Public transportation, I’m a huge fan. It saves time, money, and emissions. In a city like Atlanta (too many people, serious urban sprawl, not enough roads, and an abysmal public transit system) when you have the opportunity to find a way out of fighting rush hour traffic daily, you take it. I made the leap to becoming a bus rider several years ago. And 90% of the time, I’m a happy camper. I enjoy a nice, stress-free ride into and out of the city. I catch up on my reading or my Facebook newsfeed. I take power naps. Or I stare aimlessly out the window. Wonderful.
However, those other 10% days are an entirely different story. And the problem? People. Rude, ignorant people.
So since it’s Friday and my very favorite and most tragic bus story occurred this week, I give you 5 ways to not be a douche on the bus:
#5- Butt Out
As in your cigarette. I know this might be breaking news, but cigarettes reek and when you smoke them, so do you. So how about not smoking in line for boarding. Is it really necessary to get that final fix so you don’t lose it over the next 45 minutes to an hour? The vast majority of us on going to work and don’t want to walk in smelling like an ashtray.
If you must smoke, by all means, PLEASE make sure you sit right next to me so I can smell you the entire way to the city. It’s not like I have a super human sense of smell or anything.
#4- Keep Your Eyes to Yourself.
I’m not asking that you look down and make no contact ever, but how about not staring a hole in my soul. When I can feel your eyes on me, you’re staring. And it’s really effin creepy.
If you must be a complete creeper, just make sure to sit by me every opportunity you possibly have. Nothing says weirdo like doubling up when there are 20 single rows available.
*PS- Please think about switching laundry detergent/methods. You smell like a mildewed wash cloth.
Don’t make eye contact. Don’t make eye contact. Shit.
#3- Hold Out Till Dinner
You must truly be famished if you can’t hold out till you are able to breeze through the McDonald’s drive-thru for your nightly dose of transfat. If those chips are going to save you from knocking on death’s door, by all means eat them if you must.
And please do feel free to chomp them down with a wide open mouth. I so enjoy mouth noises.
#2- What’s Mine is Mine; What’s Yours is Yours.
As in my seat. Keep your thighs to yourself.
But if you must cascade over into my seat, please make sure that I cram myself completely against the window and yet still am unable to escape the heat that apparently radiates from your ham hock.
#1- Get Off the Phone!!!!
I have a real problem with folks who don’t know how to use their inside voice. It seems when a phone is placed in the hands of one of these people they go from audible to hearing damage levels in seconds. I really, really, REALLY don’t care about you sister’s cousin’s deadbeat boyfriend. I certainly don’t need to be exposed to your phone sexscapades. Yes, that happened, two days ago.
1. I’m on Mr. Tortoise’s bus which means add an extra 15 minutes to me trip.
2. This kid behind me is having the most cheesy, I’m gonna vomit in my mouth convo with his girlfriend at the top of his lungs. Smoochy mouth noises and Harry Potter references included.
3. There are 20+ German exchange students screaming at each other across the aisles.
4. Kid behind me is bitching about how these people “not speaking English” are annoying.
5. His convo just got graphic.
6. I feel really bad for the dumb girl on the end of the phone.
7. God get me home and get a beer in my hand.
And then this:
For the first time in bus history I just “told” someone. After his convo got way more graphic than I wanted to hear, I turned around and said loudly enough for her to hear, “Dude, she does know that everyone on this bus can hear your conversation right?” Apparently he is now going “text her later”. I guess he thought I was German too? Either that or I’m now being referred to as the old, nosy bitch in his corresponding Facebook update.
If you must talk dirty on the phone, then make sure to lean up directly into the back of my seat and position the conversation up against my actual eardrums. This way I don’t miss a single grimy detail.
Guys, I know this may all sound completely petty and nitpicky. I totally get that I ride on a nice bus and it could be a lot worse. I’ve ridden Marta, I know. And were I ever to commute on a real system like the NYC subways, I’d long for the days when some pocked face college Freshman was clumsily seducing a chick in my ear. Call me a dreamer, but I just keep holding out hope that people will develop some social/situational awareness. Ah, who am I kidding! I’ll just be happy about the 90% days when I enjoy the availability of mass transit!
Stay positive & love your life!