What I Did on My Greyhound Vacation

      They say you should do something every day that you’ve never done before. And I do! I do that! Every day! (For example, today, I got out of bed for the first time at 10am on April 28, 2015!)

      But last week, I really did something major for the first time, and that was…
      …I took a Greyhound bus!
      See, I had to go to Atlanta for a conference, and one can imagine (one who knows how cheap I can be) how far my eyes bugged out when I saw that parking was twenty-eight bucks a day at the hotel. First I had to assess: a) would my car even make it to Atlanta, and b) would I even need it if it could make it there, and c) twenty-eight bucks could buy lots of things besides parking. For the four days I would be in Atlanta, the total cost of parking could buy my mom a really awesome Mother’s Day present. Or, it could buy three giant bottles of whiskey and a decent Mother’s Day present. Or, it could buy four giant bottles of whiskey, and a card for my mom.
      So taking my sweet mother into consideration, I decided to take a Greyhound, something I’d never done. It was only twenty-five bucks one way! I couldn’t drive to Atlanta for that, nor could I drive there and have it towed when it broke down on I-85, so the bus it was.
      Terry took me to the bus station. I could tell he wasn’t wild about leaving me there, based on his comment.
      “I’m not wild about leaving you here,” he said.
      “I’ll be fine,” I said. But I was secretly glad he waited there with me, mainly because he could watch my luggage while I took repeated trips to the bathroom after five cups of coffee.
      “There are some… uh… strange people in this place.”
      And there were. You get to see some odd characters at the bus station. One lady asked me if she could borrow forty-seven cents, and a man leaned over and told me Obama was going to be on the bus.
      But eventually Terry did leave, presumably to go home and kiss my picture for the next four days, or possibly to get ahead in Star Trek: Voyagerwithout me. Asshole!
      The only seat on the bus to Atlanta was next to a guy who claimed (loudly) that he made a ton of money selling drugs at Grateful Dead concerts, but then got very upset when someone mentioned how sad it was that Jerry Garcia died. Apparently he did not know Jerry Garciahad passed on. When some lady told him to shut up and sit his ass down, he complied, but then started talking (loudly) about his penchant for oral sex. At the next stop, I moved seats.
      I sat next to an elderly Hispanic man, which was great, because I could practice Spanish with him, only I couldn’t understand anything he said, and his breath was so bad that I was grateful I had wicked gas because it made an improvement in the overall aroma of our row. I mean, really… how can breath be that bad without any teeth?
      The Grateful Dead entrepreneur was even louder somewhere around the Georgia border (something about hookers, if I recall) and the bus driver actually stopped the bus on the interstate and told him he’d better shut up or he was going to drag him outside and leave him there. People clapped. The lady who asked me for forty-seven cents was chanting, “Hell no! We won’t go!” for some reason. I am not making this up, I swear..
      So I made it to Atlanta unscathed, took an Uber ride to my hotel with a delightful man from Senegal, had an amazing dinner at the Ellis Hotel, and was fully energized by the next morning when the conference started.
      There were three other authors at my table, and the first twenty minutes went something like this:
      PERSON #1: Oh, my book? The title is Leadership in Schools: Twenty-first Century Dilemmas.
      PERSON #2: That’s great! My book is titled, Antecedents in Low-Level Behaviors: A Complete Analysis.
      PERSON #3: Really? You should check out my work, Structure in the Modern Classroom: A Fundamental Report.
      PERSONS #1-3: What did you write, Susan?
      All eyes were on me.
      ME: Cats, Boys, and Booze.
      PERSON #2: Is that an educational book?
     ME: Sure.
     Anyway, that had nothing to do with taking the Greyhound, but I don’t care, because I did something I’d never done before, and that was a) take a Greyhound, b) take an Uber ride, and c) sit in a room with a bunch of PhD authors talking about my book, which was about boys and liquor. I sold some books that day, too!
      So the good news is: I had a great time at the conference, did some new things, and saved myself a whole lot of parking fees. Five giant bottles of liquor for me! Whee!
      And now I’m going to go make my mom a Mother’s Day card with magic markers. Because she’s worth it.

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