hakuna matata.

All there is to do on a ParTy Bus that's broken down with a bad alternator is drink the free beer. Sorry Annie.

The bus battery light came on in front of the Taco Time in Nephi, or at least that's what we were told. We were headed down to see Greg Caldwell's art show at the Central Utah Art Center Friday night and never made it. Thank goodness for that Taco Time.

"We were the only ones tacky enough to actually run across the street and get it! ...I feel bad about smelling up the bus."

"Don't worry Annie, we're fine. I have no regrets anyway."

While we shared a veggie burrito and empanada, the bus driver decided to continue on and try for Ephraim anyway. Our ascent up Nephi Canyon lasted about 15 minutes and ended in a lurch that left us on side of the snowy highway. We stopped right in front of a large stone and mortar memorial honoring two men and a married couple who were murdered by native americans as they attempted to settle Sanpete County in the 1800's. Far worse luck was sitting directly behind Stacey.

The minute the bus came to a complete hault she broke out the show tunes. And somehow the gay guy sitting across the aisle from her knew all the words to every song she chose. They started out with "OOOOOOOOOOOk-la-homa!" At first, it seemed fun. Me and Annie even joined it. We sang along with "Doe, a deer, a female deer", "Don't cry for me Argentina", and "Eidelweiss". There were some 80's pop and country songs in between that we weren't as familiar with; but by the time they got to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" it was a bellowing drunken mess.

"Ok Stacey! That's enough! I think that's all we can take!", shouted some people at the back of the bus. And they were 20 rows away.

As the general state of these fellow passengers graduated from tipsy to inebriated, I couldn't help but think of my mom once when we were stranded on the side of the road. We were headed to Disneyland: a real family vacation long before any of us were married or divorced or disenfranchised. We held enthusiasm, anticipation; surety that the long drive would prove well worth it. But the white hippie van with floral olive green and teal print curtains, (that smelled like a combination of cat hair and febreeze) died just as we passed Beaver. Devastation. It was really dead. The engine had blown. We didn't own another car.

While dad got a ride into Beaver and the rest of us stayed stranded, my mom pulled a lemon & lime shasta out of the cooler. I think it started out with all of us making fun of the hippie van.
"How did we think this thing could ever get us to California? Check out the plaid upholstery on these seats!"
"Of course it couldn't make it past the black hole of I-15! I know at least five different people who've been stranded or pulled over here."
"Really?! Hahahaha!"

Universally, i guess the best thing to do on the sides of roads is get ridiculously happy with what you've got. As my mom laughed, she crushed her now empty pop can in her hands and gave it a final smash against the top of her head. She then starts passing out cans of pop to each of us and repeating the phrase, "HAKUNA MATATA! Drink a can of POP and SMASH it on your head!" As her children, we were mystified. A seemingly coordinated pause preceded our individual fits of laughter that erupted into crying spells of joy.


WhitneyJoy said...

so true - I wish we could be ridiculously happy with what we got all the time.

Tom said...

Did you mean Eidelweiss?

laura said...

change made. phew. thanks tom.

Annie said...

ah! i just realized i'm a tag on some of your blog posts! this pleases me!

i just was rummaging around your blog looking for that marina & the diamonds video, and had to read through this post again. i love both of these stories so much. and i really, really think your blog is amazing. i want to take some time and walk down the whole length of it. i love you.