I spend a large portion of my borderline-adult life being shuttled from university to home to work to university to home to work. In fact, I’ve harnessed all my mathematical prowess and worked out a four year degree will net me a full month’s worth sitting blithely.
Just kidding, I used a calculator.
In order to make what’s left of that time more pleasant for everyone, I’ve taken the liberty of chartering up the following ideas that’ll hopefully make our future journeys together more bearable.
Here are my 50 rules for pain-free bus riding.
(1) There shall be no playing of music without headphones, no matter how banging you perceive your ‘tunes’ to be. The rest of us don’t want to hear how Taylor is Never-Ever-Ever getting back with her ex.
(2)If rule (1) is ignored, you must - on pain of vehicular lynching - refrain from singing along. If there’s one thing we want to hear less than Miss Swift’s repetition, it’s you warbling that same story.
(3) If we can hear the sound of your headphones over ours, your music is too loud.
(4) When somebody says:
“Sorry, I kind of need to be doing some studying now.”
They most likely mean:
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
(5) What should you do if you see somebody you know and have to think about whether you should sit next to them? Don’t sit next to them.
(6) On a crowded bus, putting your bag on the vacant seat beside you is acceptable but probably means you’re a bit of a tool.
(7) On a crowded bus, deliberately sitting on the aisle side is unacceptable and will probably net you a lot of angry stares.
(8) If your bus passes another, it’s vital you abstain from making any awkward eye-contact with riders of that other vehicle.
(9) Energy drinks are not and never will be acceptable for any journey.
(10) If you take the train to work, bus-takers will view you as having ‘made it’.
(11) If you’re wearing a school uniform, it’s probably best you don’t speak.
(12) If you have to run for the bus, unzip your jacket. You may look like an idiot but at least this way you’ll feel like superman.
(13) When waiting for your bus, don’t listen to music. Bus stops are oases of stupidity.
(14) If you decide to nip into Poundland while you wait, your bus will definitely come and you will definitely miss it.
(15) Your bus can come at any time apart from when your app says it will.
(16) Fast food can be only consumed at off-peak hours, on a less than half-full bus. Energy drinks, incidentally, still aren’t allowed.
(17) When that middle aged woman queue-jumps you as people start to board, let her pass. Odds are she isn’t in a very happy place and you’re probably winning overall.
(18) If the head of the gingerbread man you were eating falls into the hood of the man in front, don’t go after it.
(19) If you go up to the top floor of a double-decker and there’s only one other person up there, you must sit somewhere on the empty side.
(20) See that bus in the distance that might be yours? It isn’t.
(21) The bus will always leave twenty seconds before you arrive.
(22) Bus prices will always rise in correlation with the pricing of a Freddo.
(23) Answering an unexpected phone call is permissible; calling your buddy for a chat is not.
(24) If you leave rubbish on the seat - surprisingly - it won’t evaporate. Take it with you.
(25) Ringing the STOP bell more than twice will earn you instant damnation.
(26) If the vehicle doesn’t have WiFi it will be considered Amish.
(27) If you’re wondering
“Did somebody see that?”
Somebody saw that.
(28) The Metro is a free paper, so there’s no excuse for reading mine over my shoulder.
(29) If you have to read the Sun on the bus, have the decency to flick past page three. Sophie, 23, from Manchester agrees.
(30) If Rule (29) is violated, don’t justify yourself by saying you were reading the articles or opinions.
(31) If you’re reading a large book, don’t keep checking if people can see you reading it - nobody cares about your intellectual prowess.
(32) Drawing a penis on a steamed window does not make you a street artist.
(33) Writing your name on a steamy window followed by ‘FTW’ does not make you a misunderstood poet.
(34) Revenue checkers are generally only a little more intrusive than that time the Dementors halted the Hogwarts express.
(35) If you utilise the word ‘like’ or ‘pure’ more than once every seven words, best you don’t speak either.
(36) If you’re sitting on your own, you have no reason for looking behind you and making the rest of us feel self-conscious.
(37) Ideally, don’t get yourself into the situation where you drop pieces of gingerbread into men’s hoods.
(38) If you forgot to bring entertainment for your journey, why not pass the time by winking at passersby? Fellow bus-dwellers are not allowed to be winked at, see rule (8)
(39) There are no comfortable places to put your feet, so save yourself some time and don’t bother searching.
(40) If you’re happy to belch in public, leave.
(41) If you’re happy to belch in public with a stranger sitting beside you, leave via the top-floor back window. On the dual carriageway.
(42) It’s a bus journey, not a low-budget episode of Takeshi’s castle. Don’t try and get up on an S-bend.
(43) If rule (42) is violated, at least make sure your bag is double-strapped. You don’t want to dispatch someone because of your swinging storage.
(44) If both rules (42) and (43) are violated and someone gets a rucksack to the face, pretend you didn’t see it happening. They’ll likely be too embarrassed to say anything anyway.
(45) Feel free to take the stairs two at a time, although if you trip, people laugh.
(46) There is no noise more irritating than an empty plastic bottle rolling up and down a moving bus.
(47) If you don’t have enough change for the bus, just smokescreen the amount of money you’re putting in by making sure there’s a lot of coppers going down the chute.
(48) The highest honour is reserved for those who pay their fare with a jar of pennies.
(49) If the bus suddenly breaks down, no amount of collective sighing will get that engine running again.
(50) Remember everyone else has a name too and you’ll be fine.
Now, if you'll excuse me I have some Bioshock that needs played.
If you want to console yourself in my absence with this, this or even this, the hidden hit counter goes up and I smile.