Very Superstitious: Bus Butt Ghost Edition

      Whenever Manu and I take the buses here we often notice that when one person moves in to take a seat someone recently vacated they hover over it. Like they are doing wall squats against the bus seat. Not everyone does it, but enough people that it was clear it wasn’t just someone being slow to sit down. But why?Manu hypothesized it was incase the bus jerked suddenly, which it often does, but that didn’t make sense. If you were afraid of falling over wouldn’t you sit down quicker? And in fact this habit first irritated me when a hovering woman almost fell on me as the bus turned. I joked that maybe people were waiting for the seat to cool off from the last person, or they were afraid of some lingering ghost of that person’s essence. After questioning a friend from Bogotá it turned out I was eerily close to the truth: the story goes that if you sit down too fast the heat from the last person will soak into you and give you an infection.

I couldn’t have hoped for a more satisfyingly bizarre answer. I am hoping, for the sake of the grown women who do it, that it is something you are told as a child—which of course you, terrified, believe—and then don’t realize that you continue to do once you get older and (hopefully) no longer believe. I say hopefully because if you think butt heat causes infections the scientific community and the school system are not doing their jobs. What I am now curious to know is if this applies to other things—waiting room seats, park benches—or if the butt ghosts solely prefer bus seats.

Of course everywhere has their odd superstitions, this one is just particularly unforgiving in that it requires a public display, immediately separating the believers from the non-believers. But who am I to say otherwise, I may just have been lucky so far. So next time you think about rushing into that vacant seat, think twice.


About syd

I like beats & beets
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7 Responses to Very Superstitious: Bus Butt Ghost Edition

  1. vocabat says:

    LOL. Funny post. I think it’s totally ridiculous, but you have to give it to the people for being “brave” enough to flaunt their paranoia in public, as you so adroitly pointed out. Oh, and you probably already know this, but it’s not just grown women. You’ll see many a distinguished gentleman do the same. Maybe I’ll do it one day just for the hell of it and to throw off the people who are definitely not expecting such a Colombian gesture from a gringa! Cheers :)

  2. jessi says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, yes!

  3. Best thing I’ve read all day.

    • Manu says:

      Yeah, I know what you mean. It bothered us for such a long time and we were afraid that it might be something logical and we might then start doing it ourselves, but the answer was so ridiculous and satisfying.

  4. Randy Cole says:

    Some genuinely select content on this web site , bookmarked .

  5. Pingback: Diminutives: You little… | Don't Give Papaya

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