The Wessex 16 is full of irritating stereotypes
You’re probably one of them
The sight of the big red Wessex bus is a familiar one, especially for freshers making that repetitive and painfully slow trip up and down Mount Doom (sorry, Whiteladies Road).
If the sight is mundane the characters on board the buses rarely are.
The Classic Conversationists
Probably the best kinds of passenger are what the Classic Conservationists, who fearlessly plonk themselves down next to you, and engage you in somewhat ‘classic’ conversation.
“So what hall are you in? What do you study? Where you from? Oh, do you know? Yeah of course I do mate, he’s such a greaaaaat guy.”
The likelihood is you’ll never really get to know these people, but you’ll make sure to give them a handshake or a thumbs up next time you see them around (like 95% of people you speak to in first year).
In a world of Twitter beefs and Tinder fiascos genuine social interaction is a rare thing indeed. But these people prove you can still make a contact out of nowhere. So, classic Conversationists, I salute you.
The phone magnets
There are always those that just sit through every journey, engrossed in the undoubtedly fascinating information radiating from their mobile telephone.
Whether it be a Snapchat story of somebody walking into a lampost, or reading a Mail Online article about Kim Kardashian getting her tits out, it is always infinitely more engaging than the world around them.
The thought of actually talking to somebody or making space for somebody to sit down is completely alien, and if you dare to interrupt their precious scrolling time, you may be lucky enough to be told to “fuck off”.
The desperate chanters
A pre-requisite for any big night out, there are always the heavily intoxicated males desperate to prove their ladishness by getting a few chants going.
Occasionally amusing, but mainly tedious, the classic lines are about hating Wills Hall, Yaya Toure, slagging off UWE, or playing back seat on the bus, which all inevitably end with an enraged bus driver storming up the stairs to tell them to shut up.
Chanting can be great fun, but mostly it is for people vying to make an impression. Sadly for them, few of us are genuinely impressed.
The card fumblers
Everybody is set and ready to move off until a groan fills the air when you see that person, sweating and gasping for air, bursting a gut to make that bus in order to save 20 precious minutes of their life.
The cruellest amongst us would love to see the bus move off without them, but having been disappointed enough to see they have made it, they then further nark the bus community by fumbling around, scrambling through their wallet looking for their bus pass, which seems nearly always has been lost in the heat of the moment.
The more stubborn drivers force them to pay up, adding another few minutes whilst they protest their legitimacy as pass holder, before finally being forced to scramble around in an attempt to pay up.
On other occasions, the driver might just let them pass for free, only creating a burning sense of injustice among those who have been forced to cough up for a ticket in the past.
The queue jumpers
We’ve all tried it at some point, but that doesn’t stop us taking the moral high-ground on that person who seems to think the etiquette of queuing doesn’t apply to them.
These “jumpers” will rock up at peak hours, when the queue is already snaking it’s way up the hill, and then scan the horizon for that person they once sat next to in a lecture, and use it as a medium of slotting in through the flanks, thus depriving the poor sods dutifully queuing half way up the hill the chance to actually make their class on time.
If karma exists queue jumpers, I’d watch you queue for hours for Lizard Lounge, only for you to be told that you’re not dressed smartly enough.
The drivers themselves
What would our bus journeys be without that interaction with these masters of customer service,
These guys ensure every journey is conducted completely by the book, and would consider it a serious breach of conduct should they ever let anyone on without a bus pass, to let anyone drink some squash or eat a sandwich on board, or to actually not grind to a standstill on a regular basis.
That being said, a cheeky coffee, cigarette break or trip to the bookies never goes amiss if there’s a large crew waiting at the Transport Hub.
Ultimately, whatever you say about the 16 bus service, it really is the spiritual, as well as the only, method of transport for anyone in Stoke Bishop, so we better get used to it.
And after all, you meet new people, learn some cringy chants and have a means of travel that isn’t walking up and down that brutal hill. What could be better?
(That’s a rhetorical question, please don’t answer it with “Having my own car”.)