Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
July 2024

Boy on Bus

An 11-year-old boy is standing at the bus stop, waiting for the bus. The number 12 bus. And it’s about 12:30 in the afternoon. And he’s standing there with the new fishing rod he just bought. The fishing rod is five feet long.

The bus stops and the boy attempts to enter the bus and the bus driver stops him as he puts that first foot in the door and the driver says, “Nah, you can’t get on.” And the kid asks, “Why?” And he says, there’s a city ordinance, number 113, which prohibits anyone from carrying packages on the bus longer than 4 feet. And the kid says, “How am I going to get home?” The bus driver says, “That’s your problem. That fishing rod is about 5 feet long and I’m booting you out.”

So, he kicks him off and the kid stands there bewildered. He says “I’ll have to go back to the store and return it.” He goes back to the store and they say no returns after 15 minutes.

So, he’s stuck with the fishing rod and no way to get home. He can’t take a cab. He’s got to take the bus and the fishing rod is 5 feet long. He walks back to the store again, realizing he can’t return it. Five minutes later he’s on the bus with the fishing rod. Without altering it, breaking it, sawing it in half, collapsing it. He does nothing to alter the fishing rod. How does he do it?

Originally published on December 6, 2009

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