Having had extensive experience of riding the bus (as our American cousins say. No, I’m not American, but I’m going with it), I feel well placed to be able to offer some words of wisdom to those less experienced, or perhaps those considering using the bus for the first time, regarding bus etiquette. The do’s and don’ts, if you will.
- Whilst waiting for the bus to arrive, you must engage in conversation with fellow passengers about how the bus is *always* late (even if it isn’t), how much better it used to be (even if it wasn’t) and isn’t it about time they did something about it.
- If you are forced to stand up on the bus, you must keep a nonchalant look on your face at all times, and pretend that trying to keep your balance whilst the driver navigates roundabouts and sharp corners isn’t The Hardest Fucking Thing Ever.
- If you don’t want anybody to sit next to you, place your bag on the seat next to you, put headphones in, and bury your head in a book. Ignore any ‘polite’ coughing or attempts to gain your attention from fellow bus riders, and only when the bus is so full that people are sitting on each other’s laps and somebody actually touches your arm and asks you to move your bag, should you even begin to consider it.
- When somebody with particularly bad body odour sits near – or if you’re really unlucky, next to – you (note the use of ‘when’ not ‘if’ – this WILL happen approximately one in every three journeys) you must not move, or even acknowledge the smell in any way. Only at the point you are about to pass out/throw up, are you permitted to leave the bus and pretend that this was your stop anyway.
- If there is a crying baby or tantruming toddler on board, you must tut loudly and roll your eyes in the direction of the parent. Extra tutting and eye rolling are to be deployed if the parent appears to be a young mother. After all, it is your duty to make them aware of their awful parenting. And nobody knows how to parent that child better than you.
- If the driver slams on his brakes suddenly, to avoid a cat, or herd of cows or whatever, you must jolt forwards in your seat and clutch your chest in heart attack fashion, before exchanging relieved-that-you-didn’t-just-die looks with your fellow passengers. Note: this is the ONLY time that direct eye contact with is acceptable.
- You must press the bell to stop the bus THE SECOND you pass the stop before yours. Because every time somebody presses the bell before you, a fairy dies. Or something.
- You must stand up at least ten minutes before the bus reaches your stop, so that you can exit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Take no notice of those who stand up at the last minute but still end up exiting the bus at exactly the same time as you. They’re amateurs. They’ll learn one day. Note: This rule particularly applies to the elderly – the more you can scare your fellow passengers by convincing them that you’re about break your leg whilst trying to navigate a moving bus, the better.
- If you are trapped in a window seat, you must start the bag-shuffle/seat-wiggle at least fifteen minutes before your stop, so that the person next to you is aware that they MUST MOVE OUT OF YOUR WAY.
I hope that helps. Have a nice day now.
S B W x
(Skinny Bus Wanker)