Joy Comes Everyday (on wheels)

Frankly my dear,

This morning, as I endured my daily commute to work on a bus driven by a man who treated his passengers as an inconvenience (he was the sort of driver who deliberately drove faster when he saw someone running to make it to the stop in time and seemed genuinely resentful whenever he had to sell a ticket) I pondered the many joys of sharing time and personal space (everyday, twice a day) with a crowd of strangers. After many years of public transportation I realised that there are many rules bus passengers unconsciously follow (each designed to ensure maximum enjoyment). I think I may share them with you as you may not have had the opportunity to learn them yourself and I wouldn’t want you to make a bus faux pas.

Rule 1: If you sit on an aisle seat, press yourself as hard as you can against your seat companion. Always ensure that you have a gap of at least 15cm between your outer buttock and the edge of the seat. Always ensure that your seat companion is wedged as tightly as possible against the window. They like it that way.

Rule 2: If you sit on an aisle seat and your seat companion wishes to disembark, don’t bother standing up, just breathe in and if you are feeling particularly generous, just swing your legs to the side. Don’t ever get up, your seat companion really wants to stick their butt in your face, it’s make their day.

Rule 3: If you are in a window seat and you wish to disembark, make sure you get up at least 15mins before your stop, especially if the vehicle is travelling at an excessive speed, stopping suddenly or on a bumpy road. Your aisle companion enjoys staggering back and forth the aisle in order to let you out.

Rule 4: If you have a heavy backpack always swing it back and forth at excessive speeds and with considerable force. Those sitting in the aisles sit there just so you can hit them in the face, especially if they’re wearing glasses. You get points for every face hit you make. You also make the other passengers feel good about themselves.

Rule 5: Before a trip on public transport purchase gum. Chew this gum noisily and sloppily for the entire trip especially if it lasts longer than half an hour. You might also like to pop it. The other passengers will appreciate it.

Rule 6: If there are lots and lots of completely empty seats DO NOT sit on them. Make your way along the vehicle until you find somebody sitting alone and sit besides them. Always choose people who look particularly uninviting or who have their bags on the seat beside them. No really, they are just shy and are secretly happy you have chosen them as a seat companion.

Rule 7: Real men never sit next to each other. Especially if they know each other. You must sit on opposite sides of the aisle each taking up an entire seat on his own.

Rule 8: Play your iPod as loudly as is humanly possible to bear. And then crank it a little higher to be certain. We love nothing more than hearing the drum and bass of your lameass music. It makes our trips so much more atmospheric.

Rule 9: Before embarking on a journey on public transport you should marinate in your perfume for at least 24 hours to be certain that you are surrounded by a cloud of sickly fumes. Your bus companions will smell you and feel jealous.

Rule 10: Try and sit next to somebody who looks “different”. This will give you an opportunity to ask all those questions you thought of while reading The Advertiser or watching Sandra Sully. Ask them where they are from, if it’s true that they eat their babies in their home country, emphasise that you LOVE their food but really can’t work out why they aren’t more like you. Be sure to speak LOUDLY AND CLEARLY, they won’t speak English. You may even like to shout, remove all the joining words from your sentences and create broken sentences. Understanding, it make easier. You may even like to speak in an accent (not necessarily an identifiable accent, anything foreign sounding will do) as dis vill mek yourrr conbersation run more smoozly.

Frankly my dear, I do so hope I have been of  invaluable assistance in smoothing the way to many many happy hours of bus-time.  I would even go so far as to say that it would perhaps be useful to print out these ten rules and keep them on you in case of sudden and unexpected bus catching.

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