As the ever cheery Mr. Mucus boarded the bus I said, “Are you excited?” “It’s the last day of school and Santa Claus is coming to town.” He replied, “Yes, yes, yes and Mr. Brandon I hope you have a merry Christmas, you’re the best bus driver in the world let me give you this”. And he leaned over and gave me a hug. He set down and I’m feeling pretty good and then the bomb shell. He looked at me with a serious face and said, “I sure wish you were on the Nice List”. With a hand motions in the air he continued, “If I could, I would write Thomas Brandon right there on that list but………… it’s not up to me”. That was the end of the conversation. So for all my friends, “I wish I could put all of you on the Nice List but it’s not up to me. Good luck and have a great Christmas.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Having missed school the day before, I knew Hot Pickle Boy must have been sick so as he boarded the bus relatively slow I ask, “Are you feeling better?” A look at his face confirmed what I thought. He paused a few seconds and said, “Mr. Brandon do you think you could get your hands on a bottle of NyQuil?” “I could drink half of it, you could drink half of it and we could just get this day over with”. As he is telling me this Mr. Mucus is in the background hitting himself in the head and face repeating over and over, “Why am I hitting myself, why am I hitting myself?” And I wondered, does NyQuil come in a six pack?
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Driving down the road I hear Mr. Mucus barking out orders, “Bacon I need more bacon and get some sausage on there too”. Then I hear slapping noises as the kids across the aisle from him are hitting the seat with their hands putting bacon and sausage on the grill I assume. He continues with, “Toast, I need toast and make it raisin toast”. The orders continue as the other students keep slapping it on the grill. He paused took a deep breath and said, “Ok you can take a two minute break”. He looked at me and said, “I love working at Waffle House it’s the greatest job in the world”. After that he looked back at the workers and said, “Get busy I need more bacon”. There was a small protest that they had not had two minutes but he said he didn’t care and they needed to get back to work. Waffle House, I knew it, raisin toast gave it away.
Monday, December 17, 2012
First grader gets on the bus and I ask, “How was your weekend?” “It wassssss amazzzzzzzing” he replied. So I braced myself for the amazzzzing details that where sure to follow and asked, “Well what did you do?” He looked at me opened his mouth and nothing came out. He looked up, looked down, then back at me and said, “I can’t remember, it’s my Dad’s fault he can’t remember anything either”.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Your Majesty, Your Highness, Sir, Madame titles or phrases that we use to address others to show honor or respect. Much can often be accomplished when we take the time to be polite. Yet sometimes we are caught in a situation where we are not exactly sure how to address someone. When you’re not sure do not use it as an excuse not to show proper form. Go with what you know, this lesson I learned from Mr. Mucus. As students were boarding the bus he would address each one calling them by name with, “Good morning Joe, good morning Alice”. This he continued at each stop, until at one stop as the student got on Mr. Mucus paused looked at him and said, “Good morning little child that I have never seen before”. So, have a great day all my friends that I have never seen and to the ones that I have seen you have a great day also.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
A first grade student boards the bus and as he is setting down says, “Mr. Brandon why is it so chilly this morning?” Quick thought runs through my head, maybe it’s not so obvious to a first grader. I reply, “Because it’s December”. He looks at me with a blank stare. I try again, “Because it’s winter”. Same look, so I swing for the fences, “Because during this period of time the tilt of the earth’s axis causes the northern hemisphere to be tilted away from the sun”. “Oh so that’s why” he replied. Some people think on a higher level, even first graders.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Mr. Mucus had a question, "Mr. Brandon do you know what the true spirit of Christmas is?" Sensing a teaching moment I reply, "Yes I do, the true spirit of Christmas is seeing how many presents that you can get for your bus driver". He and others chime in, "No Mr. Brandon it’s about being thankful". I add, "Yes thankful that we are able to buy a lot of presents for our bus driver". "No, it’s about being able to do things for the people who mean the most to you and that you love the most." I start with, "Yes like....." They chime in with, "We know like your bus driver". I think my job is done. The conversation then changes over to what if we could hook up reindeer to the bus.
Monday, December 10, 2012
After picking up the Twins that are not twins I turn around and go back past their house. As I’m turning around one of them says, “Mr. Brandon I have to use the bathroom bad, I don’t think I can hold it all the way to school”. I asked, “Why didn’t you go before you got on the bus?” “Well my sister was in there and she wouldn’t hurry up.” Knowing that school is about forty minutes away I asked, “If I stop back at your house can you run in and use the bathroom real quick?” She assured me she could so I let her off. As she ran for the house her sister said, “She’ll be fast alright because she don’t never flush or wash her hands”. It’s those pesky personal hygiene chores that cut into our valuable time.
Friday, December 7, 2012
As Mr. Mucus approaches the bus he has a folded piece of cardboard up against his ear, No doubt a cell phone. As I open the door the conversation that he is having comes to an end with, “Yes, yes that’s good I will talk to you later”. He folds the cardboard, I mean phone, shut and says, “The Agency, you know I’m a spy”. At this point I’m sure I hear spy background music start up. Not wanting to blow his cover I say, “If you’re a spy should you be telling me this?” Instead of complete secrecy he decides just to keep it quitter so he leans in and whispers, “I’m Double Oh Oh, I have a microchip in one shoe and a blow dryer in the other shoe”. The microchip made sense to me because I’m sure a spy would have need of one in a lot of different circumstances. But I must admit the blow dryer threw me for a moment, until I realized how handsome and sophisticated spies always look so I guess you would need a blow dryer to be readily available. Just as the conversation was getting interesting he said, “Excuse me I have to get this” and he answered his phone. He said, “Yes Dear, I’m on my way to work, yes, do we have to talk about this now can’t we talk about this tomorrow?” “Ok, goodbye.” He hangs up looks at me and tells me something that was already clear, “The wife”. I don’t know what she told him but it seemed to take the starch out of him. He dropped his head and said in a somewhat muted tone, “I’ll be setting back here if you need me”. He didn’t stay down long in a few minutes he announced to the bus he was ordering jet packs for everybody so they could fly to school. Got back on the phone and when he got off announced to everyone, “They’re on their way”. I guess he must have sensed some confusion among the riders so he tried to clear that up by announcing to everyone, “Yes I am a spy, why else would a first grader have so many gadgets?” After this there was not much activity on the spy front but as we neared school I heard him call out my name, I looked, he blew on one thumb and then blew on the other thumb slapped his hands together and then waved them over his head. I’m sure this was some spy code. I’m assuming from the smile on his face it meant all is well, mission completed.
Monday, December 3, 2012
There is one question that you can always count on Mr. Mucus to ask each morning, “Mr. Brandon what’s for breakfast?” Sometimes I tell him the truth and sometimes I make stuff up, trying to make it so ridicules that he will know the difference. Doesn’t always work like the morning he was afraid that the porcupine pancakes would get caught in his throat. Well this morning when he asked I said, “Liver sandwiches”. He called back, “It better not be cat or I will through up”. While multiple ideas are running through my head of why he would think about cat liver another student cleared it up for me when he said, “Not litter….liver”.