Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Be The Coolest Kid On The Bus

I got my driver’s licence the day that I turned seventeen. Not for the usual reasons that people get their licence; I gained enough independence from catching the bus and trains on weekends and later had a boyfriend/chauffer to get me from A to B. I rushed to get my licence because the children on the bus genuinely hated me.

I do not intend this to be a sob story in any way, their torture was retrospectively hilarious and clever and I turned out fine in the end. Plus, I would have hated me if I were them. By all accounts I was a pretentious child who entered kindergarten telling everyone who would listen what a monotreme was. I am pretty sure I didn’t improve as I got older either. This tendency to be a smart ass, coupled with my extremely tiny stature – being only about four and half feet until I was sixteen – meant that I was a perfect target. I might just have gone un-noticed had my first bus trip home from my new school in year five not been such a debacle.

Back when I was ten you used to walk up steps onto the bus (nothing was as convenient as it is these days) and on this first day home from my new school I was the last person in the bus queue. The line grew shorter and shorter until everybody, except about two people, were seated waiting for the bus to depart. Due to my aforementioned height disadvantage, the bus driver couldn’t see past these last two people to tiny little Maz at the bottom of the steps. So unfortunately, while still waiting patiently to show the bus driver my bus pass, he shut the door and began to drive away. This meant I was wedged – one arm and leg in and one arm, leg and school bag out – of the door of the bus that was making its way rapidly down the road. I was literally half in and half out of the bus as it departed the curb. All the cool kids from their back seat bandit vantage point could see me flailing and yelling and were consequently flailing and yelling themselves – with uncontrollable laughter. The driver eventually noticed me, what felt like a kilometre (but was probably only twenty meters) down the road, and let me completely onto the bus. I was all red, sobbing with fear and sporting a grimy line right down the centre of my uniform from the bus doors. It was from this day forward that the cool kids from the local catholic school hated me. And to their credit, their hatred lasted for a good six years, right up until I got my driver’s licence and stopped getting that bus.                

One of the bullies I grew to have quite a crush on, he looked like Zac Hanson with dreadlocks and piercing blue eyes. One day I offered him five dollars to be my boyfriend and he spat on me. Properly spat on me, mind you. He hocked up a big loogie and spat it right onto my winter jumper. I took it off and washed it as soon as I got home, probably more heartbroken that he spat on my jumper and not in my mouth, than anything.

Another time, the ring leader; a chubby, pretty, blonde girl, threw my wallet out the window of the bus when we were about a kilometre from my house. I had to get off the bus, walk back and gather all of my coins and cards off the road and then walk the rest of the way home because my bus pass didn’t allow me to catch the bus from where I got off. That girl was an evil genius. I looked her up on Facebook hoping to find that she had become an ugly crone with a difficult life. She was stunning and seemed to be extremely successful. Go figure.

So I got my driver’s licence at 8.30am the day I turned seventeen, and wouldn’t you know, each one of those horrible children’s houses received a drive-by egging within the month. Call it vigilante justice.

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