Offbus: a game for the citydweller

Players: One.

Playtime: From two seconds to a full day.

Instructions: The player sits on a back seat of a not particularly busy city bus, with a good view of the other people in it. She or he tries to press the STOP-button just before someone else does.

Scoring:

+1 point — Pressing the button just before someone else does. Someone is defined to be going to press the button if they are moving a hand or a comparable appendage in the direction of the stop button, and if they leave the bus on the stop after the motion.

+1 point — If, after the previous, only one single person gets off on the stopped-for stop.

+1 point — If, after the previous, that person seems confused, and looks around for the person who pushed the button.

minus 4 points — If, after the player has pressed the button, no-one gets off on the stop stopped for.

minus 4 points — If, after the previous, the bus driver comments. (If with just a grunt, hand-wave or inarticulate yell of rage, just minus two.)

minus 1 point — If the player raises his or her hand or appendage to press the button, but someone else presses it first.

End: The player stops the game by leaving the bus. The game can also be terminated by the player being made to leave the bus.

Variations: In the “Extreme Offbus Special” variation, there is an additional penalty of minus one point for each stop where the bus stops which the player doesn’t push the button for. Psychics play Offbus sitting on a front seat; they don’t usually score very well. The game can be played with more than one player, as long as these don’t know the identity or the number of each other. Most players will most probably end in the minus territory. There is a rural variation called “Offcowrse”; it is rather involved and unsanitary.

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