For around an hour every school day, I found myself on the bus as a child. Living out in the middle of nowhere guaranteed that I had my choice of seats, as I was one of the first kids that was picked up since I lived on the fringe of the district. As a child, I didn’t mind the ride.
The cast of characters was always interesting. There was a kid we all called Peach Fuzz. Jerry and his fat girlfriend always sat in the back and made out. The bus driver, while a super sweet lady, would usually glare at us in the rearview mirror while she yelled:
“BE-HAVE!” or “HEY, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!”
I was never offended by that though, we were usually being assholes.
My friends and I always sat towards the middle of the bus, and even at our young age we poked fun at all of the older kids. Jerry and his fat girlfriend were always targets of our pre-pubescent jokes.
Jerry was a kid who lived nearby in an old trailer, tucked into a narrow valley that was located on a dead end dirt road. My road was of the same sort. Jerry’s face reminded you of a pepperoni pizza due to his horrible acne, he was missing a front tooth, and he had a penchant for fake gold necklaces. He also sang miserable renditions of the R+B hits of the day; Boyz to Men, Al B Sure, Color Me Badd. He knew all the words, and serenaded his big lady in a higher than he should try falsetto. He was quite the catch.
Another character on this daily ride was a friend of mine’s cousin, Clay. Clay was a year younger than me, and was quite possibly the most annoying kid ever. He would pester passengers relentlessly, and Jerry was a favorite target even though he was four years older and probably a hundred pounds heavier.
This day’s ride started like the rest. Jerry and his fat girlfriend hit the backseat and immediately started their daily ritual. Catcalls followed instantly. Even Peach Fuzz got into the act. Today though, Jerry surprisingly fought back against our trolling.
“Shut up, you guys are stupid.”
That is when Clay turned it up a notch:
(Sung to the tune of the Adam West Batman theme)
“Na-na-na-na-na-na-nana-na-na-na-na-na-na-nana ZITMAN!” Rang out on constant repeat.
At this point Jerry looked up from his backseat prize, looking like someone just broke the news to him that Milli Vanilli had lip synched.
“Na-na-na-na-na-na-nana-na-na-na-na-na-na-nana ZITMAN!” It continued.
“Shut up now you little shit.”
At this point, my friends and I were staring in amazement at what was unfolding. Peach Fuzz was now crouched down in his seat, slightly peering over the seat back.
“Na-na-na-na-na-na-nana-na-na-na-na-na-na-nana ZITMAN!” Again and again and again.
Jerry launched out of his kissing booth and grabbed Clay violently by the shirt.
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”
His already red face was an unbelievably darker shade of red now, with his screaming and shaking reaching such a point that he fainted on top of his antagonist, much to our astonishment and also amusement. In a swift motion that put all of us on one side of the bus, the driver slammed on the brakes and swerved to the shoulder and hastily ran back to check on Jerry.
“Jerry, Jerry, wake up.” She nervously pleaded.
“What the hell is wrong with you kids?!?” She added with a vicious glare.
Jerry’s fat girlfriend sobbed in their private lounge, mascara streaming down her puffy face while the bus driver carried a groggy Jerry to the back of the bus.
I don’t think that any of us could pick our jaws up off of the floor that day. Jerry was fine of course, with the exception of tears in his eyes and his pride being injured. I’m pretty sure that Clay had to change his pants though once he was home for the day.