Archive for February, 2018

February 4, 2018

bitter memories : tour bus incident

I introduced a favorite TV show of mine to my daughter Regine, Malcolm In The Middle. She enjoyed it very much needless to say, and the show sparked many interesting conversations between us. She asked if I have ever known kids like those rascals in Malcolm’s family who could be so impervious to consequences just for the sake of doing what they think is fun. It reminded me of myself when I was a kid, the escapades I had with my cousins around the Greenlane neighborhood… and the wretched things we did. I told her all about it (much to her bewilderment).

One of it was what we’d refer to as ‘the tour bus incident’. It happened when I was around 8 years old. I was with 2 of my cousins called Kelv and Dobby (both are brothers). If you remember the name Kelv, then you’re right – it is the same guy I’ve written about 14 years ago. Dobby was the guy I wrote about here. Kelv was 9 and Dobby was 6 back then.

My mom would go to my grandma’s house for mahjong regularly in the 80’s, and because Kelv/Dobby lived with my grandma, we got to spend a lot of time together during weekends. We’d go around the Greenlane neighborhood to terrorize stray cats, vandalize properties around the church, and whatnots. But one of our absolute favorite thing to do, was to climb into a locked school nearby and had the place all to ourselves. One day, while we were doing that, Kelv noticed that there was a tour bus parked outside the school compound that belonged to one of the tour companies nearby. So he did what he thought was the coolest thing – he broke into the bus. We followed his lead.

Well, it wasn’t exactly ‘breaking’ because the door was unlock so, he was just entering. And you know how exciting it was for us kids to be in a bus without adult supervision. We’d climb onto the driver’s seat in turns and fiddle with all the controls available. I don’t exactly remember what we did inside but, I remember us liberating a stack of tour stickers – you know, those big round stickers that are used by tour companies to tag their tourist clients – from the driver’s compartment, and pasted them all over the bus interiors. What’s worse, we used the stickers on the school’s gate, then on the nearby walls, and everything else we could stick on.

We had a field day with the stickers and eventually, it ended when we reached home, back to my grandma’s house. But one mistake that we did not think much about out of sheer excitement, was the trail of stickers we left all the way from the tour bus kind of made it easy for us to get caught. The bus driver who eventually found his bus got broken into and full of stickers, was fuming mad and he’d followed the stickers all the way to my grandma’s house like it was the yellow brick road to the emerald city. And before long, he was at my grandma’s front door knocking on the door (I had gone home then). Boy my cousins had it so bad with their parents, especially Kelv, being the eldest and responsible for the whole thing. He got his ass handed to him by his dad. I got away scot free because I did not live there, so… it became a story of dumbassery that I’d remember for the rest of my life. (yep, we felt bad for Kelv).

Coincidentally, I ran into Dobby when I was having dinner with my daughter 2 days after telling this take to her. I brought the incident into discussion, and Dobby started to laugh like a jackass. Then he reminded me of another incident that involved a fire and a fire engine… which would be a story for another day…

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