In September of 2000 CE, my friend Ross and I were walking along a busy street near downtown Bellingham, heading toward our respective homes. We had a fair distance to go, and we were wishing we didn't have to walk the whole way.

As we came to a stoplight, a long yellow schoolbus filled with highschool students pulled up alongside us and stopped at the light. "Wouldn't it be nice if the bus driver offered us a ride?" remarked Ross as we continued on our way. Much to our suprise, the door of the bus opened just after Ross said this. We stopped, exchanged a dumbfounded look, and looked up at the driver of the bus.

She was a matronly woman in her early fifties wearing a bus driver's uniform, with permed brown hair and a good number of smile lines. She wore a plastic bag over her hair, the kind you find on long, thin loaves of pre-sliced bread (a la Wonderbread). There was a little air trapped in the bag, so it puffed and protruded above her head like the translucent mantle of some sapient mollusc. Ross and I took this in, shrugged, and prepared to step on the bus in case she asked us if we wanted a ride. This was, in fact, not the case.

The bus driver smiled benignly down at us and asked, "Would you like a doughnut?"


"No thanks," said Ross, usually a bit quicker on the uptake than I. "We just ate."

"Very kind of you to offer, though," I finished.

The bus driver nodded and shut the door. The light turned green, and the students aboard waved as it sped into the distance.

"Yes, this is definitely Bellingham," said Ross. I could only agree.

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