Brooks, M. "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up"; Paradise CafÃÂ© and Other Stories, Thistledown Press Ltd.; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; 1988
Martha Brooks' short story called "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" is about a 14-year-old junior high student, Andrew, who has to take the public bus to his orthodontic appointment every third Thursday of the month. After this particular appointment, for which he was late, he got sick on the bus on the way home. A man that he'd seen on the bus a lot of times before helped him out and was very happy to hear that Andrew had noticed him before.
The story takes place on a public bus and briefly in an orthodontist's office in a city, but the name of the city is not given. In the beginning of the story, the time is 2:47 p.m. when he gets on the bus from school and by the end when he gets home it is about 6:00 p.m.
The main character is Andrew, but another important character is Earl, a man on the bus with Andrew. The conflict of the story is that Andrew has to take the bus and he hates it, even though his mom says, "Andrew, taking the bus is an education. It's a rare opportunity for people of all types and from all walks of life to be in one enforced environment that allows them to really get a close look at one another." (pg.41, par.3). The conflict is never really resolved, but his mind changes a bit about the people being so weird and his attitude towards traveling on the bus is somewhat changed.
The theme of this story is growing up. Andrew is getting older, starting to think of what he wants to be...