How to Ride the Blue Bus

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Binghamton University has a lot to offer its students. One of the many treasures bestowed upon us by this fabulous institution is the blue OCCT bus. Wherever you are in Binghamton, these fashionable vehicles can be seen lugging students to and from class (or the bars, or that hot senior’s house). 
Before I continue with my unwarranted sarcasm, please know that I genuinely love this service. That being said, this post is not about the busses themselves. It is about the people that ride them. Apparently, there is some unwritten rule that students are to check their manners and all senses of normalcy at the threshold of those odd bendy doors. Unfortunately, I did not get this memo, but the caveman behaviors witnessed in recent weeks have inspired me to write this post.
So, for those of you wishing to live on this side of the Crazytown border, use this list as a guidebook. As for those of you that are desperately trying to become members of the C.B.P.A (Creepy Bus People of America), this post is not for you, and may hurt your feelings.

1) Your backpack (hopefully) does not have butt cheeks, and therefore does not require a designated seat.
I cannot possibly tell you how frustrating it is to step onto a crowded bus and be forced to stand because some chick can’t put her backpack on her lap. I’m sorry, but unless you are are paying twice the transportation fee, your Jansport does NOT take precedence over my fine behind. I will not stand here and try to avoid upchucking my egg and cheese sandwich, while your French homework gets a comfy window seat.
2) Do NOT mack it on the bus.
This pointer is hard to think about without getting a little queasy. Listen, I don’t care HOW excited you and Freddy Bobby are about celebrating your two month anniversary. Nobody wants to see that. It is bad enough having to see couples (or strangers) practically sucking each others faces off at the bars, but seeing these Anaconda remakes at 8 a.m. before my Economics class just isn’t my idea of a good time.
3) Practice personal hygiene.
This one is so self-explanatory, that it’s kind of shameful I even have to mention it. You would think that anybody smart enough to get into the most challenging SUNY school would be smart enough to use soap and maybe, a little deodorant. Apparently not. If you are having problems understanding the whole concept of not smelling like a farm animal, come visit me. I will show you the ways so that you too can smell like Hawaiian Ginger or Fresh Orchids.

4) Turn down the volume.
Listen, I understand that everyone gets a little loud from time to time, present company included, but some people abuse this privilege. There is a reason the Big Man upstairs gave us indoor voices. That reason of course, is to use them when innocent patrons such as myself are tired, or have a headache, or just don’t care about the mole on your calf. Don’t get me wrong; I am incredibly nosey, much like your grandma. Sometimes, I enjoy listening to you moan about the guy you hooked up with in the Scoreboard bathroom (I enjoy this even more when I know said guy). Do realize however, that the less understanding percentage of our population is most certainly judging you or, or coming up with creative ways to end their misery (a.k.a your voice).
5) Be less obvious.
Some people are more genetically blessed than others. This is a well-known fact. Unfortunately, it is the people at either extreme of the uggo scale that attract the most attention. Look, I understand that if Quasimodo limped onto the bus dressed like Avril Lavigne [tie and all], you would likely stare. I would too. Similarly, in the likely situation that the love child of Alessandra Ambrosio and Jake Gyllenall felt the need to take an OCCT bus, you would eye-fornicate them like it was your job. Here’s the thing with staring; it is completely normal. We all do it, but let’s for a second consider the people being stared at. Nobody likes feeling like the most recent addition to the Bronx Zoo. Not only is it extremely awkward, but it also makes the starer seem like he/she needs some major psychiatric evaluation and a restraining order. So please, invest in some really dark shades, or pick a spot on the wall and concentrate on it for your whole journey. Nobody likes a creeper.
6) Once again, turn down the volume.
Do you like music? If you answered no, then I think you are a little weird. For the rest of you (which I am praying is all of you), this one might be applicable. Personally, I love getting on the bus and turning on my iPod, mostly to tune out that Grinch that tried making out with me at a frat party freshman year. Here’s the thing with headphones; when you’re wearing them, it’s pretty hard to gauge how much of the Lion King soundtrack everyone else can hear. So for the sake of common courtesy and your reputation as a mature, mysterious man/woman, turn the volume down a bit. As for you munchkins that feel the need to listen to your music so loud that even the bus driver taps his foot, enjoy your eardrums while you can. I’ll see you at a hearing-aide convention in Toledo in a few years.
7) Alcohol does not make you Celine Dion.
We are all familiar with the “drunk bus,” are we not? This late-night vessel does the honor of taking students to and from downtown so that they can perform various safe, and legal weekend activities. Fortunately, I have outgrown said service, but seeing as I am somewhat saintly, I will offer a few words of wisdom for you youngins.  Drinking three Keystones does not provide you with a free subscription to Vocalists Weekly. Surprised? Don’t be. Believe it or not, your very passionate rendition of “Don’t stop believing” is not cute. Even though you may suddenly enjoy the sound of your own screeching, the rest of the bus is wishing they had a dart-gun to take you out. The fact that you butcher every other word of one of man’s most well known songs does not help either. Next time, just try to refrain until you make it downtown. Then hopefully your voice will be drowned out by the voices of other intoxicated geniuses.
8) Stop.
This one is not for patrons. It is actually for bus drivers. Bless your poor souls, I have the most respect for you. I really do. You have to deal with some of the most eloquent and appreciative individuals around (See what I did there? That part was sarcasm. Keep up.) I just have one tiny stipulation. When I request a stop, can you please actually stop? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to run to the front of the bus screaming like a banshee, I would not currently be planning my very successful career as a trophy wife. Also, when you do stop, can you not do it in a snow bank? As much as I love shoveling myself out of three feet of ice and sludge, I’d rather not.
9) The big one.
Listen up dudes, if you have ever even THOUGHT about creeping on or even worse, touching a girl on the bus, do the world a favor and start taking online classes from your bedroom. The verbal creeping is bad, and borderline unforgivable. The thing that makes me want to physically harm however, is when the more arrogant lonely-folk take their desperateness to a new level by getting handsy. I actually happen to be aware that my derrière is quite scrumptious and I do NOT, under any circumstances, need your calloused hands to remind me of said fact.
Well folks, follow this list and everyone in your year will love you AND that hottie in your geography class will ask you out. Well, probably not. At the very least, you will get beat up less, get less dirty looks and hopefully, have less restraining orders filed against you.
Stay classy Binghamton.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

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