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.

In opposition to my recent rants (SPACE ON BUS; SPACE ON BRAIN & MY FIRST LINEUP) regarding bus passenger selfishness, I challenge me to consider this incident:

After finishing work in the late evening on Sunday, I landed outside on the street with my usual walk-and-look-for-the-bus plan. The walk would be a simple 15 minute trek to the nearest Skytrain that would take me home, but if, on this walk, I happened to pass a bus stop at the same time as bus, I would happily hop aboard to save myself up to 10 minutes of commute.

When, then, I spotted a bus dropping off a passenger at a stop that was just 50 yards ahead of me, I decided to make a run for the oversized van (in case it was slowed down by more exiting passengers), but my sprint was not a desperate one since I was content with my leg-powered transporation.

As I ran, the passenger that was just jettisoned from the vehicle spotted my approach, and so pointed at the bus to ask if I was aiming for it. I nodded, and so, with no thought of why she should care about a stranger’s goals, she knocked on the outside of the bus to indicate a passenger was coming. To honour her effort, I sped up my pace, but the bus pressed forward just as I arrived.

I was not wounded by the loss since (A) I didn’t feel the driver was obligated to the knocking-instructions of a former passenger and (B) I was still content walking. But I was touched by the efforts and concern of the stranger, who, in turn, shook her head with disgust at the departing bus.

I assured her I was content walking, but I thanked her for her kindness – not many would look out for a stranger like that. This did not cheer her up, but it did me.

4 thoughts on “THE BUS STOP!”

  1. I have to challenge your “in opposition” statement, since this seems to imply that all bus riders share a specific set of characteristics.

    Or do you suggest that perhaps there’s some sort of behavior-modifying gas circulating on buses? Perhaps the hero in this latest piece was able to shrug off the selfishness-inducing gasses in time to react as she did?

  2. Thanks, Tarrin: you have provided an intriguing answer to what seems on first glance to be an ill-founded question. I contend that the passenger who would notice a rushing replacement and then try to stop the bus for said stranger(!) is clearly of opposite personality to the on-bus-blockers who either do not notice or do not care to notice that they are costing others room to get on the bus.

    However, your submission that on-board-gasses (perhaps the smell of transit money) might be the cause in the discrepancy of personality is intriguing, but likely flawed since some of us are clearly immune to the brain-changing substance – how else would I have been angered to write the rant in the first place? (Unless, you’re suggesting that I wrote the rage while unknowingly gassed into the same crime myself?)

  3. Dear Seth or Zaff,
    I heard a very funny story about an incident on a bus that you were intimately involved in. It had something to do with sliding the length of the bus on your posterior – I think your readers would really enjoy a recap of this delightfully embarrassing (pun intended) story.

  4. Dear Muzzy or Propaganda-proprieter: I suspect you have had your brain washed by a story often told by my brother and one of his sisters. In their version, the driver of the famed bus hit the breaks lightly, and I as a joke for my siblings, aided the momentum (that was already sending me forward) by my lifting myself up to make it seem as though I was going to fall of my chair. Sadly, they will tell you, I suddenly then discovered that, with the slipperiness of the floor, I couldn’t stop my now enhanced forward momentum, so I reached for the bus poles above to stable myself, but unfortunately – and to the retroactive delight of my family members – my feet kept sliding, which in conjunction with my subsequent loss of grip from the pole, sent me zipping along the floor of the bus on my backside, past the red line separating driver from passengers, until finally I crashed feet-first into the fare receptacle beside the bus driver. “Oh!” she looked down, shocked that her simple break-pushing had caused a passenger to come flying down the aisle practically onto her lap.

    This was all very amusing to my siblings, who – whether they were amongst the two in attendance or not – love to tell me that, when they are in a sour mood, they can recoup their cheerfulness by simply taking themselves back to that time on the bus. “I’m on the bus!” they’ll merrily say. Well, you may be shocked to hear the actual truth of what happened that day. The driver didn’t just “lightly” tap the breaks, as my enemies would have you believe: instead, she slammed on them! The rest of the story, then, is quite true, but much more understandable now that you know the true fact of what caused it. Thank you for your understanding.

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