Once upon a time in a not-so distant land, Barry the bus driver invited a group of his neighbors to embark with him on a journey. Barry was perceived as a competent driver so his passengers were eager to get on the road. Barry assured them that while the bus appeared somewhat tattered in appearance, it was mechanically sound and required only an oil change and a fresh tank of gas.

So off they went.

Some of the passengers were content coasting along at a very slow pace. Others became concerned, particularly when the bus began to backfire as they approached the foot of a very steep mountain.

Ultimately, the bus stalled to the dismay of everyone on board.

The bus driver reminded them that this problem must have existed long before he had taken possession of the bus, but offered a solution. He asked the two strongest passengers to get behind the bus and push it up the hill. He promised once they reached the top, it would be smooth coasting from that point on.

Some of the passengers thought that was a great idea. Others believed that the only way they would make it would be if everyone got behind the bus and pushed together.

Then one of the passengers stood up and offered an alternative solution. He suggested that they all get out and take a look under the hood before making a rash decision. Come to find out, it was discovered that Barry had never checked the spark plugs before setting out on the journey.

He wasn’t a mechanic so he had no way of knowing that the plugs were fouled. Upon learning this fact, Barry spent the next hour complaining that it was the previous owner’s fault and argued that no one should blame him for someone else’s carelessness.

“That’s right,” some of the passengers echoed. Others cried, “But it’s been your bus for quite some time now and you should have taken the necessary precautions before leading us down this road.”

Eventually, all the passengers pushed the bus to the nearest service station, changed the plugs and continued along their merry way with a new driver at the wheel, proceeding at the speed limit until their destination was in clear sight.

The End (The Beginning)

Bob Guidara