The Stern Old Bat (SOB)
Identified by steel-wool hair and skin as leathery as those files she used to stack before “floppy disks” arrived and stole her fortress of boxes away. A kind of Senator Palpatine of the express route, she’s inevitably clad in a floor-length shroud that’s as somber as her expression.
Behavior: You’ll want to get up and offer her your seat. Don’t. This urban hag thrives on telling off “young kids” (read: anyone who dyes their hair) and not only will any form of kindness be rebuffed, it will also rob her of her life blood: her daily rant about how awful people are. Instead, pull out every device you own and click/ tweet/ pump the volume with reckless abandon. This will ignite her indignant fury and see her rocket so far up her high horse she won’t come down until at least the mall.
The Biznezz Man (TBM)
A pervasive species of male commuter, note how the professional impact of his pinstripe suit is entirely mitigated by the ponytail and silver stud earring. Though his actual occupation is unclear, the fact that he’s involved in some kind of spurious wheeling and dealing is made obvious through his need to laugh, gesticulate wildly and sporadically scream “BUY!” and “SELL!” into what could be a bluetooth earpiece, but looks suspiciously like another earring.
Behavior: Despite being doused in fire hazard-worthy doses of ckIN2U, the stench of bad breath hangs around TBM like sewer fog. Avoid on sight or, if you find yourself accidently seated next to this kind of mouth breather, relocate at the next stop — lest you too become infected.
The Babe (TB)
The rare sighting of a true babe on the bus inevitably raises more questions than it answers. Where did she come from? Where is she going? Why is her skin gleaming like Arwen on her journey to the Grey Havens? What’s her number? Does she like pizza? I bet she likes pizza. She probably likes anime and pizza and basketball, and we should probably just go ahead and get married right here, right now.
Behavior: Her ungodly beauty is as unquestionable as the fact you will never, ever see her again. Like they say in school: take a photo, it’ll last longer.
The Loved-up Couple (LUC)
Unavoidably seated facing the rest of the bus, the LUC can be identified by their intertwined limbs (note her toe ring-clad foot wrapped around his square-toed work shoes), shirts buttoned up all wrong, and lust-coated faces. On top of the fact that 8:23 a.m. on a overcrowded trash can with wheels is neither the time nor place to get it on, your white-hot hatred for the LUC burns ever brighter each time you see them. They are a constant reminder that while you are stressing about lunch plans and work obligations, you could be spending every stupid minute of your life sealed in a bubble of wanton, heady, I-don’t-give-a-damn-who’s-watching desire. Ugh.
Behavior: Never has ‘out of sight, out of mind’ been so true. Besides, a glimpse at their early morning passion before shuffling to another chair just makes spying their act of pretending not to know each other/barely containing their loathing a few months down the track even sweeter. Suckers.
The Spewer (TS)
A rare, and yet not unheard of, inhabitant of the public transport system, bus barfer waits for a jam-packed route, in the worst possible traffic, to make their move. Whether projectile vomiting onto the hair of the passenger in front of them, or dribbling bile down into the aisle via the seat next to them, the highway hurler will claim that claustrophbia drove them to it, and yet overcrowding is both their adversary and their ally — at once inspiring and shielding them from the fury of the mob.
Behavior: Some may choose to hold their nose and think happy thoughts. Others may prefer to re-enact the actions of Brienne of Tarth when she finds out Renly Baratheon has been assassinated by that shadow demon that Melisandre and Stannis cooked up, i.e. smashing your fists against the nearest solid object and hurling abuse at anyone who makes eye contact. To each his own, really. We all have to get to work.