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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Ride The Bus

A re-post, I'm afraid, from June of '08, when I was young and vibrant and dedicated to -- aww, I can't do it. I'll be over here if you need me, pummeling a slight case of writer's block with a paperback thesaurus.


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 who hasn’t bathed in quite some time! 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-wide take-over by zombies, this is where it would start: on the bus, where the advancing hordes of the undead 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. We agreed that there should be rules, posted rules, to riding the bus. Knowing your keen interest in the silly things we do while under the influence, I hereby post the preliminary list:

George and Pearl’s Rules to Riding the Bus:
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.

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 under control.

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 and I wish I’d never heard the story…

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.)

If you end up standing because all the seats have been taken, please step to the back of the bus. If we have lumps of people standing at the front/next to the bus driver, it 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”.

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, I’m sure, 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.

36 comments:

Louisiana Belle said...

Pearl, I love your bus adventures. :)

Pearl said...

LA Belle, human beings are endlessly fascinating creatures. :-)

haphazardlife said...

Sometimes on the bus I wish I were a zombie, it might be easier to tolerate the morons if I were brainless.

- Jazz

Irisheyes said...

Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate. Keep on ridin' Pearl!

Angela Felsted said...

This is great, it gave me a good laugh! I like your rules.

Pearl said...

Jazz, :-) Come sit next to me!

Irisheyes -- and I KNOW they're always smiling! -- I am looking forward to the upcoming cleaning gig for Two White Chicks Cleaning. :-)

Angela, without rules what we have is chaos. :-)

Deborah said...

O the joys of public transport! LOL

Oilfield Trash said...

This makes me glad that I don't have to ride the bus.

George said...

Worth the re-publish for us newer people.

Pale Rambler said...

Embrace your writer's block! Go get a manicure. Go out to eat at a new restaurant. Go do something fun and out of the ordinary. Maybe smack a coworker in the back of the head for no reason and pretend it was an accident!

Also, are you going to publish your book on Kindle/Smashwords/etc.? It's free and an interesting experience. I've made almost enough money off my blog post collection to buy a burger off the value menu board at any one of hundreds of McDonald's eateries up and down the eastern seaboard! Besides, it feels like I'm the only humorous essayist on kindleboards.com... I need some company!!!

Pearl said...

Deborah, I love it -- most of the time. :-)

OT, it's not for everyone, but it certainly gives life to the saying "it takes all kinds"...

George, I was hoping it would be.

Pale Rambler, I've been thinking about it -- I could go for a cheeseburger!!

Cake Betch said...

I feel you should also include:
-Bathe at a minimum of once a week if you insist on riding the bus.
-If the guy two seats in front of you can hear your John Mayer and Bollywood-esq mix even though you have headphones on your music is too loud.
-Refrain from talking to yourself, as well as making animal noises, and do not look around crazily afterward as if you don't know where the sounds came from.

Eva Gallant said...

You almost make me want to ride the bus...almost.

Hutch said...

I like the butt rules. I think you should get a Nobel Peace Prize for them - if the world would just follow, wouldn't it be a nicer place?

Tracy said...

Thanks for the laugh...when I was in college I rode the bus frequently and I totally support your rules!
AMEN!!! especially to all body parts inside the clothes...

becca said...

love your writing your storytelling is capitvating

WrathofDawn said...

Exactly. All right-thinking bus riders agree with you. The rest have no braaaaaiiinnnssss to begin with.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

This is very reasonable and politely worded, Pearl. I especially like: "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."

Thanks for your comment. It made me smile a lot. I've gotta read some Shalom. Yiddish is my favorite language. I don't know it well, but I try to keep it alive. Oh, and Stinky's finger - priceless!

xoRobyn

Douglas said...

“Braaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnnnnssss”.

I think that sums it up nicely.

Dr. Cynicism said...

LOL! Great rule set - if only people actually abided by them :-(

Pat Tillett said...

Hilarious! People aren't going to follow the rules, no matter how much sense they make!

The Lissst! said...

There once was a man named Gus
Who always rode on the bus
He was too drunk to walk, but sure loved to talk
...fuck, I can't think of a creative last ending to this limerick. I had high hopes for it too.

Award Winning. Very funny!

Belle said...

Great bus rules! I used the bus a lot in Vancouver, I recognized all those people.

Mamma has spoken said...

Your story made me glad that I drive to work. Forget the bus, there is not bus here any way except for those big yellow ones meant for the ages of 3-18. Besides, lucky me only lives five minutes from work.
Yea, so much for saving that enviroment for me.

iamgorgeousgeorge said...

I am duly impressed with out wisdom. :)
George

Gigi said...

You know, I keep thinking I should rule the world - but now I'm thinking that we (you and me) should be in charge. Who do we talk to about that?

Dawn said...

Hehe....I have never had the pleasure of experiencing the Bus Ride to and from wherever...so I'll trust your take on it.
AND I wholeheartedly agree with your rule list;))

Susan in the Boonies said...

Butts should ALWAYS be kept to one's self. (Unless one is in the privacy of one's own residence, where everyone else should just butt out.)

Mama called 'em your private parts for a good reason.

Nobody else wants 'em.

On My Soapbox said...

I hate riding the bus more than just about anything. I would rather sit in my car for an extra house than ride the bus. One good thing about being unemployed is.... you guessed it.... not riding the bus!

Crazy Sister said...

I love Shaun of the Dead, but I can't watch it at night...

I have limited bus experience, but it was the blaring music from other people's earplugs that really irritated me. How loud do you need it? Yikes.

Mollie said...

Who doesn't love zombies? People who don't ride buses, that's who. Same thing happens here in good ol' Cty Durham.

I've had to get on to teenagers for inappropriate behavior. Yes, I was trolling afterwards but still, the fact that I had to say something to them to get them to shut the hell up speaks volumes.

Would also like to think that all bus drivers are consistent in the enforcement of current rules/guidelines already in place. Alas. Le sigh.

River said...

See, this is one of the reasons I'm desperately trying not to get too big. I hate being squashed by the person sitting next to me, so I don't EVER want to be the person doing the squashing.

the walking man said...

Butt there has to be some exceptions. What if Mr. Butt in the face just follows his butt and makes no conscious choice about where it ends up? I think someone who ate Mexican food for dinner would be a pretty bad butt in the face experience but then we don't have buses here.

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Kipp said...

So how long were you at Disney World?
;)

Mrs. Tuna said...

Thanks for not only saving our global environment but also our personal bus riding environment.