No, the Secret Bus Driver Wave has nothing to do with the secret node, but it is intriging none-the-less.

Go on a school bus, any school bus, anywhere in the world (although I've never been out side the US, I'm sure this is a national conspircy), and wait for it to pass another bus. There! There it is, as your school bus passes the other, you will see that your driver will wave at the other bus driver, not only that - it shall be a distictive wave, like no other.

In my many, (too many, someone please give me a car), years of riding godforsaken school buses I have notice many different types of waves. You see, there is not but one Secret Bus Driver Wave, there are many, it is a means of communication amoung bus drivers. The ones that I have discovered thus far are as follows:

1: The "Hi, I'm Phil." wave. This is typically used by people named Phil, but there are some Phil impersonators.

2: The "I don't like you" wave. This wave generally entails the lifting of the middle finger. This could also be construed as the "I'm number one" wave.

3: The "Red Pig Flies at Midnight to Meet the Blue Buick. Wouldn't you really rather drive a Buick?" wave. Ah, this is one of the most complex and devious waves. If you meet a bus driver with carpel tunnel syndrome, this wave may be the reason.

4: Finally "I'm going to confiscate every item that I possibly can from the students, meet me at my place at 9:00 pm for the goods."

I've seen this!

I rode the bus throughout most of my school years including high school, up to my Sophomore year. (From then on, I caught a ride with my friend Brandon. I'd take the bus only in the event he wouldn't be able to drive.)

Anyway, every bus driver I had would develop and use their own individually styled wave. However, there was one particular driver I had, name of Ted, who was a bit.....unbalanced. Whether a career of driving a school bus created this unbalance, I don't know; though it seems as good an explanation as any. Ted, a man in his mid to late fifties, was an odd man who, in his infinite wisdom, thought it appropriate to seperate the males from the females on the bus. (Females occupy seats one through ten, males in the back half.)

Ted also didn't like me very much, and he went out of his way to try and make my bus ride as miserable as possible. Usually, if I was causing some sort of disturbance (or if I wasn't!), up to seat #1 I went, right behind the keen eyes of his 4 foot mirror. A position such as this may seem precarious to most, and that may be true as evidenced by one of Ted's more ridiculous diciplinary writeups on me. He decided to "write me up" for tapping my foot; I had to use the bathroom pretty badly, but he didn't accept that as a valid explanation. The assistant principal promptly tossed the writeup in the trash upon my arrival in his office, but I digress. This vantage point did give me a unique view into the habits of this particular bus driver.

Passing other school busses on the road is an everyday, inevitable occurance. And yes, bus drivers do have their little Secret Bus Driver Waves. But Ted's wave was different. In fact, it wasn't really a wave at all.

Ted would see an oncoming bus, his cue to point his index finger straight up until he was within eye contact of the other driver. As soon as that happens, he'd flip his finger forward to point at the other driver, as if to say "YOU THE MAN!"

Ted would do this like clockwork. We all found it humorous, but that didn't discourage him one bit. As I said, Ted was a strange man. A reliable driver, somewhat likable, but very strange.

Well, I can officially say that this phenomenon occurs in Australia also. My friend and I, upon noticing it three years ago, conducted a study. We realised several things:

  1. Bus drivers always have one syllable names, or names which can be abbreviated to one syllable.

  • Bus drivers always wave. Due to the way this particular bus system worked, there were five or so buses going to the same place, and you caught the first one you could, before changing buses. Once, a bus driver did not wave. We never saw this particular bus driver again.

  • The lollipop men were in on it. They’re the people who stand at pedestrian crossings, carrying the bright “Stop, Children Crossing” signs. In the aforementioned example, were the driver mysteriously disappeared, the lack of wave was noted by the lollipop man. This lollipop man stared harshly at the driver of my bus, moments after he failed to wave to another driver. Other drivers who failed to wave, but were not seen by lollipop men, continued to drive. Also, on other occasions, lollipop men were involved in the waving process.

  • There is some sort of faction system, not based on bus company, but rather some drivers’ hierarchy. A lesser driver must always wave to a senior driver –much like a salute. If the driver was of an enemy faction, a lack of wave was deliberate. By noting who waves first in various situations, one could asses the rank of various bus drivers. One we had, I am quite certain was a general or some such – they never waved first. Also of interest, is that lollipop men always waved as though they were higher rank than any bus driver.

    All of this information turned up over our three weeks of observation. I swear it is all true. There is something going on out there. Watch your back

  • What do you know, it happens in Singapore too! Here we have a public transport system so well-developed you can't sit at a bus-stop for 5 minutes without seeing at least 10-15 buses pass you by. They wave too.

    I've noticed something else especially peculiar here. In Singapore, we drive on the left side of the road. The bus-drivers sit on the right-hand side of the bus. When 2 buses get close enough (e.g., when waiting to turn right at a cross-junction while it's still red), the bus driver on the right is usually obliged to open the passenger swing doors on the left and make small talk with the bus driver on the left (who simply shouts through the window).

    There seems to be some unofficial rule that all bus drivers must learn a Chinese dialect, and not just any dialect, but a common one. I am ashamed to say that though I am Chinese I have not taken the tiem to learn my native dialect, and thus I have no inkling what they talk about during these little exchanges. But I'll try to get a friend to look into it, now that secret bus driver waves seem to be everywhere else as well.

    And it's not just the lollipop men (sadly, these are slowly being phased out by traffic lights that hardly break down), the bus-conductors, station control, even some of the passengers are in on it as well! I'm serious about the passengers! Some of them get up at a stop, chat a little with the driver, then get off 5 stops later - without paying a cent. I didn't suspect a thing until the passenger waved to other bus drivers as well, and he kept sneaking glances towards the back of the bus. Freaky people.

    Somebody should start a master node for conspiracies like these.

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