As you know from my frequent gripes about the quality of service, I ride the bus to work. Service reliability and timeliness bitches aside, I enjoy riding the bus (or the Metro train, when I give up on the bus): it gives me about 50 minutes in which I can read or take a nap, and I don't have to worry about driving in our notorious traffic.
But I can also engage in people-watching, which is one of my favorite pastimes. And I've been thinking that I can get a PhD dissertation out of my observations of how people choose their seats on the bus.
Here are Bilbo's Random Observations on Bus Seat Selection:
1. If there are sufficient empty 2-person seats, everyone will sit by him- or herself.
2. If all the 2-person seats are occupied:
a. Women will:
(1) Sit with a woman they know;
(2) Sit with a man they know;
(3) Sit with a woman they don't know; or,
(4) Sit with a man they don't know, and pretend to sleep.
b. Men will:
(1) Quickly scan the bus, then sit next to the most attractive woman, passing up any number of available seats in order to do so.
(2) If there are no attractive women, they will sit next to anyone recognizable as a woman from the front of the bus.
(3) If there are no seats available next to women, they will sit in the available seat with the most room.
3. Attractive women sitting alone will generally pile their purses, briefcases, shopping bags, etc, on the seat next to them in order to obviate 2b(1). They may also:
a. Move their things from the seat to make room for someone they don't mind sitting with.
b. Avoid making eye contact with anyone so that they will not have to move their things from the seat and sit with someone they don't want sitting next to them.
4. Men sitting alone will discretely scan riders as they board the bus, then:
a. Discretely move their briefcase or lunch box from the adjoining seat in the hopes that an attractive woman will sit next to them.
b. If no attractive women board, leave their briefcase or lunch box on the seat next to them to prevent other men from sitting there until the next opportunity for a woman to board, when 4a again applies.
5. Bilbo will:
a. AM, local bus to local Metro Station - pick any vacant seat and read. Greet acquaintances as they board the bus, but keep briefcase and lunch pail on adjoining seat to prevent annoying persons from sitting there.
b. AM - Express Bus, local Metro Station to Pentagon - pick any vacant seat. Sleep. Wake up and get off when person in adjoining seat shakes him awake.
c. PM - Express Bus or Train, Pentagon to local Metro Station - pick any vacant seat and read. Greet acquaintances as they board the bus, but keep briefcase and lunch pail on adjoining seat to prevent annoying persons from sitting there.
d. PM - local bus to neighborhood - pick any vacant seat and read. Try not to sleep, as will usually not wake up until bus returns to the Metro Station.
6. Everyone will: avoid sitting next to people who are drunk or talking to themselves.
Well, it's time to get ready to head out for 5a. If you are a bus or Metro rail rider, what do you think...are my observations accurate? Let me know.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.