I'm sure many of you recall learning about Ol' #23, an
educational film that showed us why it's so important to take care of our
precious school buses... and why you shouldn't ever screw with a nerdy
kid who can paint the Mona Lisa. Today I'd like to take a look at another
film from 1980 which will provide you with the knowledge of how to act,
and how not to act, around a school bus. Prepare yourselves for... Bus
Meet Bobbi. Bobbi is a young
girl who is completely infatuated with school buses which you'll quickly
find out as she narrates most of the film in her head. When they grow up,
some kids want to be doctors, some want to be the president and some want
to be astronauts. Not Bobbi, though... she's set a lofty goal for herself
to become a bus driver! The first thing she does when she wakes up in the
morning is sit at the table, pushing her model school bus toy back and
forth, dreaming of the day, many years from now, when she too will be able
to drive a bus.
You know, perhaps I didn't
quite explain just how much this kid is truly obsessed with school buses.
Not only does Bobbi dream about becoming a bus driver, she actually made
herself a t-shirt that says "BUS NUT" in big bold letters on it.
Naturally, the shirt is yellow, just like a bus. I don't know what kind of
childhood trauma causes a kid to become so plagued with thoughts of school
buses to the extent that she'll wear a shirt which reads "BUS NUT",
but I'm pretty sure her parents and/or bus driver should be arrested. One
of them must be guilty of something.
So once she's dressed in her
favorite "BUS NUT" shirt, Bobbi heads to the kitchen where her mother and
father chuckle about their insane daughter. Notice the mom is wearing a
yellow dress too? I think we've found the source of the school bus
influence in Bobbi's life. Hell, there are even yellow bananas on the
table. See what kind of subliminal mind games Bobbi's parents are playing
with her? Bobbi's brother picks up one of her books to see what it's
about, and sure enough, it has a school bus on the cover. Jesus, where are
the child protective services when you need 'em? Somebody help this kid!
Mom reminds Bobbi to finish
up her breakfast or she'll miss her bus. Bobbi laughs it off in one of
those "are you fucking kidding me... do you know who you're talking to
here!?" ways and proudly proclaims, "I NEVER miss the
bus!" Of course you don't Bobbi. If you did, mommy and daddy would
paint you yellow and make you stand in the corner while reciting your vast
knowledge of school bus emergency exit procedures.
Her mother dresses her in
the one coat that could possibly distract people from the fact that she's
wearing a "BUS NUT" shirt. We're talking about a huge feathery
leather coat that has no place being on a kid, complete with big matching
boots. This kid no longer belongs on a school bus, she belongs on a runway
of one o' those European fashion shows where the models are all wearing
clothes that you know you'll never see anybody in the real world
actually walk around in. It's the kind of jacket that only an insanely
overprotective mother would dress her child in... kinda like in A
Christmas Story. It's not even remotely snowy outside and she's
dressed like an eskimo, so you know it's like a friggin' sauna inside that
jacket for Bobbi. Well, at least she can still put her arms down while
So Bobbi and the other kids
all meet up at their pre-designated bus stop when all of a sudden one girl
points and says, "Hey, here comes Crazy Billy!" You know a
kid is bad news when his name is preceded with "crazy" any time
somebody refers to them. So what makes Crazy Billy so darned
cah-ray-zay? He's constantly late for the bus, but this morning he
drops his books in the middle of the street while he's running towards the
stop. Instead of looking both ways while in the middle of the street, he
just goes right ahead and takes his time picking up his books. CRAZY
indeed! Naturally, this sets off the Bus Nut's internal alarms.
Bobbi puts on her best
acting face to show just how horrified she is by Crazy Billy's complete
disregard for his own personal safety. Oh but there's more!
She then vigorously shakes
her head from left to right to let him know that she does NOT approve of
his behavior. I'm honestly surprised she didn't tear her flesh off to
reveal some inner-alien, hell bent on making children obey the rules of
bus stop behavior. You got lucky today Crazy Billy, but one of these days
your crazy actions are gonna cost you. Oh yes, they'll cost you dearly!
When Crazy Billy finally
makes his way to the bus stop, one of the girls (Amy) walks up to him and
says "Boy Billy, that sure was dumb!" with a big smile on her face.
Once again, he proves just how crazy he is by grabbing her bag and tossing
it into the middle of the street. Billy... you so crazy! Amy, however,
proves to be a hypocrite because she runs out into the road and grabs her
bag without looking either and the other kids tell her that now she's
being dumb. Nobody even says anything to Crazy Billy about what he did. I
don't know how she did it, but Bus Nut managed to contain her rage during
all of this. Perhaps she'll kill him in his sleep during nap time? One can
And then the moment we've
all been waiting for, well, ok... the moment Bus Nut's been waiting for
has finally arrived in the form of a big yellow school bus. Bus Nut is the
first one in line to make sure she has her choice of seats - the front
seat, naturally. But, she takes her time walking up the stairs inside the
bus to make sure she doesn't get hurt. "I sure wish all the kids were
as careful as you are when they get on the bus!" says Mrs. Harris, the
bus driver. This moment will forever be remembered in Bobbi's life. You've
got to understand that, to her, getting a compliment from a bus driver is
better than winning the lottery. That compliment will be swimming around
in her head for a long time to come...
The other kids won't be
receiving any praise from Mrs. Harris, however, because they're all
shoving and bumping into each other as they board the bus. That's just not
how a Bus Nut should behave! Bobbi remembers the bruise she received after
Crazy Billy pushed her from behind one time along with other people who've
been hurt. "Amy should remember too, she got hurt once and it bled!"
Boy, these kids sure are excited to get on that bus at ANY cost!
I gotta say, I think I feel
sorry for Mrs. Harris. Not only is she a bus driver, which means she'll
have to endure all kinds of abuse from the misbehaving kids she drives to
school each week, but she also has to deal with Bobbi. I can't imagine
dealing with the pressure of driving a bus filled with kids knowing that a
psychopath is sitting directly behind you... staring at you in the
mirror... waiting for you to glance at her so she can then smile back
because you have just validated her existence. And if you don't glance? I
wouldn't put it past our little Bus Nut to slit your throat, Mrs. Harris.
Crazy Billy may do some crazy things for attention, but that's
nothing compared to the Bus Nut's inner demons that she struggles to keep
In addition to her rearview
mirror staring contest skills, Bus Nut also has a knack for realizing when
one of the other kids is missing. "Hey, where's Joey?" One of the
other kids notices Joey running as fast as he can to catch the bus. Then
they all start screaming at him to watch out because there's a car coming.
Joey doesn't even bother to look, he just runs in front of the bus and
he's lucky as hell that the driver slammed on his breaks. Mrs. Harris
scolds him immediately, "Joey Adams! You could've been killed! Never
ever run in front of the bus without checking the road first. The cars are
supposed to stop, but sometimes they don't." Such a damning speech
makes Joey's heart nearly stop as he is overcome with guilt for the crime
against school bus safety protocol he has just committed.
And with that, Joey has been
disgraced. Never will the Bus Nut speak to him again, for he has brought
shame upon his family name. If he were an honorable child, he would kill
himself, but we all know he won't... that coward. So, I guess the Bus Nut
will have to take him out later on once she's through tearing Crazy Billy
limb from limb.
After witnessing Mrs. Harris
lecture Joey on school bus safety, Bobbi knows that it's her destiny to
become a bus driving Bus Nut. Before she rides off into the sunset, the
Bus Nut leaves us with these words of wisdom:
"Mrs. Harris has a hard
job! She has to drive this big bus and she has to look out for us too! I
sure hope I can be a good driver like Mrs. Harris some day..."
And just like that, the Bus
Nut vanishes from our lives forever as her cheese-yellow chariot takes her
away. But remember... just because you can't see her, doesn't mean she's
not still out there... watching... waiting for you to screw up on a school
questions or comments about this piece?