Bus Etiquette


The bus is scattered with half a dozen passengers, most of them sticking to the silent code of strangers. The only noise comes from the traffic and two young children speaking excitedly to each other while their MOTHER watches on.

The bus pulls over to a stop and the doors open. A large late 20’s man, let’s call him WANNABE GANGSTA, because that’s what he looks like, steps on. He walks in with the cocky arrogance of someone looking for a conflict. His skinny GIRLFRIEND with too much make up on walks in behind him.

The bus grows tense, and even the two children stop for an instant to look at the two new passengers.

They take a seat towards the back of the bus which pulls out and continues its route. Wannabe Gangsta turns to an OLDER MAN seated across from him.

Hey man, hey old man. You like rap?

The older man pretends not to hear him and continues to look out the window. The Wannabe Gangsta walks over to the older man and stands above him intimidatingly.

Hey, you deaf? I asked you something.

The older man continues to ignore him.

Hello, old timer, you dead? I think he’s dead. I know a little trick to check if people are dead.

You should check babe.

The confrontation has drawn the attention of the fellow passengers.

Hey just leave him alone alright?

Back off bitch, I’m just trying to have a conversation with old mate over here.

No you’re being a bully, clearly he’s not interested.

You like rap?

Not particularly, now do you want to sit down please.

Alright, don’t need to have a fit.

(Loudly to Wannabe Gangsta)
Slut must be on her rags of something.

Wannabe Gangsta sits down and there’s a moment of restored silence before he pulls out his phone. He clicks a few buttons and loud, intrusive rap music starts playing from it. A few people look at him askew but no one says anything. He starts to sing along to the words managing to be even louder than the music. His girlfriend looks at him adoringly.

The mother stares at him. He meets her gaze and sings at her. She looks at him for another beat and then smiles. She reaches down into her handbag and pulls out her phone. She clicks a few buttons and then a sesame street song starts playing out of it at full volume.

Her two kids look up excitedly and they start to sing and dance along with the music enthusiastically. Wannabe Gangsta stumbles over his words and the older man starts to giggle at him. Someone else on the bus also starts to giggle, then another, then the whole bus starts to giggle.

Wannabe Gangsta presses the ‘next stop’ button on the bus with a DING and stands.

C’mon, we’re getting off.

But we’re not there yet.

I said we’re getting off.

The bus pulls over and the doors open. Wannabe Gangsta stomps towards the door and turns off his phone as he goes, the rap music stopping sharply.

Awww, I was listening to that.

Wannabe Gangsta hurriedly steps off the bus. The rest of the passengers giggles turn to laughter.

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