A drunk bus driver and a bad accident.

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Sometimes, even from the most unsuspecting people wonderful and profound messages can originate. This is the story of one such incident when much could be learned from a person like that.

On the way to school one day, this kid named Patrick went around telling everyone that he had some beer in his lunch box. Now in the 9th grade, this topic of conversation is new and exciting. He was the center of attention, and was enjoying it immensely. We all knew he didn?t have any in there, but it was still fun to talk like he did. In all the commotion we failed to realize that the bus had come to a stop on the side of the road.

We finally realized what was happening, and as the bus driver made her way through the aisle, you could see kids shoving paper balls in their bags, and sitting on batteries and rocks, which they were throwing out the window. The bus was unusually silent as the bus driver, Bertha we called her, waded her way through the narrow seats. Kids visibly squished as close as possible to the windows, some in an attempt to hide something, others just out of fear that the may inadvertently come into contact with the beast coming through.

Bertha was 7 feet tall, and appeared to be one of those ex-weight lifters, that had been on steroids for most of their adult life. Her neck was bigger than that of football players, and her arms resembled those of the body builders sometimes on ESPN. Her gut brought thoughts of the worlds strongest man competition to mind. She was big, and no one, not even Superman, or Batman could get away with messing with her. To us she might as well have been dressed in some military uniform, carrying a leather riding-crop. The fear kept us in line most of the time.

She strode right up to Patrick, and halted just short of him. Not a word was exchanged for a full minute, the two just looked at each other, a battle of wits. Patrick was the first to speak. "Waddaya want?" he said with a sneer. "What?s in the box Patrick?" she thundered, as if the voice of God. "None of your business!" He retorted. He was "dead", what was going wrong in his head, she had at least two feet on him, and her arms could crush him like a worm in pliers.

Time stood still. Why I will never understand. I wasn?t the one about to be brutally beaten in front of my peers. Patrick was a rock, immovable. His face never flinched, his voice never faltered. It was the perfect match, and one that we all knew was going to be a sad outcome for Patrick. Bertha just stood there though, she glared piercingly into his eyes; she was not going to lose this battle to him.

She reached down and took the box by force, and in a futile effort Patrick grabbed the box, and nearly had his arms ripped right out of his sockets. She opened the box, and we knew from the look on her face he was a dead man. It wasn?t beer, but even worse, he had been dumb enough to tote around hard liquor. What was he thinking? Bertha reached down and grabbed him by his collar and literally threw him 15 seats forward to the front of the bus, he crashed with a blood-curdling scream into the windshield.

At this point, you know that half the bus must have wet their pants, and the other half was in bewilderment as to what had just happened. Bertha though was un-phased she reached down, and with a vicious jerk lifted Patrick from the ground, and tossed him in the seat. Then she did the unthinkable. She opened the bottle and downed half of it in one gulp.

The thought of death crossed my mind, not because I had done something wrong, but because old Bertha couldn?t drive to begin with, and now she was going to be drunk. Patrick was sprawled out still unconscious, as we started moving again. Bertha kept nursing the bottle, and pretty soon it was gone and so was her mind. She got on the freeway headed away from school, when sirens