Ancient History

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What the Beep

During our drive to the zoo several days ago, Teddy began to sing the timeless childhood classic, “The Wheels on the Bus.” Generations have sung about how those storied wheels go round and round and round. That bus has driven the equivalent distance between Earth and Proxima Centauri, which is over 4 light years away. The tread is as thick as Saran Wrap and just as transparent.

The song has other verses. It’s not a one-trick bus. Some verses are official: The wipers go swish swish swish, the babies go wah wah wah, the horn goes beep beep beep. We’ve added our own verses. For example, “the doggies on the bus go woof woof woof.” Basically, if it fits on a bus and can perform an action, it’s waited at a stop for a ride. The sandwiches on the bus say eat me now… I thought we heard it all.

Teddy launched a verse that was new to us: “The daddies on the bus say what the beep? What the beep? What the beep? The daddies on the bus say what the beep, all through the towwwwnnnn!”

He sang with flourish, style, and impressive volume. When we sputtered in amazement at his lyrical stylings, he repeated that verse, over and over and over. He sensed he was onto something. I asked where he heard it and he claimed Archie sang it that way. My husband started to get self-conscious, thinking maybe he was known as a daddy who goes around saying “What the beep?!” It’s true we can get a bit salty, but I’m worse than my husband. If any mommies were on the bus, they were perfectly silent.


I wondered why the daddy on the bus said, “What the beep?” Maybe because he got on the 38 Express instead of the 74 North? Or fare was an hour’s wage? Gum on the seat? Excessive speed? A madman controlling it via remote? He’s just trying to get home for Thanksgiving in the company of a shower ring salesman?

I’m hoping the lyrics were a jumble of the horn going beep and the dad saying “I love you, I love you, I love you.” I have it on good authority that’s what he’s thinking, but don’t touch the gum.

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