I attended public school for most of my compulsory education. I also had the dubious fortune of riding what was commonly known as “the short bus.” For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this piece of slang, the short bus is a mildly derogatory name for the bus that the special needs students use, it is most often shorter than a regular bus because they’re not as many seats in it because of the need to carry a wheelchair lift and provide space for a wheelchair itself. If someone asks you if you rode the short bus this morning it is most likely because you just did something really dumb,a reference to the fact that many of the students who use the short bus are mentally disabled. My short bus story isn’t funny and I wish with all my heart that it had never happened. In the fall semester of my senior year I discovered that a friend of mine had died over the summer and not a one of my classmates had thought that I should know.I wasn’t shocked that my friend died, he had a congenital heart defect so I was kind of expecting it. The thing that shocked me the most was that he didn’t die from his heart defect like we all expected, a semi truck ran him off the road in the rain killing him and his younger brother on the way home from their dads.A teacher that we’ve both had for a previous class told me the story. I cried sporadically for the rest of the day. Like a lot of schools mine had vending machines and at the end of the day I decided to get myself a Dr Pepper. I think I would’ve actually preferred a shot of whiskey but considering I was underage at the time I took the best substitute I could find. It was against the rules to bring soda on to the school bus but that day I couldn’t care less, fortunately for me my teacher’s aide informed the bus driver and her helper what had happened and so they never said a word about it. However I was not lucky enough to have everyone keep their mouths shut. There was one boy who got on my last nerve almost every day. He had ADHD and used that as an excuse to annoy the daylights out of most everybody, think Dennis the Menace in middle school and on Ritalin. He knew about the no soda rule and kept threatening to tell in this very annoying singsong voice. I was doing my very best to ignore a, because considering my state of mind I wasn’t sure if I started hitting him I would quit. Also on the bus were a couple of boys who had severe anger management issues and could be very scary if they wanted to be. Next thing I know both of them had turned around and told the little past quite calmly and evenly to shut up and leave me alone they then turned to me and apologized for his behavior and also that my friend died. I guess you can imagine that “Dennis” almost swallowed his tongue and left me alone for the rest of the trip. I think I even laughed, but in spite of that I would still trade the whole experience to have Paul around.