For better or worse, most of us spent at least some time in our lives riding the school bus. It’s sort of like Lord of the Flies, with one adult, a bunch of kids without seatbelts or rules or eyes on them most of the time, and really, anything can happen.
17. A story to love.
In 1995 my family moved away from where I grew up to another city as my dad changed jobs. I had just graduated from Elementary school, so I was starting high school in a new city – no friends and this high school was 4 or 5 times the size of the one I was going to go to.
We lived in the outskirts. So I rode the yellow bus.
The very first day I get on the bus. There were 4 other guys and 1 girl that were on the bus when I got on.
One of them immediately strikes up a conversation – I can tell this guy is a high energy and loud guy… quite the contrary to me.
“Hey! What’s your name!”
I reply: “My name is (natuno).”
“(nutano)? That names’s too long (obviously referring to my real name). We need to give you a nickname!”
In my head I was fearing the worst… this guy was going to label me with a goddamn insulting nickname on my first day of high school where I knew nobody. The next 5 years could be veeeeeeery long.
Luckily, his intent was genuine… and he came up with the nickname ‘Jim’.
He then points to a guy sitting quietly across the aisle and says “That there is D. He’s my brother, I think you guys are in the same grade. You guys should be friends!”
D looks up, with a big smile with crooked teeth, a weird pair of thick glasses. “Hey, what’s up?” He was tall for a teenager, pushing 6’2″.
We strike a little conversation and discover we have many things in common, we are both into RPGs, MTG and things of the such. We were also both the youngest child of 3 boys. We related a lot. It was instant, we were buddies.
A few months later, my family moves a little further out of town, which puts me on a different bus route. But I still attended the same school.
(When we moved to this place, for the first 2 months my bus ride was 2 hours long ONE WAY… so I would get picked up at 6am and would only get home at 5:30pm… but that’s an entirely different story.)
Fast forward to the summer of 1996. I find out that D is moving away to a city a few hours away, so that means my best friend was no longer going to be at the same school as me!
D and I completely lost touch. The internet was in it’s infancy and not everyone had emails. We did snail mail a little, but that petered out after a few letters.
Several months later, I think it was like April 1997. I get wind that a new kid will be coming to our school in our grade and he would be on our bus route. I knew what this kid was going through, moving to a new town, not knowing anyone… I made it a point that I would be nice to this kid and help him make friends at school.
So the following Monday, the bus takes a different turn here and there and we are driving down the street to go pick up this new kid. I look down the road and see this tall lanky guy.
As we pull up closer, it hits me. I know this guy!
Yup, indeed it was, my best buddy D is back in town!
We were both very excited that a) he was back in town and b) the place he moved to is on the same bus route as me.
Today, D and I are still best buds. He was my best-man and I was his best-man – we see each other weekly. All of this because his brother gave me a nickname and told us we should be friends.
I love you D!!!
16. That’s a rough day at work.
One time our bus hit a car in a roundabout. Guy we hit was completely at fault. He must have not understood the turning radius of a bus or something.
We were close to school and our bus driver was like, “well, I gotta deal with this.” So we got off the bus and walked to school.
15. Best day on the bus ever.
Once while picking up a kid, a dog got on the bus and everyone went nuts and started petting it. The driver eventually shooed it away.
14. Don’t like that.
2 cops dressed in SWAT gear riding the bus with us. A man had shot and killed 4 people in our neighborhood. The scene apparently wasn’t “secure” yet or something, so they cops had to ride with us while the driver dropped us off.
13. No other option, really.
First day of my freshmen year, a girl sitting across from me showed off her nipple ring. I always sat near the back of the bus from then on.
All the interesting stuff happened back there because that’s where all the bad kids were. Fights, drugs, pranks, boobs, and other misfit shenanigans occurred at the back of that bus. Don’t know if that’s normal…
12. That’s fun. For awhile.
I had a bus driver who would purposely speed up when going over speed bumps so the kids could “catch air”. He got fired eventually for running into some garbage cans.
11. Sometimes you just reach the end of your rope.
I was in 5th grade. We all boarded the bus after school. Bus starts driving and we were rowdy. Bus driver screams shut the “f” up several times. He starts yelling louder. We ignore him. Suddenly he slams on brakes. We fly all around in the bus.
He parks it right there in the lane. He opens door and walks away. We just watched him fade into the distance. Eventually parents started showing up and we all got rides home. I will never forget that bus ride.
10. How pure is this?
All the kids on my school bus made a collective effort to buy our bus driver a kindle at the end of the year because he was always reading. He was such a cool and friendly guy too.
Some more backstory, he was also pursuing a master’s degree at the time and the year we got him the kindle was the last year he’d be our bus driver. He’s been driving the same group of kids for about six years now and seeing him go was pretty sad for all of us. He even knew all of our names.
I hope that man is doing very well in life now.
Yes, he did get the kindle. The student that organized it all gave it to him when she got on the bus.
9. High five, driver.
When I was in 6th grade I moved from a really small town where I could walk to school everyday, to a much larger one where I had to ride the bus. I was having trouble finding my way around the school the first week, and ended up running very very late to catch the bus at the end of the day.
I was already beating myself up about the fact that I was going to have to call one my parents who would have to leave work early to pick me up, but when I got outside the bus was pulled right up to the doors waiting for me.
The bus driver knew I had been on the bus that morning and verified with my brother that I was supposed to get on the bus to go home, so he waited. I know it seems really insignificant but, with all the stress and anxiety I was feeling trying to settle into a new house, new city, and a new school it made a lasting impression on me.
Thank you Ron.
8. It’s a thankless job.
We had senior kids setting off smoke bombs and fireworks on the bus. Every fucking year for a month before and a month after Halloween.
A smoke bomb even landed on me and burned my skirt through once 🙁
When the bus drivers told them off they used to just swear and act like they owned the place.
One day we had a bus driver who just drove the bus to the police station when that shit started, and a few of the kids who were throwing the fireworks were crying when they got taken off the bus by police. The buses had CCTV too, so they couldn’t even deny it.
I was so glad when my older sister started driving and I could get lifts with her instead of going on the bus.
7. Ah, childhood.
6th grade- the driver stopped on a rural road and 2 sisters got out. The little one darted across the road and almost got hit by a car going 50mph that didn’t stop. I can still feel the tension.
8th grade- a friend taught me how to gleek. Still one of my most useless talents
6. I would have run to the principal at school.
Freshman year, a girl I was sitting next to opened her backpack and I saw a gun in it. She saw me see it, and just gave me a hard glare and shook her head. I planted my eyes on the back of the seat in front of us, and didn’t even look at her the rest of the ride.
I went to kind of a rough school.
One day on the ride home in like 3rd grade this kid Nick that lived in my neighborhood caused a ruckus land the bus driver turned around and pulled back into school. The bus driver yelled and said, “alright Mr. Wiseguy, what’s your name?”
Nick responded, “Nick”
The bus driver asked, “what’s your last name Nick?”
Nick said, “Elodeon”
Everybody laughed but the bus driver didn’t catch on. The principal came onto the bus and the bus driver said, “we have had a lot of fooling around on the bus and it was all started by Nick Elodeon.
We all cried laughing and our principal just shook her head and took Nick off the bus.
4. No kid is going to rat her out.
My bus driver from age 4 through about 12 was absolutely crazy. This one road that we went up was a big long hill that ended in a cul de sac, so we would go all the way up and then circle back the same way we came.
On the way down the hill on the way back there was this bump in the road that would get really bad if it was cold and there was water frozen under it, so during the winter we’d beg her to hit the bump so we could get some air.
She wouldn’t say yes everyday but when she did she would speed down the whole hill, and when we hit the bump I swear kids would literally hit the ceiling, I have such a distinct memory of turning around after impact and seeing a kid’s back hit the top of the bus.
She still has her job and is driving buses to this day lol.
3. No one ever said anything?
We had to make, “God’s Eyes,” in Spanish class. We unwound them and flew them like kites out of the back of the bus. Then we realized we could slowly unwind them to catch on trees and signs to “decorate” the town.
Then we did it with a bunch of 8-tracks we found in a guy’s garage. We called them streamers. We had “decorations” laid out over our bus route for months. Cars had to hang back behind us to not get hit with them when we slowed. No one ever said anything.
Also the time we slid off road during a snowstorm and everyone just got off and walked home. That was fun.
2. One good, one bad.
I have two stories. In middle school my bus once caught on fire a block away from the school. It was a tiny one but enough to call the firefighters. We all piled off and watched them do their thing.
They brought a second bus… which also caught on fire. Eventually we were brought a third bus 30 mins later. This was all during the winter and we weren’t allowed to walk back to the school because of “safety reasons”.
Never understood why it was more safe to have kids standing outside in winter next to a bus on fire than to walk them a block back to the school.
The other time I was in 1st grade. My bus driver was a crazy nice guy. He knew us all. One day my aunt who always picked me up wasn’t there at the stop. He said that I could stay on the bus and we would drive back after the route. Maybe she was just late. We drive back and she still wasn’t there. So he asked me which house was mine. He drove us there and parked his bus. We rang the bell a bunch and threw small rocks at her window. Nothing. Her car was there though so it was very weird. My friend’s mom drove by and saw us. She offered to take me to her house so I could call my parents and stay there for a while even though it was her birthday. Bus driver left and said don’t worry, she’s probably just asleep.
Turns out she was eternally asleep and had a brain aneurysm earlier in the day. I’ll never forget that day or that nice driver though who wanted to make sure I was safe before he left. He even made sure to look out for me for the rest of the year. Great guy.
1. Bless her heart.
I had a really big crush on this guy. I was staring longingly at him through the mirror above the bus driver. Like dead on creeper staring.
Then, he pointed or motioned towards me or something and I suddenly realized, “he can see me staring at him?! – OMG!” and felt like the stupidest person on Earth. I was like a damn cat thinking I can see him in the mirror but he can’t see me drooling at him.
Whew. I do not remember anything nuts like this happening, but maybe I’ve blocked it out?
Do you have any memories like these? Please share them with us in the comments if so!