Hey, how was your bus ride?
Last Wednesday, my best friend Cristy and I hopped, skipped and jumped on a bus and were told to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. So much for instructions.
"Where is the line? Why isn't there a line? Form a line. Hurry up! Let's go, let's go!"
Cristy stepped up and volunteered to form this line, which consisted of only about a dozen people.
"Give me the first six digits of your reservation number!" the bus driver shouted.
The piece of computer paper that Cristy held in her hands shook as she recited her number. It made me picture her on a large stage, performing for only one audience member, and that audience member happened to be Eminem. (O.K., maybe our bus driver wasn't that tough, but she sure knew how she wanted things done.)
Once we boarded the bus, our bus driver welcomed us and reminded us that no funny business was allowed. Then we hit the road.
And we hit it hard.
This lady merged from one lane to another like nobody's business. And her turns were sharper than an expensive kitchen knife. If you ask me, she didn't have just one foot on the gas pedal: she had two.
After we dropped some passengers off at their middle ground destination, our bus driver drove away and I turned up the volume on my iPod. Then Cristy looked at me and I removed the headphone in my right ear that happened to be playing some Elton John.
"Some girl up there just told the bus driver that someone outside is chasing our bus and waving her arms like crazy," Cristy said.
"Maybe we forgot someone," I replied.
That was my best guess. I mean, what else could be going on?
"Are you questioning why I'm leaving?" the bus driver asked the girl.
"No, but someone really is chasing after our bus."
Our bus driver slammed on her brakes, put the bus in park and went outside to figure out the cause for concern. She returned a few minutes later and informed us of the near-disastrous situation over the loudspeaker.
"It's all right, everybody. I just forgot to close the luggage hatch."
Cristy and I looked at each other and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Cristy just chose to shake her head and resume work on her iPad. Meanwhile, I shoved my headphone back into my ear. I'm pretty sure I heard "J-j-j-jennie and the Bets" rather than "B-b-b-bennie and the Jets."
Remember those sharp turns I was talking about earlier? Well, they resumed. Cristy was traveling with a Monster energy drink, and it only took one sharp turn in order for that drink to spill all over the floor. Cristy spent the rest of the trip worrying about the prospect of the bus driver coming near us because sticky bus driver feet would mean that Cristy didn't secure her drink like she was instructed and the bus driver's foot might stick to the gas pedal even more than it already was.
About an hour and one scary lane merge later, we arrived in Michigan, but the bus driver had no idea where to drop us off.
"I'm supposed to drop you folks off at the location written on your reservation papers, but I'm not exactly sure where that is, so if one of you could help me, I would greatly appreciate it."
Cristy looked at me with a we're-never-going-to-get-there look.
"Don't worry, folks. We'll just keep driving around until we find your stop."
I looked at Cristy with a we're-never-going-to-get-there-look.
Fortunately, a passenger on the bus offered to help our bus driver by using the GPS on her phone, and when Cristy and I finally walked off the bus, we hugged my cousins and told them that if we have that same bus driver on our way back home, we would pay them big bucks to drive us back to Pennsylvania.
(Kayla Pongrac is the daughter of Greg and Maryann Pongrac of Stoystown. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.)