Shit You Should Know

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Please Return My Sanity

First of all, I am baaaaack!!  Did you miss me?  You know what I miss?  I miss my mother trucking sanity.  I believe I left somewhere in Texas.  If I ever get the bright idea to catch a bus to travel anywhere especially with my children, somebody smack me and make me read this blog!  Honestly, for the most part my kids were pretty well behaved…it was variety of grown-ups along the way that made the trip so interesting.  I have so many things to tell you guys!!

My husband has been in Huntsville, Alabama for about a month now and we have all been missing him.  At some point we decided it was official.  The kids and I were going to visit him.  Plane tickets were atrocious!  For me and both the kids, I’d end up dishing out nearly $2400.  Not feasible for short notice!  I managed to get bus fare for all of us for about 1/3 the cost of the plane price.  You know the saying “You get what you pay for”?  That statement speaks volumes when talking about this trip.  I’m convinced I was traveling with the bottom of the barrel of the world’s population.  Since I like to people watch, it was very interesting and terrifying all at the same time.

After looking over the different schedules, I realized that I would have to hang out in the Birmingham, Alabama bus terminal for nearly 7 hours if I took the bus all the way into Huntsville.  The thought of sitting in a bus terminal for 7 hours with my children after having been on a bus with them for 19 hours was just too much for me to bear.  When I found out that Huntsville and Birmingham where only about an hour and a half apart, I decided to just take the bus to Birmingham and drive to Huntsville since I was already planning on renting a car.
We got on the bus around 2:30 pm to depart Oklahoma.  For the most part, this first bus was uneventful with the exception of a pissed off baby.  The next stop was Wichita Falls, Texas.  We switched buses here.  We had to wait a little while for the next bus to get there so in the mean time the kids entertained themselves with Goldfishes. 
The bus we got on in Wichita Falls was extremely packed.  My daughter sat with a lady and I sat in the seat across from her with some man who had a bad case of B.O.  The boy child sat about two rows behind me with a younger guy in his early twenties.  We rode this bus all the way to Dallas. 
There was this group of young guys probably in their early to mid twenties sitting a few rows up from us dressed as if they were getting ready to audition to play someone like Lil’ Wayne in an upcoming made for TV movie.  They spent at least an hour talking about all the different way to smoke pot and get high.  It was very educational to say the least.  One of them would say something like “Have you ever got high using a gas mask?”  The others will all say they had and then another would chime in about he did that but he would rather smoke while driving the Bat Mobile covered in peanut butter with a badger in his boxers.  It was sort of like a male chest beating contest.  I half expected them to whip out their penises and ask to borrow a tape measure.
As I mentioned before, we all had to share a seat with a stranger.  I felt sorry for the dude my son was sitting with.  Over everyone else on the bus I could hear my son talking about Call of Duty this and Madden that and wrestling…oh my god…the wrestling.  The guy just looked like he wanted him to shut up so he could take a nap.  My daughter felt the need to touch everything…the light switches, the air vents, the recliner, etc, etc, etc.  Not to mention the fact that each and every bus bathroom was thoroughly inspected by both children and complained about for at least fifteen minutes following each visit, but more about that later.

Every bus driver at departure would give a little speech about no smoking, no consuming alcoholic beverages, turn your ringers to vibrate on your cell phones, talk quietly, blah, blah, blah.  There are some people in this world aren’t very bright and have trouble following even the simplest of instructions.  I was lucky enough to share a bus with these people. 
There was this group of trailer trash that I had the pleasure of riding with all the way from Wichita Falls, Texas into Birmingham, Alabama.  They were loud and completely obnoxious.  The group consisted of one woman and about five men.  As far as I know they weren’t actually traveling together they just shared a common Jerry Springer-esque bond of being ultra TPT.  It was sort of like an episode of My Name Is Earl except it wasn’t funny especially at 2 in the morning when you were trying to sleep. 
The female of this clan was one of those women that viewed herself to be a size 6 when she was in fact at least a size 20.  It was gross.  She was also VERY loud.  At one point she was on the phone sitting about six rows behind me all but yelling into her phone.  The bus driver actually got on the intercom to tell her shut the hell up (of course, he said it much more professionally).  This became a topic of discussion for most of the trip.  When the group would get loud, one of them would make a comment about how they were going to get yelled at and thrown off the bus to which Big Momma would say something to effect of “He can’t throw us all off the bus.  I paid for my ticket.  I’m going to talk if I fucking want.”  It got kind of repetitive after awhile.  To be honest, I think they were all drunk.
Somewhere on the outskirts of Terrell, Texas we hit bumper to bumper traffic.  It’s never good when you look forward and there are red brake lights as far as the eye can see.  Eventually after a good 30 minutes of inching forward, we begin to see flashing lights ahead.  Apparently, some dummy decided it would be a good idea to go and flip his car over on the highway and make everyone else have to go around him.  Thanks for that, Mr. Guy!

We made a lot of middle of nowhere stops especially in Texas and we picked up lots of loonies along the way.  In Tyler, Texas we picked up an elderly black man decked out in overalls.  It was after midnight.  I was exhausted and my creativity switch had been clicked to “off” for the past few hours.  In my mind, I nicknamed him “Farmer Black Man”.  Did I mention I was tired? 
The Farmer talked the entire time he was on the bus.  Problem was he was having this conversation with himself.  I couldn’t even tell you what he was saying it some sort of hillbilly gibberish.  His voice had an old man rasp and in addition it had a scratchiness like he had smoked since he was 10 years old and now he was pushing 80.  He would fluctuate his voice to where one minute he would talk really deep and the next he was talking in a really high pitch rasp.  It was strange and slightly scary. 

After a couple of stops, the bus driver came over the intercom and announced our next stop would be in Kilgore, Texas.  A passenger from somewhere in the back near Farmer Black Man asked, “Driver, will we be stopping at an insane asylum for the old man?”  That came from the trailer trash peanut gallery.  It was probably the only thing that came from that group that was even remotely funny.
Speaking of places we stopped, as I said before we stopped in the middle of nowhere a lot in these little one horse towns.  Maybe I noticed them more because it was the middle of night but I couldn’t help but think that I wouldn’t want to wait for the bus here in the dark not would I want to get off the bus at these stops.  All I could think about were scary movies and serial killers as I imagined what it would be like to get off there.  In particular, one such stop was in Kilgore, Texas.  Kilgore’s motto should be “Kilgore: the place where serial killers are born”.  Take my advice.  Do not travel on a bus with kids or you may find yourself thinking that Kilgore may actually be an excellent place to abandon your children.
Like most kids, my children are avid bathroom inspectors.  I know I was when I was a child.  Hell, I had an official I.D. and everything.  After listening to my kids complain over and over about how smelly the bathroom was I vowed that I would do whatever was necessary to avoid using it myself.  Somewhere in Texas during all the middle of nowhere stops, I had the urge to GO.  Finally, I could hold it no longer.  I entered with caution.  My New Orleans friends and family will understand completely when I say it smelled like Mardi Gras Day in there.  Anytime I use a public toilet I always put down a layer of toilet paper on the seat but this time I put numerous layers.  It was THAT scary in there!  After which, I was thankful that the little cubby hole restroom indeed had toilet paper and also for the hand sanitizer I carried in my purse.
Somewhere near Dallas one of the guys from the pot smoking party decided to start a conversation with the lady sitting behind me.  From what I gathered, he had just gotten divorced and he was on his way back to Killeen, Texas to burn his ex-wife’s house down.  Something tells me it's a trailer.  So any of my Killeen friends that read this remember you read it here first, people.  I am bringing you all the juicy gossip from my super awesome road trip.  Be sure to let me know too once you see it one the news so I can say “Hey!  I know that guy.”

There were tons of little babies and toddlers on this trip.  Those people should be nominated for sainthood.  I would not have had the patience to deal with that.  One lady had a little guy who was about three.  I learned on this trip that whining in any language is just as stressful because you can’t understand it in any tongue. 
My son was sitting near the little boy and his mom.  The little guy, who my son to referred to as Pedro the whole time, thought my boy was the bees knees.  When we would get off the bus, he would follow him around and copy his every move.  I also think he had a crush on my daughter.  He would constantly ask me were “la niña” was.  This kid was just another official member of my son’s fan club.  Later in Shreveport a lady got on the bus and as her husband was waving goodbye to her, my son was sure the guy was waving to him.  He says, “Mom, do we know him?”  My boy thinks everyone wants to be his fan club president.

Somewhere between Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi, I woke up from a brief nap to find us stopped along the highway.  First thought was “Great!  We got a flat tire or we are having engine trouble.”  I asked the guy in front of me, the arsonist, why we were stopped and he said he wasn’t sure but he said the bus driver was outside of the bus.  I looked out my window and saw the driver standing out there smoking a cigarette.  At this point we were already running over an hour behind schedule.  The traffic near Terrell, Texas didn’t help. 

From what I gathered from the people sitting around me, we had already been stop for a good 20 minutes.  Another 20 minutes later, a mini van pulls up and another driver gets out and climbs on the bus telling the current driver thank you for waiting for him.  I thought maybe we were switching drivers but no, this other driver just needed a ride into Birmingham, Alabama.  So now we are almost two hours behind schedule.

We were scheduled to reach Birmingham a little after 9 a.m. but it was nearly 11 when I made it.  Lucky for me there was a cab parked right out front that took me to Enterprise Rent-A-Car which closed for noon.  I would have been devastated if I wouldn’t have been able to get the car considering I still had to drive an hour and a half to Huntsville to get to my husband.

I’m going to go ahead and end it here for now.  I still have much more to tell you guys about.  I’ll try to get to the rest of this tale tomorrow.  Part 2, here.

1 comment:

  1. HAHA I think I laughed the whole time I was reading this. LOL. You should have asked the pot smokers if they were gonna measure and if so to go to the back of the bus. LOL The black guy that was talking to himself, just knew were to find an intelligent conversation. I WONT go in a public restroom but IF I HAVE to I load it up with Paper. I mean I can use a whole roll if need be. LOL. I have perfected the "Hanging" method. I think it is crap that you could not all sit together, but at least your little boys neighbor may have learned something. Old people love little people. Little people are the ONLY people that listen to them like what they say is pure GOLD. If I see the news about a house being burned down I will be sure to remember I heard it here first. LOL. You should have told the trailer trash, that being uneducated was no reason to be loud and annoying. LOL I loved reading this.


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