The People on the Bus Go Mumble Mumble Mumble
Being one of the members of the seeming marginal demographic known as public transport commuters – and of the even marginal-marginal demographic of occasion enjoyers of public transport – it’s no wonder that I’ve made some observations on my journeys. Well, not as much observations as major peeves.
1) Stop Here on Red – This is for all the privileged classes out there, the ones with their own transport. When you see a sign saying “Stop Here on Red” and there is a bright white line emblazoned on the street… STOP THERE ON RED. What, you think the D.O.T. had too much paint and sheet metal on their hands? It’s so big busses can maneuver on streets built back when a full fuel tank was nothing more than a bucket of oats.
It did take me a while to figure it out, the sign, but when the busses started crushing over-important BMWs… ding!
2) Move to the Back of the Bus – One day as I rode home from work, I overheard a black man standing next to me telling his daughter “thanks to a little old lady, we no longer have to go to the back of the bus.” Now I thought that was a nice little civil rights lesson… but it’s really not helping the fact your standing on my foot!
One of the great phenomena of bus riding is Bus Rider Viscosity, or BRV. This is when one rider (a) gets on a bus, and sees another he/she knows (b) and stands next to that person (ab). This then forces the rider behind rider “a” (c) to stand next to “ab” (abc). And so on. Thus this causes a back up in the forward section of the bus, leaving a spacious nirvana towards the back. BRV is usually the result of the overpopulation of freakin’ brain-dead middleschoolers, but is in no way limited to them..
Now this obviously leads to the precarious situation known as “Pardon me,” or as most of the obstructions hear it: “…”. It isn’t fun wading though a sea of teens with their cooler than thou attitudes and potential box cutters.
It’s even less fun when just as you reach the nirvana of the back, the driver pulls the “Shakin’ Break.” This happens when most to the strap-hangers flex their weary fingers in unison for a split second, and the driver slams on the breaks for no apparent reason. You’ve never seen dominoes till you been in one of these.
I don’t suppose everyone could just thin themselves out, yes? You know, keep the spirit of the center aisle alive?
In both cases, there is a simple solution:
Around the Otter
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