Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yahoo- Yale University’s Esther Kim spent three years traveling thousands of miles across U.S. bus systems to compile her observations. “I became what’s known as an experienced traveler and I jotted down many of the different methods people use to avoid sitting next to someone else,” Kim told Science Daily. “We engage in all sorts of behavior to avoid others, pretending to be busy, checking phones, rummaging through bags, looking past people or falling asleep. Sometimes we even don a ‘don’t bother me face’ or what’s known as the ‘hate stare’.” Some of the tips for avoiding your fellow travelers are dictated by physical postures, such as avoiding eye contact, staring out the window with a blank stare or simply pretending to be asleep. While others are more overtly antisocial, like placing your bag on the empty seat next to you, listening to your iPod, or even lying and saying the seat next to has already been taken. Kim describes what is the nearly universally understood but rarely spoken truth: a game of chess played by passengers, in which they strategically situate themselves in ways to both maximize comfort and minimize the odds of traveling next to a stranger. And when a flight or bus trip is full, the priorities radically shift to simply avoiding sitting next to someone “weird.” Interestingly, Kim also found that class, gender and race did not play significant roles in where people choose to sit.

Learning how to ride public transportation is an essential skill for almost every college kid to master. Whether it’s a shuttle bus to class on a Tuesday morning or the last subway home on a Saturday night, there’s a certain amount of strategy involved in making the ride not suck. People claim to know how to get around having to deal with other people, but doing shit like reserving a seat with your bag and pretending to be asleep won’t make people avoid you. What’s the one thing everyone has in common according to this study? People don’t want to sit next to the weird kid. So the key here is to be crazy without actually being crazy. Obviously it’s up to you whether or not you care what people think about you, but I will take ownership of a comfortable seat on a packed bus over people thinking I’m a normal person 110% of the time. Think about it: You’re not going have to see or interact most of the people around you ever again. Why the fuck should you what they think about you? I know I’m not actually insane; It’s all about doing what crazy people do without going full homeless. For example: Download every one of the rap battles for 8 Mile onto your iPod. Whenever you’re in a situation where you’re trying to stake a claim on a seat, listen to them on repeat and try to rap along out loud. At the end of the day, people won’t sit next of your because you’re talking to yourself, and you’re a winner two time over because you had a seat all to yourself and now you have the ability to spit high fire. And if that doesn’t work your can’t always just whip out your junk. That’s a guaranteed free seat at least 73% of the time.

PS- I’m calling bullshit on the statement that people don’t choose seats based on race. If I see a crazy white guy in the same subway car as me I’m getting the fuck out of there anyway I can.

HERE WE GO .....

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