Spring Break ’22

It’s Spring Break and I’m enjoying sleeping ‘til the crack of noon.

A lot has changed in a short time. Austin, along with many other school districts, has dropped its mask mandates and other covid protocols.

I didn’t recognize them. The kids. I’ve only ever seen their eyes and ears in most cases. Add noses and mouths and they look very different from the picture in my mind.

The students are no longer required to use “handitizer” in the bus. They made up the word handitizer. They no longer have to endure the words, “Put on your mask!”

I used those words on a middle school kid when masks were still required.

He reached into his pocket for a mask and said, “My bad.”

The kid behind him said, “His bad.”

It’s nice to know these kids have each others’ backs.

By the way, I still wear my N95 to shield myself from the radioactive cloud that the high school kids call cologne.

I asked the kids if they were happy about Spring Break.

As expected, they were very happy. One kid said excitedly, “I get to be bitten by a dragon!”

I said, “Good for you. I hope it’s everything you’ve hoped it to be.”

There’s not much current school bus news to report because we’re on Spring Break! But we had a lot of fun in the weeks leading up to our mini vacation.

80s Day

One girl said, “It’s 80s day! I’m wearing shoes from the 80s!” She put her foot up and I stole a glance at her Converse Chuck Taylors.

I said, “I had shoes like that in the eighties!”

She said, “You weren’t even alive in the eighties!”

Mr. Dancer

One afternoon on the ride home from the elementary school, a boy said, “Mr. Dancer (I’ll get to that name in a minute) we need sugar. Take us to the candy store!”

I said, “You don’t need sugar. You need Broccoli. I’m taking you to the broccoli store!”

He said, “There’s a broccoli store?”

I said, “Yes, it’s called a farmers market!”

I didn’t take them to the farmers market. I dropped them off at their bus stops. Maybe their parents will take them to the broccoli store this weekend.

Back to ‘Mr. Dancer.’

When each school year begins I say, “My name is Mr. Jimmy Joe but you may call me Mr. Bus Driver Man Sir for short.”

These kids are sharp. They noticed that the latter is not shorter than the former.

One day a clever brother and sister team decided to give me a new shortened name that rhymes with Man Sir, hence my latest moniker, Mr. Dancer.

If they ever saw me try to dance they’d probably come up with a new name.

Yesterday, Tomorrow, or Yestermorrow?

A few months ago I asked,”Is it tomorrow yet?”

The kids all said, “No!”

I said, “Okay, I’ll ask again tomorrow.”

This went on for a few days until a boy said, “It can never be tomorrow! It is always today. Tomorrow is just a concept!”

I said, “Good answer. I like the way you think!”

Recently I asked, “When is yestermorrow?”

A little girl shouted, “Today! ‘Yester’ brings us to yesterday and ‘morrow’ brings us back to today!”

It’s been getting harder and harder to stump these kids so I asked, “What is one plus purple?”

A boy said,”I cannot answer that! The greatest scientists of the world cannot answer that!”

Latest score:

Children: Eleventy nineteen

Mr. Dancer: one (plus purple)



I’ve been thinking about a girl from my high school route years ago. Olena was an exchange student from Ukraine. A sweet, pretty girl with a nice smile. She’s probably close to thirty years old by now. She might have kids of her own. To me, Olena is the face of Ukraine.

One day I said to Olena, “I know a Ukrainian song.”

I picked up my guitar and played a tune called Schedrik.

Olena’s eyes widened in surprise.

“How do you know that song?!”

I said, “Everybody knows that song. We call it Carol of the Bells. It’s a very popular Christmas song.”

All I can do is hope for the best for Olena, her family, and fellow Ukrainians.