Bus-Stop Logic Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Bus-Stop Logic

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Folk queueing for a bus.

Bus-Stop Logic is a very optimistic way of thinking that says that the bus you need is going to come right away. It's the next bus. It's coming really soon. As such, Bus-Stop Logic is the only thing that can beat Murphy's Law, simply by ignoring it and sticking to the fact that the bus is coming right away.

How It Works

Think Positively

When you apply Bus-Stop Logic, if you've been waiting for the bus for half an hour already, this simply means that there's a bigger chance that your bus is coming soon. If every other line besides yours has passed three times already – and assuming the scheduled intervals for each route are the same - then statistically your bus should be the next one to come. If you just missed your bus by a few seconds when you got to the bus-stop, it only means that another bus is coming - potentially a better, emptier bus.

Make Up Rules

A good rule in Bus-Stop Logic is 'one goes – one comes' rule, which states that if you see your bus going on the other side of the street (in the opposite direction to the one you need), it means that the parallel bus – the one coming in your direction – is not far away, and is sure to come any minute now.

How Low Can You Go?

In radical cases, Bus-Stop Logic turns to finding signs in the line numbers. For example, if you're waiting for a number 9 and a number 8 arrives – no problem, 9 comes after 8. If a number 4 arrives, it's because 4 looks a lot like a 9 from a distance. If a number 12 arrives, then 1+2=3, and 3 is the square root of 9. It may seem a little desperate (especially that last one), but there are cases that are even more desperate. Some people actually pretend to walk away from the bus stop, in an attempt to fool the bus into coming. Some begin to make calls on their mobile phone, or light a cigarette for precisely the same reason. Another interesting method is trying to telepathically summon the bus - if you do it long enough, eventually it does work.

Giving Up

If you decide to give up and adopt a pessimistic point of view, you might start walking to the next bus-stop. Of course, now that you stopped applying Bus-Stop Logic, Murphy's Law take charge - assuring that the bus will roar past you before you get close enough to the next stop to start running. Walking to the previous stop usually ends up the same way, with a bonus of you looking like an idiot after trying to get the bus to stop by jumping up and down and waving your hands in a manic frenzy.

But why would you give up? Just stand at the bus-stop, hopefully gazing down the road, yielding to the stoic comfort of Bus-Stop Logic. The bus is coming any minute now. It's the next bus. It's coming really, really soon.

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