There is something to be said about a person who enjoys public transportation. This is not to imply that there’s anything inherently wrong with taking pleasure in cutesy bus trips towards the local aquarium, simply that it is undeniably suspicious for someone to enjoy their time on the bus without having a run-in with certain characters. I am not a believer of stereotyping but as a public transit drone that has spent an ample amount of hours on the 99 B-Line, I can’t help but to mentally categorize certain personas that make my trips slightly decline in comfort. While this list is not nearly extensive as it could be, it is definitely more familiar than it should be.
1. The Facebook “Friend”: The catalyst of unease, the Facebook “friend” is the purveyor of tedious and mad awkward bus trip. This character takes on many elusive identities, from high school friend you’ve never actually spoken to in your life, to co-worker from your first summer job, the unifying theme lies in the fact that they’re not actually your friend but you’re inclined to pretend otherwise. This not so friend “friend” often whisks into sight when you’re looking to take a nap or are intently cramming for a test that you must write when you step off the sanctity of the bus. Usually, your conversations involve long-winded small talk about vapid topics such as your major, your studies, and what your plans are for the summer; after conventional questions are exchanged, a mutually appreciated silence will interrupt and both parties will engage in unnecessary texting until the expectation of conversation fades into the droning of the bus.
2. The-Obnoxious-Girls-That-Are-So-Cliché-You-Did-A-Double-Take: You’re enjoying a cozy little nap on the bus, lulled to your comfort by the droning of the bus when you hear a squeal of excitement coupled with obnoxious laughter: it’s the mean girls. Easily identified by their punctuated speech as they revel in each other’s, in truth, insipid personalities, these are the high school girls you didn’t think existed outside Cineplex Odeon. Sadly, this inaugural fascination of their existence dissipates as your senses plea for their volume level to come way down. They are a punishment to the ears and while one can, at times, find amusement in listening to their self-centered proclamations, more often than not, the sight of them is just cringe-worthy. Armed with the staccato of their “O.M.Gs” and “No. Freakin. Ways” their accompaniment reminds us what a luxury it is to be a proud owner of a pair of headphones.
3. The Incubator: The incubators grow in numbers around flu season; they are the ones with the sly superpower to withhold revealing symptoms of sickness until you have located yourself irrevocably within their vicinity. Once having cornered unsuspecting passengers, they unleash their coughs or sneezes in violent fits and make you wish you had a gas mask, or superhuman immunity, or a car.
4. The No RSVP Self-Inviter: This type of conversation invader can be spotted making seemingly benign eye-contact during the initial start-up of your conversations. Elusively, he or she (though often taking the form of an inappropriately older individual) will somehow make their way towards you and your friend and conversation crash until discomfort of this uninvited stranger mangles the once easygoing dialogue into a vexing halt. Sometimes a restraint order proves itself to be necessary when the self-inviter probes about what courses you’re taking as they make a grab for your textbook (a great excuse for why you shouldn’t read on the bus).
5. The Drunkards: The least classy bunch on the wagon are the stumbling drunks that somehow manage to scrape a seat on the bus. They can be identified by their blundering posture and unnecessarily loud laughter directed at nothing in particular. These are the people mothers hush their children away from but ironically are also quite entertaining when their presence is enjoyed out of vomiting range.
With the impending hike in our U-Pass fees, this was just a friendly refresher on the abhorrence of public transit and the people you are slapped with.
I’m totally just kidding. These guys make my day.