A new meme about thanking bus drivers has swept the internet in the past few days.
Picture the scene: you’ve just had a perfectly enjoyable 20-minute bus ride, and now you’ve pressed the button to get off.
As the bus pulls into your stop, your palms get sweaty with anticipation. Should you thank the driver? The words are right there, on the tip of your tongue, but would it be weird? Your heart races, you look around – will anyone else say it?
Suddenly the bus jerks to a halt and it just pops out: “Thanks, mate.”
You step off the bus into the inevitable endorphin rush.
You’re not the only one to ride this emotional rollercoaster every time you take the bus.
The meme originated in Australia, after a meme account by the name ‘Brown Cardigan’ started reminding its 377,000 Instagram followers to thank their bus drivers.
And some of them are pretty incredible.
Always say thanks, even if they’re a bit taken aback
Say that ‘thank you’ loud and clear
And the memes have since spread far and wide, getting tweeted by people in the US and the UK.
We only kiss guys who thank their bus drivers
Or bus drivers themselves
Even Russell Crowe (!) agrees
Although the meme has raised an important question…
Brown Cardigan (not his real name, obviously) told BBC Three that saying thanks to the bus driver “is just one of those things we all learned as kids”.
“There's really no meaningful side to it, other than pure and good manners,” he says. “Everyone took ownership of the meme, and in these days and times with so much negative stuff going on – it was just a fresh take on it.”
To top off the frenzy he's whipped up, Brown Cardigan posted a “screenshot” that he mocked up to look like an article in one of Australia's newspapers, The Australian, with the headline: “Bus drivers around the country recieving [sic] wave of praise.”
Brown confirmed to BBC Three that The Australian hasn't (sadly) written about how his memes have changed the world.
“It was a bit of a fake it 'til you make it, type of situation,” he says. “Would have probably been more legit if I hadn't left the typo in the headline...”
These bus driver memes are like a more niche version of the ‘wholesome memes’ that went viral a couple of months ago.
In case you missed it, wholesome memes are basically exactly what they sound like – memes that are very, very sweet and are designed to make you generally feel good.
But clearly, nothing makes you feel as good as thanking your bus driver. So next time you get the bus home after a night out, don’t forget to shout over a quick “cheers!”