CLEVELAND — Don’t do it. Don’t you dare pass that school bus.
OH, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.
Where do you have to be right now that’s worth risking the lives of those kids you almost hit? What on earth is so important you can’t wait 30 seconds for the bus to stop, the kids to get off, and the bus to go again?
I'm dying to know...
Are you in such a hurry to get to your job? The job you hate. Nope. Can’t be late for that. Heaven forbid you’re not on time to trade the idealism of your youth in return for the opportunity to be mismanaged on a daily basis by nincompoopery, the results of which have eroded your true self and left you nothing but a lifeless shell of what was once a person.
Oh, you’ve got to get to the store? Oh, well that’s OK, then. Go buy more stuff. Take the precious fruits of your labor and fill the hole in your heart with inevitable obsolescence. You’re just a few more purchases away from achieving consumer nirvana, and, hey, you get points. It’s not selfish. Buying things helps the economy. If a kid has to take a headlight to the eye for the GDP, sacrifices must be made.
Ah, it’s a doctor appointment. Haaaaaave to get to the doctor. Hurry, hurry so you can get to the office, sign in and wait 45 minutes before anyone will talk to you. Lord knows if you don’t get there on time, you can’t sign the little clipboard thing that says you got there on time so you can wait with righteous indignation while people who arrive after you are treated first. Must. Sign. The. Clipboard. Thing. And. Seethe.
Don’t feel like waiting? Yeah, waiting is the worst. You, an adult, don’t have much time left on this earth. Waiting behind a bus for 30 more seconds draws you that much closer to death. Those lucky kids will have decades to recover from whatever injuries you inflict on them. It’s an issue of basic fairness. The bus, frankly, should wait for you.
Or maybe you just didn’t think about it. Hey, when you’re operating three tons of metal whose usage is involved in the deaths of almost 40,000 Americans a year, thinking just isn’t that important. What’s important is doing things the way you’ve always done them without having to put any thought into your actions. You can’t realistically expect the appearance of a giant vehicle painted in the manner of a 45-foot-long caution sign to prompt you to exercise caution.
Guess what, you maniac...
There is no acceptable reason for you to illegally pass that bus. Just because you can get away with it is not a good enough reason. Oh, nooooooo, you suffered a small inconvenience. There are worse things in the world. Like doing time because you nailed some kids with your car. Of course, you know that already, which makes this worse. You don’t care.
The kids on the bus have more sense than you do.
Joe Donatelli publishes the What Happened Now? newsletter.