Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

A Considerate Person’s Guide to Riding the Bus, or Don’t be an Ass

Dear Bus riders:

Thank you for riding buses. They are not always the most convenient option, sometimes they smell or they’re slow or fellow riders make less than surreptitious noises or engage you in conversations too deep for morning commuting. You’ve made sacrifices and you want them recognized. I understand. I too have been coughed on, driven past, glared at, or almost run over. But today I plead with you, ask not what your bus ride can do for you, but what you can do for your bus ride.

Just because you’re angry you don’t have a car to drive to work when it’s completely unnecessary or to go to your friend’s house to do things other than empower the homeless or combat the AIDS epidemic (in which cases a car would be needed for the pamphlets, bullhorns and information in your brain), does not mean you have to be a bus nincompoop. Don’t take your bus ride frustrations out on your fellow riders!

In case you’re unsure whether you’re a bus nincompoop, I’ve assembled this Considerate Person’s Guide to Riding the Bus, alternatively titled “Don’t be an Ass”:

  1. Be polite to the bus driver. Heck, say “hello” “good morning” or “thank you for putting up with my ilk”.
  2. Your purse does not need a seat. Neither do your backpack, pocket dog, feet, and chia pet.
  3. Before you step on the bus put your sense of personal space in the roof-top storage bin – there’s no place for it on that bus (my apologies to the Queen Mum).
  4. Unless you’re Rosa Parks, move to the back of the bus.
  5. Don’t stand needlessly in that hallowed spot by the midway door/release hatch. You will block people getting out, block people getting to the back (see #s 4, 6,and 8), and block people’s ability to remain non-homicidal. You are not Superman. You do not need to be able to leap out at every stop in a single bound.
  6. For the aforementioned make-a-better-concrete-block-than-a-pathway sort of reason, do NOT move to the midway door/release hatch until the bus leaves your penultimate stop. If it’s not going to take you a week and a half to get to the door and you’re not about to upchuck, stay put.
  7. Evacuate your seat (not on your seat) for elderly people, people with children, people looking like they’re struggling, and people looking around desperately for a seat. Hidden disabilities are every bit as real as visible ones.
  8. In case you missed it before or thought it didn’t apply to you: move to the back of the bus! The guy outside freezing his, uh, whiskers off, has as much right to be on the bus as you do.
  9. Unless you are hard of hearing, turn your music down. If we wanted to go to a Taylor Swift concert on a bus, we would borrow some strangers, then rent a bus and a Taylor Swift impersonator.
  10. If you’re still struggling with that personal space thing (#3) — don’t! (…unless people have in the past or are now abusing your personal space – in which case, do what you will).
  • Consider Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life. When riding the bus, you live in a house like the Catholic house. Kids are in the cupboards, swinging from the rafters and piled on the furniture like folded laundry.  When you get off the bus, you can live in the Protestant house with a 10-feet-between-people-at-all-times-except-for-the-conceiving-of-children ethic.
  • Expect this (the first minute should suffice):
  • Not this:
  1. And finally, making room for others does not mean forming a single line down the aisle and shrugging your shoulders at the guy standing outside freezing his, uh, whiskers off. Plug the gaps, shuffle, MAKE SOME FREAKING ROOM.




November 17, 2011 - Posted by | Bad TV References, Community, Irritated, Travel and intrigue | , , , ,


  1. Great post Rose! There is NO better way to start the day than with some good Monty Python! 🙂 Love it!

    Comment by TheIdiotSpeaketh | November 17, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s important to remember that every sperm is sacred first thing! Glad you liked it.

      Comment by Rose | November 17, 2011 | Reply

  2. As someone who rode the bus for WAY TOO MANY HOURS A DAY, when I lived in Dallas, I say, “AMEN”–and this post should be Freshly Pressed! Too damn funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Kathryn McCullough | November 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Kathy! I’m glad you don’t think I was too far off. At the very least, I hope you didn’t freeze your whiskers off in Dallas.

      Comment by Rose | November 17, 2011 | Reply

  3. Love the Monty Python analogy! So great!

    I’m totally in the honeymoon phase of public transit. After being in Revelstoke for the last two years and considered a weirdo for taking the bus, I’m so happy that it’s so socially acceptable here. I love actually sitting with Walt while we drive place, reading books and pointing out stuff. Wow, I sound super wholesome. To remedy this, here are my bus confessions:

    1. I’m one of those people who rides near the front, if only because I’m packing a 30 pound toddler who has limited mobility – at least in terms of entering and exiting the bus. However, when I’m riding alone, I am so giddy that I get to ride near the back of the bus. What was this Ms. Parks complaining about ; )

    2. When I was super pregnant I thought I’d love riding mass transit and forcing everyone out of their seat. This was not the case. In fact, I ended up avoiding it because it made me so uncomfortable. However, it was fun to refuse all able bodied seats and then force an elderly person to get up instead – kidding!

    Comment by CheyenneVyvyan | November 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Ah the romantacism of public transit! I would love to see the look on people’s face when you told them you took the bus in Revelstoke. 1. Priority seating is priority for a reason but the back does have it beat for not always being in people’s way. 2. What you’re saying is that there’s no way to be comfortable when super pregnant.

      Comment by Rose | November 17, 2011 | Reply

  4. Hear hear! I also nominate this post for FP.

    What really chaps my ass on public transit? People who sit in the aisle seat and leave the window seat empty, making it awkward, uncomfortable, and inconvenient for other people to sit there. MOVE TO THE WINDOW SEAT, PEOPLE!!!

    Comment by Dana | November 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes, good call! I can’t say I run into it often (except back in my frequent Greyhounding days) but that’s a butt-chapper for sure. Not claustrophobic? Move OVER!! I promise I’ll let you out when it comes time for you to leave.

      Comment by Rose | November 18, 2011 | Reply

  5. So true! And yes, this totally should be nominated for Freshly Pressed!

    Comment by lifeandothermisadventures | November 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Y’all are too kind with this FP business, fairly sure I don’t get enough traffic for that though!

      Comment by Rose | November 18, 2011 | Reply

  6. With those two Monty Python sketches as guidelines, it does make me wonder what exactly is happening on those buses that you are riding……crowded public transport and saving the sperm…..hmmmm.

    Very enjoyable.

    Comment by chlost | November 20, 2011 | Reply

    • It does make one wonder, doesn’t it? 😉

      Comment by Rose | November 20, 2011 | Reply

  7. […] was just laughing, reading Waste Not, Want More’s hilarious entry: A Considerate Person’s Guide to Riding the Bus, and I thought of a […]

    Pingback by 64K Dialup To My Emotions « Life and Other Misadventures | November 20, 2011 | Reply

  8. Oh public transit – I know it all too well. Such a great list of rules! Very entertaining, Rose!

    Comment by faultlessfinish | November 21, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s so important but can be so tiresome! Thanks for reading.

      Comment by Rose | November 21, 2011 | Reply

  9. […] second and third most popular posts, are Grad School: Deep and Delicious and A Considerate Person’s Guide to Riding the Bus, or Don’t be an Ass, respectively. The first I would find just as perplexing except that consumer products seem to win […]

    Pingback by 7 Ways to Leave Your Lover Wondering What You’ve Been Doing with Your Time « Waste not, want more | January 5, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: