A new craze seems to be sweeping the bus-riddled roads of Southampton, taking the buttocks of many males prisoner. Boycott Bus Seat Mania (BBSM), as the new fad has been appropriately coined, involves standing on a bus, no matter how full, or more absurdly, no matter how empty. The trend has been gathering strength for a few years now but is now close to causing a societal uprising.
Bus enthusiasts from all over the country often find themselves discovering like-minded people in Southampton during their first year at university due to the inclusion of a free bus pass with all Halls accommodation. However, these same enthusiasts have also discovered some horrifying scenes as a result of the encouraged transportation links. Devastating images are flooding the city and are being reported nationwide of buses with crowds stood at the forefront of the bus despite numerous empty seats, with some groups standing for upwards of 30 minutes.
It’s been famously noted that British people can find even the most relaxed scenarios heavily awkward, and BBSM has only seemed to encourage this phenomenon. The area most targeted by the craze is perhaps the most pivotal section. On a Unilink bus, there is a small gangway after the driver that leads to the stairs or to a big open space before the seats at the back. Followers of the trend have found this space to be the most effective place to stand, refusing the comfort of the three chairs on the left of the bus and even ignoring the solo foldable chair in the accessible space. Due to the awkward nature of trying to silently move past someone without uttering any words (as is an unspoken rule for British transportation), most who don’t feel drawn to the craze are somehow sucked into its world, unable to move past to seats or a more roomy section, and also end up contributing to the blockage in the tight entryway of the bus.
This unconventional fad can lead to an uncomfortable squeeze for the length of a bus journey but has a completely different effect if there is only one follower on board. Recent scenes on a U1A bus showed one dedicated member get on to the bus at Northlands Road, standing and (despite the bus only having five other patrons) then staying in this very wobbly position regardless of additional traffic and unexpected braking. The reporter left this particular bus at High Road, with the BBSM gentleman standing strong.
However, it’s not just men who are affected. This infectious craze has picked up speed and supporters from all walks of life, regardless of gender, race, and economic standing. It has not yet been discovered what is causing this phenomenon to gain such a following, but one thing is for certain – it will not be taking a seat any time soon.