Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Riding the Bus.

I recently took a three-week comedy tour via the bus (I made stops in Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma).  That's right - telling jokes and avoiding people with lice is what I did for 21 days.

If you're planning on taking a bus trip any time soon, here's some advice:

1.  Do not, under any circumstances, use the bathroom on board.

2.  If you have the bladder the size of a pea (like yours truly), and must violate rule #1, don't ever go at night.  Bright lights + outhouse-style toilet does not a good combination make.

3.  Fully expect your bus to smell like a port-a-potty for the entire trip.  Do not expect any employee to do anything about it.

4.  If you're on the run from the law, you might not want to book a mass transit ticket under your real name. There's a good chance that when the bus stops, the cops will be waiting to arrest you.

5.  If you're not on the run from the law, prepare to sit next to someone who is.

6.  When stopping at a truck stop, be on the bus at least five minutes before it's set to depart again.  The bus can and will leave people.  Unless you want to be stranded at a Denny's in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, purchase coffee and pee (not simultaneously) quickly.

7.  Your bus will most likely break down, and you'll be stranded in Sallisaw, Oklahoma anyway.

8.  Watch your bags at all time.  Even the Greyhound employee in Wichita, Kansas told me, "you can check your bag, but I'd keep my eye on it if I were you."  Gulp.

9.  Prepare to meet a woman who carries a knife (because "you never know what's going to happen") and a drunk man who will serenade you and then declare "you're the prettiest woman I've ever seen."  Even if you're not a woman.

10.  You'll see a lot of neck tattoos and hear way-too-many "run in with the cops" stories.  I suggest you prepare your own story and procure a stick-on tattoo to increase your street cred.

That said, if you need to travel somewhere cheaply, and you don't mind hearing some stories about prison, you just can't beat the bus!  

BYLINE:

Kate Brindle is a stand-up comedian from Ann Arbor, MI. For more information and for tour dates, visit her at www.katebrindle.com. Email her at hottiepants@zoiksonline.com.

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