84.3 F

Davis, California

Monday, June 17, 2024

Not-quite-magic school bus

That buzzing by your head? That’s your alarm clock.Youmoan politely at it,calmly insisting that it perform lewd acts that would be rather unlikely even if it did have an anus.Buzz buzz buzz.Whencursing fails,you move on to your next step.With practiced ease you flip it the bird.It ignores you.

Buzz buzz buzz.You turn to look at the time,but it’s too blurry to see.More cursing,now you’re fumbling for lost glasses.You put them on.Still too blurry to see; it’s probably best not to know anyhow.You get up,stumble out of bed and faceplant into the door frame.Fortunately your roommates sleep through your muffled profanity.

You perform an intricate ballet while descending the staircase,which you can’t see because it’s so early even the sun’s still hitting the snooze button.You navigate to the kitchen with skill Magellan would envy,dodging an archipelago of paper recycling here,a vast reefof discarded shoesthere.You hit the switch andit’s light,blasting,blinding brilliance punching you in the face and mocking your grogginess.The microwave casually informs you that it’s4:30a.m.,but you disagree vehemently on the grounds that the Geneva Convention prohibits such hours.You pour coffee.Mission accomplished.

Your morning routine starts to take shape.Shower.Clothes.Back to the kitchen for breakfast; this morning you’re wieldingoff-brand Frosted Flakes with 5to apathy and-17to motivation.Fortunately,you’ve got your sidearm:a mug of coffee, 100to all stats.You begin to think you’ll survive the day.Ha.

Your phone beeps.It’s5:30,meaning you’re late.Crap.Quickdishes to the sink,schoolwork collected,backpack in hand,you’re out the door.You flip-flop-fumble to the car,open it,get in.With flip-flops.Unitrans safety rule number seven clearly states no flip-flops.Three minutes blow past as you scramble through the apartment,then you’re back in the car with real shoes and a thermos of liquid sleep to help you through your day.Other students will eye you oddly as you down a cuppa joe in your mid-afternoon genetics lecture,but screw them.You can either nurse your caffeine addiction or violently introduce97M-line passengersto new physiciansafter youpass out and attempt anexciting alternate route to campus.

It’s5:40when you park at the Pad,and5:45by the time you get to your bus because it turns out caffeine is a diuretic.Racehorse? Ha.More like a urinary tsunami.You look forward to repeating the procedure for the rest of the day,and,for that matter,the week.But you’re at your bus,and you’ve got15minutes to get itchecked out andoff the lot.You’re driving Column25,which runs the employee shuttle followed by alternating K/Mlines until you hate West andSouth Davis equally.

Brake checks.Tire checks.Window checks.Heater and A/C checks.Seat checks and mirror checks.Radio checks and wiper checks and wheelchair lift checks until you want to scream atdispatch,It’s a bus! Let’s go!”

First stop is atCastillian,at6:10.You wind throughNorth Davis,grumblingwelcometo your fellow drivers.You’re just happy you’re notdispatch,who was starting buses at the Pad around the time your alarm wrecked what was shaping up to be an excellent day spent in bed.

You’re running a little behind because the sun finally tired of being fashionably late andelected instead to shoot full in your face.Dispatch is displeased.Thanks to you,all of Unitrans is now running late.You return to base,dump your coworkers,cycle your wheelchair and you’re only just barely late for yournextrun,ferrying students who are extremely put-out at having to wake upat6:30to catch a7:10bus.Your sympathy is understandably limited.

…Socould everyoneplease remembertheir ID card next time?


CADE GRUNST strongly urges students to be nicer to their drivers; it’s almost never their fault when they’re late/crowded/hot/whatever.Share the compassion at cade@ucdavis.edu.


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