Satire | An afternoon on the 10A

By Allison Dantinne, Senior Staff Columnist

As if I hadn’t been a menace on enough buses in Pittsburgh, observing and noting the actions of the general public, now the students of the University of Pittsburgh have something to fear. That’s right — I took my observations to the 10A, taking down minute-by-minute shenanigans, hijinks and good ol’ tomfoolery from my peers. No one is safe from my watchful eye and quick writing now, even if I didn’t find many students sufficiently wildin’.

1:38 p.m.: I get on the 10A in front of Sutherland after waiting outside for about 15 minutes. I do not know how the shuttles work, as I have had the great fortune of never living on upper campus and not having to rely on the University for transportation up the soon-to-be-icy hill. I would have gotten on the bus in front of Cathy, but that road’s all ripped up and it doesn’t stop in that spot anymore and I couldn’t remember any other places it stopped. Hence my walk up to Sutherland.

1:40 p.m.: The floor seems slippery, judging by the squeaking noises produced when people get off in front of Trees. This may become a problem for me later. I’ve fallen out of one City bus before and broke my ankle, but falling out of the 10A would bruise my ego, which is far more valuable to me.

1:40 p.m.: There are many thank-yous expressed as students enter and exit the bus. Either we as young people are exceptionally polite or the Christmas spirit is real and I’m just not feeling it.

1:43 p.m.: Across the bus I hear two people talking. One says “… atrial block, bundle branch blot.” I’m not sure what those words mean, but they are what I wrote in my notes. I think they relate to the heart. Either way, it piqued my interest, so I listened closer, putting in my headphones so as to not seem suspicious but nonetheless playing nothing.

1:44 p.m.: The girl continues: “… you can’t take points off.” Of what? I do not know. And yet, I’m inclined to agree. I wouldn’t take points off.

1:44 p.m.: A response from the boy: “I’m not takin’ an L on this one.” This is the first time I’ve heard that in a while, as I’m now deeply used to staring at myself in the mirror in the bathroom on the fourth floor of the library at 4 a.m., and just conceding to my haggard appearance that I should probably just take the L on this one.

1:45 p.m.: Some other science terms are said, so my brain cells overheat and shut down. It’s going to take a minute or so to reboot.

1:47 p.m.: The conversation continues with “Eleven out of 15, hell yeah, I’m a cardiologist, man.” Upon hearing this, I feel good for the boy. He did a good job. But I also haven’t done real math since I was in 11th grade, and though I used to be very good at math, my quick calculation tells me that was about four years ago, and I am less good at math now.

1.47 p.m.: Apparently an 11 out of 15 is 73.33%. I question whether or not he is a cardiologist.

1.47 p.m.: How much of cardiology is math?

1:49 p.m.: We pass by the Pete. I see people walking up to the building, so dedicated to the tenet of fitness, to the aesthetic of sports as to wear shorts and sneakers despite the lightly falling snow. I too am dedicated to the aesthetic. I too laugh in the face of winter, here on this bus, wearing a dress and tights. We are one and the same, the fitness people and I.

1:52 p.m.: There is a beeping sound, but I do not know its origin. I cannot be sure if it’s the bus, someone inside the bus, the cars outside the bus or my own tired mind slamming on the panic button, still trying to voice its exhaustion from yesterday’s all-nighter. Either way, it’s been a long day.

1:53 p.m.: I peered over at the boy next to me, who hasn’t added to my observations by saying interesting. So I looked at his phone, only to find that he was scrolling through pictures of naked anime girls. I place my bag between us, feeling immediately better.

1:53 p.m.: Oh, the things I go through in the name of journalism.

1:57 p.m.: There is less consistent stimuli on the 10A than there is on a City bus. I chalk most of it up to the collective exhaustion shared by the student body. I’m having less fun here, but I’m comforted by the fact that everyone else is too.

2:03 p.m.: Every time I look at the ripped-up street in front of Cathy, I get this deep feeling of anger. I am now angry on the bus.

2:04 p.m.: A girl enters the bus and immediately says “This is such an annoying thing to be mad about, but I have an A-.” I think it’s exceptionally not annoying. As a former overachiever, I understand the irritation at receiving an A-.

2:06 p.m.: And now someone’s playing something without headphones. For once, I am grateful, as it makes me think the bus is becoming more lively.

2:06 p.m.: The music is shut off immediately. I am disappointed. There is no joy on this bus.

2:09 p.m.: Now the girl across from me tries to untangle a dainty necklace.

2:10 p.m.: I hear the words ‘watched Jersey Shore’ and ‘10 years old’ and I immediately perk up.

2:11 p.m.: I should have known that sentence would just end up being that Jersey Shore, the hit MTV show, is now 10 years old. I am yet again disappointed. There is still no joy on this bus.

2:20 p.m.: I get off in front of Sutherland again, having learned nothing except that I will too easily agree to waste 42 minutes of my time on this Earth. Disappointed, but not shocked.

Allison Dantinne primarily writes satire and humor for The Pitt News. Write to Allison at [email protected]