The seven people you meet on the bus

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Humor columnist Nick Newton describes the multitude of characters you will find on the bus.

Deema Alharthi | Cavalier Daily

Over the course of your academic career at the University, it is practically guaranteed that you will utilize either the University Transit Service or the Charlottesville Area Transit at least once. I am as sure as the day is long that you will come into contact with one or more of these seven types of people on the bus before you graduate.

1. The one without headphones

This is someone who never fails to get on everyone’s nerves, especially during the morning rush. It’s always too early for an unnecessarily loud FaceTime or poor-quality highlight video of last night’s sporting event, but this person clearly didn’t get the memo. Considering the sheer amount of AirPods I see around Grounds, it’s amazing that this person still has no clue what headphones are.

2. The one who clearly hasn’t bathed

This person is either overly-conscious about their water usage and therefore stingy with their showers, or is simply ignorant to the existence of deodorant. You probably smell this person before you see them, and if you have the misfortune of having them sit next to you, try your hardest not to breathe through your nose for the remainder of your trip. The only thing that can make this worse is you losing your lunch in front of complete strangers.

3. The two-seater

This person’s complete disregard for other passengers is truly staggering. It would almost be admirable if it weren’t so disrespectful. Their backpack is so over-encumbered with textbooks, notebooks, a laptop, etc. that they feel the need to claim an additional seat to accommodate it, to the chagrin of weary passengers now forced to stand and scowl in polite silence.

4. The one who sits right next to you

Every once in a while, you find yourself on an empty bus with only you and a few other passengers on board. But then at the next stop, this psychopath boards and picks an empty seat directly adjacent to yours, despite the multitude of other seating options. “What’s their problem?” you ponder suspiciously. Sure, they haven’t exactly invaded your personal space, but is it still weird? Definitely. Is it illegal? It should be.

5. The man-spreader

Need I say more?

6. The door-crowder

The layout of a city bus is pretty standardized. The entrance and exit are always in the same place, yet this person insists on planting themselves directly in between these egresses and those wishing to board and get off. Even after you make eye-contact and do that little passive head-tilt toward the door, they refuse to budge. They even have the audacity to give you a scornful look when you push past them, as if you are the one with the problem. I’m just trying to not miss my stop, thank you very much.

7. The over-packer

This person closely resembles the two-seater, but at least they have the common courtesy to not take up an extra seat. They keep the backpack on, and are often observed standing rather than sitting with their hilariously large pack in their lap. However, in the limited space of the aisle, it can be quite frustrating to navigate around a person of such additional girth. Perhaps they turn around and their turtle shell knocks your morning coffee into your lap. Even worse is when the bus driver cuts on the brakes or gas too sharply, and inertia carries that Swissgear missile right into your head. No worse way to start your week than on concussion protocol.

Well, there you have it. This is by no means a complete list, and perhaps you have seen some other forms of poor public transportation etiquette. Perhaps you recognize yourself or a friend in one of these descriptions. You know who you are. Self-correct and admonish accordingly, and maybe we’ll all get through this that much easier.

Nick Newton is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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