You may or may not know that in addition to preparing for a worldwide move, renovating our home, selling all our earthly possessions off and generally up-ending every corner of our lives, I was also driving a school bus this year.
You might be thinking, Marilee, You have a degree in Human Rights and Law!! What are you doing waking up before the crack of dawn, bundling up against the bitter cold, climbing into a giant, yellow day-care on wheels, channeling your inner mechanic until it finally starts, combing the darkened streets of Calgary for drowsy teenagers and delivering them to their school?
The answer is, I don’t really know. It seemed like a good idea. Driving a school bus has added some structure to my days, given me a break from renos and supplied a little extra income while we prep for our move. A very, very little income while we prepped for our move.
Yes its horrifying. I love to sleep in, I definitely don’t like the cold and I’m not wild about teenagers. But somehow, I’ve spent a couple hours each day this year, taking 50-odd 12 to 18 year olds to school and home again.
And I want to share with you, some of the gems I picked up this year.
Bear in mind, most of the swearing has been edited out. I’ve left out a tiny percentage (maybe 5%) to give you a sense of what it’s like.
“I hate him so much I want to cut off his dick, cut it up into pieces like a carrot, make a soup out of it and eat it”.
Which lead to: “I heard that most guys who lose their penises actually transform into girls”.
Which lead to: “No, scientifically its been proven that if your dick gets cut off, doctors can take one of your fingers, sew it back on, and your body regrows a new dick”.
[My mom’s question about this was “does it have a fingernail?”]
I swear this happened. If you find this too shocking, you would be well-advised to skip my blog until next week.
Another time I learned that “All black people have genetically bigger nips”.
Another time I overheard two boys getting into a bit of an argument. I tuned in to see if I could figure out what they were yelling about. (Names have been changed to protect me).
Tommy: “You’re such a f&$#-ing retard! You don’t even know what the hell you’re f&$#-ing talking about! You’re so full of s&$t!!”
Timmy: “No! You’re full of s&$t, you f&$#-ing, dick-faced b—ch!”
[Tommy holds up what appears to be a granola bar of some kind] and screams: “Shut the f&$# up! You don’t know anything!! This is a FibreOne Bar! If I eat nothing else but this all day, I’ll still be able to take a shit!”
Another time, the most foul-mouthed kid on the bus who never shuts up looked out the window and saw a semi blowing black smoke into the air as it drove away. He literally screamed: “F*&#-ing Ni$$a!!! Look at all that pollution! I have to breathe this air you f*&#-ing bastard!!!” It actually made me like him more.
Another time they were talking about the most powerful people in the world and one kid said “Oprah’s a bitch”. Then the same foul-mouthed kid rose to Oprah’s defence yelling, “F*&# off! Oprah is the most powerful woman in the f*&#-ing world you a–hole! She makes more money that you ever will and she knows what she’s about! So shut the f*&# up!”
One day, all the kids on the bus were discussing the difference between regular love and TRUE love. Here’s some of what I learned about love. “You don’t know what true love is BITCH!” “Shut the f*&# up!” [Older girl steps in and says:] “No, this is true love. When a couple decides to be together and not spend too much time with other people. That’s true love.” [First boy retorts:] “NO! True love is when you stay together until you both die!”
Another day, two boys sitting next to one another had this conversation:
“Ni$$a! Let’s use your iPad.”
“I didn’t bring my iPad.”
“I didn’t bring mine either.”
“What are we gonna do?”
“I guess we could just talk.”
I overheard this odd conversation between a few grade 10 boys – though I guess it’s good to know they have boundaries.
“What’s the youngest you’d punch a person in the face?”
“I’d punch a grade 9 for sure”.
“I’d punch grade 7”.
“I’d hit a grade 3”.
“Yo, there are laws against that – you better not say stuff like that.”
“How far have we driven so far?”
“That’s how long my dick is.”
Other miscellaneous things I’ve overheard:
“I would lick his balls for chicken McNuggets.”
“Mrs. Bus driver? In the Canada, is Calgary East or West?”
“I have a dick behind my dick. Is that gay?”
Found written into the fog on one of the windows: “Platypus Jack” and “vag lips”.
“Touch my orange and I’ll put you in a coma”.
“There is a silent “r” in subtle.”
“All white people, I mean every last one, has seen the movie Taken”.
“I never date poor guys”.
“F–k off! I’m texting my mom!”
“I had these black scabs on my skin. The doctor sliced them off with a hot knife, now they’re gone!”
There is literally never a dull moment. And to anyone who might say I should have more discipline on my bus, I say: You. Weren’t. There.
You don’t know what it’s like.