The secret to having a stress-free route

After many years of driving school buses, after many years of telling little Johnny to sit down, after many years of trying to catch who's throwing paper wads across the bus, I've finally found the secret to having a stress-free route. Let me tell you all about it:

The first thing you have to do is get to the bus early and ponder on all the reasons why you should stay on the bus instead of going to Hawaii for a month. Pay is a good reason for staying; not having enough money to visit Maui is another. The point is to enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet before the bedlam begins.

Next, when the bus is fully loaded and those kids are chattering away like no tomorrow, just imagine yourself doing something other than driving a bus. Sometimes, when I know I'm about to lose my temper and say things I wouldn't dare say in front of a preacher, I imagine I'm transporting a bunch of chickens to the processing plant to be turned into chicken McNuggets. A smile crosses my face, my temper disappears, and then I'm able to tell Little Johnny that his butt is heading to the office as soon as we get to school -- but in a polite, professional manner.

But the No. 1 way to ensure your blood pressure stays in the "acceptable" range throughout the entire route is this: adjust the rear-view mirror so you can't see what the little buggers are doing back there. Just let the camera (if you have one) do all the dirty work, and only look up when someone yells, "Mr. Bus Driver! Roger just threw Little Johnny out the window."

On second thought, it might be better not to look up at all.


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