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Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Ride The Bus

The bus. The great equalizer. A rolling opportunity for either tree-hugging optimism or embracing your curmudgeonly side.

Me, I can go either way. 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 sitting next to someone for whom soap is a word in the dictionary! I’m riding the bus with 40-some strangers, some of whom cough without covering their mouths! Look at me! Butts are getting wider, the seats are getting smaller, and I’m sitting closer to this guy than I sit next to family!

Wheeeee!

There are days, particularly in the middle of winter, when I am forced to recall one of the opening scenes in “Shawn of the Dead” where it appears that a number of the morning commuters may already be zombies. Slightly gray-skinned in the early-morning light, breathing through their mouths, eyes dull and vacant, it’s both a chuckle and an opportunity for reflection. If there was a world take-over by zombies, this is where it would start: on the bus, where the condition would go unnoticed for days and days…

“Good morning!”

“Uhhhhh.”

“Another day, huh? Thank God the week’s almost over!”

“Uhhhhh.”

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

“Uhhhhh.”


I was sharing a bottle of wine the other day with a friend I’ll call “George” (because her name is George), a fellow bus rider, albeit on another line. We agreed that there should be rules, posted rules, to riding the bus. Here’s the preliminary list:

George and Pearl’s Rules to 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.
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.)
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 “Braaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnnnnssss”.
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.


There were more rules, but like I said, there was a bottle of wine involved.

So far, the transit authority has been resistant to posting our 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.

22 comments:

Jon in France said...

Rules are a necessary evil, I fear. Particularly ones about exposing the Parts Of Shame on public transport.

Of course, sometimes it does happen by accident.

Charlotte Ann said...

First I need to find a job.
The job needs to be on a bus line.
I need to get rid of my car so I can justify to the husband my need to ride the bus.
I want to live your life Pearl. It's just so much more interesting then making a car payment, car insurance and on top of all that..to miss all this bus adventure!

dirt clustit said...

Oooooh! Oooooh! I know this Pearl it's on the tip of my tongue, oh god I can't recall her name but it was the girl friend from the fly only you are doing the movie ground hog's day right?

or was it what about bob?

EcoGrrl said...

classic post, chica. all reminders why i'm now a bike commuter, even in the crappiest of weather. if i may add to your collection:
* teenage kids who sit sideways so their back is to you (and usually a view of their buttcrack from saggy lowriders)
* the man who likes to sit extra close and act like he's not completely infringing on your personal space
* the jackasses who will not get up to let a parent with their kids sit down
* the bus drivers who take off from stops in a way that causes you to fly headfirst into someone's lap
* the bus drivers who don't have enough balls to stop the gangbangers in the back from lighting up their joints / cursing loudly /etc

Eva Gallant said...

Great post....all the reasons I try to avoid public transportation!

alwaysinthebackrow said...

I would think the MTC would have posted the No Genitalia rule by now. It has been a long time since I rode the bus, and it would have been helpful back then, too.

Linda Medrano said...

I love taking the bus. I have a lot of friends who are bus drivers too. They have even hijacked their own bus to take me to my house. True story. And I love bus drivers. Men and woman in uniform are great! I rode the bus for over 30 years. The only hard part was San Francisco's Chinatown. That was only hard because they made the bus so darned crowded.

a Broad said...

".. if we could all agree to keep our butts in our pants, on our seats, and out of each others’ faces, .."

I think this should be a Motto for All Aspects of Life .. really.

<3

Bass said...

Damn fine writing

mrwriteon said...

I think your rules apply for any bus anywhere in the world. And for intruding bums and outer thighs, it only works if the aforesaid are possessed by somebody remarkably interesting, which rarely happens on a bus.

Kay Dennison said...

I rode the bus for a long time and I really like your rules. It was an adventure and a definite learning experience!

vanilla said...

Oh, Pearl. Thanks for the memories! This took me back 55 years to that time when I was a Transit patron. We applaud you for your efforts to save the planet. (I use a bicycle these days, or stay home-- don't have to go to work, you understand.)

Linda Myers said...

I thought at first you and George were sharing a bottle of wine on the bus! No rule for that, though.

I'm a suburb dweller but I do occasionally ride the bus into the city. It's always an adventure just a shade on the dark side.

Symdaddy said...

Bug'rit!

I just spent 20 minutes writing a really hot n steamy comment to cheer you up and the 'bloggy' people screwed it up with a "SERVICE NOT AVAILABLE".

No!

I won't write it again.

But involved skimpy undies and a battery!

I've been away. Did you miss me Pearl?

Tempo said...

Hi Pearl, I'm thinking you will just have to go ahead and post the rules without input from the bus company. (theyre pretty slack) I'm sure you will make them look all official and business like so the weirdos will respect the rules..or you will be obliged to kick them in the ass with your nice shiny high heels. (did you notice I added a rule at the end there?)

Douglas said...

Rule #5 must be carefully enforced. If all standing passengers crowded to the back of the bus, I fear the front of said bus would rise into the air and the ride would be even hairier than usual.

Dr. Cynicism said...

These are pure genius - I'll work on getting this rule set passed in my vicinity. However, they may make TOO MUCH sense to be accepted by city and/or state government. I also think you must ride the most fascinating bus line in the US. Keep on truckin. And great blog by the way!!!

Charlotte Ann said...

I'm fearful..very fearful that one day Pearl won't be free. I'm not suggesting she is the kind of girl that "charges for services" mind ya but the kind of girl blogger that will have a book of "Ride The Bus" which will have an extraordinarily (sp) high price,become filthy rich, she will purchase her own bus line, instill a long list of rules that will be strickly enforced and ruin other "would be Pearls" from all the stickiness of bus rides stories forever because everyone will be freshly bathed and dressed in business suits because of her damn rules. Yeah, I'm fearful.

Sausage Fingers said...

Bloody hell - genitalia on the bus!!.
Pearl, I know you know about the truck dealer down here in Fla that has the "Special" promotion that could help with your bus exposed sack problem, once you cock you AK the cock in question would shrivel up. Good luck.

Jhon Baker said...

Add to the rules that "seats should be given up for the elderly, pregnant and disabled - or swift beatings will occur." As a disabled rider I often have to get off and wait for another bus as no one will give me a seat and I cannot stand on a moving bus without falling over.

Grant said...

I've heard that death is the great equalizer, but I think that honor should really go to boogers.

Pat Tillett said...

"If there was a world take-over by zombies"
Don't you mean "when?"

You are so darn funny...