How to ensure that you never have to sit beside someone on the bus again
If, like me, you utilise public transport to get you where you need to go, you understand the joy that a vacant adjacent seat brings. That feeling that comes knowing you won’t have to spend your journey sitting beside someone who believes that regular bathing is so 90s. The warming of your cockles when you realise that the dickhead who feels compelled to read the broadsheet newspaper during peak hour has decided not to take refuge next to you. That smug contentment that can only be achieved by convincing other commuters that sitting beside you would be a poor idea.
I must admit, I never really have a problem with people wanting to sit beside me: as a 6’5″ giant who is – as someone once eloquently put it – “two and a half pick handles across”, folks generally tend to avoid sitting beside me at all costs. Even if it means standing up for the trip and gazing longingly at the vacant seat beside me, much to my narcissistic mirth.
If you don’t have the physical characteristics – and some would suggest sociopathic disposition – to persuade other travellers that you’re a corporate version of Michael Myers, there are options to ensure that the seat beside you remains empty for the rest of your travelling days.
Strategy 1 – Be smellier than anyone who may attempt to sit beside you
This is a strong hand to play, as it requires you to potentially be more olfactorily offensive than the wannabe hippie who just got on. While this method may guarantee you peaceful passage to work, it’s also more than likely to also be catalyst for your impromptu meeting with HR upon arriving at the office.
For beginners, I suggest bluffing: as someone approaches for ass position beside you, take a whiff under your arms and feign mortified disgust.
Strategy 2 – Talk to yourself
By engaging in meaningful dialogue with yourself, you will give the masses a reason to avoid you. If you really want to ramp it up, try arguing with yourself, and be sure to include “I hate it when you try to tell you that you’re right, and you have to stop trying to convince us that our opinion is always wrong!” For added effect, turn your head to the left for one side of the conversation, and reverse when playing the other you.
Strategy 3 – Use the odd profanity
I’m not talking about going old-school sailor for the duration of your journey, I’m advocating sitting in silence while looking straight ahead, occasionally blurting out a random “cock” or “clitoris”. For Deuce Bigalow fans, you may wish to embrace bellowing “vulva”.
Author’s note: I’m writing this piece en route to Toowoomba, and I’ve just discovered that “clitoris” isn’t in the dictionary in my BlackBerry. How odd.
Strategy 4 – Scratch yourself constantly
No one likes a scratcher. That person who continually attempts to scrape off the first few dermal layers, regardless of their surroundings, in order to try and ease the itch. As such, my hypothesis is that no sane individual would make a concerted attempt to sit beside the aforementioned. The result? You, ogling the fabric on the vacant seat beside you for the remainder of your trip.
If you really want to get into character for the charade, you can sprinkle itching powder onto strategic locations, including your head and nether regions. I guess that you could always catch something of which incessant scratching and a rash are indications of, but as per Strategy 1, this may be a little dramatic.
Strategy 5 – Lick the window closest to you
This one is pretty self-explanatory: who the fuck wants to sit beside someone who passes their time on public transport by running their tongue over glass that has had tens of thousands of dirty, sweaty heads, arms and miscellaneous body parts lean against it?