Requiem for 178

For the want of a bend, a cotter pin was lost.
For the want of a cotter pin, a retaining pin was lost.
For the want of a retaining pin, the gear shift linkage was lost.
For the want of the gear shift linkage, the transmission was lost
For want of the transmission, a school bus was lost.
and all for the want of a cotter pin.

My school bus, my school bus for a cotter pin!

And, so I sat on Rt. 32, yellow, obstructive and immovable with fifteen middle and high school students eager to get home. Thankfully, I was a mere five minutes from the school and a replacement bus was delivered post haste. A student revolt was forestalled, and the mechanics were able to manually shift the bus into gear and drive it back to the garage.

It’s very unusual for a bus to break down. They are meticulously maintained by crack technicians, but, because they are constructed with thousands of parts and pieces, s*#! happens sometimes. I find it amazing that a 29,600-pound behemoth can be laid low by a part that weighs a gram or two. Just goes to show, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s always somethin’.

My beautiful girl repaired and back in her place!

It always seems like I pay double for taking time off. Last weekend, I was at the Am-Jam Tattoo Expo in Syracuse, New York. Consequently, I had to play catch-up, on work and sleep and I neglected my blog, not that the world stopped turning or anything, but it was on my mind. Like it or not, I’m Baaaaack!

You all write a lot and I’m so far behind, I may not catch up. I’ll try though!

I’m working on another short story project that was ‘sposed to be a long story project. At last week’s writer’s workshop, our assignment was to bring the first page or few paragraphs of a story in progress for the others to critique. I’m writing a dark comedy about the extinction of the human species. It was agreed that in order to keep the pace and comic nature of the story, it would work better as a short 5000 to 10,000 word short story, or possibly as a novella. I’m not interested in trying to justify a scientifically plausible argument beyond positing the possibility that what happens, could happen. Ya just hafta go with it.

The story prompt was, ‘Write an apocalyptic story using an idea that you have never read or heard of’, or something like that. It took me about 3 seconds to come up with an idea. It’s taken me two years to get this far. I’ve got a solid idea though, and I want to finish it within a week or two. I don’t know if I’ll submit it for publishing or share it here, yet. If I share it here, most publishers won’t accept it as a submission.

Once it’s done, I may need beta readers…


Title: Service with a Smile (unless something better comes to mind)

Mortician’s POV

Viral video

♫And the cats shall inherit the earth♫ (to the tune of 2112)


6 thoughts on “Requiem for 178

  1. Tim, I like it how the poem takes on a journey of how just a small thing missing can have profound effects – that even a tiny component of something can be so essential. The form of this poem makes this point so clearly, one thing that links to the next that links to the next. All power to the small things!

    Also, the school bus is beautiful.

    Good luck with the writing project!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s 2:39 am here. I just finished fueling my generator and noticed that you wrote. Why, you may be asking? We had an ice storm that turned into a snow storm that caused trees to break and knock out the power. I’m at my tackle shop keeping bait tank running and several hundred dollars of bait alive and well. It’s not the first time I’ve had to pull an all nighter. At least the power is on at home, a quarter mile away! A QUARTER MILE AWAY!!!
    Oh well, such is life in the north east.
    I wish I could say that the poem was an original idea. When the bus broke down, I knew what had happened. The part fell out from under the dash and landed at my feet. I remembered the old poem, For want of a nail. I didn’t know who wrote it, I figured Shakespeare. Turns out that it’s centuries old and the writer is unknown. Anyway, I adapted the form to my circumstance. The message is timeless.
    I got some writing done while stuck here at the store.
    Wow, where did half an hour go? Told you I’m a slow writer, I’m using my phone, no power, no modem, no computer, there we go again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tim!! That sounds like an adventure. Maybe not the kind of adventure you would hope for… how do you keep bait alive??? Truly, I would have no idea. You have an interesting array of jobs it would seem!! It sounds freezing, I’m pleased you have power on at home. The north east of the north! I am the south of the south – literally the opposite end if the world. And yes, the message of the poem is timeless and universal.

    I hope you get to go home soon, and that you sleep blissfully once there!


  4. It’s just like a big aquarium only not so pretty. Let’s see, it’s like a big cabinet, about 8 feet long, with four, 30 gallon sinks. It has a circulator pump, filters, an aerator, and a refrigerator unit in the cabinet beneath the sinks. It’s designed to keep 40+ pounds of bait, (shiners, suckers, etc.) alive and healthy for fishermen to buy and use. Keeping them cool isn’t a problem right now, it’s down to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit in here now. I don’t know when the power will be restored so it’s gonna get colder. The power has been out for 12 hours now.
    My wife, Rose, and I have been running our shop for almost 30 years now. We’ve had a couple of moves in that time. We sell fishing bait and equipment and also archery equipment. Funny thing is, I’ve been selling bait (worms) since I was a kid, had to support my fishing habit!
    I’ve washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms, been a cook, worked in a pet store, been a food service supervisor, worked for the Saratoga Springs police department as a court officer transporting prisoners to and from jail, and lots of other things too. Now I drive a school bus because I like it and the benefits are great. I’ve learned valuable lessons from each job.
    I checked, we’re not exactly opposite, but close enough!

    I’m catching a wink here and there, but I’ll be happy to get home later this morning.

    Back to work now, we agreed to open up at 5 am today, there’s an ice fishing tournament and the participants want to get an early start and fresh bait.


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