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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Bad day, you say? Hey, the bus tried to eat my face

By Greg Boyles

November 11, 2008 | I rarely divulge stories that portray me as a foul-mouthed dimwit who falls into the most moronic situations while attempting to function in everyday life, but my friends and family said it would be a crime for me to withhold the following from the public.

It all began, as most stories do, on a cold, rainy October morning. I was lounging along the back row of seats on Aggie shuttle, drifting in and out of consciousness as the bus rattled and bumped along between stops. There were only five other commuters on the bus besides me, many of whom were slumped in their seats, drool hanging from the corners of their mouths as they listened in a comatose state to their iPods.

We finally reached my stop in front of the Industrial Science building so I took my glasses which had be resting on my stomach to allow me the sensation of lying in bed -- and placed them on my face.

I stood and began to drag my feet to the rear exit where I practically threw myself down the three steps in hopes of reaching the rain-soaked pavement outside. However, as I was hopping down the steps the driver, for what ever reason, began closing the door.

"No problem," I thought to myself in my early morning stupor, "I'll just push the doors open and carry on my merry way. I mean, how strong can the doors be on a bus?"

As it turns out, they're pretty damn strong because as I stretched my twiggish arms forward to blow through the doors, they pushed my extended limbs back into my chest like I was a praying mantis.

This would have been enough to fulfill an embarrassing moment, but life just loves to kick you when you're down. Apparently my forward momentum caused my head to stretch unnaturally far in front of my body, which caused the doors to slam into my face and squeeze it like a bad zit. This resulted in the squishing of my face back into the bus so that I was face to face with a barrier of embarrassment.

I'm sure this was a sight to see for those waiting at the stop preparing to get onto the shuttle. One second there is a young man descending the stairs to leave and the next thing they know there's nothing but two bulging eyes and a squished face that looks like a red chipmunk's.

Immediately four-letter words were flying from my mouth and bouncing around the inside of the bus like a ping pong ball. Many of my fellow commuters even shied away from me as I swore, still motionless in front of the closed doors.

As I ranted, I reached up to feel where the swinging doors had violated my face only to find that my glasses were no long perched on my nose.

More curse words flew as I searched by my feet, desperately trying to locate my glasses, but there was nothing there. The realization that my glasses were now somewhere out in the rain, and most likely in a million little pieces, did not help my spewing mouth. I looked toward the front of the shuttle for an explanation only to find the driver's reflection in the rear view mirror with an expression that vaguely resembled a victim from the horror film, The Ring.

"Just open the damn door will you?" I mumbled under my breath. I don't know why I didn't just shout it seeing as I'd pretty much sung every foul word in three different languages.

Finally the shuttle doors swung open again and I stumbled from the bus into the rain. I began fervently looking for my specs around the sidewalk but they were nowhere to be seen. I didn't locate them until one of the people waiting for the bus who happened to be a very cute girl informed me that my glasses had bounced under the bus.

Simultaneously the bus driver came running up to me, still with that ugly shocked look on his face, to ask if I was okay. I told him about being violated by the bus and the sudden absence of my glasses, and I may have told him to go to hell, or maybe I just thought it.

In the end my glasses were in fact under the bus. One lens was popped and scratched and the frame was bent in half. I also discovered later on after I'd already gone to three classes that I had thick black marks down each side of my face where the doors had hit me.

Since this incident I've grown fond of allowing others to depart from the Aggie shuttle before me, just in case. And as to the driver, I'm sorry I swore at you, but you did shut my face in a bus.


Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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