'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
READERS CHIME IN ON SCHOOL BUS SLOW POKES
Sometimes a particular topic will generate a lot of feedback. Well, the column I wrote a few weeks ago about getting stuck behind a school bus really struck a nerve with readers. I received a flood of comments, with people either agreeing with my observations that teenagers seem to be sleep-walking as they board the bus in the morning, or pointing out other frustrating aspects that I never mentioned.
Here are some of the comments from readers:
“Bill, you talked about the kids being zombies while standing at the end of the driveway waiting for the bus. I WISH all the kids were actually at the end of the driveway. Many of them wait inside their houses, and when the bus arrives only then will they stroll down the driveway, often at a pace slightly slower than a glacier.”
“It drives me nuts when I get stuck behind a bus and a parent will lean out the front door and hold up a finger to the bus driver to say, ‘Wait one minute, he’s almost ready.’ (Or more likely, ‘He’s almost out of bed.’) If I was driving the bus, I’d hold up a finger to the parent (guess which finger) and then drive away.”
“I’ve actually seen parents DRIVE their kids from the house to the end of the driveway—a distance of about 40 feet. And the weather was fine, it wasn’t raining or cold or anything. What’s up with that?! Is a 15-year-old boy too fragile that his legs will break if he has to walk 40 feet??”
“Bill, you described the students as wearing baggy shorts, over-stuffed backpacks, and baseball hats on sideways. That’s not so bad. You should’ve mentioned the parents who often wait with their kids at the bus stop and what they’re wearing. Bathrobes and slippers and a wicked case of bed-head and in need of a shave. This goes for the men too. (Ha ha, I made a joke like you.)”
“You ever notice the kids who are real slow getting on the school bus also have parents who think nothing of chatting with the bus driver after the kid takes a seat. It’s like they’re sitting at Dunkin Donuts hanging out or something. They don’t even notice there’s a huge line of cars waiting behind them, and we’re gonna be late for work.”
This final comment is from a guy I know. So I won’t mention his name, just in case he has a parole officer who might read this:
“Bill, what is most unsettling is the utter absence of motivation. As a NYC boy we were only capable of fast paced movement. To this day it drives me nuts when my pedestrian thoroughfare is obstructed by dawdlers. When schoolchildren emerge late from their homes they lope along on the way to the bus painfully exacerbating the delay. If this same scenario were played out in the culture of my youth, the offending slowpoke would have been sternly reprimanded by the bus driver and subsequently beaten by the kids on the bus for the offense of wasting their time. Appropriate correction would have been effected without any psycho-babble methodology.”
Let me just say, I know this particular fellow, and he’s really not advocating bullying. But on the other hand, all you school children should be aware this guy lives around here, so just to be on the safe side, you might want to pick up the pace, OK? And tell your parents they can stay in the house.
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