This morning, we ran a Stuff You Should Know feature about the atrocities of high gas prices. If you’re looking to cut that particular financial strain out of your life, one possible alternative is to take the bus to work.
Taking the bus isn’t the most convenient option, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest. However, if you’ve never hopped a bus as part of your daily commute, there are some things you should know before diving in headfirst.
Here are five essential purchases for surviving public transportation…
GNC Vitamin C 1000
Before boarding any form of public transportation, be it a bus or a train or a goddamn rickshaw, it’s best to keep one assumption near and dear to your heart… every passenger except you is clinically insane and dripping with germs and disease. It’s probably not true, but why not err on the side of caution?
With that in mind, you’ll want your immune system to be in top condition. Help that along by pounding Vitamin C supplements on a regular basis. It won’t fight off everything (armed robbery, for example) but it will at least give you an advantage against the flu and common cold. Because who wants to burn valuable sick days actually being sick? Certainly not a shiftless, unreliable employee like you.
Buy It: www.gnc.com
Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer
This purchase is right in line with the “assume everyone is gross” rule that applies to Vitamin C. Here’s a fact that may or may not be factual: No one who rides the bus or subway has washed their hands since 1998. Except for you, of course. It’s a given that you’re going to be palming some of the same surfaces that those nasty fleabags do. When that happens, you’re going to want to get the resulting nastiness off your paws as soon as possible. Packing a supply of soap and water will just make you look insane, so bring along some hand sanitizer instead.
Yes, we know, there will be people who leave comments about this along the lines of “Hand sanitizer is a scam, man! It will just make it easier for you to get sick!”. Don’t listen to them. Those people all have AIDS. Just joking. They do have genital warts though.
As an added bonus, once you get to work, the hand sanitizer will help mask all that drinking you do at your desk, as we pointed out in a previous buyer’s guide.
Buy It: www.drugstore.com
A Pair of Gigantic Sunglasses
Another unwritten law of public transportation is that you should never, under any circumstances, make eye contact with your fellow travelers. You never know what kind of crazy is bubbling under the surface of their seemingly normal exterior. Do you want feces flung at you? Do you want to engage in a 90 minute conversation about how the ABC television series V is actually the government’s way of preparing us for an inevitable alien invasion? No, you don’t want any of that, so keep your eyes to yourself.
Even better, cover your eyes with a pair of obnoxiously large sunglasses. Any brand will do, but we recommend a pair of vintage Porsche Carrera 5620′s, as popularized by 80′s rap legend Kool Moe Dee.
What’s that? You thought Will.I.Am made these popular? Well then you’re an ignorant young punk who needs to get off our lawn before we call the police!
Anyway, these particular shades will be hard to come by, so, like we said, any pair will work.
Buy It: www.ebay.com
iBeats High Performance In-Ear Headphones
Just as you’ll want to hide your eyes from the lunatic gazes of fellow passengers, you’ll also want to protect your ears from having to listen to whatever inane bullshit they might be talking about. You could just wear ear plugs or a pair of those oversize DJ headphones, provided you’re a total fucking weirdo or the lead guitarist from Linkin Park, respectively.
But a pair of quality in-ear headphones would be a much better option. If we’re doing the shopping for you, then you’re getting a pair of iBeats. They’re part of Dr. Dre’s ever expanding line of headphones and we can personally vouch for their excellence.
The sound quality makes your bullshit stock iPod earbuds seem like a transistor radio speaker. They’re also equipped with an inline mic for hands free calls to your weed dealer that doubles as an iPod/iPhone remote. And the durable Monster Cable construction means not only will they last a lot longer than regular headphones, but you can probably use them to strangle a bitch if shit gets real on your morning commute.
One word of advice though, spend some time with the army of interchangeable ear tips that come with them. It’s more important than you might think, especially if you don’t want the catalog of Paula Abdul albums on your iPod to sound even more like trash than they already do.
Buy It: www.beatsbydre.com
Sabre Red Maximum Strength Pepper Spray
This one is mostly for the ladies. Dudes shouldn’t carry pepper spray unless they’re using it to spice up a particularly bland burrito, in which case it’s totally acceptable. Anyway, depending on where you live, hauling a gun around on public transportation is likely frowned upon. But pepper spray is still legit in most places.
No matter how much you avoid making eye contact with the crazy rapist at the back of the bus, there’s still a chance he might decide to follow you anyway. If that happens, turn around and light his retinas up with a heaping helping of gas station mace.
At that point, he should be immobilized long enough for you to flee the scene. Either that, or he’ll scream in agony while explaining that you forgot your purse on the bus and he was just trying to return it to you. But hey, that’s how most romantic comedies start, right?
Well, the one we’re currently writing starts that way at least.
Buy It: www.pepperspray.com