Hating the Bus

“Daddy,” my oldest asked me at dinner the other day, “you know what I hate about the bus?”

“No,” I said. “What?”

“I hate that some people are nice on the bus, and then mean when they get off it.”

I put my fork down. “What?”

“Yeah,” he continued. “They’re friendly on the bus, talk, talk, talk, and then they get off, and they say mean things about the person they were talking to.”

I felt my stomach start to knot up. “Did someone do that to you?”

His eyes lost focus and he looked away. “No, not me. it just happened to other people. Not me.”

“Who was doing it?”

“Just people, that’s all.  It’s what I hate about the bus.”

By this point, my blood was boiling pretty hot. Not with my kids, of course, but at the whole situation. “I don’t know about the bus,” I said tightly, “but those people doing it are being really mean. It’s not right to be friendly to someone and then say mean things about them.”

“Yeah,” the big guy said. He nodded, brow coming down, and thought about it for a second. “It’s like Chechery,” he blurted out.

“Exactly,” I said. “It is treachary. That’s exactly what it is, and there aren’t many things worse.”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

His little brother chimed in at that point. “I have a friend that talks to me on the bus, and then when we get off the bus, she won’t say anything!”

I tried to dial back my anger. What kind of kids were on this bus anyway? “Hmm,” I said. “Maybe she’s shy? Maybe she’s just scared to talk around so many people at school?”

“Maybe,” the little guy said doubtfully. Then he picked up a forkfull of peas and stuck it in his mouth.

Mean people suck. They really, really do.

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