4/19/06

The Short Bus

I see that the street outside my office is a school route. In the morning, then again at noon and three, we'll notice a bright yellow object scroll onto the window, then glance over just in time to see the end go by. Some are long, some short.

In here, the length of the bus means nothing more than how long it stays in our field of view. If it gets stuck at the light, will it block the chiropractor's office and the flower shop, or just the chiropractor? Outside, though, it's very important: nobody wants to ride the short bus. Accusing someone of riding the short bus is an insult in every school district in the world, more or less requiring a retaliatory cafeteria pea-flick or frog-punch.

So what's wrong with the short bus? Nothing, really. You can't get that joyful zero-gravity bounce of riding in the very back seat over railroad tracks, but aside from that they're identical. One just holds fewer people.

And that's it. Fewer. "You guys ride the short bus" means "There are more of us than there are of you" ... i.e., "You're weird."

*****

I don't have kids, but when I do I'm going to tell them they're weird early and often. I will celebrate it, boast about it; write about it. That way, when they go to school - in whatever length bus they ride - they might understand that there is only one thing people make fun of each other for, and that's being different.

And maybe my kids will look at themselves, and recognize that they are different, and they won't mind.

5 comments:

penelope said...

I think they'll come by being weird naturally with you and I as parents. hee

Anonymous said...

i have just realized that your kids will come out of the womb taller than me. That's not fair.

also, should you have one, you should name it Calico. Calico Dullaghan. Nothing weird about that!!

xp Wee

Anonymous said...

er.. I meant xo Wee. I think a p placed next to an x in that fashion means something awfully naughty and possibly illegal in your state. (which means it is probably legal in my country. But all the same, not something one admits to in polite company.)

Anonymous said...

Around here, the short bus picks up the mentally challenged students to mainstream them in public schools.

Anonymous said...

In my neighborhood, the mentally challenged kids rode the short bus too. So did the gifted kids, and the athletes, and the band...