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My Introduction To Evil

SCCCCREEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!!

“You better stop blowing that whistle Mr. 22 Gerry St.”

SCCCCREEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!!

“I’m warning you Mr. 22 Gerry St. you better stop.”

I looked at the kid who actually WAS blowing that god-forsaken whistle thing, and the mixed expression of desperation and indignance on my five-year-old face somehow communicated it was time to shut it down.

I was five. Riding the bus to school. And the bus driver lady wrongfully accusing me of blowing that whistle? She was the Devil. Satan. Beelzebub.

Well, if she wasn’t, she was close. At the very least she was EVIL incarnate.

And she was my first introduction to such a dark and sinister force.

But it wasn’t the injustice of that moment that showed me the face of darkness. No it was worse. Much worse.

I had very clear directions from my Mom on the protocols of bus riding – ‘When the bus stops at your stop, you get off and you walk home’.

Simple enough. It wasn’t far. I knew the way. I knew my address (22 Gerry St.) No big deal. But my five-year-old mind hadn’t yet developed the ability to conjure up contingency plans in case something went awry. It just didn’t seem necessary.

So when evil bus driver lady passed by my stop one day, I just went, “Hmmph” and sat there not really knowing what to do. I or one of my friends may have said something – I can’t really remember; good lord I was five – but the response I got, or the lack of one, led me to believe that I was just screwed. I was staring into the face of utter darkness and a bus ride into oblivion.

With EVIL BUS DRIVER LADY at the helm. And she knew she missed my stop and said nothing. That’s what was evil.

I remember another bus ride I took a few years later in my fourth grade year. All of a sudden some girl just started quietly crying on the bus. It didn’t take long for the bus driver to get alerted and realize he missed her stop. Now this bus driver was a normal human being, and when he realized he missed her stop he actually pulled the bus over, walked back to the girl and said in a caring and apologetic tone, “I’m so sorry I missed your stop, everything will be fine OK? If anything like that ever happens don’t be afraid to come up and tell me OK? I’ll take you right back as soon as possible.”

I was like, “Oh yeah girl, I SO know what you are going through…”

But the difference between her and I was, I was five and she was nine and the difference in cognitive abilities between the two ages is light years.  When you’re five the world is still a half-dream where monsters and Santa Claus and ghosts under the bed are still very much a reality.

So a bus ride to the end of the earth where I would never see my family, friends and my favorite Teddy Bear again was very much my reality.

So I sat there and watched everyone I know get off the bus, one by one, which in itself was surreal since they were always after my stop. Every stop was a new and different experience that brought me closer to ‘the end’.

Then everyone was gone except me. Then something strange started to happen as these ‘old’ kids started getting on. They must have been Junior High or High School kids; I’m not sure, but the dudes had whiskers and the girls were endowed. Then some guy sat next to me – he could have been twelve or twenty-two – they all look the same when you’re five, and said, “What grade are you in?”

“Kindergarten,” I replied.

“Kindergarten? What are you doing here?”

Good fricking question Einstein, I was trying to figure that out myself. Actually he was quite nice and I believe he went up to Satan’s bus spawn and told her there was a single-digit straggler in the back. We chatted a bit and he told me everything was going to be fine and I would be brought home soon.

Hope. Relief. But a reassuring word from She-devil? Nothing.  An apology? No way. Just silence. As if I somehow shared responsibility for the mishap.

It wasn’t like was an incredibly shy or timid kid or anything, it just hadn’t clicked in my inner moral clicker that I had RIGHTS. And if they were violated I had a right to protest. The protocol was ‘when the bus stops at your stop, you get off and walk home’. There was no protocol for when the evil bus driver misses my stop AND I say something AND I cry AND my friends say something AND whisker-kid says something and still nothing happens.

The five-year-old mind just doesn’t get the notion to say, “Hey wench! I don’t know what kind of bad acid trip you’re still shaking off, or what daddy issues you’re trying to work out but you missed my stop and if I don’t get home at the appointed time my Mom is gonna freak so turn this yellow submarine around and drop me off or your boss will have your ass on a platter!”

Nope, that just didn’t come to me.

So eventually we somehow avoided the end of the earth with eternal darkness and the place with no toys and ended up back at the bus station where some guy in big red car brought me back to my house where yes, a freaked out mom awaited with my favorite Teddy Bear in hand.

How long was I gone? I don’t know, a couple hours maybe. But it seemed like an eternity. A bus ride into darkness where I first saw the face of evil. And lived to tell about it.

Oh, and evil bus lady? FIRED.

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Micah Ortega November 7, 10:10 PM

    Awesome story. I can so relate to that. Had a teacher in 5th grade that was violently abusive to us kids. She just so happened to be the principals wife. There seemed to be no higher authority to appeal to until our parents got wind of it and she and her husband got ousted. We may have been bad kids but she was evil.

  • Vonya November 7, 10:54 PM

    That is a really sad story Keith. Your mom mentioned the bus incident to me the last time I saw her. She’s still livid about it!

  • keith November 7, 11:38 PM

    So am I!! Haha…

  • keith November 7, 11:42 PM

    Micah – Ha! Nice to hear justice won out in the end.

  • Judy November 8, 11:02 PM

    Did she have any resemblance to the South Park lady at all? Or did she look like this sweet old lady until she opened her mouth? Did bunch of venomous snakes come out of her mouth when that happened?

  • JR November 9, 12:18 PM

    Great post. Reminds me of my kindergarden nightmare… first week of school and I couldn’t read much yet. Our in class bathroom was occupied and I really had to go, so the teacher sent me down the hallway to the elementary “big kids” bathroom. Of course everything down there felt huge, and to my surprise I found not one but two bathroom doors, one to my right and the other to my left (“girls” and “boys” just looked like giberish at the time and I really had to go). Quickly swaying back and forth trying to hold it, I had to choose one. So I just went right, took the first stall and sat down to do my business. I was just starting to wonder why there were no urinals when to my horror three girls entered talking cheerfully. I was dead silent, then one of them saw my “boy” shoes under the stall door. They started laughing and calling me out! I burst into tears trying to explain, “I can’t read yet!” They quickly left but that felt like the end of the world.

  • keith November 9, 10:22 PM

    JR- Oh man that’s rough. I have a friend who went in a school bathroom stall to sit and do a dumper. Little did he know, a group of kids snuck up around the stall and were quietly staring down on him. He looked up in horror and realized his private act was being watched and quietly ridiculed. To this day he needs complete and utter solitude to complete the act of doo doo.

  • Joey November 29, 7:43 PM

    Oooh the picture of the South Park’s bad woman makes me imagine how hopeless the expierence was!!! At that age anything can turns into a bad trip. Good thing: you survived!

  • keith November 29, 9:35 PM

    Thanks! Barely though! haha!

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