Incidentally, it's my birthday
The bus driver
I got yelled at by a bus driver
today. And it wasn't some gnarled
old city bus driver who's been doing the same route for 50 years and can read a newspaper on the steering wheel because he doesn't even have to look where he's going anymore, his arms just keep making the turns automatically. I got yelled at by a lunch lady
type who was driving a full-length yellow school bus. Look
I was driving the kids to school this morning and I stopped at a crosswalk. It's one of those crosswalks where they've installed red/yellow/green signal lights. It was red, I was stopped.
When the light turned green, before I could even move my foot from brake to gas, the bus behind me honked. I wasn't asleep or anything, I was watching the light and that "hurry up" honk was uncalled for.
So I rolled forward to the school driveway at about 5km/h, hopefully to the annoyance of the bus driver behind me. It was only about 50' and then I turned into the driveway and gave the bus driver the finger
as she drove past me on the left.
I would have stuck out my tongue instead, but I had to look where I was going, which required my face to be pointing away from the bus. I realise that the finger was a bit harsh in this situation, but it was my only option. I'm trying to say that I didn't mean "fuck you
" when I gave her the finger, it was more like "ah, bite me you horn-quick-draw" driver. There was no anger behind my finger.
Anyhow, I pulled into the school parking lot and as I was letting the kids out of the car I heard a tap on my driver side window. I looked over and saw a face looking into my car and saying "What was that for!?".
Had there not been glass between us, this would have been a major personal space
violation. People always do that when they talk through glass. They get closer than they normally would and you can see all the pores
in their nose and the veins in their eyes. People are gross up close
. I could have bit her nose if it wasn't for the glass.
"What was that for!?" came again and then I realised, seeing the bus parked on the street behind her, that this must be the driver. I uttered the universal response of a person playing for time
in order to think: "What?"
She said "What was that for!?". It was getting old now and she could tell. She hadn't thought about what she'd say once she'd reached my car, she was just reacting, like me with my finger. So she continued with this: "I wasn't honking at you! I saw my daughter! I didn't honk at you
I smiled. I understood the misunderstanding now. I opened my door so I could respond, since my car doesn't like being yelled through. The bus driver backed up.
I think I was pretty cordial
in my response: "Oh, I thought you honked at me! I see, well, I apologise then. My fault!" You see, I'm only 6/10ths asshole and I apologise when I'm wrong.
She continued to back away. It seemed like she still wasn't thinking and just continued to react because she said, again, "What was that for?". I could sense that she knew she was just babbling the same thing again. Next she said "I don't need to get the finger in the morning! I don't need that!"
My eighth grade sense of humour chuckled at that. You see, the remaining 4/10ths of me is still a 13-year-old.
I opened my door a bit more and started to explain again that I thought she'd honked at me, but I think the huge smile on my face and the fact that I seemed to be getting out of my car put her off. She continued to back up, in a parking lot, without looking where she was going.
I don't think she expected me to open my door and apologise. And I was
smiling. It was a funny situation. And on TV the crazy people always smile and apologise just before they grab your head and eat your face. And since most people actually believe, at least subconsciously, that what they see on TV is real
, the bus driver decided it was time to leave.
She turned and walked back towards her bus. I thought we could both have a bit of a laugh at the miscommunication, but apparently she didn't get it. I laughed a bit for both of us.
As she walked away, lacking anything else to say, I called out "Bye!". She stopped, turned, and made a sort of exasperated gesture by wringing
her hands near the sides of her head. She called back "Ya, have a nice day!"
Thanks bus driver woman, I appreciate that. And if you're reading this, please understand that I really had no anger towards you and I think it's pretty good of you to get out of your car (or bus, in this case) and stand up for yourself. Most people wouldn't. Most people just go through their day like robot
s, doing their job and never deviating from their routine
. Thanks for breaking up my day and reminding me that other people are people too. And since I did the same for you, by giving you a reason to get out of your bus, you're welcome too.