Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bus Ride

My brother-in-law Nathan is a fine fellow. He endured a few years of torture and teasing from me while I dated his older sister (and my future wife Michelle), and sometimes I think back at the practical jokes I pulled with a bit of regret. A very little bit.

I never had a brother of my own, so I took out years of little brother treatment on him. Sometimes I had to manufacture scenarios and situations to tease him about, sometimes they landed in my lap like manna from heaven.

We all used to live in Gaithersburg Maryland, and one of the things our community was most proud about was their public transportation system. Ride-On busses were everywhere, and almost anyone in the town or it’s outskirts could walk out their front door, and be at a Ride-On bus stop in a couple minutes. The network of routes could take you almost anywhere. For students it was ideal- if you missed your school bus, you could hop on a Ride-On and still make it to school on time. Each route was 2-way, every bus stop had an identical sign or shelter across the street. One side took you in one direction, the other side in exactly the opposite.

One day Nathan missed his school bus. He checked to make sure he had 50 cents, and waited for the Ride On. The bus pulled up, Nathan climbed on board, paid his money and had a seat. As the bus started to roll Nathan asked the bus driver “this bus does go to Seneca Valley High School, right?”

The bus driver said- “This route does have a stop at the school, but your headed the wrong direction. You have to go to the other side.”

Nathan said thank you, then stood up and walked the two steps to the other side of the bus and sat down.

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