Very Special People Inside -- Please Drive Safely!

As I dozed in and out of consciousness on my morning bus commute to work, I happened to notice a huge coach bus with this phrase painted in big white letters on the back, for everyone behind it to see. For a moment I was bewildered; then I realized the bus was the property of "Arrow Stage Lines." From "stage" my weary mind deduced that inside were either actors, musicians, singers (update -- ok, I'm wrong, see the footer; but they're still highbrow buses, I tells ya!), or something to that effect, or some combination thereof. At that point, I felt an inner rage well up inside of me that couldn't be written off as mere class envy.

Are actors, musicians, or singers any more "special" than the rest of us? Maybe. I tend to subscribe to the "there, but for the grace of the fucked up yet beautifully ambivalent universe in which we live, go I" theory myself. In many cases, it's little more than a matter of luck. There's natural talent, and there's trained talent, but most talents are a mixture of the two. Many if not most talents (of the entertainment persuasion) are trained and happen to have been born into show business. The significance of their roles in society, whether positive, negative, or neutral, is debatable on a case-by-case basis. Do they deserve to live any more than any other human being does?

These questions aside, one has to question the efficacy of such an audacious imperative. Wouldn't it make more sense just to say "Please Drive Carefully," without stating "Very Special People Inside?" Are people more likely to read it as it was and think "oh gee, there must be some people in there who really deserve to live. I'll drive extra carefully to ensure them a safe journey, so that they might serve for the betterment of mankind." Isn't this kind of thing more likely to promote road rage, from say, the middle-class grunt who just bought a big ol' Ford F-150 he can barely afford and has just been laid off from work? Who the hell do they think they are?

In my semi-conscious state I immediately began to visualize childish violent fantasies from my pre-pubescent days where I was fascinated by the weapons of war...I saw a Hellfire anti-tank missile being fired into the bus from the the pylon of an AH-64 Apache helicopter, or better yet -- a wicked strafing run from the GAU-8 Avenger 30mm gatling gun of an A-10 Warthog "tank buster." I could almost smell the sulfurous, noxious smoke and see the twisted metal (oh how that phrase turns me on) in my mind's eye. Or how about the detonation of a Tomahawk cruise missile from above, like the footage I'd seen so many times of an F-111 getting blown to shrapnel (what a cool sounding word, unless of course you've had it in your body at some point) during a test run. No, "special people" don't deserve to die, and I didn't seriously wish such cruelty or harm upon them -- but they surely don't have any more right to exist than anyone else.

Do they?

Ok, perhaps my assumption that "stage lines" implies that mainly entertainers use these buses was incorrect -- Arrow Stage Lines is just a charter bus company that happens to have really cushy, expensive buses fitted with tinted picture windows, VCRs, "spacious restrooms," etc, etc. The point stands nonetheless, and I won't hide the fact that I made a dumb-ass assumption for the sake of my ego.

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