Skippy Does it: Driving the Bus
Thursday, May 12, 2005
This week, in an attempt to showcase the power of public transportation in lowering our dependence of foreign oil, Skippy drives the bus.
A note to previous readers: No I have not yet managed to get an annulment from Bunny Delicious. However, Bunny and my hetero life partner Frank seem to be getting along quite well, so harmony has returned to the Skippenofsky household.
When I went to Dr. Maynard this week for an assignment for Skippy Does it All, he had no immediate ideas for me, so I suggested that I take advantage of my soon to expire class A driver’s license and drive a city bus. As luck would have it, Dr. Maynard has a connection at a nearby city transportation department, which we are not allowed to name due to legal difficulties.
Before I could actually drive the bus myself, I had to spend a few days learning the route. I spent two days riding with a veteran driver, that for the purposes of this article we will call “Jimmy”. Jimmy and I got along quite well, and he seemed to have no end of fun teasing me.
The most wonderful thing about riding the bus is the kind of people you meet. I met a nice man who auditioned with his accordion for a writing position on our blog. I also met Herman, a plucky older gentleman that regaled me with his story about being the only barber trusted to shave the warden in the nearby maximum security prison.
Originally, I was supposed to spend 2 days driving the route with a veteran driver supervising me. However, because of an outbreak of influenza, I had to start after only one day of driving the route.
I was able to make the first few stops without trouble. There were the typical problems I had experience on my training days, expired passes and incorrect change. But shortly after my third stop, trouble happened.
Jimmy, who was acting as dispatcher for the short handed bus ground transportation center called me. Jimmy asked me if I was on University Ave. I said yes. Jimmy asked me if I’d gone over 45 mph yet. I looked down, and saw I was going 48. Jimmy told me that there was a bomb on the bus and if the bus dropped below 45 mph, the bomb would go off.
Now as you know, I am quite cynical, and in retrospect I should have realized that Jimmy was kidding. But always alert for terror activity, I was perhaps a little too quick to jump to conclusions. As it turns out, what Jimmy told me was actually the plot of a movie that takes place on a bus, but I prefer romantic comedies.
Now, I’m no idiot, so I figured the best chance I had was to make it to the airport and circle the tarmacs. Fortunately, this most efficient route also took me past the police station. Believe me, when you go past the police station doing 30mph over the speed limit in a city bus while laying the horn, you get some attention.
So there I was feeling very proud of myself, heading towards the airport at well over my minimum of 45mph with a full police escort and I realized that after I last talked to Jimmy, I had switched off the radio. I switched it back on, but Jimmy was babbling incoherently. I assumed he had gone into shock from the gravity of the moment.
I got to the airport, but I knew I would not be able to make it through security with a bus going 45mph. So, I slammed the bus through the airport fence and clipped the wing off a Cessna. I then started doing laps of the airport runways.
Apparently the police officers did not understand what I was doing because when I came around for my second lap, they had set up quite a large barricade on the tarmac.
I knew I only had one chance to survive, so I put the accelerator down as hard as I could, held on tight and pointed the bus at the soft spring mud that was lining the tarmac. The bus pushed itself into the mud until the back tires left the tarmac and sank in to its axels. Because I still had my foot on the accelerator, the spinning tires registered the bus was traveling at 75mph.
I asked my passengers if they had any rope or elastic to tie down the accelerator with, but they were too addled by what had happened to respond. I repeated my request several times until finally one female passenger removed her brassier. I tied the accelerator down with it and we escaped the bus through the thick mud.
By the time we made it out of the mud, we were all pretty much covered from head to toe, but the police officers did not hesitate to help us, as they were also covered in mud from the spinning bus tires. I was arrested for destruction of property, terrorism, and sexual assault, but fortunately, Frank came and bailed me out.
This experience has taught me much about not jumping to conclusions and legal liability. From now on, I think I’ll leave the driving to the professionals. I sincerely apologize to all of those whose property was destroyed and those that were injured both physically and mentally by my actions, especially the nuns.
Great story though!