It was destiny.
The year? 2008. Month? October.
It was Corie's last weekend living with me, and she had been moving her stuff into her new house all day (Before you all think this is a sad story, there was no falling out. Corie just bought her own place). We had agreed to do dinner and a movie back at what was still our house that night, for a final bonding weekend girls night. Thing.
Toward the end of the day I had gone for a walk. On my return home, I was about 2 blocks from my cul-de-sac, and two things happened in rapid succession. First, I saw it. Second, a strange white truck approached me. But one thing at a time. I had been walking down one hill a few blocks back and, looking at the downhill horizon, I noticed what I thought was a deck on someone's property. I think I thought it was next to a pool. Now, minutes later, two blocks from my house, I casually looked up the hill of another cul-de-sac. And I saw it. The bus. A blue bus. Hmm...
"Cool," I thought, "a blue bus...Wonder why it's in a driveway in the suburbs? I have to tell Corie about this! I wonder how long it's been sitting here and we've never noticed it??"
Immediately, a truck slowed down behind me. I don't remember being afraid necessarily, but I definitely wondered who was slowing down. I turned my head, lo and behold, it was Corie. I told you it was destiny. You think I'm silly, but these things can happen even with buses. Stay tuned. This story's only getting started.
First, excitement: I was just thinking about you! Yay, you're home just in time to start dinner! Second: What are you driving? Ohhhh, you borrowed the truck from John to move, ahhh, yes, I see.... And without ANY further ado: LOOK AT THAT BUS!!!
Now Corie and I are soulmates for many reasons, but perhaps first and foremost is our shared enthusiasm for just about anything. When we went to Florida in high school with her parents, every 30 miles on the way there we would say, "Beach check!" and then proceed to scream. Amazingly her parents still invite me over voluntarily.
So, obvi, Corie's reaction was "awesome!," and I immediately hopped in the truck for our little tenth of a mile drive up the hill to check out this bus. Well. As we approach the bus, we realize not only is it a school bus painted blue, there is a Kansas Jayhawk painted on the side. And the pool deck that I thought I had seen minutes before? Well, it was a deck for sure.
But it was ON TOP OF THE BUS. Amazing. This still rocks my world. I love this story, can you tell?
We got even more excited at the sight of the deck, one might argue this was the peak of our excitement (but you can be the judge of that when you reach the end of the story). Note that five minutes before we were just two girls, walking and driving, probably thinking about more civilized things like love, graduate school, work. But in a matter of minutes the switch was flipped--we were on a mission. This is why Corie and I are so made for each other.
Well the deck was the ICING on the bus. Oh buddy. Seriously, still gets me excited. We saw that deck and we were out of that car. Knocking on the door (of the house, not the bus). The wooden door was open, but the glass "screen" door was closed, allowing us to see into the house. A woman was in our direct line of view. She looked at us. We smiled. She looked away. She spoke to someone out of our line of vision. It went on for 30 seconds. It appeared she was saying "Those girls look obnoxious [she was right], you answer the door!" Previously unseen man appeared and came to the door, genuine grin. He opened the door.
"Hi," we said.
"Hi," he answered.
"Hi," he answered.
"We love your bus."
People, I could end the story there, because that is the priceless line, but this story just gets better and better so I can't stop.
This man was so jovial. "Thank you!," he replied. We began our interrogation: Is the bus yours? (Sort of, he shares it with about ten other guys). Do you tailgate with it? (Yes. Duh.) Glad to see you love the Hawks. (Why thank you).
We then spent a good ten minutes discussing the deck. The deck most definitely gets hung out on, they use a ladder to get up there. But the best part? They order pizza. And have it delivered to the deck. On top of the bus. I am so jealous of the owners of this bus.
Well then to our obvious delight, he showed us the inside. We were expecting an ordinary inside of a bus. I mean, what's inside a bus? Seats and...well, nothing. Just seats. Well there were seats alright. Couches. Lining the edges of the bus, facing each other. Riding to Lawrence in couches. Amazing. There were lots of stickers. Oh, and I forgot--there was a door bell at the door of the bus. And, wait for it...there was a water fountain on this bus. If anyone can show me a cooler bus, I dare them.
Reluctantly we left. We said thank you. Rock Chalk. "Oh, and by the way, I'm Bailey. I live down the street." "I'm Corie." "Nice to meet you. I'm Gary."
(Sometimes I think the best way to describe me is non chronological. I can tell someone my career endeavors, what I had for lunch, what exactly I think about Jesus, why I love the beach, and then it will occur to me, "Maybe I should introduce myself. I wonder if this person I started talking to is uncomfortable right now." And that right there is another way to sum me up: comfortable, not realizing that others might not be. For the most part these are usually good qualities...But I digress. I have a very important story to tell here.)
We went home, had our delicious African pumpkin chili (mmmmm), watched The Notebook, and definitely reminisced about the bus at least 15 times the rest of the night. "Remember that awesome bus?" "Oh man...Oh, right. Ryan Gosling, so hot...But that bus was so awesome! I can't focus!" End scene.
...A few days later, my Dad came into town for a visit, Corie had moved out, and my neighbor Phil had a birthday and invited me and Dad over for brownies. At the b-day celebration it was of course only a matter of moments before I got to the bus. "Happy birthday, Phil, we love you. Now guys, let me tell you about this bus." I got through about ten words, "So Corie and I saw this blue bus up the street," when Phil said, "Oh yeah. Gary Amble's bus."
Jaw drop. "WHAT??!!!? That was GARY AMBLE'S bus????!!!?!?!?"
I refrained from grabbing the phone and calling Corie that very instant. For those of you who aren't from KC, Gary Amble is one of the main broadcast meteorologists in our area. A local household name. On TV every day. To my credit, I did know he lived nearby. I had a class with his daughter in high school, and she double dated with my brother to prom. But we had knocked on this man's door, walked around his bus, and even caught his name, and we didn't recognize him. I only have one thing to say in response to that. Two things, I guess. One, I don't watch the news or check the weather very often. And the second is that
We are the coolest.
Here is the bus in its beauty, for you to gaze upon with us: