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The Art of Bus-Boarding

Updated: Jan 1

Upon finishing my first week of the Spring semester, I remembered the one thing that makes my blood boil more than anything. The UB Stampede.

For those who don't know, The UB Stampede is our chain of buses here at UB that always tend to be packed.

Now the name "Stampede" is very appropriate when describing these buses, or better yet people boarding the buses. It can get quite dangerous out there but being the wonderful man that I am, I have organized some tips and skills to make your experience as pleasant and safe as possible.

These 6 tips can be used in any setting, so feel free to use them. If not, it is no longer my problem and you will be putting yourself in danger. The choice is yours.

Now, let us begin.

1. Be on time

We are starting off with a very important one. When I say this I am very serious. If you learn the schedule of the bus you can save yourself a lot of embarrassing/awkward moments. For instance, walking down to the bus, assuming you will catch it, then watching it pull away while everyone on the bus watches you sprint after it, then walking back to the bus stop where everyone quietly laughs at you. Being on time will not only prevent these kind of situations, but will also give you a head start when the bus door opens. Which leads me to my next tip.

2. Nice guys finish last

This is a very commonly used phrase, usually when referring to relationships. I have put a Club SEBU spin on it that should help you immensely. What I mean by this is, nice guy tendencies must be thrown away for the brief time you are boarding the bus. If you chose to let every cute girl slip in front of you, I can assure you that you will be standing for the entire bus ride (see later tip for "Tips to Standing"). I have listed some ways to channel the rudeness needed to be successful.

  • Be assertive/committed - If you see a gap that you can fit in, take it. Don't hesitate, and don't stop until you have made it on the bus.

  • Do not make eye contact with anyone - Just like driving, if you have made a mistake, act as if nothing happened. If you budge, and look at the person you just cut off, that leaves room for argument which could cost you your place. You are in the wrong so do not draw attention to yourself. Make moves and keep it moving.

  • Box out - This is a little more advanced but highly effective. If you have obtained your position within the pack of lions, hold your ground. If someone tries to "Be assertive/committed", it is perfectly legal to widen your stance, slightly throw your butt into their gut (very subtly to avoid problems) and prevent them from slipping in front of you. Make sure that they are pinned behind you and their only way to the bus is through you. Hopefully they are not a savage and will not run through you.

  • Never converse and Board at the same time - This is similar to drinking and driving. You cannot focus. If you talk, people will take advantage and cut in front of you.

  • Use your resources - Poles, garbage cans, other kids, etc, can all be used as obstacles for your opponents. Position yourself so that you have a clear way to the door, while the others have to avoid your boobie-trap.

These should help you in your efforts to be as rude as possible, yet still maintaining a wholesome image. Enjoy.

3. Be resourceful/ intelligent

You must use your smarts and your environment to your advantage. It will serve you well in the long run. If you are at one of the doors and it is packed, simply say "They opened the other door!". Subconsciously, at least a dozen of the hyenas will rush to be the first to the other door, giving you an opportunity to advance toward the bus. That could be dangerous but it is worth a shot. Disguise your voice and make sure no one knows you said it. If not, you will be a wanted man. Another resource is a little creepier but efficient nonetheless. When the football linemen come through, say thank you to God and do as they do. Since everyone will move and let them on the bus first, position yourself right behind the last one. Get close enough so that the untrained eye will assume you are a wide receiver or defensive back, but not too close as you could run into them and make them angry. The last thing you EVER want are angry linemen.

At this point you have probably made it on to the bus and think the war has ended. False. The battle is only heightened at this point. It is time to find a seat.

Just for some background...

The Anatomy of the UB Stampede

2 Doors

40 Seated

20 Standees

As you can see, there are limited spots on the bus so you must be wise.

4. Have no preferences

When arriving on the bus, swallow your pride and take any seat available. Do not look for friends or for a particular seat. Once you do that, all the seats you wanted will be taken, and when you turn around to take one you have passed up, it will be taken as well. At this point, you will be standing.

5. No questions, just sit

Just like while boarding the bus, the minute you ask questions you have declared yourself vulnerable. The vultures on the bus can sense your fear and will do whatever it takes to make you stand. If you want to ask any questions, make sure they are after you have already sat down and got comfortable. Do anything to avoid standing.

In the case that you have to stand, first and foremost, I am sorry because it is not fun. Secondly, stay as composed as possible. It is roughly 5 minutes, and the more relaxed you are, the better. Following are tips for standing as promised earlier in the Blog.

6. Standing is not cool

Do not try and make standing look fashionable or easy because it is not. It is a workout. Those who want to add a little "swag" to standing will find themselves grabbing for dear life as the bus takes off. I've seen it happen and yes it is embarrassing. When you have found out that you are standing, locate the handles above your head and firmly grab onto them. They are put there for a reason. Get into a good athletic stance and prepare yourself. If you do not want to use the handles, I can promise you one thing. You will drop your belongs, your knees will buckle as you shoulders jerk back, and you will end up on someone's lap, uninvited. Don't risk the embarrassment. It is not fun.

I hope you take this seriously and put some of the tips to good use. It is worth it. I know it is kind of late, but this is my Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/ any holiday gift to all of you. If these tips do not work, I will be giving out personal lessons in The Art of Bus-Boarding by appointment only. As always my little monsters, you have been great. It was a pleasure to advise you. Good day to you all and until next time embrace the Martian.

Long Live The Prince

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