Magic Bus

Welcome to the Rachel Crofton bus tour for the highly medicated.  If you’ve ever taught a teenager to drive, you know the harrowing experiences that happen when riding with someone who has a wandering eye and an anvil for a right foot—in this case, Rachel’s daughter, Regina.

Your choices are;

a.)       Keep your eyes clamped shut and a death grip on the “Oh Shit!” handle

b.)      Take a fistful of sedatives 20 minutes before entering the vehicle

Today’s story is an excerpt from Rachel’s previously published essay, “Dodging Miss Daisy.” For those medicated enough to read the entire story, it can be found here.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the lady responsible for keeping our bus between the ditches is the ever capable Alice Kramden Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF author seating chart click here.

 . . . And away we go!

Copyright Indira Mukherjee
Copyright Indira Mukherjee

Training starts with basic left-knee steering, then more complicated maneuvers are added as the student gains confidence in hands-free operation of the vehicle.

To graduate, attendees must be able to safely navigate the freeway at seventy-miles-per-hour, simultaneously text their best friend with one hand, apply mascara with the other, and scream at unruly children in the back seat.

Upon completion, the girls receive a “Beauty of the Boulevard” ankle bracelet and a gift certificate for Maybelline products.

I couldn’t be prouder of that girl, but there’s no way I’m getting in a car with her behind the wheel.


35 Comments on “Magic Bus

  1. ha! My oldest was such an abstracted driver that I would only let her make right turns at first. We drove everywhere in giant clockwise rectangles.


    • Drat, you stole my story! I knew as soon as I saw your picture that you were going to tell this. 🙂 She also has a bit of a lead foot.



      • yep, when she got her ticket at 83 on the way to college I just told her, “call the lawyer at this number. You pay”


      • My kids were born tailgaters. For some reason they want to drive six inches behind the car in front of them.


  2. I like the beginning instructions as much as the story
    too true
    a friend told me (before mine started driving) that it takes a car accident (not a fender bender) for them to learn how to be a serious driver. I was almost killed in an accident where the teen was busy with his CDs


  3. To the MOON, Russell!!! That sounds like a war story and a-half. I never had kids, but I remember my DAD teaching me to drive … you might as well tell the cyclone to go AROUND the barn. It doesn’t listen.


  4. I can just see this as a TV sketch – two cops see the bus careering down the street. Hot pursuit. They eventually catch the driver’s attention and get her to stop. When they ask to see her license she tells them to wait while she finishes applying her mascara.
    Cop 1 to Cop 2 (sarcastic): Maybe she’s born like that?
    Cop 2 (even more sarcastic): Maybe its Maybelline.


  5. I always look forward to your stories Russell, and you never fail to deliver a laugh.
    My oldest granddaughter (17) is learning to drive a the moment. We don’t have ‘driver ed’ in our schools so her father is teaching her. They have to have a minimum of 200 hours tuition before they can go for their license – they need to keep a logbook too. Fifteen minute drive to school, ten minute drive to church, five minutes to the shops…I figure she should have her licence by the time she turns 25. She’s learning on a four-wheel-drive.


  6. You touched a raw nerve for me; I pick up my car today after doing several hundred poundsworth of damage whilst parking (under instructions from my husband). But you brought a smile to my face. I may have to print this out and take it with me to read whilst they’re milking my credit card. Nice one again!


  7. I especially liked the ankle bracelet – but isn’t it men who drive with their knees while adjusting their sunglasses, sipping their coffee and dominating the stereo?


  8. I guess the thinking is that if they’re going to do it anyway, they might as well as have training. I take it this group of girls eventually can go on to do stunt driving.


  9. I’m pretty good at the course curriculum but a dismal failure at applying mascara. Too bad, because it makes me look almost cute again! Love the title “Dodging Miss Daisy,” OMG, LOOK OUT!


  10. Hey, she can really multi-task that girl, and she’ll only improve with practise.


  11. This was great Russell. I remember sitting nervously in the passenger seat as my sons took to the road, behind the wheel of my car.
    Great descriptive writing,loved it


  12. Dear Ralph,

    Add the cell phone in one hand and you’ve recreated a personal experience. I’m sure I’ve driven behind his chick.

    And one has to wonder why it should be necessary to make “no texting while driving a law” …oh yeah. If sense was common we’d all have some.




  13. Dear Russell,

    Your story was so funny that i’m going to read it on my phone on the way home….
    Love it, and your out there sense of humor.




  14. Loved the recording of your story. Kudos to the writer and the reader!

    Ha! The multi-tasking, knee-driving award would be right up my alley but I can’t afford the fine! (I’m lying, I have trouble texting from my couch let alone while speeding down the freeway!)

    I enjoyed this visit thoroughly! 😀


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