Was it the early 1980s pre-deregulation West Yorkshire PTE operator that spawned the marketing campaign whose slogan was “Put your b*m on a bus” or “Put your b*m on a [bus] seat”? Rather than the actual word b*m, there was a picture of a well-formed female be-jeaned botty. This life size derrière was cleverly aligned so that the person sitting amidships upstairs appeared to own this particular bottom.
Back then, there was a slight drawing in of breath at the campaign. The word b*m was still considered rather vulgar. The promotion reached the general media because it was considered a little risqué. Times change and not only are we used to hearing the word b*m well before the 2100 watershed, now even BBC TV uses the f-word at almost every opportunity, it seems. Shame on them. Lord Reith is constantly turning in his grave.
The racy nature and subsequent exposure (excuse the pun) of West Yorkshire’s campaign (or whomsoever it belonged to) was guaranteed to bring it success. But, as a result, I wonder how people also thought of having to squeeze their b*ms on a crowded bus.
Friday’s post considered the advantages of 2+1 seating and conmmenters made reference to standard versus single seating. Ray Stenning, he of the Marmite fame : ) himself said,
“If you sit on a normal single seat, your b*m hangs off it (unless you're a child or tiny)”
Well, judging by the highly specified buses bought by More from Wilts & Dorset, the front singe seats are actually very popular but spacers make them acceptable. The overhanging issue, in my opinion, actually therefore affects double seats “more”.
We’ve all been there. Board a bus with standing passengers and you’ll probably find a spare seat at the back, sometimes overlooked by those at the front, sometimes not taken because the single occupant appears intimidating. These are seats no one seems to want. There’s usually some selfish type, who’s luxuriating on the aisle side while blocking the half by the window by stowing nothing other than shopping or luggage. Pardon me, but that’s just self-centred and greedy. Me, in such situations, I always make the blighter move, choosing the one seat that others might feel is most awkward, leaving any “easier” seats for anyone who might be less shy.
And when they do reluctantly move, as an act of defiance, they still spread over more than their fair share, so you have to squeeze into them. Plus, no matter your size, there are times when you sit next to someone who’s larger than you. In these situations, it may mean your cheek hangs off the seat squab, dangling haplessly into the aisle.
During such occurrences, it’s sobering to remember that a double adult seat squab need be no more than 32" wide. That’s the minimum size in the Construction & Use regs. Which is 4" short of a yard. Fortunately, other than 3+2 school buses and perhaps the 19-seat Mercedes 608 [oddly, that link being to one of Omnibuses’ most popular posts, dating form Feb 2007] with its 2+1 seating of yore, few buses are quite this stingy. But do remember, next time you sit beside some colossus, that the DfT feels you only need 16" of space (actually 400mm = 15¾ inches).
If you remember that, when you put your b*m on a bus you’ll never complain about the hogger next to you ever again.