This was going to be a good one, said the driver of the big, dirty yellow school bus. The tires were, as Paul Simon would say, " slip slidin' away" and the driver remembered what people had told him back when he started this job, many years ago.
"It will be hours of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer panic," they had said.
This was one of those moments.
The back tires were spinning in the soft snow, the back of the bus was slipping ever so slowly to the left. The front of the bus was still on the road.
"Go easy", he said, "Go easy."
He did. Trying to not over steer the big bus. Trying not to give it more acceleration than it needed. Trying to stay on the road.
But what if something bad happen and he did cause the bus to be stuck in the snow? Well, there was always his training to fall back on. He would make sure he was safe, make sure his passengers were safe, then try to not panic and figure out who to call for assistance.
Then, of course, being the type of guy he was, he went on to wonder what would happen if the bus actually slid off the road and flipped on its side.
That would be a corker, now wouldn't it?
In his imagination he saw the bus on its side, passenger door facing the sky. Back exit door blocked by snow. Driver side escape windows buried. Roof hatch unusable. Kids toppled over and scrambling. shouting, for help.
Then, absurdly, he thought about rescue helicopters overhead, police car sirens wailing, snow mobilers zooming to the rescue, and media crews swarming the bus. Microphones would be shoved in his face and bubble headed bleach blondes of all sexes would shout, "How do you feel now?"
Then, almost without realizing it, he felt the big bus regain traction. The back tires dug in, the front tires remained true, and everything was back to normal. The bus chugged forward, the driver breathed a big sign of relief, someone in the back called for a different radio station, please. All was well.
Until he turned the corner.
(to be continued)