Show Of Hands

When I sign up for a two year subscription to a magazine, I want the magazine, I don’t want empty promises or excuses or reasons why I should be thankful and life is so wonderful, and other non-related tripe.  I want what it is that I paid for … nothing more … nothing less.

Middle of the month, “Where is it?” (the Bus Conversions Magazine)  The last one I saw was so long ago, I cannot remember the month nor the date.  I guess I could have sent but another email to inquire where it might be?  But what is the use, the last one went unanswered, so screw it.  Anyway I am missing my hobby magazine and I am wondering what the excuse is going to be this time?

Every now and then, I will be watching television and the host will turn and look at the audience and inquire of them, “Let’s see a show of hands here, all of you who believe this or are in favor of it, raise your hand.”  And then the camera will quickly sweep the room and present a stunning representation of democracy at work, it will capture a sea of waving hands.

Some shows, with a much bigger budget (Oprah comes readily to mind here)will have hand-held digital counters and the audience member presses a button and you have an instant read-out … a statistical representation right there on the spot.

Raise your hands!  I always get a kick out of that, the way people quickly respond and register either their absolute awe or shock in the form of an upraised hand.

We are a story-telling folk, for as long as time has rolled by, we have sat around the campfire and told ourselves stories.  The ancient among us, would draw on the walls of caves to possibly entertain, enlighten, frighten or enthrall those who came along much later and stumbled upon it.

As a small child our grandparents would sit us down and tell us about “the good old days” as they remembered them and our parents would mystify us with stories of their youth.  My Dad and his brothers, used to sit at the kitchen table for hours and relive World War II and their exploits and/or adventures.

Lets face it … We like to tell stories.

BCM fulfills that to a certain extent, every now and then, it comes mostly unceremoniously or unannounced to our mailbox loaded with bus related stories.  They key word or phrase here being “every now and then.”

Then there is the bus board, where the stories are put up and then with almost disturbing regularity, they kind of morph into something that is not actually happening or have little resemblance to the original storyline.  On a slow day, it can actually be entertaining reading the quotes of a man who regales himself with a fantasy adventure or great knowledge about being a demigod in the bus community.  A man who see’s himself as someone who is beloved by all, when in fact, everything around him is going to hell and his friends and family have changed their home phone numbers and begun lighting prayer candles at night.

The poor slob who cannot find the off-ramp for the Cracker Barrel or the cheapest overnight parking spot in the lower forty-eight.  Interesting fodder such as where do I put my C.B. antenna and how do I chose a super-secret C.B. code name so truckers will talk to me?  Every time I run over a curb I blow a 12 year old tire, what can I do?

The enticing posts that spark a flame in those who are so unsure of themselves to begin with, they are already do not have a clue from the get-go.  You know, the subject topics that ask you to fill in the blank for why she/he doesn’t like me, love me, laugh at my jokes, return my e-mail or look me in the eye during missionary sex.  Those head turners like that.

No, wait a minute, that might be those mag’s next to the checkout counter at China World, I could be mistaken here.

Regardless of the type of story you find on the board, here are a few tips to close the book, if you will, on their psychic damage. First, look for extremity in your word choices. “Always,” “never,” “forever,” “hopeless” and “death” are usually tip-offs that you’re in a self-made fairy tale.  Quickly here are a few more … “Cheap,” “inexpensive,” “free to a good home,” “taking up space in my old tool box,” “looking for someone near _____ to drop this off,” are a few more.

Second, replace all these so-called mental legends of this electronic world, with manual labor. Roll up your sleeves and get busy, stop trying to pick everyone else’s head for the answers to YOUR problems.  There wasn’t anyone around to show the first caveman how to hunt food, he picked up a stick and killed something!  Same with you … try to solve it yourself first … if that don’t work, then go find a hammer and beat it too death.

In other words … at least make an effort to try and figure it out for cryin out loud.

Cleaning the engine compartment of the bus is often the best antidote for “My bus smells funny, (ergo I am patient zero of a weaponized bird flu devised by a secret arm of the Chinese government, and I believe it was given to me via the packing material in the box delivered to me from Cheap Taiwanese Tools LLC out of Pittsburgh) and I don’t know why.”

And finally, here is a novel idea for a burned out bus nut over-achiever.

Write your little horror stories down and sell them. Here’s the title and tag line from one I just optioned to an independent film maker:  “Using your bought at Home Depot Infrared Heat Gun for fun and profit at Bus Meets.”

Look for it this spring on ABC … Should be listed under “non-reality” programming or something along those lines.  Now let’s see a show of hands, “Everyone who plans to renew their subscription to BCM when it expires, raise them high!”

Yeah, thought so.