I want to say off the bat that drunkenness, as a whole, is fine with me. I'm not talking about alcoholism here, I'm talking about the state of being inebriated in and of itself.

It can be -depending on the situation- embarrassing, annoying, entertaining, nauseating, heartbreaking, carpet staining, and so much more. I am, of course, referring to other people being drunk. For reasons beyond my control, I am currently unable to get my drink on. However, I have lived with drunks, am currently related to drunks and have had to deal with drunks in the most awkward of places. So today, I pose a question. What is it about bus stops that attracts bar flies like moths to a flame?

I do not have a car. I do not want to have a car. For various reasons I have chosen not to drive. As such, when walking is out of the question and biking won't cut it, I bus. Frequently. And during my stint as a bussouer, I’ve met a fair number of stoners, drunks, and crazies. This is just what I've gathered from first hand experience, but perhaps it may help some of my fellow bussouer's. Please remember that most bus folk are perfectly pleasant individuals and that for every weirdo out there, there's a hundred more normal people. But if you bus long enough -especially in urban areas- you will come across either one of these fine, booze-loving folk or their illustrious cousins, the stoners. Especially at night.

So what is one to do is such a precarious situation? What do you do when left alone, at a bus stop, with someone at least temporarily mentally impaired?

. . .

Have you tried just ignoring them?

Really, that's usually the best option. If a drunk or stoner happens to be sitting down on the bench, either chuckling to himself or looking like hell spat him out, the best option is to let them be. They aren't actively bothering you. Hell, they probably don't even really see you. If the smell of alcohol or their bodily odors is too overpowering and you know you can't stand it a moment longer, get up. Take a few steps away, and continue waiting for the bus. It's really no big deal.

Unfortunately, not all people like to just sit around waiting for both the bus and sobriety to come to them. They may want to talk to you. This is incredibly awkward. You don't want to brush them off because that would be the asshole thing to do, but you might not feel like talking to someone whose breath is strong enough to wilt flowers. In those cases, when you really can't take a few god damned moments to make someone else a little happier, it's best to either pretend your phone has vibrated, then move away in order to 'take your call'.

If they remain persistent , you may have to walk to the next bus stop down the way. If you're lucky, the bus won't show up for a while, anyways (and if you're busing at night, it will take on average a half hour or so, depending on how popular the stop is and how crowded the area is). If you're unlucky, you'll miss that bus and have to take the next one. It's really up to you whether or not it's worth hanging around.

The biggest problem, however, (especially for females), are the creepy-sleazy-grabby drunks. These ones look at you, get that stupid/creepy smile, then try to chat you up. They may try to get closer to you. They may say you look nice. They will leer. You will find the phone trick doesn't work with them, and in fact they may even be insulted that you don't want to talk to them.

Fucking leave.

Unless you see that bus coming your way right that minute, unless you happen to be among a crowd of other people who are just as wigged out as you are, unless you are a secret international assassin and can kill him ten different ways without breaking a sweat, fucking leave. You can afford walking down to the next, hopefully people-filled bus stop if it gets you away from that.

Last, but not least, is the sick drunk.

This is a rather rare individual, and hopefully you won't come across one, but if you do, it's best to be prepared. These are the fellows so blessedly drunk, they stagger around (you may have to keep them from falling into the road, or help them back up if they do), they tend to cough a lot, and finally, if you hang around long enough, they will expel.

It's best to let them finish their business in peace, but once they've finished, it is mandatory that you ask them if they're alright and offer them water if you have any.

Remember; there is a difference between 'falling asleep' and 'passing out'. Falling asleep is just that; falling asleep. Passing out, however, is much more serious. If they pass out, it will be up to you to turn them onto their sides (so they don't drown in their own vomit) and make sure they don't stop breathing. If they're breathing becomes irregular or labored, and if they start vomiting without waking up, it's alcohol poisoning. Now is the time to use your cellphone for more than just sexting and reading E2 online and actually call for help.

Congratulations! You're now a decent human being.

Hopefully, by then, the bus has arrived. You can now go off about your duty.

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