The Hot Seat.

Winter is the best time of year to sit at the back of the bus, or at least it used to be. At any time of year I like to sit at the back of the bus and just zone out on the way home, which had its upsides and its downsides. The upsides included being out of everyone else’s way, having room to stretch out a bit, and, if the bus hit something, I’d be as far away from the damage as I could get. The downsides, well, there’s only one really—I like to exit at the front of the bus and thank the driver. And in the winter there’s another upside: the back of the bus is where the engine is, so it’s hot. Oh, there’s another downside: if the engine explodes I’ll be as close to the damage as I can get, but sitting directly on a large hunk of piston-pushing metal burning flammable metal is that it generates a lot of heat so it’s a great way to stay warm, and I like to be warm. I’ve found I run a little colder than most people. Sometimes on a sunny summer day my wife will ask me why I’m wearing a long-sleeve shirt, and I’ll say, honestly, that I’m a little chilly, and she’ll say, “Fine, but what’s with the balaclava?” but that’s another story.

It’s also why when the weather gets cool I like to start the car about twenty minutes before I leave. This gives the car a chance to warm up, a lesson I learned when I was a kid when one Sunday after church an adult gave me twenty-five cents to go out and turn on the heater in his car. And I did. I turned the temperature control all the way up and the air on full blast, and the only thing I left out was that I didn’t start the engine so when he got in he got a nice cold breeze right in his face.

We also had a neighbor who would go out to her driveway and start her car and then rev the engine really hard to get it heated up, and once she drove me to school and she put the pedal to the metal the whole way and a couple of parachutes popped out of the trunk when we got to the parking lot.

At least the back of the bus used to be the warmest place to sit. Now that Nashville has upgraded its fleet of buses I’ve noticed that the back seats are about the same temperature as the seats everywhere else. The engine is still in the back, but it’s quieter and more efficient, and I’ve noticed that when following a city bus in traffic they don’t belch black smoke like they used to, all of which are upsides, but, when I’ve been standing out in the cold for twenty minutes waiting for a bus, the lack of warmth is a real downside for my backside.

10 Comments

  1. Tom

    The good news is that buses hardly ever blow up anymore. Like, not since “Speed.” 🙂

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The bad news is Sandra Bullock doesn’t ride many buses. Then there’s more good news: neither does Keanu Reeves. And don’t get me started on Dennis Hopper, at least not without offering me a Heineken first.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I think that a balaclava mid summer might make them suspicious…

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      What makes people even more suspicious is when I start eating the balaclava and they have to explain that, no, I’m thinking of baklava.

      Reply
  3. M.L. James

    Testing, one, two, three. Testing.
    M.L. James recently posted…What Kind of Day are you Celebrating?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m happy to say you’re coming through loud and clear. It must have been a problem with the klystron relay and I swear that’s probably the last Forbidden Planet reference I’m going to drop even if it is one of my favorite movies.
      Fortunately I did check back on your blog and found the comment you tried to leave here and I’m glad I didn’t completely miss it even if it didn’t make it to its intended destination.

      Reply
  4. Kristine Laco

    I rarely ride the bus but I prefer the middle by the door even though I enter from the front each time. I thank the driver on the way in because I’m likely to start daydreaming or reading and almost miss my stop and have to get up with a start to leave by the middle. Although, because it is near the door, I have to keep my coat, hat, scarf, and mitts on because I don’t want to freeze to the seat. It’s a risk!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I like to leave by the front door because it seems to require extra effort on the driver’s part to open the door in the middle. In the winter at least that makes sense that they don’t want to open the middle door more often than they need to. And now you’ve made me realize that I’m also helping the people who sit near the middle door not freeze. But like you most people on the bus stay bundled up so I wouldn’t feel too bad about opening the middle door.

      Reply
  5. Ann Koplow

    I run a little colder than most people, too, Chris. Maybe that’s why I love the warmth I find here.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Any time you come by you’ll find a warm seat and the light on for you.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge
%d bloggers like this: