Schools in Maryland will close for a Muslim holiday.

Schools in Maryland will close for a Muslim holiday.

Trial by fire – and the bus driver from Heaven

Education is important, but there’s a lot to be said for on-the-job training. Needs must. And Kevin McKay, 41 – despite being only a couple of months into the job as a bus driver for Ponderosa Elementary – knew what necessity demanded: Get kids home safely!

Typically tasked with ferrying students to and from school – an often thankless job, despite the precious cargo – McKay didn’t have to think when the order came to evacuate.

The wildfire eating up Butte County, California that broke out on Nov. 8 is some scary business.

Scarier still is that 22 kids’ parents – thanks to gridlock and emergency conditions – didn’t show to take their kids home. The students were stranded. McKay suggested immediate evacuation to the principal. The decision was made.

Kindergarten teacher Abbie Davis, aged 29, and second-grade teacher Mary Ludwig, 50, went along for the ride. Good thing, too. Clear-headed teamwork saved these children from becoming another sad statistic in a hellacious California blaze that isn’t half over.

With McKay at the helm, the bus cut through choking black smoke, roads rife with panicked evacuees, and leaping pockets of searing flames that had riders questioning whether or not to abandon the bus.

The inside of the bus was filling with smoke. Children began nodding off – not a good sign.

McKay ripped off his shirt, instructing the teachers to make use of the sole water bottle onboard. The three tore the fabric. They carefully soaked each piece in the cool water, instructing the children to hold the ad-hoc filtration system over nose and mouth.

The trio of adults concocted an emergency option that paired small children with their older counterparts en route. They exchanged phone numbers, reviewed emergency exits, and discussed the practical usage of the fire extinguisher, emergency kits and bus exits.

“Fourth-grader Charlotte Merz, 10, said she tried to stay calm and recalled ‘going to my happy place on the journey,” reported CNN.

And the journey wasn’t without incident. At one point, a car sideswiped them. McKay recalled, “It sounded like someone was punching the bus.” The evacuees also saw other traffic collisions.

But that didn’t keep McKay from picking up a stranded young woman needing a lift. “A preschool teacher from an elementary school in the nearby city of Biggs whose car had broken down” was welcomed onboard and driven to safety with the others.

The video below gives more details on the bus driver from heaven. Check. It. Out.

It took five grueling hours, but “parents and children were reunited. McKay said Davis’ husband hugged him so hard, he ‘damned near lifted me off the ground.'”

But that’s what you do when your bus driver is from heaven!

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry (YouTube screenshot)

Do you measure up?

Meghan Markle is still relatively new to her royal role. But this latest test – a quirky Christmas tradition – will soon determine if she measures up.

On the scale.

That’s right. Meghan and mom Doria Ragland will have to step up and be measured. Exceptions have apparently already been made by the Queen’s issuing Markle’s mom an invitation to the private family feed. The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate’s parents, have never been asked to weigh in, as they’ve yet to be invited. (Could be there are scale issues, but you didn’t hear it from me.)

So, odd or not, it’s weighing in and weighing out that will bookend the Royal family’s Christmas dinner at Sandringham castle. Paper hats are also mandatory for all attendees save Queen Elizabeth herself. (Perhaps she wears her crown?)

The video below gives you the skinny (pun intended):

The weigh in, begun during the early 1900’s reign of Edward VII, was instituted to ensure that Christmas guests were properly fed.

There are no details we know of requiring mandatory weight gain, but with Markle eating for two, she’ll likely pass this latest test with no problems.

Fred Flintstone (YouTube screenshot)

Yabba dabba – don’t think so!

Age doesn’t always equal wisdom.

Take the case of Fred Flintstone. He may hale from the Stone Age and be fully grown, but his driving skills hit like Bam Bam. Having an engine under the hood instead of relying on Fred’s own feet must be too tempting.

“Flintstone joined celebrities in trouble with the law when,” according to HuffPo, “a sheriff’s deputy in Pasco County, Florida, pulled him over Nov. 4 for speeding in a Wesley Chapel housing development.”

Check out the live-action coverage in the video below:

The Stone Age speed freak, as it turns out, is really Don Swartz, dressed to look the part, his smart car tricked out like the perfect accessory.

But speeding doesn’t fly. Not in Pasco County, Florida. Not even for cavemen.

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