Beacon Features: Commuter Chapters – ‘Bad commuting manners’

By Nicholas Murray
Contributing Writer

For all you know, this column could contain potentially life-saving information.

This week, I will provide you with a look into one of the most harrowing homeward commutes I’ve ever experienced in my long and illustrious commuting career.

Well, as I do upon conclusion of most school days, I crossed Dixie, leaving the campus grounds for the bus stop located across the street. As I was keeping an eye on the corner that the buses round as they turn to head south, what should I see but two distant figures, strolling briskly toward the bus stop, hand in hand.

As I was saying, two emergent figures are coming towards the bus stop. Well, expectedly, they reached it, sadly. It was immediately evident that they were indeed boyfriend and girlfriend.

If one could not have arrived at such a conclusion simply upon observance of their holding hands, certainly the loud wet smacking noises should have been strong indicators of the nature of their relationship.

They stood to the left of me, indulging in the desires native to young love. It made me sick. I didn’t know whether the wet, smacking, popping noises coming from my right were the result of gum being masterfully chewed or some very messy kissing.

Regardless, I wasn’t about to look and so I kept my gaze firmly affixed to the asphalt directly in front of me, asphalt that suddenly had grown immeasurably intriguing with its cracks and grayness, and… yellow lines.

By Jove, I thought to myself, this is horridly intrusive. Someone should pass a law against this. Your kissing cannot exceed a certain volume level.

Holy lip lock, Batman. I could not for the life of me figure out if they were chewing gum or kissing. All I knew was that it was imperative that I not look for the simple fact that it would be nauseatingly awkward if one of them were to notice me looking at them.

If they were kissing it would be one thing. But watching someone chew gum that loudly? That’s bad commuting form. I could go the rest of my life not knowing that gum can be chewed that loud.

If it was gum, it then begs the question, how often do they work out their jaw muscles? Will this be an Olympic sport some day soon?

Can you pass Morse Code via gum chewing? Who needs war drums when you have chewing gum?

Finally the bus arrived. As the lovely couple boarded ahead of me, I took a close look at where they’d been standing half-expecting to have to improvise a makeshift “Caution: Wet Floor” sign out of notebook paper because of the pool of saliva that I almost felt should have been there.

I thought the day had gotten as bad as it could get and I was anxious to get home following this moist, disgusting lesson in patience and tolerance.

But that was going to take a while. It would be extremely uncomfortable. “Why?” you ask? The reason is called, “Nick, welcome to the most crowded bus in the world.” Stay tuned for the next chapter.


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