86 Comments
author

Funny, poignant, punchy — always try to go for that. Thanks for reading Kate.

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What do you mean "even if you didn’t like it"? I LOVED IT. It could be the nosy, non-American in me, but you made bus-taking seem like its own fascinating little culture. You've done worldbuilding with something mundane, yet damn-near otherworldly in my eyes, personally! I thought it was fantastic. ♡

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author

That’s a great way to look at it — worldbuilding. What a great compliment, thank you. I didn’t realize so much when I wrote this that the kind of yellow school bus for public school transit was more of an American phenomenon, I’m glad you found that interesting thank you!

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Apr 28Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Absolutely loved this story. It has everything I love about that 60s-80s American fiction: teenage angst, weird pop culture references, war looming like a trilogy villain in a first movie, friendships, love, and budding sexuality. It’s like if Stephen King wrote realistic fiction.

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This was a great read !

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author

Thank you Kiana!!

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Apr 30Liked by Clancy Steadwell

"we never got to finish that comic" 🥲 love this story. Most of my memories were on the bus, too - you captured the feeling of awkward independence and how people cycle in and out of our lives along the way.

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author

Thanks for reading Van!

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Apr 28·edited Apr 28Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Loved this!

"What was something you learned from someone as a kid that was wildly incorrect?"

The one I remember most vividly (and still makes me chuckle) is when a fellow bus kid informed me that cum is orange. The same hue as Fanta. Either he had a novel medical condition or was destined to one day look down into his Kleenex with profound disappointment.

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author

Oh my god that is amazing, and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for reading Will!

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Apr 28Liked by Clancy Steadwell

the bus sex ed class made me laugh out loud. this was great.

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author

I don’t know how you’re the first to bring that up. Clearly the best part of the story lol. Thanks EJ

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I was a bus kid!

A rural bus that went way up into the NZ bush to get us ferals.

I was the bus nut job entertainer!

Great story!

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author

There is always that goof ball isn’t there?

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So I read parts of this with my 8 year old niece Maddie, who is a certified NJ bus kid. She just told me every single boy on her bus is a “weirdo” who eats his boogers.

Nothing has changed.

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author

“Parts” I hope, some isn’t appropriate for an 8 year old haha!! Although, if they rode the bus themselves, they probably would hear worse, so…

Thanks for reading Sudana!

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Jun 9Liked by Clancy Steadwell

sensing a lot of "cycles of life" in your writing

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Resonated with this as another bus kid.

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author

Thanks for reading Erik. So glad.

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May 24Liked by Clancy Steadwell

I absolutely love this. Each portrait of each kid he met on the bus was excellent. Every single one of them was so captivating. Even Toby, who I immediately took a dislike to.

I honestly can't quite express my hollowness when you write that the narrator and Latrell never finished the comic and didn't even really stay friends.

And all these wonderfully evocative thoughts simply from getting stuck behind a school bus!

I remember the hierarchy well, for I too, was a bus kid!

I utterly adored this!

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author

Wow Nicole what a great comment! Thanks so much for reading. You're the one of the few who mentioned Toby.

Bus kids for life!

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I couldn’t not mention him! The action of showing someone how to give a knuckle sandwich just characterised him to a T!

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May 16Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Great story! I like the frame of David and Rachel in the present – and the bus-kid wish for the future at the end.

I was a bus kid when I was very young, and then again in high school. In between we lived close enough to school to walk. I remember the high school bus as a bunch of teenagers wearing earplugs wired to tiny (tinny!) transistor radios, pretending we were all so cool and the bus wasn’t really there. I do remember one morning everyone talking about the death of Jimi Hendrix. YES, I remember where I was when I heard Jimi Hendrix had died!

But the rides to first and second grade were wild. The bus driver was a young Mexican-American woman with a beehive hairdo up to here, and she taught us silly songs. Like: “Yankee Doodle went to town/riding on a pony/went into a beauty shop and came out with a Toni” (Toni was a popular home hair permanent -- good lord people are selling vintage kits on e-bay). She taught us to count to ten in Spanish. She obviously liked her job, and us, with a cheerful enthusiasm that was about to be slapped down, because some of the parents complained – about the Spanish. They didn’t want their pure little white kids learning MEXICAN. In later grades I took Spanish classes (which were then required! Ha!) but I can still belt out Uno! Dos! Tres! Cuatro! Cinco! Seis! Siete! Ocho! Nueve! Diez! like a seven-year-old.

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author

Thank you Cheryl! A framed narrative is common to a lot of my stories.

What a great story about the Mexican-American bus driver. That is EXACTLY the kind of thing we will miss if kids don't keep taking the bus!

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May 15Liked by Clancy Steadwell

I loved reading this! Very vivid and brings back memories of high school days

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author

Thanks Fatima!

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something wildly incorrect i learnt from a kid was that the vast majority of adults conceive through artificial insemination because ‘no way our parents have had sex right, that’s disgusting.’

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this is exactly why we made all of our kids ride the bus. best education available

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author

Love it. Thanks for reading Andy.

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