So today was the first day of my behind-the-wheel training as a school bus driver. Even though I didn’t actually get BTW (making it a bit of a misnomer, at least for today), I did still have a lot of fun.
The instructor was making a left-hand turn at an intersection maybe two blocks away from the depot. Some guy in a crappy old Nissan sped around the bus on the right just after she finished turning, as she was trying to get the bus back over into the right-hand lane. Evidently, he was offended by the color of the school bus or something, because he sped in front of her, swerved over into our lane and hit his brakes to slow down. He didn’t come to a complete stop, but he did perform one of the funniest acts I have seen in ages.
While he was still driving forward down the left-hand lane (it was a 4-lane street, 2 in each direction), he stuck his head up through the sun roof of his car, turned around so he was facing us, and started waving one of his arms in the air, with the other one still holding on to the steering wheel. Needless to say, that is not exactly the best position for maintaining control of a vehicle, so he wasn’t exactly traveling in a straight line. I personally was waiting for him to swerve head-on into oncoming traffic, but alas, today was not my day to see a moron die. I’m sure he was very upset about something, but we were all laughing too hard to care.
As if those antics weren’t enough, about three blocks up the road, we saw the very same car and driver at a 45-degree angle across two lanes. Evidently, he decided AFTER reaching the stop line at an intersection that he wanted to turn left, so he decided that, rather than just going around the block (or something equally simple and safe), he was going to maneuver his car over into a lane that existed only to his left, and not in front of him.
We then drove around for a while, with the instructor demonstrating how to load and unload students. That consisted of her stopping the bus with the student lights on, and opening the door, then telling us what we would have to do if there were actually kids.
After that, we were just driving around for a little bit, when we were treated to the beautiful sight of a burning Ford Windstar minivan sitting in the parking lot of some business. When we first drove past it, there were flames shooting out from underneath the hood, running up the windshield. And not a person in sight.
We then got held up by a train for 20 or 30 minutes, and the instructor finally gave up and turned around, so we got to go back by the formerly burning car. It was now a smoldering shell of a minivan. The hood was gone, most of the windows were shattered or knocked out, and there was still no one around. Seems like someone will be getting quite the nasty surprise once they get off work and go to head home.