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LANKVILLE PEOPLE: Bus Colonel Gus Heinz

Colonel Gus Heinz

Colonel Gus Heinz

I hope you’re not one of them smart asses that thinks a man can’t be a bus colonel. I mean, I really hope– for your sake. Cause I’ll tell you right now, there ain’t no tougher bus colonel in all of Lankville than Gus Heinz.

Go ahead.  Try me.

I been a bus colonel since 1981. I started driving in ’72. Number 9 bus at first. The Warm Peninsula Regions mostly. Then in ’75 they give me Route 17 to the Outlands and back.

You wanna’ see what kind of fucking balls a bus driver’s got? Give him 17 to the Outlands.

I ran that route for 6 years, never missed a day. Back in the canteen, after a long day behind the wheel, we’d have a little poker game.

The other guys, they’d say, “How can you do it, Gus? That route ain’t nothing but fucking pillheads, tarts, and bumpkins. How can you fucking stand it?”

“I got an aim in mind, boys,” I’d say. “I got an aim in mind. Gus Heinz has big fucking things in mind.”

Then, in ’81, I come up for review. Old Colonel Waynecastle was on the board. He didn’t say much until the end. I’ll never forget that moment when his steely eyes fixed on me.

“Boy, you’ve been driving Route 17 for six years?

I stood at attention. You bet your ass you stand for attention when a bus colonel addresses you.


He nodded but he didn’t say no more after that. Then, the next morning, when I picked up my copy of The Bus Transaction Summary (that was the trade paper back then), I saw that the colonel had been killed in a challenge.

I got me a little flag that morning, fixed it to my bus, and flew it at half mast in memory. And that– that was against code. You wasn’t allowed to have no flags on your bus. But I had to show my respect.

Well, after a couple of weeks they called me in again. I thought– shit, they found out about that flag that I mentioned earlier. I was sweating bullets. But instead, they started putting all these medals on my standard issue shirt, gave me a hell of a nice hat.

There was a short ceremony. They made me a bus colonel.

“You understand the responsibility that comes with this, Gus?” they asked.

I sure as shit did.

And I still do today.

If you’re under Colonel Gus Heinz, well, you can expect to be rode pretty tough. Tough but fair. Lot of guys can’t handle it. Lot of guys end up ducking out, can’t stand the heat. But if you stick around, you too, can be a bus colonel.

Just like me.

Thanks to Shane Meyer.

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