Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wrachel Rites (Day 2: Lighting a Candle is Difficult for Someone Who Has No Desire to Burn)

One surefire way to be a loser in high school is to ride the school bus. By the time you're in high school, you should have friends who drive, or at least an older sibling (or that of a friend) who can take you to school and save you from certain social death. I pretended to loathe my bus rides, but secretly, I loved it. Bus 50P changed my life.

We were a cast of misfits:

Sam (Spam, Spermie): the only openly gay high school student I knew at the time (and Mormon, too). Skinny kid, red hair, rrrrrreally likes the Smashing Pumpkins.

Cari (Cari-Lynn, CaVincent)
: Sam's younger sister, and one of my favorite people in the world. Likes soccer, drawing stars, and the color green. She thinks she is The Hulk.

Matt (Fatty Matty): Nickname is deceiving, as Matt was actually not fat at all.

Josh: Chubby kid who once yelled "You can't ride a bike!" to a child of about 8 or 9 years out the window. Not mean-spirited, though perhaps experimenting a bit with the boundaries of personal censorship.

Jo (Ho): A pretty girl with long hair who played volleyball and had a crush on the Hot Bus Driver (not the Alcoholic Bus Driver or the Weird Bus Driver).

Me: Shy, awkward, and with a strong desire to be numbered among the Cool Kids.

We'd yell, "DON'T FORGET TO STOP!" as we crossed the railroad tracks (Jo usually led us in that one). As we crossed the bridge where it was spray painted, we would all scream at the top of our lungs, and as fast as we could, "LIGHTING A CANDLE IS DIFFICULT FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS NO DESIRE TO BURN!" We always sat at the back of the bus, and tried to make the drivers behind us uncomfortable by staring at them (it's amazing how many things in a car become very interesting to a driver who suspects they're being watched: the radio, the dust from the dash, their loose change, making sure the light is still red . . . ) I recall Sam stripping once, and whipping his belt out of the window.

We had a great time on Bus 50, whether we were listening to the awkward boy sing Shania Twain's, "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!," watching the rebellious girl light up a cigarette on the bus, tormenting the quiet kids, or making up rumors about why our drivers were fired.

Deep down, I think we all loved Bus 50.


  1. I had a crazy bus gang too. We weren't misfits because we all fit together.

  2. I'm totally laughing. It sounds like a real party on Bus 50!

    I was in a bus gang in Junior High School that included Dr. Jaren Hinckley. We even had a club name, but I won't tell you because it's too embarrassing!! Thank goodness he didn't bring that up when he was sitting on my committee for my Master's Degree...although he said he thought about it... :-)

  3. Oh man, I totally love this. I lived close to all my schools so never had the need/opportunity to ride the bus. This sounds like it could fit in the middle of a really great memoir.