5 Commuters You Will Meet On Every Bus

In the hierarchy of public transport, buses are indisputably the lowest of the low. Having spent 80 per cent of my life on dumpsters of the highway, I’ve had plenty of time to catalogue the bottom-dwellers that inevitably populate every trip. Here, how to identify them, and what to do when you find yourself sitting next to one on the long ride home.

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. TC mark


image – Kerry Halazs


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  • vivi

    You forgot “the smiley guy in the anime T-shirt who might be retarded but you can’t quite tell and you don’t want to stare at him because he’ll think you’re genuinely interested in hearing about how Japanese women are superior to American sluts”.

    • http://mangopeels.wordpress.com quantumtheory

      yeah totally

  • Summar

    None of those people are on my bus

  • jamie

    you forgot the homeless pirate.

  • SharpieLife

    You forgot the the crazy junkie, the annoying teen, the can’t sit still in the fuck seat by me, the fat fuck who you hope won’t come crush you into the window, and the smelly drunkard who you hope won’t come sit by you

    • Claire

      THESE are the people on my bus, yes.

  • Coolio

    This is perfection.. I couldn’t stop laughing. My favorite is the Biznezz Man. Can he also be constantly talking about how expensive everything he owns is? Great, sire. In that case, might I ask what a great prince like yourself is riding public transport with us mere peasants?

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/5-commuters-you-will-meet-on-every-bus-2/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment In the hierarchy of public transport, buses are indisputably the lowest of the low. Having spent 80 per cent of my life on dumpsters of the highway, I’ve had plenty of time to catalogue the bottom-dwellers that inevitably populate every trip. Here, how to identify them, and what to do when you find yourself sitting next to one on the long ride home. […]

  • http://twitter.com/tr_sk_ys tres keys (@tr_sk_ys)

    I use to ride the bus everyday to and from school and this is unbelievably true! Forgetting your iPod, food or book is death.

  • Larry Li

    Type X: gets on the bus lip syncing his favourite songs from emo to hip hop. Smiles too much at everyone and weirds them out. Shouts thank you to the bus driver too loudly. :D

  • Jim

    Every transit system has their own collection of OOTO (out of the ordinary) riders. As a driver, it helps me to appreciate the regulars more. I’ve had the little old ladies that can no longer bathe themselves. And the dumpster divers, the talk-out-louds that don’t live private lives and makes sure everyone knows how they feel about this or that. They have big but sensitive egos. There are the ones that wear the same clothes daily. They dress poorly making them appear they’re broke and are always looking for handouts. Not really. They just appear that way. They actually have a lot of money stashed away but don’t want anyone to know it least someone comes along and hits them up for a “loan” which is never repaid. I’ve got one poor fellow that bothers me for a “loan” and only once has he ever repaid me.

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