I went to vote in a special school board election today. Had to go way around to the far back of Thoreau Intermediate School, my polling place. In the process I drove past an incredibly long pick-up line of parents waiting for kids, one per idling car, in the cool rain. I thought, “they could carpool. They’d save gas, pollute the atmosphere less with their exhaust, and save the time of, let’s say, four parents, who could be waiting at home watching The Young and the Restless and painting their toenails until their happy kiddies are dropped off.” OK, OK, just kidding about the soap opera and the nails. But all it would take would be a little activist organization and maybe a PTA membership list to organize this.
Then it occurred to me they could go farther than that. They could pool their resources and get a van, maybe with an innovative ecology grant from the County or Greenpeace. That would pollute even less, and tie up fewer parent-drivers. In fact, if they took the next step and hired a driver, they could probably cover the salary with the money they saved on time and gas sitting in that line.
And a professional driver could control a bigger vehicle too. It might be large enough so that you’d want it to be especially visible on rainy days like today. So you could paint it a bright color, maybe yellow. And then there’d be even less pollution, fewer cars on the road, and parents would have more flexible schedules and a freer day, especially when you consider they have to drive the kids in the morning. A win-win-win situation!
You could spread the idea far and wide if you identified the vehicle so others would understand that they too could avoid those silly pick-up lines. Just paint a single informative phrase on its side, let’s say “SCHOOL BUS.” Oh, wait . . .
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2017.