Saturday, March 22, 2008

Renting a Bus - In high school

I believe that most teenagers have wonderful minds. They are sharp, quick, have great ideas. And some are really bad ideas! I had a great idea, once. The stage is about 1973 and the place is West Springfield High school in Virginia. Our basketball team is very good. We call them McCool’s Mighty Midgets. How totally UN politically correct! Coach McCool was the, well, coach. And he taught math also. We called the team, with their blessing, the Mighty Midgets due to the fact that the tallest guy was just a tad over six feet. But they made up for it in talent. So the team is smoking hot and advances through district play. All those games are local and the school provides school busses for the kids, or we can get to the games anyway we can. When they reach state, the games move to southern Virginia. This means, commercial busses are to be rented. Down at the cafeteria, they have a table set up where you can buy your ticket to the game. A bit farther down, they have a table where you can buy a seat on a Greyhound or Trail ways. What ever they were doing, it was a first-come basis. All you had was a ticket and a bus number. They were not letting you pick seats or anything. This would not do! I asked one of the ladies, if it would be OK to reserve an entire bus. This causes her to have some sort of slight seizure, but she goes and checks with the supervisor. They convene a short time and decide that there would not be anything wrong with them holding back an entire set of tickets for one of the busses. Shoot, if they didn’t sell, then the bus doesn’t go! They tell me that they would hold a bus, but I’d have to pay for it all at once to get all the tickets. No partial sales. OK. Fine by me. I get a pad of paper and start going to all my A-list friends and telling them of the plan. They sign up and hand me their bus money. Everyone seems to think this is a grand plan and start signing up their girlfriends etc. Once the bus fills, I go and buy the entire bus for my rowdy friends. I then track them back down and hand them their ticket. They show up on time for the bus, with their bus ticket and game ticket. They forget or loose it? Too bad, so sad. I work through my A-list. By the time I get to my B-list, the bus is almost full. People are searching me out and I’m having trouble even getting to classes on time. Meanwhile, my sister hears of the plan and she and her boyfriend start doing the same thing. So I finally sell out the bus. I have a wad of cash, a list of names, and go rent the entire bus! My sister is working on it, and I hear rumors that other groups have heard of this and are also attempting to reserve entire busses. For some reason, knowledge of these activities is now taken by the bus ticket NAZI’s to be some covert attempt at taking over their powerful job of OFFICIAL STATE BASKETBALL BUS TICKET SALESPERSON COORDINATION OFFICER and they shut down the activities. I think the next morning they even made an announcement that there would be no more attempts at renting an entire bus. I was surprised that we didn’t hear that renting entire busses was a communist plot or something. To me, it still made so much sense. Instead of 42 transactions, one for each seat on the bus, you had one kid, a wad of cash. You counted the cash and handed the pimple covered kid every ticket for the entire bus. One transaction, no fuss, no mess. So, the appointed game-day arrives. My bus is packed with all my friends and their girlfriends. We have coolers for snacks and drinks. We have blankets in case our girlfriends get “cold”. We are ready. We have a great trip down. Lots of talking, laughing, and having fun. The game gets played. I don’t remember if they won or lost. I do remember a very dark returning bus, with the AC out those little airplane/bus personal vent deals, being all turned on by the guys, as we were all “hot and sweaty from cheering on the team”. I remember most of the girls were cold and the blankets were put to good use.

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