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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Because Without Rules, What We Have is Chaos, People, Chaos!

The bus: the great equalizer, a rolling Technicolor, scratch-and-sniff opportunity for either exploring your ability to accept what is or a chance to take notes with which to amuse yourself later.

Me? I do both, in varying percentages. Some days, I am almost smug with self-congratulations: Look at me! I’m saving gas! I’m reducing traffic congestion!

I’m SAVING THE WORLD!

And other days?

Look at me! I’m riding the bus with 40-some strangers, some of whom cough without covering their mouths! Look at me! Butts are getting wider, seats are getting smaller, and I’m sitting closer to this guy than I sit next to family!

Wheeeee!

Ah. My fellow commuters. Slightly gray-skinned in the early-morning light, some of us breathing through our mouths, eyes dull and vacant, the commute is both a chuckle and an opportunity for reflection. Look around you. If there were a world take-over by, say, zombies, this is where it would start: on the bus, where they’d go unnoticed for days and days…

“Good morning!”

“Uhhhhh.”

“Beautiful day, huh? Whew! Looking forward to the weekend already!”

“Uhhhhh!”

“Well, here’s my stop! Have a good one!”

“Uhhhhh.”

Every now and then, I run on about the need for rules on the bus. Today is no different.

Pearl’s Rules for Riding the Bus:
1. If you did not buy a ticket for your groceries, gym bag, purse, they should not be occupying a seat, especially when people are standing. This kind of behavior will win you a reputation; and the “regulars” on the bus, in Minnesota fashion, will disapprove of you. Vehemently. Silently, but vehemently.

2. In the same vein, it’s quite clear, by the shape of the seats, where your butt goes and where my butt goes. Please respect my butt’s right to sit in its own seat by keeping your butt in yours.

3. Cell phone conversations should be brief and discreet. Your description of how much you drank last night and what it’s going to take to get that stain out of your carpet is, thankfully, none of my business…

4. Genitalia should never – and I can’t stress this enough – never be exposed on the bus. You know who you are, dude. That kind of thing ruins my day (but makes for excellent stories for my friends.) I am sorry to say that I was not able to pick you out from the six photos the police provided, but should they ever offer the photos that I will need to identify you…

5. If you end up standing because all the seats have been taken, please step to the back of the bus. Everyone standing at the front/next to the bus driver makes it difficult for those who get on after you to maneuver. Come toward the back. No one will bite you. Unless, of course, we’ve all turned into zombies, in which case, all I can say is “Braaaiiiiiinnnnnnnssss”.

6. Also related to standing in the aisles, if you could keep your backpack and/or your butt from hitting the head of the person on the aisle seat, that would be optimal.


So far, the Minneapolis Transit Authority has been resistant to posting these rules, but I remain hopeful. In the meantime, if we could all agree to keep our butts in our pants, on our seats, and out of each others’ faces, I think we’d all be better off.

27 comments:

Lisa said...

I say continue to submit those rules. I used to commute on the train in Chicago. The self-congratulations and books read were many. The delights, not so much.

Thanks for the morning laugh!

CJ said...

You forgot don't fart. EVER. For any reason! Clench those cheeks or use a cork, but NEVER fart on the bus.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

LOL! I like CJ's addition!!

IB said...

I used to ride the bus; that's why a bought a car.

Suzyhayze said...

Pearl! I just taught a WHOLE class on this! Really! What? Wow.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Excellent rules. If they were adopted (and followed, that'd be the next thing), I'd totally ride the bus.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Minnesota Transit Authority: Putting butts in inappropriate places since 1963.

mapstew said...

It's the same the world over!

:¬)

xxx

tattytiara said...

I genuinely do miss taking the bus sometimes. I hadn't considered how much serendipity my life would lose without it.

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Maybe we can get a petition going for those rules - but only if you add CJ's rule!

Pearl said...

CJ brings up a valid point. :-) Consider the rules amended!

Douglas said...

Where are all these people going? From your description, they couldn't possibly have jobs, could they? I shouldn't comment. I haven't ridden a bus since I was in the Navy and that one was full of drunken sailors.

Kurt said...

Bus and exposed genitals go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Except chocolate and peanut make for a delicious treat whereas bus and exposed genitals lead to eye cancer. It's true. You can look it up if you want.

Mad's mom said...

I might add: weapons of any form should be left at home, knives, bows and arrows, super soakers, riding after eating lentil soup.

lisleman said...

have not ridden the bus in sometime. Good thing I wasn't one this one:
riding the bus

the zombie idea is right on!

Tempo said...

Ive seen buses, but looking in through the windows at the blank faces did not inspire me to step inside...always wondered what they were like inside.

Leah said...

Oh my goodness yes. The exposed genitals--why??? What Kurt said is so damn true. How many times have I gotten an eyeful on a NYC bus? It even happened once in Memphis.

By the way, you can and will get a ticket in NYC for leaving your bags on a seat like that. Doesn't that just rock?

Jeanne said...

The flasher -- was my sister on that bus with you? Because every time I've ever seen a flasher, she's been in the vicinity.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Could we also have: if you aren't 18 with a belly you can bounce quarters off please make sure that your pants are hitched up above your bikini wax scars?

darsden said...

too funny Pearl, love your rules sorry I didn't I have been squeezing your space ;-)

Ann's Rants said...

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Butts.

xo,
Ann

The Jules said...

Don't be so hard on the guy who exposes his genitals. He might just be absent minded, and driving the bus takes his full attention.

My name is PJ. said...

These are incredibly similar to the subway rules in NYC! Yours are more all-encompassing. So you should send yours to NY too.

And your summary was EXCELLENT!

♥ Braja said...

I say graffitti the bus with those rules.

ladyfi said...

So true and funny! Especially the bit about people parking their butts on two seats! Very annoying when you have to spend half an hour perched on the edge of the seat...

bettyl said...

Well said. Bravo!

Serendipity said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Especially 2, 4 and 6!