I saw this quote and it reminded me of a story that all of you out there in blog land will either find hilarious or horrifying. Either way, I’m sure you’ll agree it would have been a great time to have that life eraser.
Several years ago a friend of mine, we’ll call him Gregg, was making his way home from work and came upon a school bus at a stop light. It was filled with middle schoolers, and like many of us, he expected knowing grins and searching eyes to be peering at him from the side window; but today things went a little different. Today what he saw were gaping expressions, rude gestures and worst of all, one boy decided launch a slimy green projectile out his window and onto the hood of Gregg’s cherry 1969 Chevy Truck.
Now Gregg is a good man; one that I respect and look up to, but he does have a bit of a temper. In fact he has one of those tempers that can send him into a tunnel of single-minded rage that would have Hannibal Lector running for mommy. Needless to say, that big green spit bomb lit his fuse and it was mere moments before Gregg was tearing out down the road after that big yellow middle school bus.
Now all of us, at one time or another, has seen “that kid” and thought, someone should teach him a lesson in manners, but logic, not to mention local penal codes, serve to curtail said activities in most people. Of course the advantage of being a raving lunatic is that you can ignore those little speed bumps when it’s time to take care of business.
Gregg caught up to the bus at the next stop, jumped out of his truck and stormed over to the open doors. He stepped in, moved to the back of the bus and started to give the little loogie hucking bastard what for. Now this happened years ago in a time when it was acceptable to hold a child accountable for their actions. I’m sure if this happened today, he would have been drug off the bus in a media filled frenzy to be stoned in the pit of despair, but back then it was still O.K. to give a kid a good tongue lashing when he deserved it.
Gregg only had a few seconds to speak his peace before the driver made it to where he was standing, but it was long enough to make him wish he had that life eraser sticking out of his pocket. The woman took his arm, spun him around and spoke seven horrifying words. “This bus transports mentally challenged children sir!”
All the blood drained from his face. And that tunnel of rage? Well it melted away to reveal several children staring at him in wide eyed wonder. Thankfully Gregg’s tirade hadn’t made it to full swing before the driver stopped him, but he’d said enough to make his walk of that bus one of the longest of his life. He apologized to the children, which were no worse for the ware, and he apologized to the driver then he got back into his truck and went home.
No harm was done, and when he told us this story years later we all had a good laugh, but at the time he would have loved to back up and do that one again. How many times have you put your foot in your mouth? I know mine has pretty much taken a permanent residence there. We all have our moments, and some are funnier later than sooner but I would love to hear em. Tell me about your biggest oops, or you can tell me about your “Friend” and we can call him Gregg.