Black Barbie and the Short Bus Chronicles

Sometimes, gentle reader, I find myself wallowing in self-pity and sliding further down the hill of depression. Today was one of those days. However, the universe sensing my sad mood decided to throw me a bone and provide this lovely tale of kiddies riding on busses.

Fridays end with my after-school advanced English conversation class. Well, I have to stay until 4:30 and classes are done at 2:30, I’m just killing time now. Technically this class is part of my 22 teaching hours during the school day, but since the class is “after school” I get the overtime. Hell, I’m not complaining. Anyway, back to my advanced class. Sometimes the kids go home, change clothes and come back to the school. Many of these poor bastards have to stay at the school doing study sessions until 10 p.m. So glad I am not a Korean kid or teacher at this point. Given that I only need to spend 45 minutes a week doing this, I’ll live.

Now gentle reader, when I say my advanced class, don’t get it twisted. Given that my most advanced class can almost have conversations with me, this isn’t exactly saying a whole lot. Sometimes, I do enjoy chatting with the kiddies and seeing how much of what I taught them has stuck. Then again, there are times when I regret 45 minutes of “I, am fine. How are you?”

This story will focus on two students Debbie and Michael. Both are males, and yes Debbie selected his English name. Hell, who am I to judge? Anyway, on this particular Friday, Debbie decided to be cute and show up 25 minutes late. I love it when my kiddies do that; much like the same way, I love nails on a chalkboard or anal sex. Color me prudish, but hell if you’re going to be 25 minutes late, what’s the fucking point in showing up? In spite of my annoyance, as it turns out, what was about to happen was made possible by Debbie showing up late. Thank you universe.

Debbie is usually anally on time, so his arriving late piqued Micheal’s interest. After allowing 30 seconds of what sounded like light-hearted Korean mockery, Debbie threw his book at Michael. Confused, I asked Michael what he had just told him. He calmly explains to me that Debbie was late because he “took the short bus to school.” Debbie then throws another book at him. Now, I had a couple of options available to me. One, I could tell Michael that’s not nice and to stop it, or I will tell his homeroom teacher his behavior is not nice. (The Angel Choice) Or, I could play REALLY Dumb Black Barbie and ask what this whole “short bus” deal was all about. (The Devil Choice). Being the professional, which I am, naturally, I selected the Devil’s Choice. Hell, I needed some entertainment, and I figured the kiddies could practice their communication skills. Winning for everyone all around!

I had to get to the bottom of Short Bus Gate and the following happened:

Black Barbie: Michael, what does “short bus” mean?

Michael: (the little bastard looking all cute and clueless) Debbie took a taxi to school! The short bus is taxi!

From across the room, Debbie throws a pencil at Michael.

Debbie: No! NO! That’s not what it means!

Black Barbie, your residence shit starter pretends to be shocked and surprised.

Black Barbie: Is it a bad thing? Is he insulting you?

Michael: No! I say Taximan!

Debbie: Yes!

Black Barbie: Well, how is it an insult? What does it mean?

Michael: Teacher, No, not an insult!

At this point, Michael is trying to explain using his hands and his limited English, while keeping a straight face.  This is not helpful to me, the teacher who is also trying to keep a straight face. Of course, the person losing big time in all of this is Debbie. Poor Debbie, one almost feels sorry for him; almost. Michael says with gestures that some buses are long and some are short, but they are all busses. All busses matter, right? Poor Debbie can take no more and spills the Tea.

Debbie: Teacher Lisa! He lies! He’s calling me… the little stupid boy!

Being the professional that I am, I am trying my best to keep a straight face but ended up choking on my laughs, but I did manage to get this out.

Black Barbie: Michael, now that is not nice. Please tell Debbie you’re sorry.

Michael: Debbie (long sigh)… I am so sorry you ride the short bus to school every day.

Debbie says nothing but takes his seat while glaring at Michael. In other words, 5 minutes of awesomeness later and neither of the boys confirmed with certainty that the “short bus” means the same in Korean as in English. Later, being the bitch that I am,  asked Moon Yeoung what “short bus” meant. For a split second, Moon Yeoung looked at me like he was felt sorry for me. However, being the pro that he is, he masked his pity with an “ I don’t know”, and walked away. Poor baby was embarrassed for me. Who the hell cares, I had a good day and once again embarrassed the hell out of Moon Yeoung. Hey, tune in next time when Mr. Choi, another teacher at Sung Kwang, asks me to cane his ass!


F.M. Laster

“I never loved another person the way I loved myself”. – Mae West

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