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Confessions of a 20-something #18: Bus ride etiquette

On bus ride etiquette and the people who don’t, in any way, deserve to have your seat

The STM has made no secret of its belief that there are some commuters who deserve a seat on public transit more than you: pregnant women, senior citizens, people with strollers, etc. For the most part, these (somewhat) unspoken rules or code of conduct are respected.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am normally very aware of those people too frail or too strained to stand for the length of a bus ride. I am usually very considerate and “generous” with my seat-giving. However, I ride the 165 through Cote-des-Neiges, a cultural epicentre punctuated by numerous mental health facilities, from terminus to terminus. My tired legs need a rest too, and there is nothing more satisfying than keeping one seat for the length of the ride.

If the STM has put a “to-do” list in place—a reference point for commuter etiquette—then my personal, ridiculous experiences in the 165 have encouraged me to do the opposite. I have compiled my own list of “not to-do’s”: a guide to the people that you are NOT obligated to give up your seat for.

Think of it as Emily Post for impatient Montrealers.Graphic Jenny Kwan

-I will not give up my seat for you if you are waving your flaccid penis in my face. Is that thing supposed to be intimidating?

-I will not give up my seat for you if you are decked head to toe in tacky designer knock-offs. I’m sorry, is a “Trendi” bag or “Canadian Moose” jacket supposed to speak to your social status? I’m impressed, really. Sit your bejewelled ass down right here in my seat, it’s an honour.

-I will not give up my seat for you if you have not bathed since September 2006.

-I will not give up my seat for you if you cannot stand up for two stops (which incidentally, you refuse to walk). If you’re breathing like Darth Vader, completely winded after stepping up into the bus, then your first concern should not be sitting down.

-I will not give up my seat for you if you pay your entire bus passage in dimes. Points for frugality, but youare by far one of the most annoying (and time consuming) creatures I’ve encountered.

-I will not give up my seat for you if you are dragging one of those stupid grocery carriers around, OR are pushing a stroller filled with nothing but shopping bags. An extra 5,000 points is deducted from the person who asks to get on the bus before everyone else because “strollers are priority.” Another 1,500 points is deducted if there are dogs in said stroller.

-I will not give up my seat for you if you are muttering prayers to Satan, threaten bloody murder, and/or have applied makeup and glitter gel heavy handedly. I will, however, point to the nearest pharmacy and recommend a renewal for your medication. And maybe a facecloth.

-I will not give up my seat for you merely because you want MY seat. I know, it’s great. That’s why it’s MY seat. But it’s alright, you can console yourself by leaning your crotch on my arm, staring furiously, and reading my text messages…they’re all about you anyways. Crazy b.

Despite all of these creatures, I will stubbornly continue to enjoy daily bus rides from my usual seat, outrightly (and comfortably) judging others for not giving up theirs.

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