Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Rules Part 1: The Bus

(I recently wrote some rules about road trips for Blanket Magazine and in my spare time I've written some more rules for life that I'll post here occasionally).

Through necessity and convenience I catch buses most days. The reason is twofold, a) there is a bus stop at the end of my street and b) I find it harder for youth gangs to beat and rob me on a bus (they seem to dedicate their lives to train travel thankfully). However, even though bus travel is relatively common, some people seem to be baffled by the concept of communal transportation. So much so they make decisions that can only be described as stupid. As such, here’s the rules for the bus.

What? There’s a bus a-coming?
Hey lady, I take it from the fact that you are standing at a bus stop, flagging down and then entering a bus, you actually want to catch one. So why is it that you get on and then take out your tardis-like handbag and spend five minutes rummaging around for change? Are you surprised you have to pay for a ticket? Listen, there’s only two people who travel for free on the bus and that’s Kanye West and crazy people. I ain’t never seen Kanye on the 426 to Newtown but I’ve seen a lot of crazy people. Do me a favour and just have your fare ready before the bus gets there.

So there’s no seats on the bus so you stand - but where do you stand? Logic dictates that you move to the back of the bus to allow more people on and (spoiler alert) you actually have more chance of getting a seat if you’re standing near them. However, most people like to crowd around the middle exit because, obviously, that’s where it’s the most inconvenient for people trying to get off the bus. Seriously, this little flock of moronic sheep mutter and curse when you have to basically force your way by them because they’re blocking the exit. Hey dickhead, you’re a walking-talking OH&S liability, move out of the goddamn way!

Sitting isn’t hard
There are numerous places to sit on a bus but unbeknown to many, there are a bunch of different styles of sitting. Let me break them down for you.

1. The Normal Intelligent Human Position: tries to sit in a way that allows the people around them maximum comfort.

2. The Real Estate Agent position: They sit on a seat but they put their bag, box or whatever on the seat next to them and refuse to move it. ‘Hey mate, is your inanimate object having a great trip? Too bad that 80 year old woman has to stand up while your bag enjoys the ride.’ Short of taking a canoe on the bus, you should make room for anything with a pulse over your possessions. If you want personal space, buy a car so you can have your own four wheeled mobile bedroom for all I care. Another variant of this loser will take up the pram/wheelchair space oblivious to the struggling mother angling their pram around them.

3. I am a Dickhead position: So the bus has two seats next to each other near a window but you choose to sit in the aisle one to, say, avoid the sun or you’re getting off soon. You’re silently thinking ‘If they want a seat, they just have to ask.’ Well, fuck you, I ain’t no mind reader, I just see a rude prick who is taking up more space than they need. The only caveat is that you’re getting off in a couple of stops and if that’s the case you should offer to get up for people if you’re so bloody vigilant about your upcoming stop.

4. The Mighty Penis position: Why is it some men have to sit with there legs so far apart they take up half the seat next to them? Dude, if you’re that well endowed that you have to sit like that, I’d seriously consult a doctor. That ain’t normal, it sounds like Elephantitis of the penis. Just close your legs moron...

5. The Princess position: This is when you have two seats together and the person sits in the middle of the two, arse cheek firmly planted on both. It’s a clever ruse because it’s not clear which seat they’re sitting on, do you perch yourself on the edge or ask them to move? Most people tend to do neither and look resentfully at this idiot hogging two seats to themselves.

6. The Emperor position: I call this the Emperor because generally it is always assumed by men. They sit in the middle seat of the back row, leg’s spread wide making it impossible to get past them to the other seats. So they sit there, surveying the land like a conquering fascist dictator and take up five seats instead of one. They also like to open the air vents in some wanton act of machismo which I can only guess is because they can’t open the window and put their head out the window like a dog. See Fido sit, see Fido drool...

The solution to all this is to ask people to move and I do and often and if they are reluctant I push past them. There you go, rudeness in you promotes rudeness in me. If you just had even the vaguest sense of what was going on around you and some common courtesy, I wouldn’t have noticed any of this and I could be writing a novel or something...

IPods are awesome
IPods are awesome. I cannot think of a single piece of technology that has improved my life in every way like the iPod has (except for when I go prematurely deaf at age 40 - 3 years and counting). I’m no audiologist but if I have earphones on listening to Fugazi and you’re sitting on the other side of the bus with headphones on and I can still hear your music, I’d say that’s because you’ve got it on TOO LOUD. Worse still is that some mobile music devices have speakers so at times I have had to endure other people’s crappy music taste. Did I really want to hear the Cranberries at 7:30am in morning on my way to work? And I think that junkie who played I wish I was a Punk Rocker fifteen times in a row must regret that now... surely? It's more offensive to me that people have such terrible taste in music than the noise aspect but they go hand in hand I guess. Keep your shit music in the closet people and turn it down.

Thank your driver
Everyday and in every way I see bus drivers deal with a lot of crazy people in what seems like a pretty thankless job. I don’t know if they notice or care but a simple thank you might stop that driver snapping one day and driving a full bus load of commuters over a cliff one day. Just says 'thanks driver, you're awesome.'


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