…remember riding the school bus?
Gawd. I do.
And ya know, I say that like it was a nightmare…in all honesty, it really wasn’t. A lot of times, it was actually a whole helluva lot of fun. BUT, not exactly the most impressive set of wheels to parlay in as a junior (or senior, for that matter) in high school.
That was me.
While most everyone my age (especially at my high school…where most kids were from well-to-do upper class backgrounds) were driving themselves to school, or where ever they pleased, in brand new cars that their folks bought them—I was stuck riding that high-yellow-ass school bus.
Well, except for that one morning.
The year was 1998 and that morning, on a whim, I asked my step-dad if I could drive his truck to school, and …and…HE SAID YES. Although he was not a drug user, I’m almost certain he had to have been high that day. That’s really the only explanation I could ever muster for why he had agreed to such a thing.
Anyways, let me explain something really quick. For someone my age, who A. didn’t have a set of wheels to call her own, and B. whose step-dad was, without hesitation, tossing her the keys to his less than 1 year old Land Cruiser (baaaalllinnnn)—that spelled out MOTHERLOVING E-L-A-T-I-O-N…hell, I think I might have even looked at myself in the mirror that morning and in my Denzel/Training Day voice said, “Ferris Bueller ain’t got sh*t on me.” Or something really, really close to that.
But, I digress.
So, he tosses the keys on the counter and, in an effort to play it cool, I wait a full thirty one and a half seconds before snatching them up like Sheree Whitfield did Kim Zolciak’s wig that one warm, summer night on the well-lit streets of Atlanta.
Pretty much just like that.
Keys in hand, I grabbed the one cd I’d had in heavy rotation since ‘95— ol’ faithful ‘Jagged Little Pill’ (because, nothing says “I’m a total badass” like an Alanis Morisette album circa mid to late 90’s) and headed out the door for what was sure to be the most pimp day of my life.
My timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. Just as I was pulling up in front of the school, my less fortunate cohorts were descending from the big yellow bird.
And for just shy of 45 seconds, I did feel like a total badass. There I was, tiny little ol’ me, cruising in a practically brand new, dark emerald-pearl, six-thousand-pounds-and-counting-beast-of-a-vehicle..sun roof open, sunglasses on, all windows down, and the tune of Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic” (it doesn’t exactly scream ‘badass’, I know) cranked all the way UP.
I basked in that 43 seconds…I mean, totally immersed myself in the envy of my friends while I waved as I passed them all by. Maybe a little too much immersion, because a second and a half later, the front end of The Green Envy, was ramrodding the hell out of the back end of a parked car.
I’m sorry, a parked BMW. Thank God for the immediate shock my body went into, otherwise I’d have been mortified by the laughter of my no-longer-envious friends.
And the bus driver.
And the other 100 or so random people who witnessed the falling of my kingdom.
And possibly Mr.Bible, the principal.
Crash and burn.
You can imagine the call I had to make to my step-dad. No bueno.
There’s an upside to this story though. I did eventually buy myself a car…with my own money, that I’d gotten a job and worked for…a 1990 grey VW Passat. I think I paid $900 for it at an auction. Bessie was a real beaut on the outside.
Not so much under the hood though.
Still, I was so proud of that car….my pride ran deep and strong. So strong, in fact, that it remained when she’d randomly disengage at traffic lights, and even when she would overheat and start billowing clouds of thick …embarrassing “in such a way that you want to crawl into a hole and die” black smoke.
Drive-thrus were especially delightful.
High School, 1. Robyn, 1.