“Public transportation is for jerks and lesbians.” – Homer J. Simpson
It’s tough to find someone with a high opinion of public transportation. Depending on where you live, buses are often crowded and dirty. Subways are worse, what with their underground seediness and rape-y atmosphere. Still, it’s one of the best, cheapest ways for getting around town. Depending on where you live, public transportation is either a crap-shoot or actually more efficient than driving (and certainly cheaper). It’s good for your wallet and the environment. So why do so many people dread public transportation? It’s because, inevitably, you are going to deal with more than your fair share of public transportation douchebags.
The following are five of the most prevalent douchebags with whom you’ll ride the bus. They are agents of evil who obstruct, inconvenience, and generally annoy everyone around them:
1. The Rusher
I’m starting with the least of the five evils. The rusher won’t completely ruin your day, but he lacks knowledge in a basic concept of common courtesy. Furthermore, he threatens to make you miss your stop.
Here’s a pro tip: when boarding the subway, you have to allow others to disembark first. Rushers aren’t so bad in small numbers, as it’s fairly easy for the disembarking crowd to mow down one or two overly eager boarders. Trying to shove your way past a crowd like that is a good way to get trampled.
But rushers often work in numbers, which creates a human traffic jam at the doors. Now you have two groups of people blocking each other from getting on or off, and everyone gets inconvenienced.
I know it can be unpleasant waiting for the subway. Maybe your legs are tired and you just need to sit down. Suck it up for five more seconds, sweetheart. Calm down. You’ll get to where you’re going.
2. The Spreader
I hear about “manspreading” all the time, and I’m sick of hearing it.
Girls, you’re just as bad when it comes to taking too much room. This isn’t a gender thing. This has nothing to do with misogyny, macro-aggressions, the patriarchy, or glass ceilings. This has to do with inconsiderate assholes.
Spreaders are from all walks of life regardless of sex, race, gender, or religion. Spreading takes on many forms.
First, you have people who are sitting or lying across multiple seats, even on a crowded vehicle. Some of them are sleeping. Some of them are cross-legged. Some of them just want to put their feet up like they’re kickin’ it all max relax in their living-rooms.
Next, you have bagspreaders. These are people who think their bags, purses, or briefcases require an entire seat. Some people fresh from shopping trips will try to take up as many seats as possible. Sure, there’s plenty of room under your seat as well as on your lap or between your feet, but that’s okay. Another human being should be forced to stand just so your bag or your lap doesn’t get dirty. Right?
Finally, you have aisle seat spreaders. These are people who take up an aisle seat so nobody can get access to the window seat next to them.
Spreaders always have that same look about them. They always look defensive and terrified of the possibility that their personal space might be invaded.
Spreaders are the bane of public transportation services everywhere. There are often multiple per bus, making the vehicle twice as crowded with standers as it needs to be. Move your bags, move your ass, and put your feet down.
3. The Blocker
This is the idiot who thinks the best place to stand is right in front of the doors. They have no intention of getting off anytime soon. They’re just there to inconvenience everyone around him. Blockers are oblivious and vacant.
Getting through a blocker politely is tough. First you have to get their attention, but their heads are usually so far up their own asses that they barely know what’s going on around them. Then, finally, when they return to Earth, they half-heartedly shuffle out of your way and into someone else’s.
Don’t stand by the door. If it’s an especially crowded bus and you’re forced near the door, stay aware and do your best to get out of the way the moment the bus slows to a stop.
4. The Speakerphone
Usually equipped with an ear-piece (despite having two free hands), the speakerphone is perpetually on the phone, and perpetually loud about it. He is literally yelling out his half of the conversation so everyone around can hear. The loudspeaker screams, laughs, and bellows obnoxiously as if the rest of us are invested in the conversation.
You do not need to yell. We do not need to hear your conversation. We don’t want to hear your conversation. You are bothering everybody.
If you and a friend are riding with a prevalent speakerphone, you can do the rest of the bus a favour: camp next to the speakerphone and start having your own loud-ass conversation right next to them. Do this until they hang up or leave.
5. The Handy-Capable
I can’t believe how many people either don’t get this, or choose to ignore it:
If you’re young, healthy, and not incredibly pregnant, don’t sit at the front of the bus. Those seats are reserved for those who need them. This is the equivalent of taking a handicapped space when you’re going to the grocery store. It’s not for you.
When the bus is practically empty, it’s not so bad. But I’ve seen elderly folk, extremely pregnant women, and even the blind forced to stand because some inconsiderate assholes don’t feel the need to move.
If I had it my way, it would be highly encouraged – nay, it would be the civic duty of every single person boarding a vehicle to give a severe Charley horse to such people.
When riding public transportation, it’s important to keep the “public” part in mind. Be considerate. Be aware. Don’t be a douchebag.