We shimmied and shuddered to a slow halt.
After I was sure that the brakes that didn’t seem to be slowing fast enough for my liking, actually proved to work (weakly but did the trick,) I wide-eyed eyeballed Jeff who was inexplicably grinning like a proud papa who’d found a cherry life-saver at the end of the roll.
I might have screeched a little in frustration before indelicately inquiring, “What the hell is wrong with your bus?!”
“What?” he regarded me quizzically.
“What?!” my voice rose a notch.
“Huh?” Jeff countered, completely puzzled.
I threw out my arms, explosively. “How could you NOT NOTICE I was practically POPCORN?”
Jeff guffawed, took a look at my expression, and quieted quickly. “I thought you were just having fun, being funny…” he replied cautiously.
Then, he kinda threw caution to the wind when he p-shaw-ed his right hand in my direction.
“It’ll get better,” he advised.
“What will get better?” I asked.
“The tires…” he answered, drawing his brows further together than they naturally were. “They’re just flat… from sitting too long.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “We’re driving around on flat tires?” Then this knowledge from my father’s vault of advice that actually stuck with me jumped out of my mouth. “You’re not supposed to drive around on flat tires!”
“Nooo,” Jeff shook his head, and flapped his hands. “The tires aren’t flat. They’re just flat on the bottom… from sitting too long. They’ll round-out once they warm up, though….”
I just stared at him while my non-race-bus brain was sorting it all out. He was very much suppressing a smile I knew wanted to break loose. The height of my eyebrows must have discouraged him. To his immense credit, Jeff pulled himself together and didn’t laugh at me.
Annunciating like an elementary school teacher who just realized the entire class didn’t speak his language, he emphasized with exaggerated patience. “That’s… what… we’re doing… out here….making… the tires… go … round…”
I remained silent, so, he, continued, dramatically. Drawing circles in the air with his index finger, Jeff pointedly punctuated his next words: “Rounding. The. Tires.”
“You could have told me,” I pouted.
“I DID tell you!” Jeff defended.
“Well, that didn’t explain, anything.” I harrumphed. “I thought you meant ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round.'”
He couldn’t help it then, he reared back his head and roared with laughter. “Just wait ‘til I tell the guys…”
Jeff slapped his knee a few times, and swiveled fully back into the driver’s seat. He punched the gas, and popped the clutch.
As we began to roll, Jeff shifted his chin in my direction, and shouted, “Hold on, Popcorn!”
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