This is probably only funny if you went to middle school with me, and maybe not even then, but this is my blog so I'm blogging it anyway

In seventh grade, we once had this long-term substitute in our math class named Miss Bus. As if that's not funny enough when you're 13, she came in on the first day wearing a track suit and a whistle around her neck, and barked at us like a skilled coach. "Name's Miss Bus. B-U-S." After about half an hour, she managed to get us to stop making "hoooonk" and "vroom vroom" sounds long enough to explain that the old math teacher had left suddenly, and she'd be our teacher for a few weeks. We all kind of figured, OK, she's usually a gym teacher and/or coach, hence the outfit and the, um, choice of accessory.

The next day, we walk into math class, and sure enough, there's Miss Bus, wearing a track suit and a whistle. And knowing full well that she's going to be teaching math all day, I presume. A few minutes later, this kid Chad (who, on another occasion, threw a pencil across the room, which landed with its point stuck in my eyeball), walked in late. She asked him if he had a pass. He said, "no, sorry; I'm late because I missed the bus."

I should probably mention that this was a 6th period class.

I don't actually remember doing any math, or much of anything, with her as our teacher. I remember that she was a perfectly nice person, but that we spent most of her class fixated on her name. Also, we were fixated on her name for a good part of most of our other classes, phonecalls in the evening, weekend outings. Honestly, had it not occurred to her to pick another name to use when teaching middle school? Or to at least take off the whistle while teaching math?

Molly suggested I refer to her as "Miss Minivan" in my post to respect her privacy. Except that "Minivan" is not a funny last name.

Flash forward about seven or eight years. My friends and I had continued making periodic Miss Bus jokes up into high school, and now were scattered all over the country and had resigned ourselves to making them over the phone and e-mail. (No, we didn't have lives. We still don't. Why do you think I'm spending Saturday night writing a blog post about how it was funny that some lady had the same name as a mode of transportation?)

I was visiting family in the area where I went to middle school. I was either 20 or 21, because I know I was living in Boston at the time, and know my dad was still alive, because he was walking around in a Fred Meyer store with me. I told my dad I was going over to the cash machine in the front of the store, and I'd find him in a few minutes. I walked over to the cash machine, and there's this little athletic-looking woman in Adidas pants, muttering four-letter words at the ATM. It spits out her card, she kicks the thing, mutters another swear word, then sticks her card back in. At this point, I hover a bit closer to her to see what's going on. The screen pops up with "WELCOME, JANE D. BUS"* then gives some message about how the transaction can't be completed. She snatches away the card, mutters something, kicks at the floor, and turns to huff away, revealing a whistle hanging around her neck. I go get my cash, just as my dad walks up and asks me,

"Did you see that crazy woman?"

I nod my head and tell him, "Um, Dad, do you know who that was?"

"You know that person?!"

"Well, sort of; That was Miss Bus."

I'd nearly forgotten about her over the past few years. Amazingly enough, my middle school friends and I had gradually moved on to more modern events. You know, like things that happened in eighth grade. I was reminded of her just now:

Molly: We should come up with some sort of grace to teach our kids, like one of those hippy song ones, not one of the traditional ones...


Molly: Can you imagine what would happen if you sang that to an MBTA bus driver? And like didn't step off the bus until you were through?

me: No, you don't sing it to, like, a BUS DRIVER. We sang it in like middle school after we took a bus on a field trip.

Molly: Did you sing it to Miss Bus?

me: AAAAAHAHAHAHAH! MISS BUS! I FORGOT ABOUT HER! HEEEEEEEEEE! Actually, yes, this kid did once...***

We don't need to talk about how I just googled her. She's now teaching -- you guessed it -- gym.

* Not her actual name. Except for the "Bus" part, which is.
** Sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together," for those of you who weren't as much of a dork as my friends and I were in middle school.
*** It was Chad.


Nnnnnnnnnn said...

What's funny is that it is still sooooo funny.

eeka said...

Middle school is so much funnier than real life.

Which just reminded me of something in college...philosophy professor is talking about how some words set up a condition intrinsically any time you use them: "you can't have a dance, without any dancers."

Someone goes, "you can in middle school."