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Back To School

Students board a bus in Auburn Sept. 3.

“It’s better to lose one moment in life than to lose a life in one moment.”

— Armando Garcia

Friends, last week I wrote about school starting back up, and in case you didn’t read the column (shame on you) you probably got the clue from all your friends’ social media posts.

There were pictures of kids all dressed and ready for that first day of classes with captions about what year they were entering and, of course, the touching posts about the parents of high school seniors who were a bit overly emotional about it being their last “first day” photo-op. (As if they won’t be just as proud when little Tiffany or Timmy finally heads off to college.)

Anyhow, I have a theory that the excitement of the day isn’t just about the kids but also meeting the bus driver. Basically, what is happening is that you’re putting your faith into a stranger’s ability to remain perfectly sane while taking your kids, along with about 50 other tots, on an hour-long excursion knowing full well that you can’t even manage your own during a 10 minute backseat car ride.

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With this in mind I find it a bit odd that people aren’t paying more attention to the yellow behemoths they are sharing the roads with. When faced with a school bus, the first thought is never “Oh, look, a specialized vehicle, driven by a skilled operator is transporting our most innocent humans to their education destination.” Instead, we usually see the flashing lights and immediately groan “Great, now I’m stuck behind a bus!” As if having to wait 30 seconds for a backpacked little kid to climb aboard is the biggest roadblock to their entire day.

It’s not the boss’s constant nagging about progress reports or Janet in Human Resource’s PowerPoint presentations explaining how we all need to “work together as a team.” No, it’s a school bus that drives us all mental in the morning.

I bring this topic up because it hasn’t been a full week into the school year and I already have seen two cars go zipping past stopped buses. Granted, there were flashing lights, a flip-out stop sign, and a front bumper barrier, but apparently that wasn’t enough warning needed to apply the brakes upon approach. What will it take for these busy bees to finally get the hint that if they don’t stop then someone might get hurt? Train whistles? Road flares? Fun fact: there are women in active labor that are more patient than these wingnuts when they get behind a wheel.

Bottom line: if your schedule is so cramped that you can’t take the time to be cautious then I’m sure one of our fine police officers would be happy to relieve you of your license, and, in an ironic twist of fate, you may end up needing to take a bus to get to work. Only no one is going to want a picture of you on your first day of riding.

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Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com

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