Every bus driver experiences it. Every bus driver dreads it. It happens once in a great while and can’t be avoided. Today I won that special lottery.
“SOMEONE THREW UP!”
The cry came from somewhere near the back of the bus. I was taking the elementary kids home and made it halfway through the route when it happened.
“It smells bad!” said one girl.
The other kids chimed in as they craned their necks to see the damage.
“What did he eat?”
“Looks like carrots.”
“I think I see beans.”
“He must’ve had grape juice.”
“I think he had apple sauce.”
I pulled the bus over to check on the boy. He said he would be okay the rest of the trip.
As these things go it was not that bad of a mess, however, the Body Fluid Cleanup Kit was woefully inadequate. I threw a greasy rag down to contain the mess until the rest of the kids were dropped safely at their stops.
I was two stops from the end when I heard the first signs of a possible chain reaction. A voice from the back said, “It smells really bad and my stomach hurts!”
“I think I’m getting sick!”
I said, “Hang in there, you’re almost home!”
I wanted to drive fast but I knew that would make it worse, especially around the curves. We finally made it to the last stop without incident. The parents at the stop thought the bus was flooded with vomit from the way their kids described it.
I pulled over to clean up the mess. The cleanup kit showed signs of budget cuts. There were a few grains of stuff similar to kitty litter, latex free gloves and a biohazard bag but no disinfectant. Just then one of the dads asked if I needed anything. He offered paper towels and disinfectant. I said I had plenty of paper towels but I could sure use some disinfectant. I put the towels to work while he went home to get a bottle of 409. I welcomed the harsh chemical smell. I sprayed half the bottle, handed it back and thanked him. On to the middle school.
ps – I just filled a big container with kitty litter. Tomorrow morning the Lion bus will be equipped with Puke Protection!