Sadly, it’s been a while since I toured children about the countryside in my school bus, or helped them solve problems of punctuation in a busy classroom, but thankfully I can recall a few of their humorous observations to brighten your day.
The first was delivered weeks ago, long before the phrase, “global pandemic” was uttered. Should these very same words be spoken now, people might clutch at their throats, rend their garments in anguish or run screaming from the room. Back then however, while not necessarily a common phrase to hear, it was no more than a trifling, somewhat unpleasant matter to deal with.
A young fellow of six raised a chubby hand to summon the attention of a grownup, in this case, me. As is his way, he took great lengths of time to prepare for this momentous utterance: drawing in a breath, adjusting his gaze to peer earnestly into my eyes and opening his mouth in a perfect O. He then spoke with deliberation and forethought; pointing a free hand at his nose to illustrate these important words.
#1. “I sink my boogers is slippin’.”
This next example was taken from a day, years ago, when I drove a school bus in another province. A small boy of five sat nearby, regaling me with his knowledge on a variety of subjects. As an only child, he’d done an excellent job adopting the speech and mannerisms of his parents. This was highly entertaining at times. One afternoon we drove into his yard to see an unfamiliar vehicle parked near the barn. Upon exiting, the little tyke paused beside me to eye it dolefully. Then, with a heavy sigh, he dragged a tiny ball cap from his head and wiped imaginary sweat from his brow.
#2. “It’s those damned neighbours again,” he said irritably. “Wonder what they want THIS time?”
My next offering was a chance remark made on a field trip. Passengers were aged five through seven, and with so many aboard, everyone was sharing seats. Behind me, a heated exchange began over a chocolate chip cookie that belonged to one and was coveted by another. Finally I broke into the disagreement to assure the owner that she was under no obligation to give away her treat.
#3. “Thanks,” she said, taking a big bite, “but could you make him stop crying on my backpack. It’s getting all wet.”
My final tale took place after a tiring school day. When we saw a train blocking the road ahead, everyone groaned loudly, and I stopped my bus to think. Trains often sit at this particular crossing for extended periods of time, and it was long. “Forget this,” I said to myself. “We’ll go around it.”
Unfortunately there was nowhere to turn, but the road behind us was empty for miles. So, I did what I do best. I threw it in reverse and backed up to the nearest exit. Suddenly a sweet little blonde-haired girl rose up in her seat and peered out the window in alarm. Turning to her brother she hissed…
#4. Hey! You better hang on. I think she’s gonna jump it!”
So there you have it people. Tell me your day isn’t just a little bit brighter now.