The Bus to Hell

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

Upon entering elementary school, I was presented with a fine metal lunch box with a matching thermos. Painted up to look just like a  school bus driven by Mickey Mouse. Old Mickey was hanging out the window one hand on the wheel driving in a reckless and unsafe manner. Probably drunk, by this point in his career, he needed to get liquored up pretty good to smile like in the old days.

 Sitting behind him was his number one main squeeze Minnie, oblivious to who the real Mickey was. She thought she understood him and thought she could tame him. That it would all be different this time. Without all the alcohol and pornography and this time, he sworn on his mother grave to her, that he’d stopped.

Behind her and on the other side of the bus as well, was Donald Duck. Friend and sometime erstwhile rival for supremacy in the Disney cartoon universe. What’s he so happy about? Mickey, he gets his own show and hasn’t worked a day in fifty years. Donald struggles with a lifelong speech impediment and with the underlying fear that the bus is actually leaving him behind.

Yet he laughs along with the rest of them, though inside he’s dying. He can feel himself being written out of the good scripts and not being invited to the “good” Hollywood parties anymore.

He pretends he is still relevant and tries to put up a brave front. Oh, the cruel mockery of his position on the bus. He will never make it to the front of the bus on his own and will always play second fiddle to that recalcitrant rodent. Always sucking up behind him and always happily kissing his ass in public. Always acting happy on this bus to hell. Smile everyone, look happy! Is everyone happy?

Sitting behind him was Goofy, another dead weight on the Disney clock. Only famous through his association with other famous Disney characters. Only appearing in group shots and on lunch boxes and merchandise with no significant daily duties to perform. He lives today, in a run-down mansion off Sunset Blvd. Watching his cartoons from the good old days, over and over. Only being taken out for a secluded walk, twice a day.

Living with the cruel knowledge, that he’s been pushed aside. He remembers the old days back when Walt and Roy still walked the hallways. Back before it became this big, big juggernaut. Back before the pencil pushers took over and started asking questions, “Now why would a mouse own a dog?”

If only he could reach Donald’s place on the bus, then he would be happy. He could be happy as an inner circle character, but then again, no he wouldn’t. He would never ever be truly satisfied. That cruel mockery and hollow traumatic existence would be forever frozen into a child’s lunch box.

Sitting behind this failure, this cartoon basket case buffoon and Motel 6 for fleas, were the ancillary characters. Some without even names. The three little pigs, etc. Not even characters in their own right, but only characters from specific episodes. Name your second favorite Three Little Pigs story. Their agents told them to show up for a photo shoot and a day’s pay. And now, their image is plastered on a million lunch boxes, and they only got paid $92.50 after taxes. And they had to split that three ways!

What an amazing educational tool this lunch box was for me. There are leaders and there are followers,  and there are hangers on. Some being exploited and some doing the exploiting.

There are those whose very survival depends on being on the lunch box and without it, they are lost. Mickey, he doesn’t need the lunch box, but it’s in his contract. Donald and Goofy could get by without it, but the rest?

Kelly Anne Conway criticized John Fetterman for flying a pot flag, noting that drug overdoses have doubled. Drug overdoses have risen 3% overall. Drug overdoses from Marijuana, however, remain stable at zero, while the Doritos demand remains strong. “Sit here Kelly, by the emergency exit!”

But the school bus was always an adventure, so you have to pay attention and keep your eyes peeled for trouble. Sometimes on the bus a fight would break out. Somebody like Donald Twump would call Ron DeSantis a fat, whiny tub of lard. And then someone said, that Ronnie said, Twump was nothing but a washed-up TV celebrity. Then they said, Ronnie ought to be more grateful and appreciative to Donnie. To which Ronnie replied, well, he didn’t reply which is a political reply akin to “Your Mama.”

Ronnie and Donny are gonna have a Donnybrook to see who is going to drive the bus. This is going to be a titanic struggle, Donny from Donnybrook, AKA the Mar-A-Lago mauler versus, Ronnie the reprobate, the jerk off from Jacksonville. A cage match with no multisyllable words or discernible ideas allowed!

Behind them sit the Mitch McConnell’s and the Matt Gaetz and the Margie Traitor Greene’s. The Lauren (Low rent) Boebert’s, Gym Jordan’s and assorted captive Supreme Court judges.

Behind them sit the ancillary characters, the Lindsey Grahams and Mo Brooks, Roger Stone and Paul Gosar. Mike Flynn characters appearing in a famous episode, but not famous in their own right. Their futures depend entirely on Twump’s future. Without Twump they have no future whatsoever. They go wherever the bus takes them.  Only now, are they beginning to see where the bus is headed, and it is too late to get off now.

John Strand was offered a plea deal for his January 6th activities. He declined, certain that once he told his story to twelve proud American citizens, all brave and true, they would spin the key and turn him loose. He was facing months in prison and now, after being convicted on all charges, faces twenty-four years in prison. He was going to slide to notoriety by riding on Superman’s cape. Maybe move himself forward a couple of rows.

Strand a former actor and I say former because he’s going to prison for years and years, and won’t be doing much professional theater anymore. Former actor or future convict, what’s the difference? Twenty-four years in prison is a career ending injury, his next role is a twenty-year run in the real-life version of the Shawshank Redemption. Either buy a damn rock hammer or shut the hell up!

John Strand yelling, wait for me! Once I tell my story of Twump patriotism, I’ll be a hero! Maybe, I’ll be cast as Rhett Butler in the Faux News documentary. “The making of a Faux News documentary.”

“Wait! Wait for me! I’m not afraid of going to prison. They’ll listen to me. I just know they will! Anyway, worst-case scenario, Twump will pardon me, just as soon as he gets back into office.

Thanks for stopping to pick me up fellas, I was afraid I’d missed the bus. Say, why is everyone dressed like that in orange jumpsuits? Wait a minute, this isn’t the road to the promised land. This isn’t a school bus, oh, god no, this is a prison bus!”

And that’s when they put me in the special class. That, and the time when I told them what the flagpole out in front of the school really represented.

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