could muster. “Now, Bobby do you have a crush?”

“EWWW! No, Dude shes my sister!” shouted the boy “Why would I like my sister, that’s gross?!?”

With that he left her alone. I smiled to myself because I knew I had accomplished something. I don’t think I could take much more. The stone-aged bus riders set up the system, why don’t we stick with it? If we stick to the system, problems like the bother sister issue will be resolved because they wont be close enough to fight.

It prepares our young for future jobs. A hierarchy if you will. New employees a.k.a elementary students start out in the very beginning. Then after working at it a good five years that employee gets a promotion to assistant manager. Junior High students receive a wonderful package and get the privilege of moving to the middle of the bus. This is a time in kids lives where their partially there. Their still kids yet almost to teenagedom. Then yet another promotion. Finally, after eight years, assistant manager/students move to managers. Now, after all of the student’s hard work, they have earned the right to sit in the back seats. It’s the circle of the work force and if someone steps out of line, be prepared to face the consequences.

I don’t want to be the one who says “back in my day….” because we don’t want to go there. It’s going to take a lot of patience and swearing under my breath to get through all the stuff my new bus has to offer. Until then I’m stuck singing the bus stop blues with harmonica in hand.

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