In the interest of full disclosure—and Seth-promotion—the spirt of this rant, and other works of Sethiquette, is now available in my book, How to Cure Yourself of Narcissism.

This is a classic rant that probably needs no repetition, but I can’t help myself. On the bus once again last night, when a large crowd began to fill it, patrons at the front of the entering group did not go all the way to the back. The result was the standard passenger-dam at the front and middle of the vehicle.

I can appreciate, in such circumstances, that the back of the bus will naturally be less packed than the front. Passengers fill the back first, after all, and so it feels awkward to get up close and cozy with strangers for an as-of-yet only theoretical need for room. Instead standard stranger-spacing etiquette feels like it should apply.

But when the crowd begins to run out of room at the front of the corridor, there is an understanding between new friends there that near-hugging is allowed because otherwise one of you would not fit on the coach.

And, as I surveyed from the well-packed middle section of the vehicular hallway, I noticed as ever that the back of the bus was not simply spaced reasonably according to stranger-convention; instead, there was a walk-in closet’s worth of room—and even an empty seat!

You see, somewhere along the aisle to the back, a traveller or two simply stopped (like a pair of escalator-standers) and blocked the following masse. This was no simple etiquette of spacing: it was emptiness of awareness. The travelers preferred the centre of the carriage (perhaps because it was closer to the exit doors), which is all swell and good (if, that is, you don’t enjoy the bus’s hind quarters, then feel free to seek refuge in the middle), but, for passengers’ sake!, make room in the aisle for those who would move into the glorious space behind you.

And yet, on every crowded bus, there are always those who are profoundly unobservant of (or simply unconcerned with) the needs of their fellow bus-goers. It is time they be taught a lesson: I propose remedial transit-traveller finishing school for these breachers of consideration. They must be taught that with great transit comes comes great responsibility.

Perfect. Problem solved. I feel better.

While we wait, see MY FIRST LINEUP for a proposed first lesson at Bus Passenger Training School.

4 thoughts on “SPACE ON BUS: SPACE ON BRAIN”

  1. I had a funny incident on the bus the other day. A large number of people plus a stroller were attempting to board our bus, and the bus driver ordered everyone to move to the back. As usual, nobody flinched, and there was a complete blockage in the middle. Another passenger next to me repeated the order, and this time an angry looking fellow standing in the back stared back at us indignantly and insisted there was absolutely no more room in the back, while waving his arms to accentuate the point.

    A few moments later, one of the people causing the blockage in the middle of the bus had an itchy leg, and unintentionally shifted positions slightly. This allowed just enough room for people to pass through. Several of us made a quick dash to the back, and we all easily fit in. I wish I had the strength to tell him: “sadly, they’re failure to graduate.”

  2. Hee, hee, well described E.S. (You have failed your own moniker by being aware of the negligence in these behaviours.) I especially enjoyed the waving of the arms of the space-denying-back-of-the-bus guy.

  3. One of my favourite bus behaviors is the, “My packages need a seat” person who seems to believe that though there are no seats available, their packages must have a resting place beside them.

  4. Well put, Muzzy. I have many times travelled with parcel, and although I prefer its own seat when space allows it, if necessary I have never had trouble placing the items on my lap – or not taking a seat if this was prohibitive.

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