Monday, September 21, 2009

A Story for Bob

Repost from a group dedicated to remembering Bob Church, writer and blogger extraordinaire. If you knew Bob and would like to join us, here is the address:

The prompt:

Let's all write about one incident that we would have loved to
share with Bob knowing he would appreciate the story. Write as if you are
telling him today, because you are and I'm sure he is listening!

Bob, my friend,
If there was one niggle that chattered at me from your writes, it was the simple truth that life is absurd. No matter how beautiful, hip, or talented you are, there comes a day when the planets align, laughing, and with a hearty kick in the arse send you whirling into the most absurd situation on earth.

When was my most absurd moment? Well, truth be told, there were countless ones. But today I share with you an absurdity, a mind game if you will, that came simply and unexpected out of nowhere and with a certain elegance in its execution. The absurdity gods outdid themselves.

Being a non driver, I am by necessity a seasoned bus rider. I rode buses every day, not only in Pittsburgh, but also when we lived in a small town in Maryland, a very small town. I hate to say it, but when rednecks drive buses, there's no more stopping for stop signs or obeying speed limits. These rebel bus jockeys yahooed and drove those buses like the Indy 500. On my route to work every day just three successive quick swerves and I'd be thrown to the floor were it not for my great preparation to stay seated, clinging to the bar of the seat in front of me. I grumbled to myself as I hung on, knuckles white, one day so consternated when I got to work I wrote an anonymous letter of complaint to the company.

Not long after, one gloomy evening, I sat in GeeBee's having coffee and waiting for my bus to go home from work. They didn't run often, so frequently I had a long wait, thus the coffee interlude. I wondered how it would be that day, since my rides were steeped in never-ending drama. Would the bus be on time? Would it be early? Their schedule keeping ran as fast and loose as their driving. Would the goddarn driver be yeehawing and simply speed right past my stop, leaving me without a ride? It had happened before.

To my surprise, a half dozen bus drivers, caps in hand, arrived and lined up at the counter directly across from where I sat. I had never seen such a collection of brooding faces. Might I mention here, a sad redneck is a tragic sight. Those uneven teeth, usually blaring, now hid behind brooding, closed lips. Red flushed faces were replaced by pale listlessness. They had not a single yeehaw to offer from the bunch.

"Indy 500! Hmmph," one said.

I leaned forward to listen, my heart pounding.

"You better watch those quick swerves!" his friend shot back with a generous snort.

"You redneck!" another one growled, forcing it out in a slow, breathy hiss.

My heart screeched and my hands shook. Those were my words! I had written that scathing letter to the bus company, and the drivers were now quoting me, apparently reprimanded by their superior. Unbeknownst to them, their very critic was at that moment staring at them from across the counter in sheer panic.

Now, what are the chances a person can end up close enough to rub noses with those he ridicules in print? It was too weird! The subjects of my words, in this case, redneck bus drivers, were supposed to be a collective group of anonymous boobs whom I would never see or know.

I fled. I fled with more speed than those rambunctious drivers. I broke speed limits, knocked over old ladies, and I got out of there. I waited for my bus down the street, whistling an innocent tune, boarding said vehicle without looking up, scrunched in my seat all the way home. I wonder what you would have done, Bob...


  1. Anonymous7:09 PM

    Now I don't believe the dead return in anyway whatsoever, however I do have an imagination. Perhaps Bob was listening, and had a story he would have liked to pass along, but knew your ears are not able to hear from beyond the grave. Bet he smiled. Mary from Meander With Me

  2. Thanks Mary and Terry. He sure is missed...

  3. Hey Jo you told them, and I bet it felt good! I always love your humor, and I know Bob would have had a great comeback! You two were hilarious! Thanks for the smile!

  4. Jo, you wouldn't believe how surprised and hysterical I got! lol